Midwest Energy News

FirstEnergy appears ready to sell remaining coal, nuclear plants

MICROGRIDS: Advocates are waiting to see whether a recent decision in Illinois to allow ComEd to recoup microgrid costs from ratepayers will impact other projects. (Midwest Energy News)

UTILITIES: Ohio-based FirstEnergy appears ready to sell its coal and nuclear plants because state and federal officials won’t subsidize them. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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NUCLEAR: The company decommissioning a former Wisconsin nuclear plant spilled 400 gallons of radioactive water into the Mississippi River last year, one of multiple violations over the handling of radioactive material. Officials said they have not caused public health threats. (La Crosse Tribune)

BIOMASS: Federal lawmakers push agencies to recognize the burning of biomass as carbon-neutral energy, though scientists disagree. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• Community solar projects boosted Minnesota’s solar capacity last year while U.S. solar growth slowed. (MinnPost)
• Advocates say there isn’t enough rooftop solar in Michigan for regulators to justify replacing the state’s net metering program. (E&E News, subscription)

PIPELINES: Multiple failed efforts by South Dakota Democrats to tighten pipeline regulations show the industry’s political clout. (Watertown Public Opinion)

FRAC SAND: Legislation that could clear the way for a controversial $70 million frac sand processing project in Wisconsin is not dead yet. (La Crosse Tribune)

OIL AND GAS:
• Reducing natural gas flaring remains a major obstacle in North Dakota as gas production increases. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Advocates plan a “last ditch” effort to block a Michigan municipal utility’s plan to replace aging coal plants with natural gas. (Michigan Radio)

EFFICIENCY: A suburban Cleveland community receives a $70,000 grant for energy efficiency projects. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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GRID: Federal regulators allow a Michigan company to buy $250,000 worth of grid assets from a municipal power agency as part of a settlement over transmission access. (RTO Insider)

COMMENTARY:
• A watchdog group says a recently appointed member to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has received campaign contributions and gifts from utilities. (Energy and Policy Institute)
• The president and CEO of Consumers Energy says details of the company’s transition to cleaner energy will emerge in the coming months. (Detroit News)
• An Indiana editorial board says the state needs a long-term plan for cleaning up coal-ash storage sites. (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)

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