Midwest Energy News

Illinois smart meter data illustrates demographic divides in electricity use

GRID: Low-income ratepayers in Illinois could be paying more than their fair share to use the grid because they use less electricity during peak times than higher-income customers, a new study shows. (Energy News Network)

COAL ASH: Illinois environmental groups want strict measures to deal with coal ash contamination at four NRG power plants after state regulators ruled the company is to blame for groundwater pollution at the sites. (Energy News Network)

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• A state Senate committee rewrites a bill to provide $150 million a year, at least temporarily, to save two FirstEnergy nuclear plants while also scaling back clean energy standards. (Toledo Blade)
• If Ohio lawmakers pass a nuclear bailout, a group led by natural gas investors says it will attempt to override the legislation with a public vote in 2020. (Associated Press)
• A national renewable energy advocacy group urges Ohio lawmakers to reject a nuclear subsidy bill that would also establish a local referendum process harming potential wind development. (North American Windpower)

EFFICIENCY: Only two of 11 states that have legalized recreational cannabis — Massachusetts and Illinois — have included energy efficiency standards for indoor growing. (FairWarning)

• Wisconsin Republicans win a key state senator’s support on a budget bill by inserting language that would allow Tesla to open dealerships in the state. (Associated Press)
• A bipartisan, four-bill package introduced in Michigan seeks to boost electric vehicle charging infrastructure and establish a statewide council to coordinate planning. (Detroit Free Press)

TRANSMISSION: As rural Wisconsin residents raise concerns about a potential transmission project, clean energy advocates say it’s needed to support additional wind and solar projects. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

WIND: As the first offshore wind project in the Great Lakes awaits a regulatory decision, opinions vary on whether it’s needed or whether it will spur additional projects. (Great Lakes Now)

• A bill to exempt residential solar panels from property taxes passes the Michigan House. (Adrian Daily Telegram)
• Illinois lawmakers tour a new hog facility that’s almost entirely powered by solar. (Champaign News-Gazette)

COAL: Analysts say coal’s market share will continue to decline as plants are unable to compete with natural gas and zero-fuel cost renewables. (Platts)

• An editorial board in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula say transitioning the region from coal to natural gas has been a “step in the right direction” to cleaner forms of energy and easing rate uncertainty. (Iron Mountain Daily News)
• Ohio House members who voted to subsidize nuclear and coal plants received more than $320,000 in campaign contributions from four utilities that would benefit financially from the bill’s passage, according to a watchdog group. (Energy and Policy Institute)

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