Midwest Energy News

FirstEnergy Solutions seeks to block referendum on nuclear subsidies

Correction: A central Minnesota electric cooperative recently briefed local officials on a solar project that would be its first in the county but one of several it owns in the region. An item in Wednesday’s digest mischaracterized the project.

OHIO: FirstEnergy Solutions seeks to head off a voter referendum on subsidies for two of its nuclear plants by filing a lawsuit with the Ohio Supreme Court arguing the charge is actually a tax and therefore immune from referendum. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

RENEWABLES:
• The city of Minneapolis seeks input from companies that can provide renewable energy for cheaper than what the city pays Xcel Energy under a green tariff program. (Energy News Network)
• Kansas gets 47% of the electricity it consumes from renewables, which ranks second in the U.S., according to a new report. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

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TRANSMISSION:
• A Missouri landowners group challenges state regulators’ conclusion that the developer of the Grain Belt Express transmission project meets the definition of a public utility. (Energy News Network)
• Opponents of a transmission line in Wisconsin raise concerns that the project is marketed for clean energy but will also transport electricity generated from fossil fuels. (WMTV)

WIND: Eight recently approved wind projects could bring 700 more turbines and an investment of $2.6 billion to South Dakota by the end of 2020 in addition to two other large-scale projects in the regulatory approval process. (South Dakota News Watch)

BIOFUELS: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says Hurricane Dorian and the Labor Day holiday are likely delaying the Trump administration’s plan to resolve concerns over biofuel waivers. (Radio Iowa)

OIL & GAS:
• North Dakota’s largest oil producer challenges the state in court over claims about an overly strict reading of air pollution rules. (Forum News Service)
• A 2015 pipeline spill of natural gas liquids in North Dakota originally reported as 10 gallons could now top 1 million gallons, and officials say cleanup could take years. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• A planned solar project at Wisconsin airport will expand to 58 acres and generate 9 MW of power. (Fox47)
• Local officials approve plans for a 6 MW solar project in central Indiana. (Anderson Herald Bulletin)

COAL:
• U.S. railroads may lose $5 billion in revenue by 2030 due to declining coal shipments, analysts say. (Associated Press)
• The president of the United Mine Workers of America says Democratic presidential candidates’ climate plans should account for coal mining job losses. (Associated Press)

POWER PLANTS: Construction begins on a $1 billion natural gas power plant in southwestern Michigan. (WNDU)

EFFICIENCY: The Trump administration plans to weaken regulations for energy-saving light bulbs by eliminating requirements that most products be LED or fluorescent to meet new standards. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY: Advocates say DTE Energy’s long-term plan undervalues renewable energy and efficiency and unnecessarily favors company-owned power plants over competitively bid projects. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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