Daily digest

Michigan utility plans largest solar project east of the Mississippi

SOLAR: DTE Energy is planning to build a 45-megawatt solar array in southeast Michigan, which the company says would be the largest utility-scale project east of the Mississippi River. (MLive)

BATTERIES: The growth in energy storage deployment in Ohio could bolster the state’s renewables industry. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Rocky Mountain Institute’s e-Lab Accelerator is calling on America’s most innovative teams at the forefront of the electricity transformation looking to take projects to the next level. See if your project is eligible for this invitation-only event April 24—27. ***

PETCOKE: Instead of stockpiling it along a river near Chicago, BP is now sending its petcoke from a nearby refinery to Kentucky and West Virginia. (Northwest Indiana Times)

OHIO: Grid operator PJM says it will weigh in by the spring on reliability issues affecting wholesale markets under FirstEnergy and AEP “bailout” requests. (RTO Insider)

RENEWABLE TAX CREDITS: Experts say extending federal tax credits for wind and solar should stimulate hundreds of billions of dollars in new investment. (ClimateWire)

FRAC SAND: A Wisconsin researcher says communities should be prepared for the boom and bust cycle that comes with the frac sand mining industry. (Chippewa Herald)

PIPELINES:
• A panel of judges in Michigan uphold the convictions of pipeline protesters who attached themselves to Enbridge machinery. (MLive)
Enbridge says a Wisconsin county is creating “unpredictability” by maintaining permit language requiring the company to have spill insurance. (Wisconsin State Journal)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• Grid operator MISO says the price of natural gas could be the highest variable in the cost to comply with the federal rules. (RTO Insider)
EPA critics accuse the agency of usurping states’ rights among several other allegations as they prepare to challenge the Clean Power Plan in court. (Greenwire)

TRANSMISSION:
• Farm advocates and a group of landowners ask Illinois regulators to reconsider their approval of a section of a transmission project moving wind energy from Kansas to Indiana through the state. (Associated Press)
• Federal regulators approve rate incentives for the developers of a transmission line from Manitoba to Minnesota to help insulate ratepayers from large bill increases. (RTO Insider)
Grid operator PJM approves $490 million in grid infrastructure upgrades. (Transmission & Distribution World)
Xcel Energy in Minnesota makes transmission upgrades meant to protect the region’s wildlife. (CBS Minnesota)

COAL: A Minnesota utility completes a $260 million upgrade to make its largest coal-fired unit burn cleaner. (Prairie Business Magazine)

GRID: An Illinois initiative is helping to establish performance standards for the grid. (Energy Fix)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Grid Modernization Forum, January 19-20 in Chicago, is a focused industry conference examining the integration of renewables, energy storage, microgrids, engaging the customer, and key regulatory issues.  Enter “ME-News” when registering for 10% off.  ***

COMMENTARY: Shareholder activism is the best new approach to phasing out coal. (Forbes)

CORRECTION: An item in Monday’s digest incorrectly stated where a campaign to ban frac sand mining was launched. It is in Minnesota.

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