Daily digest

Minnesota calls for swift inspections of oil trains

MICROGRID: Engineers are developing a microgrid system to power a Minnesota winery on wind and solar. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL BY RAIL: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton asks state regulators to swiftly inspect rails where increased amounts of oil are traveling from North Dakota. (Associated Press)

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CLEAN POWER PLAN: “Well, it’s finally here.” The final rule is published, triggering what will be a flurry of legal challenges. (Greenwire)

SECURITY:
• Top-level federal regulators meet publicly and privately to discuss the latest threats to U.S. nuclear plants and its high-voltage transmission system. (EnergyWire)
An attempted cyber attack on FirstEnergy this week highlights the need for better communication within the industry on data sharing, an executive tells lawmakers. (EnergyWire)

PIPELINE:
• An Iowa judge dismisses landowners’ lawsuit against the proposed Bakken project using eminent domain to access their property. (Sioux City Journal)
Meanwhile, an Iowa county board of supervisors votes unanimously to oppose the project. (WHO-TV)

EFFICIENCY: Missouri regulators vote against continuing a utility’s popular efficiency rebate program, saying they want a better measurement of energy savings. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

BIOMASS: A New York-based company is eyeing a northern Minnesota town to build a $70 million biomass processing facility. (Duluth News Tribune)

OIL AND GAS:
• Wisconsin regulators approve We Energies’ spending $47.6 million to replace an aging natural gas pipeline. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Construction starts on a new $500 million natural gas plant near Cincinnati. (Cincinnati Business Courier)
An Ohio legislative report finds the state’s oil and gas severance taxes are lower than other states, but there is no rush to increase it due to market volatility. (Columbus Dispatch)
We Energies projects this winter’s heating costs will be the lowest in 14 years. (Racine Journal Times)
A new federal study says earthquakes may have been linked to oil production in Oklahoma as early as the 1930s. (Reuters)

OHIO:
• Columbus-based utility AEP — which is seeking long-term power purchase agreements from regulators — posts quarterly profits of $519 million, up $26 million from the prior year. (Columbus Dispatch)
AEP’s CEO tells analysts that three years won’t be long enough for a power-purchase agreement the utility is seeking for its struggling coal plants. (Columbus Business First)
AEP’s CEO also says that if the power-purchase plan is rejected by state regulators, there may still be interested buyers if the utility sells its struggling coal plants. (Columbus Business First)

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TRANSMISSION: A major project through central Illinois is part of a larger plan to enhance the region’s power grid. (Decatur Herald & Review)

COMMENTARY: The presidential campaign is an opportunity for Midwest voters and businesses to promote clean energy policies on a national stage. (Midwest Energy News)

CORRECTION: An item in yesterday’s digest incorrectly identified the governor of Minnesota. It is Mark Dayton.

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