Daily digest

Utilities see threat from solar, seek piece of the market

SOLAR: Utilities acknowledge distributed solar energy is a threat to their business models, and seek a way to get in on the action. (Wall Street Journal)

ALSO: A lack of transparency in the solar industry makes it difficult to track the origin of defective panels, and how a new law enables Minnesotans to invest in solar power even if they don’t have a rooftop. (New York Times, Midwest Energy News)

COAL: A federal court decision deals another setback to the proposed Sunflower coal plant in western Kansas. (Associated Press)

OIL: A project to ship North Dakota oil on the Mississippi River is likely scuttled after a Missouri court denies eminent domain for a storage facility, shipping oil by rail is “here to stay,” and a Michigan congressman says a pile of petroleum coke on the Detroit River is “dirtier than the dirtiest coal” and calls for a study of health impacts. (Associated Press, Houston Chronicle, Detroit Free Press)

OHIO: While results of last week’s capacity auction will be good news for ratepayers, Ohio utilities are taking a financial hit. (Columbus Dispatch)

WIND: Developers scale back plans for an Indiana wind farm; Ohio regulators approve a 140 MW wind project near Urbana; and despite a record year for the industry and some of the nation’s best wind potential, Wyoming added no new wind capacity in 2012. (Associated Press, Columbus Dispatch, Casper Star-Tribune)

FRAC SAND: A Minnesota county is expected to rescind its moratorium on new sand mining now that it has new regulations in place. (Rochester Post-Bulletin)

TRANSPORTATION: Enterprise takes over a Chicago car-sharing service, and Sioux City considers running its school buses on natural gas. (Chicago Tribune, Sioux City Journal)

EFFICIENCY: An environmental group delivers petitions to a regulator calling on a Missouri utility to act more aggressively on energy efficiency. (Kansas City Star)

COMMENTARY: How innovation poses a threat to utilities, and are nuclear plants safe from tornadoes? (Grist, Forbes)

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