Daily digest

Midwest ratepayers to be reimbursed for excessive transmission charges

TRANSMISSION: Ratepayers across the Midwest will be reimbursed after consumer advocates successfully challenged excessive profits by transmission companies for delivering electricity. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Despite opposition to the rules from the state’s attorney general, Ohio officials aim to have a compliance strategy ready by September. (The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register)

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EFFICIENCY:
• A large group of ratepayers — including public housing residents and low-income individuals — in Illinois still find it difficult to participate in various efficiency programs. (Midwest Energy News)
• A growing number of homeowners and renters in Minneapolis seek to make efficiency upgrades under a new partnership between the city and utilities. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• In Missouri, it’s unclear when or if a major utility’s energy efficiency rebate program will return. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

PIPELINES:
• A tribe in northern Minnesota settles a land dispute with Enbridge for $18.5 million. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• A developer has filed nearly two dozen condemnation lawsuits seeking to gain easements from landowners for a planned pipeline stretching to Illinois. (Bismarck Tribune)

OHIO:
• Chicago-based Exelon weighs in on FirstEnergy’s “bailout” request, calling it a “grossly lopsided deal” and claiming the utility can deliver as much electricity to Ohio customers for $2 billion less than FirstEnergy. (Toledo Blade)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he “could care less” about interest groups’ stakes in the two income-guarantee requests, as long as regulators decide in the long-term best interest for reliability. (Ideastream)

SOLAR: About 700 Minnesota homeowners have taken advantage of an incentive program that lowers the costs for solar by choosing local installers. (Minnesota Public Radio)

WIND:
• As Xcel Energy moves to retire coal generation by 2030, it will depend on wind more than natural gas. (EnergyWire)
• A Kansas utility reaches a deal to buy 200 megawatts of wind power near Wichita. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

FRAC SAND: Advocates in Wisconsin launch a campaign for a countywide ban on frac-sand mining. (Jackson County Chronicle)

COAL:
• The number of coal-mining deaths nationwide continues to decline amid industry layoffs and idled operations. (Associated Press)
• Murray Energy is expected to lay off roughly 600 mine workers in Ohio and West Virginia. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: Despite a surplus of cheap fossil fuels, the wind and solar industries are on track for a record-breaking year in 2016. (Washington Post)

BIOFUELS:
• Iowa continues to lead the nation in biofuel production. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)
• Results of a six-year study in the Midwest show a variety of other biofuel feedstocks can yield as much biomass as corn stover. (Biofuels Digest)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Advocates in Minnesota say the electric vehicle market is at a tipping point as prices decline and charging stations expand. (CBS Minnesota)

COMMENTARY:
• Former Michigan Gov. William Milliken says there is a “strong argument” to be made to no longer transport oil through pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac. (Detroit Free Press)
Extending federal tax credits will bring certainty to the Midwest’s wind and solar industries. (Midwest Energy News)
Regardless of how Minnesota residents feel about oil pipelines moving through the state, they deserve a consistent review process. (Pioneer Press)
“Wisconsin continues to gamble on a dangerous, negative strategy” to not assemble a carbon-reduction plan. (Madison Capital Times)

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