Midwest Energy News

Indiana utility says renewables cheaper than keeping coal plants open

UTILITIES: Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) says building renewable energy projects in Indiana is cheaper than keeping existing coal plants open. (Utility Dive)

ALSO: The latest draft of the Omaha Public Power District’s strategic plan combines a 50 percent renewable goal with a 20 percent carbon reduction by 2030. (Omaha World-Herald)

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GRID:
• Advocates say U.S. corporations need to play a bigger role in advocating for transmission projects if they are serious about powering their operations with renewable energy. (Energy News Network)
• Ohio’s grid modernization plan is unique in avoiding long-term mandates and subsidies, the state’s top utility regulator says. (Greentech Media)
• Clean energy advocates say they will be closely following Xcel Energy’s integrated distribution plan in Minnesota over the coming months. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR:
• Compared to a formerly proposed wind project, a large-scale solar project planned in mid-Michigan sees few objections from residents. (MLive)
• Solar advocates say Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act is directly leading to development interest from companies. (Illinois Radio Network)
• Audubon Minnesota applauds Xcel Energy for requiring solar project proposals to include details about wildflowers and other native plants. (Solar Power World)

WIND: A 150 MW wind project in central Michigan is expected to be operational by 2020. (Mount Pleasant Morning Sun)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Minnesota’s most populous county could reduce emissions and save money by downsizing and electrifying its light-duty vehicle fleet, according to a new report. (Energy News Network)

PIPELINES: The Dakota Access pipeline developer gauges interest from shippers in increasing the project’s capacity. (Bismarck Tribune)

OIL & GAS: Roughly 5,000 total barrels of brine spilled at three separate wastewater disposal wells in North Dakota last week. (Bismarck Tribune)

COAL:
• A FirstEnergy coal plant in West Virginia slated to close in January 2019 will now stay open until 2022 as it transfers to a bankrupt subsidiary. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• An Indiana environmental group joins others in attempting to block the Trump administration’s first round of changes to 2015 coal ash storage rules. (The Hill)
• Rail company Kansas City Southern sees utility coal revenue drop as shipments decline. (S&P Global)
• Labor groups representing Ohio Valley coal miners plan to make shaky pension funds an election issue this year. (WKYU)

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CLEANTECH: Illinois heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar invests in a California startup focused on battery storage and electrification. (Milwaukee Business Journal)

COMMENTARY: DTE Energy’s plan to increase fixed charges and invest in new infrastructure would disproportionately affect residential ratepayers, increasing bills by about $240 a year by 2022, environmental advocates say. (Michigan Environmental Council)

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