Daily digest

Utility executive questions why solar is the ‘bad boy’

SOLAR: Unlike their counterparts in Wisconsin, Minnesota regulators recently rejected a proposed increase in fixed charges. But advocates are unsure if that will change the course of the debate. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: An NRG Energy executive questions why solar is the “bad boy” for utilities. (Greentech Media)

***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. ***

COAL:
• FirstEnergy will close three Ohio coal plants today. (Associated Press)
• Lansing, Michigan’s municipal utility begins developing a plan to replace an iconic coal plant. (Lansing State Journal)

OIL AND GAS:
• Michigan lawmakers election officials approve petition language for a proposed fracking ban. (Detroit News)
• North Dakota sees its second month in a row of production declines. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

OHIO: Companies that generate their own electricity in Ohio may owe additional taxes. (Columbus Business First)

POLITICS:
• Critics say ALEC leaders are trying to “speak out of both sides of their mouth” on climate change as more companies leave the group. (InsideClimate News)
• Tom Steyer’s political action group targets Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for waging a “war on science.” (Madison Capital Times)

TRANSPORTATION: Minneapolis-St. Paul’s transit agency will test electric buses next week. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

ETHANOL: A University of Nebraska study pegs the economic impact of the state’s ethanol industry at $5 billion. (Lincoln Journal Star)

WIND: A Minnesota wind developer has dropped its effort to get a legislative fix for a project’s expiring leases. (Minnesota Watchdog)

MEDIA: A survey finds fewer TV meteorologists reject climate science. (Minnesota Public Radio)

***SPONSORED LINK: What is the media’s role in addressing environmental challenges? Join Ensia magazine for a conversation with journalist Marc Gunther May 20 at the University of Minnesota. Free and open to the public.***

GRID: An Illinois utility will use drones to help repair power outages. (EnergyWire)

COMMENTARY:
• States so far aren’t heeding Mitch McConnell’s call to ignore the Clean Power Plan. (NRDC Switchboard)
• The action for solar power is moving from the coasts to the Midwest. (Columbia Daily Tribune)

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