Midwest Energy News

FirstEnergy under separate investigation by financial regulators

SOLAR: Five months after the Kansas Supreme Court ruled it illegal, utility Evergy continues to collect a demand fee from customers who own solar panels. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• A historic Detroit pottery studio adds solar panels to reduce its energy costs and help offset revenue losses during the pandemic. (Crain’s Detroit Business)
• Four central Illinois nonprofits will install solar projects with no upfront costs through the state’s Solar for All program. (WGLT)

***SPONSORED LINK: MnSEIA’s 7th annual Virtual Gateway to Solar event is less than a month away. Join speakers, sponsors, and attendees from across the country for 2 days of on-demand educational sessions, highlighting Diversity & Inclusion training and COVID-19 recovery.***

EFFICIENCY: Chicago architects work to balance needed energy efficiency upgrades with the design integrity of historic buildings. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES:
• U.S. financial regulators are investigating FirstEnergy’s alleged $60 million bribery scheme in a separate probe from the FBI. (Cleveland.com)
FirstEnergy’s political action committee gave nearly $160,000 to dozens of state lawmakers just before several arrests involving an alleged bribery scheme around legislation benefiting the utility. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

OIL & GAS:
• The North Dakota Supreme Court rules that state regulators properly refrained from getting involved in the dispute over a planned oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. (Bismarck Tribune)
• North Dakota oil and gas production grew 16% in July and is expected to rebound further this month before likely plateauing, state officials say. (Star Tribune)

WIND:
An Iowa electric cooperative signs a 20-year agreement for power from a 54 MW wind project. (North American Windpower)
• A Kansas judge dismisses a lawsuit involving a planned 82-turbine wind project, allowing the developer to appeal to a higher court, which would likely take a year. (Hutchinson News)

NUCLEAR: A coalition of Illinois labor groups forms a new nonprofit promoting clean energy jobs and climate action, including preserving the state’s nuclear fleet. (The Center Square)

***SPONSORED LINK: The National Solar Tour is going virtual! Sep. 24-Oct. 4. Meet solar owners from around the country. Hear about their experience going solar. Explore new technologies. Learn about solar’s role in energy equity and community empowerment.***

COAL: Industry conditions are “not going to reverse,” an analyst says as major U.S. coal companies report a roughly $1.8 billion reduction in asset values. (S&P Global)

COMMENTARY:
• Minnesota regulators should require equitable development plans with utilities’ clean energy projects, including “measurable investments” in communities most affected by the economic downturn, advocates say. (MinnPost)
• Renewable energy advocates discuss a new coalition aiming to link the region’s pandemic economic recovery with the clean energy transition. (CERTs)
• Environmental groups intervening in a regulatory case involving a tunnel for the Line 5 pipeline in the Great Lakes say the “public harm from the tunnel and pipeline far outweighs the private benefits.” (Petoskey News-Review)

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