Daily digest

Iowa’s largest utility pursues 100 percent renewable generation

RENEWABLES: A $3.6 billion wind energy investment is helping Iowa’s largest utility towards a goal of producing 100 percent of its energy from renewables. (Associated Press)

SMART GRID: Why rural electric cooperatives are uniquely positioned to help lead the transition to a smarter grid by being flexible and ready to try new technologies. (Midwest Energy News)

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SOLAR: As a decision draws near, solar advocates urge Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb to veto legislation that would phase out net metering by 2022. (Terre Haute Tribune Star)

UTILITIES: FirstEnergy says it is hopeful about receiving state and federal support for its struggling nuclear and coal plants, but that it still plans to divest its merchant generation and become a fully regulated company by mid-2018. (RTO Insider)

COAL: While a deal has been reached to fund retired coal miners’ health benefits, questions remain about funding pensions. (Ohio Valley ReSource)

PIPELINES:
• Iowa law enforcement officials are investigating another suspected arson targeting the Dakota Access pipeline. (Sioux City Journal)
• North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum asks the Trump administration for a $38 million reimbursement for the costs of dealing with Dakota Access pipeline protests. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A General Motors executive predicts the company will be the first to make a profit off of electric vehicles. (Phys.org)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• A resort owner in northern Michigan is awarded for his 25-year commitment to clean energy and conservation projects. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)
• Minnesota stands “near the top” of the country for green-building practices. (Finance & Commerce)
• A Minnesota wastewater treatment facility is praised for its onsite solar and bioenergy systems. (KNSI)

TRANSPORTATION: President Trump says he would consider raising gasoline and diesel fuel taxes to help pay for a major infrastructure plan. (Associated Press)

POLITICS:
• Conservatives are increasingly divided over energy policy, fossil fuels, climate change and decentralizing the U.S. power grid. (DeSmog Blog)
• A bipartisan budget deal reached in Congress avoids steep cuts for the U.S. EPA and renewable energy programs sought by the Trump administration. (E&E News)

EFFICIENCY: An Iowa county is recognized by a national organization for its energy efficiency efforts. (Sioux City Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• An Illinois state senator says new energy legislation passed last year will make the state a leader in renewable energy generation. (Peoria Journal Star)
• A Michigan-based advocacy group says cities will be the ones to lead the clean energy transition as the Trump administration ignores climate change. (Bridge Magazine)

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