Midwest Energy News

Michigan regulators demand changes to DTE Energy’s long-range plan

Clarification: Michigan regulators ordered major changes to DTE Energy’s long-range energy plan but did not issue a formal rejection.

UTILITIES: Michigan regulators demand changes to DTE Energy’s long-range energy plan, telling the utility to work with stakeholders to improve its modeling for how it might transition to new generation sources. (Michigan Radio)

TRANSPORTATION: Chicago has made strides to become a more bike-friendly city, but bicycling remains unsafe and impractical in many minority neighborhoods, bicycle riders and advocates say. (Energy News Network)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A rapid transition to electric cars and how it may affect supply chains “is going to be a really tough political issue” in Michigan, according to some experts. (Bridge)
• Critics of Minnesota’s clean cars proposal say it will hurt drivers in rural areas who often pay higher prices for electricity compared to the Twin Cities. (MinnPost)
• A General Motors app will soon provide Chevy Bolt owners real-time charging station data such as whether they are in use or down for maintenance. (CNET)

RENEWABLES:
• In an unpublicized meeting with Indiana regulators, Vectren officials discussed ending net metering for new solar or wind customers. (Courier & Press)
• A Missouri advocacy group is laying the foundation to put a renewable energy standard as high as 50% by 2040 on the November ballot. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL: The CEO of an Indiana rural electric co-op says “coal is just too expensive right now to be a viable generating source.” (Indiana Public Media) 

SOLAR:
• Iowa utilities, clean energy advocates and agriculture groups reach a compromise that maintains net metering and calls for a value of solar study in seven years or when solar hits 5% of the state’s energy mix. (The Courier)
• Wisconsin regulators approve two utilities’ purchase of 150 MW of capacity from Invenergy’s Badger Hollow Solar Farm. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• A solar developer’s plans to build a project on up to 2,500 acres of farmland north of Madison, Wisconsin, creates tension over land-use issues. (WKOW-TV)
• A Michigan township considers zoning changes that would allow a $50 million, 24 megawatt solar project on a capped landfill. (MLive)
• Indiana & Michigan Power wins state approval to build a 20 MW solar farm in Granger, Indiana, and slightly increase rates to pay for it. (South Bend Tribune)
• A Wisconsin school district lowers its energy bills by allowing utility We Energies to install rooftop solar on its buildings. (WITI-TV) 
• Several Peoria-area organizations receive funding for solar projects as part of a settlement with the owner of a coal-fired power plant. (WEEK-TV)

WIND: A wind developer expects to begin the permitting process this year for a 225 megawatt wind farm in central Iowa. (Boone News Republican)

EFFICIENCY: A Michigan city’s leaders say they will continue to seek out grants, rebates and other programs to reduce energy use and save money. (News Advocate) 

BIOGAS: The world’s largest pork producer and a Missouri energy company announce another $45 million investment in manure-to-energy projects. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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CLIMATE: “It’s frustrating beyond belief.” Kansas environmentalists struggle to get state lawmakers to even discuss climate change as a serious issue. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• A Minnesota Republican state senator says “radical environmentalists” are wrong to criticize a clean energy bill backed by conservatives. (Star Tribune)
• Discussions about wind turbine recycling often miss important context: that fossil fuel plants produce far more waste, a consultant writes. (CleanTechnica)

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