Midwest Energy News

Ohio utility announces 5-year, $33 billion spending plan

UTILITIES: AEP announces a $33 billion spending plan over the next five years that focuses on distribution, transmission and renewable energy. (Columbus Business First)

ALSO:
• A western Michigan utility considers next steps as it moves toward replacing a coal-fired power plant with natural gas or market purchases. (Holland Sentinel)
• A new report offers 10 market reform options for regulated utilities as their traditional business model is challenged. (Utility Dive)

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TRANSMISSION: Renewable energy developer Invenergy acquires the development assets of the Grain Belt Express transmission project. (news release)

SOLAR:
• Solar installations on farmland are increasing across the U.S. but also generating local pushback. (Axios)
• The University of Illinois plans a second solar project on campus that will be three times larger than the first. (Champaign News-Gazette)
• A Minnesota affordable housing nonprofit partners with a solar cooperative to provide lower cost renewable energy to clients. (Mankato Free Press)
• A new hotel in Wisconsin is includes solar panels that will offset more than $10,000 in electricity costs per year. (Kenosha News)

PIPELINES: A court ruling last week raises questions over the next steps and market implications for the Keystone XL pipeline. (E&E News, subscription)

GRID: FirstEnergy reaches a settlement with stakeholders allowing it to invest $500 million in grid modernization. (Utility Dive)

RENEWABLES: Advocates say a northern Michigan utility’s 100 percent renewable energy goal will bring local economic benefits, including hiring veterans. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)

WIND:
• Residents are divided over a proposed 70-turbine wind project near Bismarck, North Dakota. (KXMA)
• A developer is in the early stages of a wind project in northern Ohio. (Sandusky Register)

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OIL & GAS: Low prices of Canadian crude oil bolsters production at Minnesota refineries, though it’s not translating into cheaper gasoline for consumers. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COMMENTARY: While researchers say coal communities are still strong politically, “their future remains more uncertain than ever.” (The Conversation)

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