Daily digest

Iowa moves ahead of California as No. 2 wind state

WIND:
• The U.S. wind industry ended 2015 with its second-best quarter ever, with an average of nearly 12 turbines coming online each day. (Forbes)
Iowa moves ahead of California to become the No. 2 wind state in the nation. (Radio Iowa)
Minnesota is expected to pull out of its wind energy lull. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Nebraska lawmakers forge a compromise to advance wind energy in the state. (Lincoln Journal Star)

OHIO:
• A group of national independent power producers and their trade associations are asking federal regulators to intervene and reject income-guarantee requests by FirstEnergy and AEP. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
The Sierra Club’s decision to make a deal with AEP over its “bailout” request was “painful,” the environmental group’s CEO says in Ohio. (Cleveland Business First)

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EFFICIENCY: The Archdiocese of Chicago is among the leading entities in the city taking aggressive steps to make its numerous buildings more efficient. (Midwest Energy News)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• Opponents say that if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t halt the rules, states will be forced to comply and a lawsuit challenging the merits of the plan could prove irrelevant. (Greenwire)
Observers say even appealing to the Supreme Court for a stay is an “extraordinary move.” (EnergyWire)

RENEWABLES: In Cleveland, the Sierra Club pushes a vision for a 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

COAL:
• The share of U.S. electricity generated from coal reached its lowest point ever in November. (Bloomberg)
Economic development officials in Lansing, Michigan are excited about the potential re-use of property now occupied by a major coal plant that’s scheduled to close. (Lansing State Journal)

SOLAR: Madison, Wisconsin is hiring for a pilot program to train city employees how to install and maintain solar systems. (Wisconsin State Journal)

FRACKING: A tribe in North Dakota was one of the first in North America to ban fracking on its reservation in order to protect its water supply. (Huffington Post)

NUCLEAR: Energy experts are split on whether to lift Wisconsin’s moratorium on new nuclear plants. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

UTILITIES:
• Despite promising to add hundreds of employees at a new headquarters in Milwaukee following its merger with Integrys, WEC Energy Group has not yet confirmed that will happen. (Milwaukee Business Journal)
In a new survey, utility officials and regulators agree they need to work together to protect revenue streams as distributed energy systems grow, though they differ in “approach and focus.” (Utility Dive)

GRID: University of Michigan researchers land a $1.4 million grant to study grid optimization. (Michigan Daily)

BIOFUELS: Though profit margins are tight right now for Nebraska’s ethanol industry, there is no indication of widespread plant shutdowns. (KTIC Radio)

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POLICY: Key lawmakers from both parties are optimistic that a sweeping, bipartisan energy bill will move through the Senate without a drawn-out amendment process. (E&E Daily)

COMMENTARY:
• While federal regulations may be making it tough for the coal industry, competition among companies is also making it challenging for workers. (Bismarck Tribune)
Michigan’s likely decision to approve a pollution permit at Marathon’s oil refinery near Detroit is another example of the state’s “focus on technical compliance at the expense of Michiganders’ health.” (Detroit Free Press)

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