Daily digest

Amid utility pushback, Iowa energy center director resigns

COGENERATION: One of the largest oil refineries in the Midwest is planning a $150 million combined heat and power project to add to its facility, along with new pollution controls to limit sulfur emissions. (Midwest Energy News)

RESEARCH: The director of Iowa’s premier energy research center is resigning after a three-and-a-half-year tenure that was marked by pushback from utilities and lawmakers. (Associated Press)

*** SPONSORED LINK: Illinois Renewable Energy Conference, July 21st in Normal, Illinois, will feature plenary sessions of interest to all areas of renewable energy, plus specific breakout sessions for wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and energy efficiency.***

SOLAR:
• Wisconsin’s largest solar array — a 2.3 megawatt project on the site of a landfill — comes online. (WKOW-TV)
• Indiana residents start receiving the first solar panels through a group-buying program. (Bloomington Pantagraph)
• Solar generation is picking up in Illinois. (Peoria Journal Star)

COAL:
• Industry losses plague a southeast Ohio town and are influencing its politics. (Toledo Blade)
• New rules targeting coal dust exposure in mines appear to be working, federal regulators report. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

FRACKING: An eight-year study says fracking may worsen asthma in children and adults who live near drilling sites. (Associated Press)

OIL AND GAS:
• Visiting North Dakota this week, a top commodities regulator believes the U.S. energy industry will be able to “wait out” the period of low oil prices. (Forum News Service)
• Natural gas flaring is increasing again in North Dakota. (Prairie Public Broadcasting)

NUCLEAR: Illinois Republicans continue to push to save Exelon’s Clinton nuclear plant. (WRSP-TV)

HYDRO: Several non-powered dams along the Ohio River will be converted to hydroelectric generating stations this year. (PennEnergy)

POLITICS: A group of U.S. House Republicans seeking to take action on climate change are skipping this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (ClimateWire)

TRANSPORTATION: It appears the U.S. will fall short of fuel-efficiency standards in vehicles that were championed by the Obama administration. (Washington Post)

CAPACITY AUCTION: Grid operator MISO will stick to its original plan when considering an overhaul of its capacity auction process, rejecting a plan negotiated with an independent market monitor. (RTO Insider)

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CYBERSECURITY: A cyberattack on Ukraine’s electric grid last year still has U.S. utility officials on high alert about potential threats here. (EnergyWire)

COMMENTARY:
• A coal industry official in Ohio says the state’s sector is “facing an all-out assault from an unlikely antagonist — the federal government.” (Ashtabula Star Beacon)
• Central Illinois residents will “pay the price” if an agreement is not reached with the state to keep open struggling nuclear plants there. (Decatur Herald & Review)

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