Daily digest

Ohio regulators allow FirstEnergy ‘bailout’ to move forward

WIND: Missouri regulators deny a permit to develop the Grain Belt Express clean energy transmission project, even though they agree it would be in the public interest. (Midwest Energy News)

FRACKING: The first filing of a permit to do hydraulic fracturing in Illinois could be a test case for how rigorously the state enforces a new law passed four years ago. (Midwest Energy News)

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UTILITIES: Ohio regulators reject multiple appeals to a decision last year giving FirstEnergy an extra $204 million a year for five years that critics say could be used to prop up coal and nuclear plants. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

SMART GRID:
• A new report says regulators should use caution when approving time-of-use rates for residential utility customers to “ensure more vulnerable customers are not left higher bills they can’t control.” (Utility Dive)
• American Electric Power is set to begin installing 900,000 smart meters for customers across Ohio. (Columbus Dispatch)

PIPELINES: Four people accused of trespassing and tampering with Enbridge pipeline valves in Minnesota said they had to prevent the movement of tar sands oil in order to “mitigate catastrophic climate change and its effects on public health and the natural environment.” (Echo Journal)

CLIMATE: A panel of experts gather in Michigan to discuss what it means for the U.S. and the state by pulling out of the Paris climate agreement. (Michigan Radio)

GRID: Interim FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee says coal and nuclear power should receive some form of compensation for providing baseload power to the grid. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Ford Motor Co. partners with delivery company DHL to develop an electric delivery van. (Associated Press)

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RENEWABLES:
• A new study in Nature Energy says U.S. wind and solar generation helped prevent the premature deaths of up to 12,700 people between 2007 and 2015. (Grist)
• Grid operator MISO will conduct an “open-ended, multiyear” study on how to integrate growing volumes of renewable energy into the grid. (RTO Insider)
• A look at how Grand Rapids, Michigan plans to power its operations with 100 percent renewable energy by 2025. (Rapid Growth)

COMMENTARY:
• A Democratic state lawmaker from Wisconsin reports back from the annual conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council, where fossil fuel interests play a prominent role. (Madison Capital Times)
• An editorial says Illinois regulators should reject Ameren’s request to scale back energy efficiency targets for its downstate customers. (Moline Dispatch-Argus)
• A Vox writer says a new study is optimistic that electric vehicles will have a positive impact on the grid.

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