Midwest Energy News

Indiana county bans commercial wind projects

MICROGRIDS: Michigan lawmakers reintroduce a bipartisan-backed bill allowing for the expanded use of microgrids by utilities and customers. (Energy News Network)

WIND:
• County officials in central Indiana vote to ban commercial-scale wind projects in certain rural areas, arguing they would hamper other development. (Lafayette Journal & Courier)
• University of Iowa graduate students find utility-scale wind power could be a viable option for a western Iowa county, though public opinion is lukewarm at best. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

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COAL:
• NRG Energy leads an effort in Illinois to receive payments for converting coal plants to gas and otherwise reduce emissions, but the plan faces an uphill climb. (E&E News, subscription)
• Coal use in Ohio has declined rapidly over the past 12 years as it’s replaced with natural gas. (Columbus Dispatch)

SOLAR:
• Local officials in central Illinois wait to see whether proposed solar projects move forward after not being selected in a lottery for state assistance. (Bloomington Pantagraph)
• We Energies in Wisconsin is the latest utility looking to increase fixed charges and fees on customers with rooftop solar. (PV Magazine)
• A group-purchasing program in central Illinois looks to boost solar adoption among residents and business owners. (Journal Gazette & Times-Courier)
• State regulators consider plans for a 100 MW solar project in central Minnesota. (WJON)

POWER PLANTS: A rate increase approved last week for DTE Energy includes more than $600 million in capital costs for a new natural gas plant. (Port Huron Times Herald)

PIPELINES: It remains unclear what entities would potentially share space in a utility corridor tunnel that has been proposed in the Straits of Mackinac. (Petoskey News-Review)

OIL & GAS:
• North Dakota regulators will hold a public hearing this month on plans for a $15 million natural gas liquids pipeline. (Associated Press)
• Oil companies in North Dakota could be among the key funders for a Theodore Roosevelt presidential library. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: Consumers Energy says its efficiency programs have saved customers more than $2 billion on energy bills. (WGVU)

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CLIMATE: Minnesota teenagers rallied outside the state Capitol last week for lawmakers to take action on climate change. (Minnesota Public Radio)

COMMENTARY:
• Two Ohio pediatricians say a bill to bail out nuclear plants while effectively eliminating clean energy standards would harm children. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• Attempts to replace the Line 3 pipeline is the latest attempt to violate rights of Native Americans, a Minnesota college student says. (MinnPost)
• An Ohio columnist says a state lawmaker’s “ignorant” comments about energy efficiency and low-income customers deserve more scrutiny. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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