Midwest Energy News

Line 5 damage may suggest broader structural issues, experts say

SOLAR: The first projects under Illinois’ Solar for All program are installed on Chicago’s South Side at no upfront cost to residents. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Major anticipated solar development in Indiana, Michigan and southern states is expected to eclipse wind production in grid operator MISO’s service territory. (RTO Insider, subscription)
• A Minnesota solar company predicts growth this year under new leadership despite setbacks from the pandemic. (Star Tribune)

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PIPELINES:
• Experts say the latest damage to the Line 5 pipeline may be part of a broader structural problem for its segment in the Straits of Mackinac. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)
• Environmental groups say Michigan officials have multiple options to permanently shut down Line 5, including revoking a key easement to operate in the Great Lakes. (Michigan Advance)

BIOFUELS: Researchers anticipate Iowa’s ethanol industry will take a $2.6 billion hit by the end of the year due to low demand during the pandemic combined with federal policy on biofuel waivers and trade disputes. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

FRAC SAND: One of Wisconsin’s largest sand mining companies plans to file for bankruptcy and may be forced to close due to shrinking demand that grew worse during the pandemic. (Wisconsin State Journal)

COAL:
• Indiana utility NIPSCO postpones until the spring a plan to remove coal ash from ponds near a Michigan City coal plant. (Indiana Public Media)
• The U.S. Energy Department will make $122 million available for innovation centers aimed at finding new uses for coal. (E&E News, subscription)

WIND: A southwestern Iowa county advances new regulations on wind development that officials hope will lead to projects within the next year. (KMA)

CLIMATE: Ann Arbor, Michigan’s climate change plan calls for building five solar-powered “resilience hubs” around the city meant to help with disaster relief and preparedness. (MLive) 

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UTILITIES: Indiana regulators are expected to decide today whether utilities can increase rates to recover lost revenue from the pandemic, which has faced strong pushback from consumer advocates. (CBS 4, The Republic)

COMMENTARY:
• An editorial board calls on Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to revoke an easement for the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac to permanently shut it down. (Detroit Free Press)
• The founder of a major Michigan brewery says Enbridge’s track record from a previous spill shows the company can’t be trusted. (Bridge Magazine)
• A conservative clean energy advocate in Minnesota discusses the hyper partisanship that’s making it difficult to advance bipartisan policy on issues like climate change and energy. (Minnesota Reformer)
• The first offshore wind project planned in the Great Lakes not only raises environmental questions but also would be a bad deal for ratepayers, says an official with an energy management consulting firm. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)

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