Midwest Energy News

North Dakota regulators approve Dakota Access Pipeline expansion

Correction: City officials in Greenville, Michigan, are exploring whether to expand solar generation at a wastewater treatment plant. An item in Wednesday’s email misidentified the jurisdiction.

PIPELINES: North Dakota regulators approve a proposed expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline that would double the line’s capacity. (Bismarck Tribune) 

• The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says North Dakota’s Public Service Commission “failed to do its job” by approving the pipeline expansion. (KXMB-TV)
• Amid protests by tribal members, the South Dakota House passes a “riot boosting” bill that broadens criminal liability for demonstrations. (Argus Leader)
• A journalist explores how the 2016 pipeline protests at Standing Rock inspired a political awakening in U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Time)

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TRANSMISSION: The owners of a contested Wisconsin power line project won’t be allowed to participate in a federal court case alleging conflicts of interest by state regulators. (Wisconsin State Journal) 

COAL: A Minnesota bill would require utilities to study whether they could save money and slash carbon emissions by running coal plants less often. (MinnPost)

A planned recycling facility in Iowa would slice wind turbine blades into pellets that could be molded into a wide range of products. (Energy News Network)
• We Energies’ parent company will increase its ownership stake in three Midwest wind farms under development by Invenergy. (news release)

• Basin Electric announces a power purchase agreement with what is expected to be South Dakota’s largest solar farm. (Associated Press, KOTA-TV)
• South Dakota regulators approve a permit for a planned 110 MW solar farm to be built on Oglala Lakota land. (SDPB)
• A solar developer presents details to a Nebraska planning commission for a planned 8.5 MW solar farm. (Norfolk Daily News)
• A Wisconsin animal shelter plans to install a 62 KW rooftop solar system that will lower utility costs and improve disaster preparedness. (Daily Union)

STORAGE: Ohio Congressman Bob Latta tours AEP’s energy storage system in Bluffton, the only existing grid battery location in Ohio. (Lima News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Missouri state senator’s bill would block utilities from spending ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging stations. (Missourian)

CLIMATE: Kansas is among the states considering legislation that would limit cities or counties from filing lawsuits against fossil fuel companies. (Drilled)

• Xcel Energy promotes its chief financial officer to president and chief operating officer, putting him potentially next in line to become CEO. (Star Tribune)
• Nebraska Public Power District says it is launching a new approval process for connecting distributed renewable generation to the grid. (Daily Energy Insider)
• DTE Energy will provide 100% clean energy to a disabled veteran-owned energy management company through its green tariff program. (Crain’s Detroit)

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• The Trump administration announces a goal for biofuels to make up 30% of U.S. transportation fuels by 2050 through “market-driven” increases in blend rates. (Reuters)
• Oil companies are gauging driver interest in higher ethanol blend gasoline in Iowa to take advantage of cheap biofuel prices. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY: An editorial board says coal is in trouble and North Dakota needs to help the industry “deal with the changing times.” (Bismarck Tribune)

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