Midwest Energy News

Illinois court casts doubt on $2.5 billion wind transmission project

OIL AND GAS:
• Recent explosions at an Ohio well pad and pipeline triggered uncontrolled releases of methane, raising questions about the climate risks of natural gas. (Midwest Energy News)
• North Dakota regulators approve a pipeline and a natural gas plant project they say will create more than $250 million in economic activity in the state. (Bismarck Tribune)

GRID: Two weeks after the Missouri Supreme Court breathed new life into the proposed Grain Belt Express wind transmission project, an Illinois appeals court casts doubt on the project by sending it back to state regulators. (E&E News, subscription)

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WIND: Plans surface for a 200 megawatt wind project in central Illinois a month after a 250 MW project was narrowly approved. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

EFFICIENCY: A wide-ranging bill in Iowa that includes scaling back state energy efficiency programs faces a Friday deadline in order to be considered in this legislative session. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

NUCLEAR: Ratepayer and clean energy advocates criticize a bill in Minnesota that would restructure the way Xcel Energy is allowed to recoup costs for nuclear plant investments. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

SOLAR:
• Following a strong year in 2016, residential and utility-scale solar installations declined last year for the first time since 2010. (Greentech Media)
• Officials in a northern Illinois village will take more time to consider plans for a 23-acre solar project. (Ogle County News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A federal judge orders the Michigan Auto Dealers Association to turn over documents related to its role in legislation blocking Tesla and others from selling vehicles directly to customers. (MLive)
• An early adopter of Tesla’s Model 3 discusses the inconvenience of driving to Chicago for repairs since the company doesn’t have a dealership or repair shops in Michigan. (MLive)

COAL:
• An environmental group finds contaminated groundwater in Illinois it says is linked to coal ash storage sites. (WAND)
• Congressmen from Indiana and North Dakota introduce a bill that would create a new tax credit for virtually all coal plants in the U.S. (Axios)

CLIMATE: Experts say legislative term limits in Michigan are a barrier to tackling long-term challenges posed by climate change. (Bridge Magazine)

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RENEWABLES: A northern Michigan municipal utility rejects a company’s proposal for a renewable energy contract because it was too expensive. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)

COMMENTARY:
• Industrial Energy Users-Ohio says polls showing support among Ohio conservatives for clean energy policies is “spin.” (Columbus Business First)
• Advocates say electric vehicles now produce significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline-powered cars “regardless of the local power mix.” (Forbes)
• A suburban Twin Cities community continues to benefit from statewide clean energy policies, local advocates say. (The Gazette)

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