Daily digest

Midwest utilities retired 2,000 MW of coal last week

COAL: The last of Michigan’s “Classic 7” coal plants shuts down after 67 years of operation. (MLive)

• Utilities in Michigan and Indiana retired 2,000 MW of coal generation last week. (Platts)
• Retirement of an Indiana plant is “almost like a divorce” for longtime employees. (Indianapolis Star)
• Wind and natural gas challenge the economics of North Dakota coal plants. (Bismarck Tribune)

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WISCONSIN: At an appearance in Milwaukee, actor and longtime environmentalist Ed Begley Jr. issues a climate challenge to Wisconsin. (Midwest Energy News)

EPA: The EPA reaffirms its rule regulating mercury and other toxins “is appropriate and necessary,” projecting benefits as high at $90 billion for $9.6 billion in costs. (Greenwire)

OHIO: American Electric Power is sharing confidential data with prospective buyers of unregulated power plants, a sign the utility is increasingly serious about selling. (Bloomberg)

• Michigan officials oppose a plan to pump oil through idled pipelines beneath the St. Clair River that are nearly 100 years old. (The Hill)
• Analysts say Michigan may not see many benefits from an influx of new natural gas pipelines. (Crain’s Detroit Business)
• A $500 million pipeline project in Ohio is generating little controversy. (Toledo Blade)

NATURAL GAS: Michigan utilities are spending millions to upgrade natural gas infrastructure. (MiBiz)

FRAC SAND: A Wisconsin sand mining company lays off 55 workers at three locations. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

• Documents suggest public money intended for an Ohio solar plant may have been funneled overseas. (Toledo Blade)
• Michigan’s largest community solar garden goes online. (WOOD-TV)
• With the dedication of a new array on Earth Day, an Iowa college will hold the most solar capacity in the state. (news release)

GRID: A MISO capacity auction sees higher prices, but no repeat of the spikes that hit southern Illinois last year. (EnergyWire)

EFFICIENCY: Chicago will upgrade 270,000 streetlights to LEDs over the next four years. (WLS)

FAITH: A farmer’s handmade wind turbine is the focal point of an Earth-focused church service in Wisconsin. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

COMMENTARY: The “duty will fall to others” to block “bailout” plans for Ohio utilities. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)

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