Midwest Energy News

Ameren’s long-term energy plan relying on coal raises cost concerns

UTILITIES: Minnesota regulators ask Xcel Energy for more details about its demand response program after cities and clean energy advocates raise concerns. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Iowa opens a new program for utility customers affected by the pandemic as nearly 185,000 households have past due gas or electric bills. (Radio Iowa)
• Indiana will no longer require utilities to offer extended payment plans for customers facing disconnections, though some will continue to offer them. (Indianapolis Star)

COAL:
Clean energy analysts raise concerns about the cost of Ameren’s long-term energy plan, which includes coal generation for the next two decades. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• Coal plants operated by regulated, vertically integrated utilities are less likely to be uneconomically dispatched compared to merchant plants in MISO’s region, according to the grid operator’s independent market monitor. (Utility Dive)
• A clean energy analyst says DTE Energy lost $100 million in 2018 by dispatching coal plants when cheaper market supplies were available. (Michigan Radio)
• A southeastern Ohio town historically reliant on the coal industry seeks to reinvent itself as an eco-tourist destination. (Columbus Dispatch)

SOLAR:
Illinois regulators will analyze Ameren’s data on whether it has reached a cap that would affect new net metering customers. (Utility Dive)
• Developers are in the early stages of a planned utility-scale solar project south of Indianapolis. (The Republic)
• A Bank of America branch in northwestern Indiana generates enough on-site solar power to offset its electricity needs as part of the bank’s broader solar initiative. (Times of Northwest Indiana)

PIPELINES: Overdue oil and gas pipelines across the U.S. face a little-known problem when pipeline material is stored outside and becomes more susceptible to corrosion. (InsideClimate News)

NUCLEAR: Xcel Energy officials provide an update to local residents on its long-term plan for keeping open nuclear plants as well as additional renewable energy purchases. (RiverTowns)

CLEAN ENERGY: The head of Michigan’s environmental and energy agency discusses next steps in the state’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. (MiBiz)

WIND:
A central Illinois wind turbine manufacturer plans to permanently lay off 148 employees next month. (Bloomington Pantagraph)
• A utility in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula plans to contract for 40 MW of locally generated wind power. (Renews)

COMMENTARY: Clean energy consultants and entrepreneurs say rebuilding a clean energy economy must be intentionally inclusive of communities of color. (Energy News Network)

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