Daily digest

Nebraska utility to close uneconomic nuclear plant

WIND: North Dakota regulators unanimously approve a $250 million, 150-megawatt wind project after stiff opposition from nearby residents. (Forum News Service)

NUCLEAR:
• A Nebraska utility votes to close an uneconomic nuclear plant to save money over the next 20 years, while decommissioning costs are estimated at $1.2 billion. (Omaha World-Herald)
• Federal regulators will host a public forum next week on last year’s performance of a nuclear plant in Ohio. (Toledo Blade)

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OIL AND GAS: Natural gas flaring in North Dakota has “fallen sharply” since 2014 even as the state’s natural gas production has continued to grow. (Bakken.com)

SOLAR:
• An Illinois appeals court says ComEd is not required to offer net metering to community solar projects. (Cook County Record)
• Minnesota officials unveil a new solar project that will help offset the energy consumption at a local ice rink. (WCCO-TV)

EFFICIENCY: A conference next week in Minnesota will attract attendees from around the world to discuss the benefits of district energy systems. (Midwest Energy News)

REGULATION:
• A federal energy regulator foresees ongoing tension between states and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over deregulated markets like Illinois and Ohio and keeping open uneconomic power plants there. (EnergyWire)
• The search to fill a vacant seat on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has been narrowed to four finalists, including a former gas utility executive and a Republican lawmaker. (Columbus Business First)
• While Exelon’s regulated business has had a good year after acquiring other utilities, its competitive generation business that includes Illinois nuclear plants has struggled. (Utility Dive)

COAL:
• U.S. Senate Democrats introduce a bill that would increase requirements on coal companies to show they can pay for mine cleanup. (The Hill)
• Officials say a truck that turned over and spilled coal in Indiana did not harm a nearby creek. (Indiana Gazette)

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RATES: Two Minnesota agencies say a proposed rate hike by Xcel Energy — 9.8 percent over three years — is “excessive and should be significantly reduced.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
• The closing of coal plants outside of Detroit is a “victory for clean air and environmental justice.” (Huffington Post)
• A clean energy transition “offers the chance for a second industrial revolution.” (Door County Pulse)

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