Daily digest

Nuclear regulators downplayed safety concerns at U.S. nuclear plants

NUCLEAR: Federal nuclear regulators have downplayed warnings about safety concerns from its own experts at 61 nuclear plants in the United States, including multiple in Illinois, an investigation concludes. (Better Government Association)

BUILDINGS: Chicago’s chief sustainability officer is at the center of several of the city’s clean energy initiatives, including a major push toward building efficiency. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join SEIA’s CEO Abigail Hopper, clean energy communications expert Jane Bloch, utility executives and industry experts at RENEW Wisconsin’s “Connecting to a Powerful Future” Summit. Thursday, Jan. 18, in Madison. Register Today!***

OVERSIGHT: The former head of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is picked to lead the U.S. EPA’s Region 5 office in Chicago, a move criticized by the EPA’s national employee union. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WTTW)

PIPELINES:
• The Nebraska Public Service Commission unanimously rejects TransCanada’s request to amend its application for a route across the state, which is expected to further delay the project. (Omaha World-Herald)
• A federal court in Ohio dismisses claims from landowners that federal regulators’ approval of the Nexus gas pipeline would unlawfully grant eminent domain authority to developers. (E&E News, subscription)

WIND:
• South Dakota wind energy companies are on edge about how the sweeping federal tax bill will impact the industry. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)
• Chicago-based Invenergy files plans for a 250 MW wind project in central Illinois that it hopes to start building next year. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

SOLAR:
• A Michigan contractor promises to “make this right” after homeowners who purchased solar panels through a group-buying program still haven’t received them. (MLive)
• Indiana solar companies are concerned about the state’s industry being impacted by both federal and state policy changes. (WBOI)

EFFICIENCY: Combined heat and power upgrades at the University of Minnesota’s 100-year-old Main Energy Plant looks to save $2 million a year in energy costs. (WCCO)

OIL AND GAS:
• State officials allow the developers of a nearly $1 billion natural gas plant in southwest Michigan to capture $34.8 million in local and school taxes to help finance the project. (MLive)
• New figures show Ohio oil and gas production were up 3 percent and 28 percent, respectively, in the third quarter of 2017 over the same period last year. (Youngstown Vindicator)

UTILITIES: Minnesota-based Xcel Energy will leave the New York Stock Exchange later this month to begin trading on the Nasdaq market “as the company embraces technology and innovation.” (New York Business Journal) 

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2nd Smart Cities International Symposium and Exhibition, January 17-18 in Chicago, brings together municipal professionals and thought leaders to explore technology advances and key lessons to date in achieving the Smart City vision. Enter “MWEN” when registering for 10% off.***

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: UPS places an order to buy 125 all-electric semi-trucks from Tesla, which are expected to be produced in 2019. (USA Today)

COMMENTARY: The Natural Resources Defense Council says utilities across the Midwest are playing leading roles in the clean energy transition.

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