Daily digest

Decision on final permit needed to build Dakota Access could come this week

RENEWABLES: Seven companies — including Wal-Mart, Target and General Motors — have indicated support for a proposed bill in Missouri that would allow them to bypass their utility and purchase power directly from a renewable generator. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES:
• The U.S. Army secretary could issue a decision as early as Friday on the final permit needed to build the Dakota Access pipeline. (Reuters)
• North Dakota House lawmakers advance four bills that give law enforcement more tools to respond to Dakota Access protests and that stiffen penalties for some offenses. (Forum News Service)

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SOLAR:
• As President Trump moves to revive coal and other fossil fuels, U.S. utilities are turning to solar as “both an opportunity and a defensive maneuver.” (Associated Press)
• A Minneapolis brewery looks to offset 120 percent of its energy use through solar. (WCCO)
• A major project planned in Wisconsin will help build the solar portfolio of a small Upper Peninsula utility. (Marquette Mining Journal)
• Officials in one Iowa county adopt new regulations for making it easier to develop commercial-scale solar. (Iowa State Daily)

GEOTHERMAL: A Minnesota-based company uses geothermal technology to act as a battery and store intermittent generation from wind and solar. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: Officials in Lawrence, Kansas, are set to vote on a $11.3 million plan to make energy efficiency upgrades at various city facilities. (Lawrence Journal-World)

STORAGE: Federal regulators direct grid operator MISO to design more inclusive language for accommodating energy storage as part of its tariff. (RTO Insider)

FRAC SAND: A Wisconsin judge has delayed a decision on whether landowners can stop a proposed frac sand operation on grounds that it’s a nuisance. (LaCrosse Tribune)

GRID:
• Federal regulators reject grid operator MISO’s plan for a three-year forward capacity auction, saying it would create too much price volatility and uncertainty. (RTO Insider)
• A Michigan researcher co-authors a study saying electricity providers may need a major capacity investment to guard against spikes in demand due to rising temperatures from climate change. (Climate Central)

CLIMATE:
• Advocates urge Nebraska lawmakers to develop a statewide climate action plan. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• Concerns grow over potential cuts to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which produces the National Climate Assessment. (ClimateWire)

COMMENTARY: A southern Minnesota newspaper says state lawmakers should work together on improvements to a solar incentive program and changes to the state utility regulatory commission. (Mankato Free Press)

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