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)

•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.***

• 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)

• 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)

• 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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