Midwest Energy News

Midwest solar jobs increase amid overall industry decline

SOLAR: Advocates largely blame last year’s 3.2 percent drop in national solar employment on President Trump’s tariffs, though most Midwestern states saw job growth. (Grist, InsideClimate News)

ALSO:
•A northern Minnesota community group is wary of the sudden involvement of its municipal utility’s power wholesaler in a community solar-plus-storage project. (Energy News Network)
• Local officials in northern Illinois allow two proposed solar projects to qualify for state credits. (DeKalb Daily Chronicle)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register now for the Midwest Cogeneration Association’s Energy Policy & the Case for CHP Conference, February 19 in Chicago. Keynote: Rep. Sean Casten; Expert speakers; Exhibitor and Sponsorship opportunities.***

COAL:
• A Wisconsin senator says We Energies should invest more to limit mercury outputs into Lake Michigan from one of its coal plants. (Racine Journal Times)
• President Trump lobbies to keep open a Kentucky coal plant with direct ties to coal CEO and Trump supporter Robert Murray. (E&E News, subscription)
• Peabody Energy plans to scale back production at its Illinois Basin coal mines. (Platts)
• Illinois officials open public comment on a Dynegy plan to stabilize the Middle Fork River from coal ash storage sites. (Illinois Public Media)

POLICY: Illinois environmental groups have been silent on the wind and solar industry’s support for a statewide 100 percent clean energy bill as they negotiate separate legislation with Exelon. (E&E News, subscription)

PIPELINES:
• A portion of the Keystone pipeline from Nebraska to Illinois remains closed after a leak was discovered last week in Missouri. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• A retired high-ranking Army Corps of Engineers officer lobbied on behalf of Energy Transfer Partners to get key permits for the Dakota Access pipeline. (Huffington Post)
• North Dakota lawmakers consider a bill restricting access to records involving security operations with “critical infrastructure” such as oil pipelines. (The Intercept)
• An activist who vandalized portions of the Dakota Access pipeline asks a judge to dismiss her as a defendant in a $1 billion racketeering lawsuit filed by the developer. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: Officials see technology investments at power plants as untapped energy efficiency potential in Minnesota. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS: Cold temperatures contributed to three recent saltwater spills at North Dakota oil and gas wells. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Iowa regulators propose rules that would remove EV charging stations from the definition of a “public utility” under state law. (Utility Dive)
• Electric vehicles can lose up to 41 percent of driving range when temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a new study by AAA-Iowa. (Radio Iowa)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Center for Energy and Environment at a free public forum, February 13 in Minneapolis, MN. Learn about the results and recommendations of the recently completed Minnesota Statewide Energy Efficiency Potential Study. Register today!***

NUCLEAR: Oil and gas industry groups join calls for the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down state zero-emission credit programs for nuclear plants. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY: A Minnesota bill moving to 100 percent carbon-free energy “fits nicely” with what Xcel Energy has already committed to, writes an energy analyst for a science advocacy group. (Union of Concerned Scientists)

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