Midwest Energy News

Illinois solar program reaches capacity for commercial projects

SOLAR: A Minnesota couple’s design that keeps solar panels free of snow was selected as a finalist in a national clean technology competition and landed $50,000 in prize money. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• An Illinois adjustable block program that provides renewable energy credits has reached capacity for commercial solar, leaving potential projects at schools, public buildings and businesses on a waitlist. (Solar Power World)
• A local committee issues recommendations for future solar power development in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as developers look to build a 125 MW project there. (Escanaba Daily Press)
• A developer holds the first public meeting for a planned 196 MW solar project west of Columbus, Ohio. (Columbus Dispatch)

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UTILITIES:
• Integrated resource planning is pushing Michigan utilities to increase targets for clean energy, a sign the state’s 2016 law is working as intended, stakeholders say. (Energy News Network)
• An effort to municipalize ComEd’s electric grid in Chicago appears unlikely for now, but city officials say a feasibility study is “good due diligence.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)

TRANSPORTATION:
• Minneapolis’ 10-year transportation plan relies on more trips by walking, bicycle and public transportation to reduce vehicle traffic and greenhouse gas emissions. (Star Tribune)
• A Michigan agency issues $8.7 million in grants from Volkswagen settlement funds to replace school buses across the state with clean diesel and propane models. (WOOD-TV)

CLIMATE: An eastern Iowa county creates a sustainability manager position to help coordinate local climate change and clean energy efforts. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

CLEAN ENERGY: Backers of the proposed Clean Energy Jobs Act in Illinois tout its $25 million investment in clean energy jobs and the creation of 13 “job hubs” that would train workers. (WGLT)

BIOFUELS: The Trump administration wants more time to consider appealing a court ruling that would limit its ability to exempt small oil refiners from biofuel mandates. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

EFFICIENCY: Officials in a Minnesota city seek to reach 200 businesses in an effort to spread awareness about a state energy efficiency program. (Northfield News)

OIL & GAS:
• The steep collapse in oil prices Monday sent shockwaves through the Bakken oil fields, following a year of relative stability for the region. (Bismarck Tribune)
• North Dakota and Canadian producers are likely at a disadvantage as prices drop, facing higher transportation costs for being farther from the Gulf Coast. (Star Tribune)

COMMENTARY: The director of a Minnesota family foundation says all residents should have access to electric vehicles in order to share in cost savings. (MinnPost)

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