Daily digest

‘Major announcement’ expected today on 2010 Michigan oil spill

SOLAR: Iowa regulators rule that the state’s two major utilities must expand the cap on net metering and make the option available to more customers. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• Local officials unanimously approve a tax abatement for what will be Ohio’s largest solar project, saving the developer more than $8 million over 30 years. (Toledo Blade)
• An Illinois utility looks to develop a 1-megawatt solar demonstration. (Rantoul Press)
• A popular Wisconsin bakery will get roughly a quarter of its energy needs through solar. (WTMJ-TV)

*** SPONSORED LINK: Illinois Renewable Energy Conference, July 21st in Normal, Illinois, will feature plenary sessions of interest to all areas of renewable energy, plus specific breakout sessions for wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and energy efficiency.***

CLEAN ENERGY: Conservative groups at the Republican National Convention debate the best paths forward for deploying more clean energy. (Midwest Energy News)

EFFICIENCY: Overturning a major obstacle to clean energy financing for homeowners, federal housing agencies will now allow PACE financing on homes with federally backed mortgages. (Bloomberg)

OIL AND GAS:
• The U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency are set to deliver a “major announcement” today on the 2010 oil spill near Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Detroit Free Press)
• A $240 million combined cycle natural gas plant in West Michigan receives a sustainability award before even opening. See here for background on the Holland Energy Park. (MLive, Midwest Energy News archives)
• A mid-Michigan city continues its search for oil deposits, hoping it “could lead to future revenues for the city.” (MLive)
• As housing rental prices decline along with oil activity, officials in a North Dakota oil patch town eliminate extra money paid to city workers for the higher cost of living. (Associated Press)

COAL: The number of lawsuits around the country is growing over workers’ exposure to cleaning up toxic coal ash. (Center for Public Integrity)

WIND:
• Officials dedicate a $250 million, 150-megawatt wind farm in North Dakota that was more than a dozen years in the making. (KX News)
• A public meeting in Michigan’s “Thumb” region showed a majority of community support for more wind development. (Huron Daily Tribune)

NUCLEAR:
• Nearly two dozen security guards at a southwest Michigan nuclear plant have been suspended for allegedly fabricating fire inspection records. (MLive)
• The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources looks to buy nearly 1,000 acres of land that was formerly slated for a nuclear plant. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

FRAC SAND: A state appeals court affirms a county’s decision to block a frac sand mine in western Wisconsin. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: Opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline plan to protest at the property of an Iowa landowner who is being forced to allow the project to cross his farm. (Associated Press)

BIOFUELS: A Midwest fuel terminal operator will become the first in the U.S. to sell pre-blended fuel with 15 percent ethanol at its facilities in Illinois, Indiana and Arkansas. (Reuters)

***SPONSORED LINK: Now Open: Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 award program seeks young leaders working to transition Midwest to clean energy. Make your nomination today! ***

RATES: The municipal utility in a small eastern Iowa town is lowering its deposit rates after complaints that the rates are double what the state legally allows. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

POLITICS: The Republican Party platform adopted this week “would bring a total about-face on U.S. energy and climate policy.” (Washington Post)

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