Midwest Energy News

Biden to pick former Michigan governor as energy secretary

SOLAR: Illinois incentives for small solar installations officially ran out this week, creating long-expected uncertainty for the industry as developers call on lawmakers for at least a short-term fix. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Michigan solar advocates call for lifting caps on customers who can participate in utility distributed generation programs, though power companies continue to claim the installations create cross-subsidies. (Bridge Michigan)
• Two Kansas residents are manufacturing solar-powered greenhouses to grow food for local consumption all year long. (Hutchinson News)
• A central Ohio county expects to receive $6 million in upfront payments after approving a large-scale solar project. (Circleville Herald)

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POLICY: President-elect Joe Biden will reportedly pick former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to lead the Department of Energy. (Politico)

CLIMATE: The U.S. will need to swiftly build out major energy infrastructure projects to achieve Biden’s net zero emission goals, researchers say. (New York Times)

OHIO: A former Ohio Supreme Court justice and a state senator are among 31 applicants seeking to fill former Chairman Sam Randazzo’s position on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

PIPELINES:
• Twenty-two pipeline protesters were arrested for trespassing this week at a Line 3 construction site in Minnesota. (Star Tribune)
• A new coalition touts the economic benefits of the Line 5 pipeline through northern Wisconsin. (WAOW)

OIL & GAS:
• North Dakota advocacy groups question the legality of the state’s use of $16 million in pandemic relief funds to reimburse oil companies part of the cost of fracking wells. (Bismarck Tribune)
• North Dakota officials don’t see sustained oil production growth until at least the second half of 2022. (Bloomberg)

TRANSMISSION: “If you love renewables, you better love transmission,” a MISO executive says as the grid operator anticipates large-scale transmission projects in the coming years. (RTO Insider, subscription)

WIND: A central Illinois county board votes to keep wind turbine noise standards in line with statewide guidance and will soon consider rules on shadow flicker and turbine heights. (Piatt County Journal-Republican)

POWER PLANTS: A southern Illinois natural gas plant shuts down after “significant mechanical failures,” and operators say it’s unclear whether it will reopen. (Southern Illinoisan)

RENEWABLES: Allete plans to install solar panels and a wind turbine at its Duluth, Minnesota headquarters to symbolize the company’s clean energy shift. (Business North)

COMMENTARY:
• Advocates say Ohio energy efficiency programs have been particularly beneficial for low-income residents and health care centers. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• By keeping HB 6 in place, Ohio lawmakers signal their support for wasting energy and “keeping Ohio’s economy stuck in the past,” a columnist writes. (Columbus Dispatch)

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