Daily digest

Iowa program to boost private solar installations exceeding expectations

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SOLAR: A county environmental manager in Iowa says a program aiming to increase the number of private solar installations has “far exceeded our expectations.” (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

• Officials in Ann Arbor, Michigan are moving forward with plans to add solar panels at parking garages and surface lots to help power electric vehicle charging stations. (MLive)
• An automobile dealership in Illinois is seeing the benefits of installing rooftop solar panels. (Southern Illinoisan)

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• The developer of a proposed wind project in northeast South Dakota says opposition so far has been “very, very light.” (Watertown Public Opinion)
• A 150-megawatt wind project is planned in southeast North Dakota. (Forum News Service)
• Construction is completed on a 139-turbine wind project in central Illinois. (Decatur Herald & Review)

FRAC SAND: There was little public support at a hearing last week for a company’s plan to fill wetlands in order to build a $65 million frac sand plant in western Wisconsin. (LaCrosse Tribune)

• An environmental review of the Dakota Access pipeline is going to take longer than expected, with a completion date in April 2018. (Associated Press)
• Two men who shut down the Keystone XL pipeline to show solidarity with Dakota Access pipeline opponents are convicted by a jury on criminal charges. (Forum News Service)
• TransCanada is withdrawing its application to build a pipeline to carry oil from northwestern North Dakota into Canada. (Associated Press)

BIOFUELS: Researchers at a facility in Missouri say sorghum could provide a better alternative than the corn-based ethanol that dominates today’s domestic supply chain. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

• After three years of studying a North Dakota oil basin, researchers challenge assumptions about technology advancements playing a role in increasing production. (E&E News)
• In North Dakota, a truck spills more than 4,600 gallons of oilfield wastewater, and an unspecified amount flowed into a nearby drainage and wetland. (Associated Press)

GRID: In response to an Energy Department proposal for coal and nuclear plants, grid operator MISO is embarking on a study to better define “resiliency.” (RTO Insider)

GEOTHERMAL: A geothermal installation at a Minneapolis church is drawing interest as a clean energy option for other churches in the state. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

• The president of Xcel Energy says the utility’s plan to build a major wind project in the Upper Midwest is good for ratepayers and grid reliability. (MinnPost)
• A pair of economists say the Energy Department’s proposal to support coal plants without considering their negative impacts “is like subsidizing bacon because it contains vitamins.” (The Conversation)
• A columnist says Ohio lawmakers should embrace wind development as an economic development tool. (The New Political)

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