Midwest Energy News

Ameren to close its existing solar net metering program to new customers

Clarification: Ameren Illinois says it will close its existing net metering program to new customers after reaching a capacity limit under a state law. Existing customers will not be affected. An earlier version of this digest was unclear.

STORAGE: A battery storage system deployed by Ameren has reduced the number and duration of outages in a small, “geographically challenging” southern Illinois town. (Energy News Network)

POWER PLANTS: The Minnesota Supreme Court hears arguments over whether regulators must pursue a lengthy environmental review for a planned natural gas plant in Wisconsin that would provide power to a northern Minnesota utility. (Star Tribune)

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SOLAR:
• Ameren says it will close its existing net metering program to new customers after claiming to have reached a capacity limit, rejecting an order from Illinois regulators last week calling for an audit of the utility’s program. (Utility Dive)
• Advocates say Kansas is a top 10 state for solar potential but it is lacking in overall solar production and utility-scale projects. (Wichita Eagle)
• A solar panel and electric vehicle charging station group-buying program launches in northwestern Indiana. (Inside Indiana Business)
• A University of Wisconsin visitor center is upgraded with solar panels that are expected to meet 8% of the facility’s power needs. (Daily Cardinal)
• A southeastern Minnesota city now offsets its power usage with renewables after a community solar project comes online. (Pioneer Press)

ILLINOIS: A special committee investigating House Speaker Michael Madigan’s potential ties to the recent ComEd bribery scheme will not meet again until after the election, which GOP critics say is meant to protect Madigan. (Chicago Sun-Times)

FRAC SAND: A mining company wants to challenge a Minnesota county’s ban on frac sand mining in the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming it interferes with interstate commerce. (Star Tribune)

CLIMATE: Vice President Mike Pence has been a vocal critic of climate change, though public opinion on the issue is slowly shifting in his home state of Indiana. (E&E News, subscription)

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RENEWABLES:
• A southeastern Michigan real estate company enrolls in DTE Energy’s voluntary green power program in an effort to reduce carbon emissions at each of its properties. (Crain’s Detroit Business)
• Experts see the Midwest as a strong growth region for wind and solar, particularly in Great Plains states. (Grand Forks Herald)

COMMENTARY: Michigan ratepayer advocates say Consumers Energy’s recent $12 million commitment to help customers struggling to pay bills comes as the utility seeks a $244 million rate increase from regulators. (Citizens Utility Board of Michigan)

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