Daily digest

Ohio Supreme Court rejects challenge to 135 MW wind project

WIND: The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously rejects a challenge to an approved 135-megawatt wind project, though a separate appeal is delaying construction. (Columbus Dispatch)

UTILITIES:
• Some natural gas customers in Minnesota so far are seeing minimal impacts on their bills from policies allowing utilities to decouple their revenue from energy sales. (Midwest Energy News)
• Consumer advocates sue in the Ohio Supreme Court to block regulators from approving rates for FirstEnergy they say would undermine competition. (Toledo Blade)

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REGULATION:
• At a Senate confirmation hearing in Michigan, the newly appointed director of the state Department of Environmental Quality says her past is made up of more than her time lobbying for BP. (MLive)
• Kansas is among the 22 states that will be affected by the final version of U.S. EPA’s cross-state pollution rule on power plants that contribute to downwind ozone pollution. (Greenwire)

SOLAR: Advocates say the process for drafting a new manual that state regulators can use to design distributed energy rates should be more transparent. (Greentech Media)

PIPELINES:
• North Dakota law enforcement officials plan to build up a presence at a Dakota Access protest site in anticipation of a federal court ruling Friday. (Associated Press)
• Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is charged with trespassing and criminal mischief after spray-painting pipeline construction equipment. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Illinois lawmakers tour an Exelon nuclear plant and say discussions on whether to save struggling plants in the state are progressing. (Quad-City Times)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• A West Michigan city appears to be taking its 40-year sustainability plan seriously with a new power plant and energy efficiency initiatives. (Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities)
• North Dakota churches were pursuing clean energy initiatives long before protests over the controversial Dakota Access pipeline. (Episcopal News Service)

COAL:
• Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton backs a bill that would protect pension and health care benefits for roughly 120,000 retired coal miners and their families. (Associated Press)
• Retired miners from Southern Illinois head to Washington D.C. to join thousands of others in rallying for a bill to protect their health and pension benefits. (Southern Illinoisan)
• Ohio University receives a $2 million grant to boost economic development in coal-impacted communities. (Morgan County Herald)

GRID: Plans filed with Illinois regulators look to improve the transmission connection between Wisconsin and Illinois to accommodate increasing power flows between the two states. (Transmission & Distribution World)

OIL AND GAS:
• Unionized natural gas workers for Dominion subsidiaries in Ohio and five other states have been locked out in a contract dispute. (Associated Press)
• Ameren opens a new $5.3 million facility in Illinois to monitor natural gas flow there and in Missouri. (Decatur Herald & Review)

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POLITICS: Candidates for an Ohio House district distinguish themselves on energy policy based on their support for renewable energy. (The Athens News)

COMMENTARY:
• When consumers pay for their own solar generation, they essentially pay “infrastructure costs that would otherwise be imposed on every other power customer.” (Midwest Energy News)
• A review of Peabody Energy’s bankruptcy plan shows the company could very likely end up in bankruptcy again due to overly optimistic projections. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• It’s “critical” that the Michigan legislature passes comprehensive energy reform this year so it doesn’t have to go back to the drawing board. (Detroit News)

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