Midwest Energy News

Missouri utility to close coal ash storage ponds over next five years

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: By bringing together environmental groups, utilities, automakers and private companies, advocates say Michigan regulators are helping to design programs that lead to greater electric vehicle adoption. (Midwest Energy News)

EFFICIENCY: Millions of dollars worth of energy conservation programs are on the line as Iowa and Kansas consider changes to how they calculate the benefits of energy efficiency programs. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Early Bird deadline for the CERTs 2018 Conference has been extended through Wednesday, February 21 — join hundreds of people from Minnesota and the Midwest working together to get energy efficiency and renewable energy projects done!***

COAL:
• Ameren Missouri announces plans to close its coal ash storage ponds over the next five years, though critics say it’s overdue and simply complies with federal regulations. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• Ohio-based FirstEnergy says it will retire or sell a 1,300-megawatt coal plant in West Virginia, though neither option was the company’s first choice. (Utility Dive)
• The U.S. Department of Energy awards $6 million to researchers for early design work on a system to capture carbon emissions from a North Dakota coal plant. (Bismarck Tribune)

SOLAR:
• Advocates say growth in solar employment is at risk in Iowa amid state and federal policy proposals. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• A Minnesota project looks to show that “solar developments can coexist with agriculture in a very effective way.” (Mankato Free Press)
• Legislation in Indiana would prohibit homeowners’ associations from imposing new rules on rooftop solar installations. (Indianapolis Star)
• County officials in central Illinois recommend moving forward with two small commercial solar projects. (Peoria Journal Star)

OIL AND GAS: Dennis Kucinich is running for governor in Ohio on a platform that includes ending oil and gas drilling there. (The Intercept)

GRID: Rural electric cooperatives in Kansas are concerned about aspects of President Trump’s budget proposal that would sell transmission assets to private companies. (Lawrence Journal-World)

UTILITIES: A western Michigan municipal utility uses a network of pipes carrying hot water from a new natural gas plant to melt snow and ice on downtown sidewalks. (Grand Rapids Press)

PIPELINES: Cleanup of a 200,000-gallon spill from the Keystone pipeline in November is on schedule, officials say. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• A former lawmaker and utility regulator says ratepayers would benefit from a proposal by grid operator PJM to compensate generators fairly when power is needed most. (Utility Dive)
• A clean-energy asset management firm says stronger policies in Ohio will help spur more corporate clean-energy investment there. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board says the transition to more renewable energy is being blocked by local opposition to wind transmission projects.
• A national renewable energy developer says Ohio’s hostility toward clean energy policies makes it less attractive for corporations to locate there. (Columbus Business First)

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