Midwest Energy News

Midwest clean energy goals face political challenges

CLEAN ENERGY: Recent goals announced in Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota show the “clean energy revolution has spread to the Midwest.” (Grist)

• Xcel Energy’s ambitious clean energy goal can be largely accomplished through existing technology, according to experts and a new report released by the utility. (Energy News Network)
• Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s plan for 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050 faces political challenges. (MinnPost)
• Officials with Allete say they can meet Walz’s 2050 goal even though a subsidiary still plans to build a natural gas plant in Superior, Wisconsin. (Duluth News Tribune)
• Michigan congressman Fred Upton says Michigan utilities are on a “feasible path” to reduce carbon emissions by closing coal plants. (Three Rivers Commercial News)

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UTILITIES: Indiana utility NIPSCO seeks to reduce rates for its five largest customers to dissuade them from generating their own electricity and reducing dependence on the utility. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Critics say Nebraska is spending too much of its Volkswagen settlement money on subsidies for diesel buses when it should be investing in electric vehicles. (Energy News Network)

SOLAR: Local officials in southeastern Minnesota say Xcel Energy’s low-income solar rebate program is a step in the right direction, but upfront costs may be high and energy efficiency should be prioritized. (Red Wing Republican Eagle)

• Settling decommission obligations is the last step before construction starts on a 76-turbine wind project in mid-Michigan. (MLive)
• Critics say an Illinois bill allowing countywide wind zoning regulations to supersede townships would stifle stricter rules. (Champaign News-Gazette)
• The Ohio Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case that could decide the fate of a planned 25-turbine wind project. (Sandusky Register)

CLEAN TECH: AEP helps launch a business accelerator focused on startups in the utility sector and grid modernization. (Utility Dive)

• North Dakota’s oil industry is maturing by producing more long-term jobs to maintain production and fewer temporary workers, according to a study. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Vice President Mike Pence headlines a fundraiser this week for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. (Associated Press)
• North Dakota Republicans draft a proposal to clarify oil tax revenue distributions. (Associated Press)

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BIOFUELS: The White House reviews a U.S. EPA proposal that would allow sales of higher-ethanol fuel this summer. (E&E News, subscription)

• Advocates highlight the growing number of utilities committing to strong clean energy goals as the Trump administration pushes in the opposite direction. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• A utility watchdog group says recipients of funding from the nonprofit DTE Energy Foundation are also backing the utility’s position on rooftop solar. (Energy and Policy Institute)
• Consumers Energy’s long-term clean energy plan is at a “crossroads” after a judge disagrees with key components of the plan. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• A conservative energy group says of efforts to portray solar net metering customers not paying their fair share: “Nothing could be further from the truth.” (Detroit News)

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