Midwest Energy News

Murray Energy revealed as donor to Ohio power plant bailout effort

OHIO: Murray Energy is reportedly “Company B” in documents related to the Ohio bribery scheme; the company gave $100,000 to a “dark money” group at the center of the state’s power plant bailout scandal. (Columbus Dispatch)

ALSO: A FirstEnergy customer files a class action lawsuit seeking to block rate increases imposed by the utility, claiming its alleged role in a bribery scheme caused “substantial injuries.” (Toledo Blade)

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SMART METERS: A Minnesota consumer advocacy group pushes to make some anonymous smart meter data available to independent researchers, saying it could inform rate design and help identify neighborhoods with high energy savings potential. (Energy News Network)

PIPELINES: The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs orders the shutdown of a pipeline delivering oil to a North Dakota refinery that the agency and tribes say is trespassing on land held in trust. (Bismarck Tribune)

COAL:
The planned 2028 closure of an Xcel Energy coal plant along the St. Croix River in eastern Minnesota prompts questions about future redevelopment on the property. (Star Tribune)
• A state agency funds a reclamation project at an abandoned coal mine in central Missouri. (Fulton Sun)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Four electric vehicle fast-charging stations are installed along major highway corridors in Michigan with the help of a Consumers Energy rebate program. (MiBiz)
• General Motors and charging company EVgo plan to deploy 2,700 fast-charging plugs across the U.S. over the next five years. (CNET)
• About 26,000 EV charging stations are publicly available in the U.S., but thousands more are needed to drive further EV adoption. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• A southwestern Ohio city considers regulations for commercial solar projects after a developer shows interest in the area. (Dayton Daily News)
• A solar industry trade publication ranks a central Minnesota company as the most influential solar contractor of 2019, while Iowa-based Eagle Point Solar ranks in the top 40%. (St. Cloud Times, Clinton Herald)

WIND: Consumers Energy’s parent company acquires a 51% majority stake in a 525 MW Texas wind project that supplies clean energy for McDonalds and Facebook. (MLive)

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STORAGE: The U.S. Department of Energy provides a $250,000 grant to a northeastern Iowa battery storage pilot project that seeks to support more distributed generation. (RTO Insider, subscription)

COMMENTARY: Recent bribery scandals in Ohio and Illinois involving power plants are part of a “wave of utility wrongdoing that has come to light in recent years” in the U.S., a columnist writes. (New York Times)

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