Midwest Energy News

Cost, benefits still unknown for better transmission between Michigan peninsulas

NOTE TO READERS: MidAmerican Energy’s announcement of a $922 million wind investment was made in May. An item in yesterday’s digest mischaracterized a follow-up article as a new development.

RENEWABLES:
• Xcel Energy plans to triple the size of its Renewable Connect program that lets customers credit their energy use with renewables. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• A recent report in Minnesota suggests overbuilding wind and solar could be a cost-effective option to meet its renewable targets. (Energy News Network)

GRID: Ohio clean energy advocates see a mixed outcome from the latest ruling by state regulators on net metering. (Energy News Network)

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TRANSMISSION:
• A plan to tunnel the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac could also include additional transmission lines connecting Michigan’s peninsulas, but the cost and need for doing so remain unclear. (Energy News Network)
• Executives with companies looking to build a controversial transmission line between Iowa and Wisconsin contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Wisconsin lawmakers, according to a watchdog group. (Wisconsin State Journal)

OIL & GAS:
• Dairyland Power Cooperative asks Wisconsin regulators for permission to build a $700 million natural gas plant in Superior. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Wisconsin inspectors find a series of safety violations on Madison Gas & Electric’s natural gas network. (Wisconsin State Journal)

PIPELINES: Federal attorneys say the government shutdown shouldn’t delay a hearing next week on whether to lift a hold on Keystone XL pipeline construction. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE: A University of Michigan climate policy expert says new Midwestern governors could revive discussions around a regional plan to address climate change. (Bridge Magazine)

SOLAR:
• Some residents raise concerns about solar development on farmland under a proposed countywide ordinance in mid-Michigan. (WILX)
• Indiana Municipal Power Agency considers plans for a 1 MW solar project in western Indiana. (Crawfordsville Journal Review)

WIND:
• Ohio-based AEP issues requests for up to 1,200 MW of new wind energy after the company canceled a $4.5 billion project last year in Oklahoma. (E&E News, subscription)
• Reporters explore the inside of wind turbines in central Iowa. (Iowa Public Radio)
• WEC Energy Group in Wisconsin acquires an 80 percent ownership interest in a South Dakota wind project that will supply power to Google. (Milwaukee Business Journal)
• Construction crews removed portions of an old coal plant in southwestern Minnesota this fall as an 18-turbine wind project was built nearby. (West Central Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: Missouri regulators just approved an “Indiana Model” tariff. What’s that? How this will affect utility markets? Join Renew Missouri’s webinar on January 15th from 12-1pm. Missouri CLE credit is available. (Other states by request.) Register today!***

BIOFUELS: The U.S. EPA plans to complete a rule allowing higher ethanol blends of gasoline by the summer driving season despite the government shutdown. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
• The president of Alliant Energy-Wisconsin says new technology is driving down the cost of wind energy for customers. (Madison Capital Times)
• An Enbridge official says a tunnel for Line 5 would include multiple layers of protection to prevent an oil spill in the Great Lakes. (Bridge Magazine)

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