Daily digest

Illinois coal plant plans would cover half of carbon target

COAL: NRG Energy announces plans to close, convert or upgrade its coal units in Illinois which would put the state halfway toward meeting its EPA carbon reduction target. Environmental advocates say the plan doesn’t go far enough. (Chicago Tribune)

SOLAR: Minnesota regulators side with Xcel Energy in a value-of-solar case, installers disagree on how the decision will impact development. (Midwest Energy News)

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MORE SOLAR:
• A Kansas utility will fund 15 solar projects around the state. (Lawrence Journal-World)
• Minnesota cooperatives expect to see growing demand for community solar installations. (Rochester Post-Bulletin)
• A new report says Wisconsin’s solar growth has been held back by utilities and state policy. (Wisconsin Public Radio)
• A Minnesota cheese producer will host one of the state’s largest community solar gardens. (WCCO)

PIPELINES: Minnesota regulators vote to study an alternate route for a proposed oil pipeline. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

OIL: A proposed Michigan lease would allow drilling beneath a 400-year-old stand of old-growth pine trees, a North Dakota tribe plans to impose a fee for flaring natural gas, and the secretaries of Energy and Transportation will be in Bismarck for an energy summit today. (MLive, Associated Press, Bismarck Tribune)

NATURAL GAS: Xcel Energy plans to spend millions in the coming years to upgrade natural gas infrastructure in Minnesota. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COAL ASH: Waste Management expects to see “big growth” in sales if the EPA tightens restrictions on coal ash disposal. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

UTILITIES: FirstEnergy wants Ohio regulators to drop a complaint from schools over a charge imposed by the utility for last winter’s cold weather. (Columbus Business First)

TRANSMISSION: Developers of the Rock Island Clean Line will file their route plans with Iowa regulators by the end of the year. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

POLITICS: The League of Conservation Voters targets a Michigan Senate race. (The Hill)

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CLIMATE: An Iowa man’s cross-country trek to raise climate awareness reaches his home state. (Des Moines Register)

COMMENTARY: A study claiming high costs for wind and solar power got it completely wrong. (Greentech Media)

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