Daily digest

Two Wisconsin utilities to combine in major acquisition

UTILITIES: A $9.1 billion acquisition by Wisconsin Energy Corp. will combine We Energies with Wisconsin Public Service and other Midwest utilities. (Associated Press)

ALSO: Consumers Energy gets approval to drop renewable energy surcharges, Exelon seeks a path out of its economic struggles, and MISO’s president says he’s “never seen this much change converging at one time.” (MLive, Crain’s Chicago Business, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: Midwest Energy Policy Conference 2014 — Get the early-bird discount now for the Midwest Energy Policy Conference on Sep. 30-Oct. 1 in St. Louis!***

WIND: Developers of an Ohio offshore wind energy project say it will proceed despite losing out last month on key federal funding. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR: Critics say a Madison utility’s plan to increase service charges could put a chill on solar development, a Minnesota county approves a 10 MW solar farm, and Iowa lawmakers say support for solar is growing in the state’s legislature. (Madison Capital Times, St. Cloud Times, Quad-City Times)

EPA: Minnesota utilities balk at what they see as a disproportionate burden for the state under proposed EPA carbon rules. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

POLITICS: Michigan Rep. Fred Upton says EPA rules could “force states to ration energy,” and an Ohio Republican says the EPA is “nationalizing” the energy sector. (The Hill, Toledo Blade)

FRACKING: Additional drilling is planned at the site of an Ohio oil spill, and drilling operations continue to encroach on North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park. (Columbus Dispatch, Associated Press)

COAL: Illinois officials seek the public’s help in mapping long-shuttered coal mines. (Associated Press)

TECHNOLOGY: Argonne National Laboratory receives a $2 million grant for fuel cell research. (Chicago Tribune)

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REVIEW: The Great Lakes Echo reviews our ebook, Closing the Cloud Factories, “a story deep, broad and filled with rich personalities involved in struggles over power – electrical and political.”

COMMENTARY: Why wind and solar are key to a low-carbon future. (Greentech Media)

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