Daily digest

FirstEnergy wants ratepayers to support struggling power plants

OHIO: FirstEnergy proposes a new rate plan that would require subsidiaries to buy electricity from its unregulated power plants, regardless of the cost. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

GRID: Why some utilities are warming up to microgrids. (Midwest Energy News)

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EFFICIENCY: A Chicago nonprofit pushes for greater energy efficiency in apartment buildings, which are often overlooked in higher-profile efforts. (Chicago Tribune)

OIL: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad says he’s undecided on a proposed new oil pipeline, and state officials urge landowners to seek legal advice before signing pipeline deals. (Radio Iowa, Newton Daily News)

ALSO: Canadian oil shipments increase across northern Minnesota. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COAL: Disrupted coal shipments due to rail congestion may be a region-wide problem, and an Indiana agency is recognized for its mine reclamation work. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Associated Press)

FRAC SAND: Demand for frac sand continues to soar, and a sand mine recently visited by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker quietly settles environmental violations with the state. (Wall Street Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

FRACKING: A Wisconsin researcher says a lack of data prevents us from fully understanding the environmental impact of fracking. (Madison Capital Times)

NUCLEAR: A Missouri nuclear plant has stopped discharging water into a nearby area where elevated levels of radioactive chemicals were found. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: Minnesota lawmakers take part in a solar tour. (Brainerd Dispatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: Sign up now for the Solar Powering Michigan conference, Sept. 12 in Traverse City. Register by Friday for the $99 early-bird rate. Pre- & post-conference trainings available. Presented by MREA, GLREA and Northwestern Michigan College.***

UTILITIES: Thousands of Ohioans are using the state’s new online price-comparison tool. (Columbus Business First)

COMMENTARY: Minnesota regulators will make a key decision on solar this week, and why transmission lines are good for Iowa’s economy. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Des Moines Register)

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