Daily digest

Michigan hydro owners feeling squeezed by utilities, proposed legislation

SOLAR:
• The Minneapolis/St. Paul airport plans to increase its solar generation by another 1.3 MW, making it nearly twice the size of the next largest installation in the state. (Minnesota Public Radio)
An Iowa school district is in a dispute with a local power provider over a solar project that would allow the district to recoup costs by selling excess electricity. (Mason City Globe Gazette)

HYDRO: Owners of small hydro facilities in Michigan say major investor-owned utilities plan to cut power purchases in half over the coming years as contracts expire. (Crain’s Detroit Business)

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OIL AND GAS:
• Recent polling shows wide support in North Dakota for more regulations on natural gas flaring. (Midwest Energy News)
• Meanwhile, cleanup of a 2013 pipeline spill in North Dakota is moving slowly because of a lack of natural gas needed to power equipment. (Associated Press)
• Plans for a $5.7 billion ethane cracker plant in Ohio started two years ago when a Thai company started eyeing hundreds of acres in the eastern part of the state. (Columbus Business First)
• A House panel will vote this week on lifting the crude oil export ban. (The Hill)

OHIO: FirstEnergy’s consultant making power price forecasts into the future overestimated wholesale prices, cutting the credibility of the utility’s request for a “bailout.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

FRACKING: A local elections board in Ohio hires outside counsel to defend the board’s decision of rejecting an anti-fracking ballot proposal because the county prosecutor sided with advocates. (Youngstown Vindicator)

NUCLEAR:
• As a Kansas nuclear plant celebrates its 30-year anniversary, environmentalists are divided over the zero-carbon fuel source. (Lawrence Journal-World)
In a setback for anti-nuclear advocates, federal regulators deny a special hearing about a Michigan plant’s continued operations. (Toledo Blade)
Federal regulators call off a long-term study on cancer risks near nuclear plants because the costs would be “prohibitively high.” (The Hill)

GRID: As costs continue to decline, 2015 is on pace to the best year ever for battery storage and the market is “on a growth trajectory.” (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• In light of new federal carbon rules, Nebraska should establish a tax credit for wind and solar energy. (Lincoln Journal Star)
Why can’t Wisconsin be a clean-energy leader? (Madison Capital Times)
To support a state-led, “all-of-the-above” energy policy, Michigan needs to retain its efficiency and renewable standards. (Lansing State Journal)

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