Daily digest

Iowa utility plans $1 billion wind energy investment

WIND:
• Alliant Energy plans to make a $1 billion investment for 500 megawatts of new wind generation in Iowa. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• The developer of a wind farm in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is working with local officials to settle a lawsuit over the township’s noise ordinance. (Escanaba Daily Press)

UTILITIES:
• The amount of money Ohio-based FirstEnergy could recover from customers in a new filing balloons to more than $8 billion. (Midwest Energy News)
• Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group doubles quarterly earnings over the same period from last year following the acquisition of Integrys Energy Group Inc. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• Columbus, Ohio-based AEP — which had been at the center of utility “bailout” deals — reports an increase of quarterly profits and sales. (Columbus Dispatch)
• A Minnesota utility issues a request for proposals on a plan that would boost its renewable portfolio. (KQDS)

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SOLAR: An eastern Michigan homeowner plans to pay off his investment in solar panels in nine years. (MLive)

EFFICIENCY:
• A northern Michigan county’s $1.64 million investment in upgrading government buildings has exceeded projected energy savings. (Alpena News)
• A three-year, $11 million consulting contract will help develop a residential energy-efficiency program for Kansas City Power & Light. (Kansas City Business Journal)

FRAC SAND: A group of farmers in Illinois join together in a lawsuit to fight a frac sand mine. (onEarth)

COAL:
• Advocates say it may be a good sign that Peabody Energy has not yet reached a deal with Illinois officials over mine cleanup, suggesting potential costs to taxpayers. (Public News Service)
• One coal executive says the collapsing market may have finally found a bottom. (SNL / Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

BIOFUELS: An Iowa congressman at the Democratic National Convention says, if elected, Hillary Clinton should increase the use of biofuels and phase out tax credits for wind and solar. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

OIL AND GAS:
• The director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy predicts steady growth in natural gas use, saying it is a “very helpful bridge fuel to a much lower emissions future.” (DeSmog Blog)
• The buildout of pipelines in the Bakken oil patch continues, likely spelling “the end of the truck and train boom” there. (Williston Herald)
• Opponents say the latest permits moving the Dakota Access pipeline forward in Iowa will not deter their protest efforts. (Radio Iowa)

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TRANSPORTATION:
• Groups in a northern Minnesota community are working together to install electric-vehicle charging stations there. (Bemidji Pioneer)
• At a conference in Wisconsin this week, companies are displaying the latest models of electric-powered airplanes. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

CLIMATE: The chairman of the U.S. House Science Committee threatens more action against two state attorneys general in the escalating fight over Exxon Mobil’s climate change activities. (Associated Press)

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