Daily digest

Iowa utility announces another major wind expansion

SOLAR: Minnesota solar developers say Xcel Energy is openly defying state regulators with its effort to prevent community solar projects from being co-located on the same site. (Midwest Energy News)

• Exelon puts pressure on Illinois lawmakers, saying it will decide whether or not to close three of its nuclear plants later this summer. (EnergyWire)
• Federal regulators approve a Michigan utility’s proposal for a new reactor at the Fermi plant, but there are no plans to begin construction. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: EPA’s section 111(D) is driving generation and transmission in MISO. Infocast’s MISO Market Summit 2015 will bring policy-makers together with utility, IPP and DR executives to explore the opportunities to solve reliability and power market problems.***

• Wisconsin regulators approve Wisconsin Energy’s bid to buy Integrys Energy Group; the deal is still contingent on approval in Minnesota and Illinois. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• Utilities say drones can help save time diagnosing outages but pose security risks for nuclear plants. (EnergyWire)
• Rural co-ops in Minnesota buy out an investor-owned utility. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Sen. Mitch McConnell says the Clean Air Act prohibits multi-state agreements to cut carbon emissions unless they’re approved by Congress. (The Hill)

MICHIGAN: Advocates say Michigan utilities are trying to “create the perception of a crisis” over capacity issues to get lawmakers to do away with retail competition. (Michigan Radio)

• MidAmerican Energy plans to build another 522 MW of wind energy in Iowa, which will make wind account for 57 percent of its capacity in the state. (Omaha World-Herald)
• Another Berkshire Hathaway affiliate takes over a 400 MW project in Nebraska. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• A stalled North Dakota wind will proceed after Xcel Energy agrees to buy it. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• An industry report says 100 wind projects were under development in 23 states in the first quarter of the year. (The Hill)

COAL: Lawmakers from downstate Illinois propose a package of coal-friendly legislation: “We are here to make sure coal remains an important part of our energy policy.” (Springfield State Journal-Register)

EFFICIENCY: The U.S. House approves an amendment to block funding for enforcement of light bulb efficiency standards. (The Hill)

OIL: U.S. Senators propose fees for older rail cars that will go toward safety training and spill cleanup costs. (Associated Press)

FRAC SAND: A Minnesota court hears arguments from owners of a sand mine who say they should be exempt from trout stream setbacks. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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GRID: The new president of the PJM Interconnection prepares to oversee “an industry in transition.” (RTO Insider)

COMMENTARY: How an Ohio wind farm is saving ratepayers money. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

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