Daily digest

Kansas, Iowa rate cases show utility trend of separating distributed generation customers

EFFICIENCY: Performance contracting, a financing tool that pays for clean energy projects over time through avoided energy costs, continues to save public entities in Michigan millions of dollars a year. (Midwest Energy News)

• Rate cases in Kansas and Iowa show an increasing trend by utilities to separate distributed generation customers into their own rate class. (Utility Dive)
Otter Tail Power Co., whose service territory includes parts of Minnesota and the Dakotas, is seeking an $11.50 monthly rate increase for average residential customers to help pay for pollution-control technologies at a coal plant. (Forum News Service)

***SPONSORED LINK: Registration is now open for the 2017 Veteran’s Energy Seminar on December 14 in Chicago. This one-day training for military veterans and reservists will include classroom sessions and panels on global energy security challenges. Learn more and register to attend by clicking here.***

POLICY: A tax proposal introduced by House Republicans would trim the wind energy production tax credit by more than a third, extend a roughly $6 billion tax credit for the nuclear industry and eliminate a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles. (Bloomberg, Reuters)

COAL: The United Mine Workers of America is taking its fight over retiree benefits back to St. Louis, this time focused on pensions rather than health care. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

BIOFUELS: One of the largest ethanol plants in the country abruptly closes in Iowa. (KCCI)

GRID: A new analysis by the firm Lazard finds that while renewable energy costs are declining and energy storage is on the rise, those systems alone “will not be capable of meeting the baseload generation needs of a developed economy for the foreseeable future.” (Utility Dive)

• A South Dakota farming family is suing the Dakota Access pipeline developer for failing to keep its promise to restore their land after construction. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)
• The Dakota Access pipeline developer and the Army Corps of Engineers object to tribes’ efforts to bolster protections for their water supply, saying “measures are already in place” to do so. (Associated Press)
• Dominion Energy Ohio will soon start portions of a larger plan to replace thousands of miles of aging pipelines with corrosion-resistant coated steel or plastic line. (Youngstown Vindicator)

REGULATION: The U.S. Senate confirms two more appointees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, rounding out the five-member board. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: Officials in Rochester, Minnesota see a future with more renewable energy powering the city. (Rochester Post Bulletin)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A new study says electric vehicles could represent nearly half of all new vehicles sold worldwide by 2030, though the increase may not be as dramatic in the U.S. (Detroit Free Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Free CEE Technology Forum, November 7 at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. See how tech piloting, program design, and partnerships will define our next era of energy efficiency. Speakers from Nest, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, EPRI, Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association, Xcel Energy, and Northwest Power & Conservation Council. ***

MICROGRIDS: U.S. military spending on microgrids in order to reduce reliance on fossil fuels is expected to reach $1.4 billion by 2026. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR: Minnesota Power unveils a 9-acre community solar garden near Duluth. (WDIO)

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