Midwest Energy News

Iowa wind farm approved despite lack of coal transition plan

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WIND: Iowa regulators approve a 591 MW wind project for MidAmerican Energy, though clean energy groups hoped the plan would address closing some of the utility’s coal fleet. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• The University of Kansas in Lawrence will be the third university campus to meet its energy needs through a wind purchase agreement with Westar Energy. (Kansas City Star)
• A North Dakota planning commission rejects a permit for a proposed 250 MW wind project near Bismarck. (Bismarck Tribune)

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UTILITIES: The president and CEO of Consumers Energy makes an economic case for closing coal plants while transitioning to solar and electric vehicles. (Energy News Network)

PIPELINES:
• The Michigan Senate approves a plan to tunnel the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac and secure agreements before the next administration takes office. (Detroit News)
• Advocates are closely watching Alberta’s cut in tar sands production due to tight pipeline capacity, which was a key argument for Keystone XL opponents. (InsideClimate News)
• Keystone XL opponents say preconstruction on the pipeline would not only cause environmental degradation but also prejudice decision-making on whether the project can move forward. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL: Opponents are challenging a state agency’s finding that a proposed coal plant in southern Indiana would have “no significant impact” with emissions. (Indianapolis Star)

SOLAR:
• Local officials approve plans for two solar gardens on 20 acres in western Illinois. (WGEM)
• A five-mile, drive-through holiday light show in southeastern Michigan is mostly powered by solar energy. (MLive)

EMISSIONS: Xcel Energy’s announcement to be carbon-free by 2050 comes as U.S. coal plants continue to close but global carbon emissions reach all-time highs. (E&E News, Minnesota Public Radio)

GRID: Marijuana, electric vehicles and data centers will be three major energy demand drivers in the coming decade, according to a new report. (Utility Dive)

CLEAN ENERGY: Advocates forecast substantial growth for solar power and energy efficiency in Illinois. (GreenBiz)

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SMART METERS: MidAmerican Energy has deployed smart meters to about two-thirds of its customers, though some are resistant. (KCCI)

COMMENTARY:
• Minnesota utility regulators have a chance to stand up for ratepayers as Xcel Energy seeks an extension for a long-term resource plan, says a director at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. (Energy News Network)
• A conservative clean energy advocate in Michigan says DTE Energy’s plan to replace net metering would stifle rooftop solar development. (Detroit News)

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