Daily digest

Missouri utility plans $1.5 billion wind investment, closing coal plant

EFFICIENCY: Advocates say energy efficiency savings are on the upswing in Indiana, but not at levels they could be following the repeal of a key policy three years ago. (Midwest Energy News)

• A Missouri utility files plans for a $1.5 billion wind energy project — tripling its current wind portfolio — and also to eventually close a coal plant. (Joplin Globe)
• Ohio landowners discussed proposed changes to wind turbine setback rules. (WYSO)

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• In a move to improve grid resiliency, Ameren Corp. last month joined more than two dozen other utilities in a program that shares critical transmission equipment in the wake of disasters. (Midwest Energy News)
• The Grain Belt Express requests the Missouri Supreme Court to take up its appeal of a decision by state regulators denying the wind transmission project. (Columbia Daily Tribune)
• A city in southern Minnesota objects to Xcel Energy’s plan to build a transmission line through it. (Mankato Free Press)

• Across coal-mining regions, miners are resisting federally funded retraining programs despite the unlikely chances of an industry resurgence. (Reuters)
• In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Alliant Energy is converting its largest coal-burning unit to run on natural gas. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• St. Louis-based coal producer Armstrong Energy files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: The U.S. EPA finds that the Clean Power Plan — which it wants to scrap under the Trump administration — could prevent up to 4,500 premature deaths per year by 2030. (Washington Post)

• At the start of a 12-day evidentiary hearing, an Enbridge official testifies that the Line 3 pipeline through northern Minnesota is increasingly subject to corrosion and cracking and needs replacing. (Associated Press)
• An administrative law judge also says Minnesota regulators should deem an environmental impact study of the pipeline is “adequate.” (Minnesota Public Radio)

POLICY: A former Republican federal energy regulator says the Department of Energy’s plan to prop up coal and nuclear plants is “just a tax on customers” meant to only benefit Trump administration supporters like Murray Energy and FirstEnergy. (Utility Dive)

• An Indiana school district completes a $3 million solar project that’s expected to pay itself off in four years. (Kokomo Tribune)
• Local officials and labor unions in a central Illinois community are holding public meetings to discuss the potential for large-scale solar projects. (Danville Commercial-News)

• New legislation would allow Tesla to sell its vehicles directly to customers in Wisconsin, bypassing dealerships. (Associated Press)
• Meanwhile, the company just posted a record quarterly loss of $619 million as it tries to clear production bottlenecks and bring its Model 3 sedan to the market. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: Small-scale, independent power producers in Michigan tell state lawmakers a regulatory decision over payments from utilities may force them to close. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL ASH: Researchers find that contamination in water wells in Wisconsin is not from nearby coal ash storage ponds. (Phys.org)

UTILITIES: A South Dakota electric cooperative looks to end a 27-year agreement with a municipal utility in its service territory that it argues is “one-sided.” (Watertown Public Opinion)

OIL AND GAS: Michigan State University will spend $50 million in the coming years to upgrade its campus power plant with new boilers. (Lansing State Journal)

COMMENTARY: An advocacy group says that with the right policies, Iowa can lead not only with wind generation, but also solar. (Vote Solar)

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