Midwest Energy News

Indiana regulators reject $900 million gas plant

POWER PLANTS:
• Indiana regulators reject Vectren’s proposal to build an 850 MW natural gas plant to replace coal units, saying the utility didn’t adequately consider renewables. (Evansville Courier & Press)
• The decision is a win for environmental groups and the state’s coal industry. (E&E News, subscription)

GRID: A curriculum developed at Illinois State University was used to teach smart grid concepts to more than 16,000 students last year. (Energy News Network)

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RENEWABLES:
• An Ohio bill to create a “clean air program” to help nuclear plants would effectively undo the state’s renewable portfolio standard and undermine wind and solar projects, experts say. (Energy News Network)
• Natural gas supporters say the plan is a “breach of faith” for companies that have built new gas plants in the state. (Toledo Blade)

EFFICIENCY: Michigan advocates say more assistance is needed to help low-income residents benefit from energy efficiency projects. (Michigan Radio)

SOLAR:
• A Wisconsin furniture manufacturer plans to invest $29 million in solar projects and expects to save $5 million in the first year alone. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• A southern Minnesota city adopts the state’s new interconnection rules to streamline the process for local solar installations. (New Ulm Journal)
• University of Michigan students launch a crowdfunding campaign to install panels at an Ann Arbor fire station. (MLive)
• A Nebraska pilot program integrates solar energy education in K-12 schools across the state. (Kearney Hub)

WIND:
• A bill requiring statewide decommissioning rules for wind projects stalls in the Nebraska legislature. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• Minneapolis-based General Mills secures its largest wind power purchase agreement to date as it meets emission-reduction goals. (Twin Cities Business)

TRANSMISSION:
• A proposed $500 million transmission line through Wisconsin generates opposition from a leading environmental group, ratepayer advocates, and Republican and Democratic lawmakers. (Isthmus)
• Midwest utilities receive millions in federal grants to improve and build new transmission lines in rural areas. (Morris Herald-News)

UTILITIES:
• DTE Energy’s proposed rate increases would disproportionately harm low-income residents, advocates say. (Michigan Radio)
• An adviser guiding the University of Iowa’s process to potentially privatize the school’s utilities shared information about the request with select companies before releasing it publicly. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

OIL & GAS: North Dakota lawmakers agree to kill a plan to tap funds from an oil tax savings account to offset income taxes. (Associated Press)

COAL: Closing a coal plant in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula helps Wisconsin-based WEC Energy’s carbon-reduction goals. (Marquette Mining Journal)

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CLIMATE: A Missouri city proposes a climate action plan to eliminate its greenhouse gas emissions by 2060. (Columbia Daily Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
• The former director of the Nebraska Energy Office says no other state is better positioned to capture the benefits of wind energy than Nebraska. (Grand Island Independent)
• Illinois and potentially Ohio are among states using public funds in zero-emission credits to prop up “aging and uncompetitive” nuclear plants, says an editor at New Republic.

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