Daily digest

Denied Ohio rate increase, Duke to dump Midwest power plants

UTILITIES: After being denied a rate increase by Ohio regulators, Duke Energy says it plans to sell 13 Midwest power plants that have delivered “volatile returns” in competitive markets. (Bloomberg)

EFFICIENCY: President Obama plans to announce today new efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. (Politico)

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COAL ASH: Duke Energy and North Carolina regulators tell state lawmakers a recent coal ash spill poses no threat to the public, as the incident raises broader questions about the enforcement of existing regulations. (Raleigh News & Observer, PBS NewsHour)

SOLAR: An Iowa Senate panel advances a bill that would establish a solar standard (more background on the legislation here), Minnesota’s first solar garden sells all its shares, and a central Minnesota utility considers a solar array at its headquarters. (Des Moines Register, Minneapolis Star Tribune, St. Cloud Times)

ALSO: Researchers seek to improve upon the silicon-based solar panel. (Ars Technica)

PROPANE: Propane prices fall below $3 a gallon, and a Wisconsin bill would establish a loan program for propane purchases. (Des Moines Register, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

TRANSMISSION: A former Iowa wind energy advocate compares new transmission lines to the interstate highway system. (Omaha World-Herald)

KEYSTONE XL: South Dakota tribes plan a last stand to block Keystone XL construction. (McClatchy)

DIVESTMENT: In response to calls to divest from fossil fuels, the University of Minnesota may require reports disclosing its investments in renewable energy companies. (Minnesota Daily)

COMMENTARY: A Minnesota company’s closure highlights the challenges facing the energy storage business. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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