Daily digest

Illinois Supreme Court deals blow to proposed wind transmission project

TRANSMISSION: The Illinois Supreme Court deals a blow to the proposed Rock Island Clean Line project, upholding a lower court decision that state regulators improperly approved the project that would move wind energy from Iowa and the Dakotas to the Chicago market. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

WIND: NextEra Energy withdraws its appeals before the Michigan Tax Tribunal, meaning communities in the state’s Thumb region will be able to hold on to disputed wind turbine tax revenue. (Huron Daily Tribune)

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RESEARCH: An economist at the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute discusses the intersection between energy use and transportation and how the declining costs of renewable energy are a “powerful force” in the transition from fossil fuels. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES: The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issues a permit for construction of the Nexus gas pipeline to move forward, following federal authorization. (Toledo Blade)

HYDRO: Canadian utilities are pushing to sell hydroelectric power into U.S. markets due to excess supply in the country. (E&E News)

CLIMATE: A new report says Minnesota is among 14 states that are on target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the amount set in the Paris climate agreement. (Minnesota Public Radio)

FRACKING: A resident in a southeastern Ohio town describes the impacts of a local well storing out-of-state fracking waste. (The Guardian)

SOLAR:
• A developer unveils initial plans for a major solar project in Indiana, which would come in two phases and total up to 120 megawatts. (Perry County News)
• The International Trade Commission is set to decide today whether cheap imported solar panels from Asia have caused “serious injury” to U.S.-based manufacturers. (Associated Press)
• More Nebraska landowners install solar panels along the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. (Wisconsin Gazette)

GRID:
• Indiana regulators approve a $446 million plan by Vectren to modernize its grid infrastructure. (Evansville Courier & Press)
• Wisconsin ratepayers will soon have the chance to weigh in on rate increases proposed by Xcel Energy for grid infrastructure and less-than-expected demand. (LaCrosse Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: Curious about the future of renewable energy in the Midwest? Come to the Wind on the Wires Crystal Ball and see what’s in store. Register here.***

BIOFUELS: Minnesota-based Cargill announces plans to build a $90 million biodiesel plant in Wichita, Kansas, which is set to open in January 2019. (press release)

COMMENTARY:
• A former air pollution regulator in Virginia says President Trump’s “hypocrisy is breathtaking” when claiming to support coal communities but not showing interest in the health of people who live there. (Scientific American)
• The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says FirstEnergy is “out of step with the times” by selling off hydroelectric and natural gas assets in order to shore up coal plants.
• A conservative clean energy group says if Minnesota wants to attract Amazon for a new headquarters, it should provide “easy access to low-cost, renewable energy.” (MinnPost)

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