Daily digest

‘One-time star’ in solar, SunEdison files for bankruptcy

SOLAR: Missouri-based SunEdison, “a one-time star in the alternative energy field,” files for bankruptcy after what analysts say was a string of overly optimistic investments. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Why SunEdison’s failure is about poor business decisions, not the viability of clean energy. (Fortune)
St. Cloud, Minnesota officials are “cautiously optimistic” that a planned solar garden to be built by SunEdison will still move forward. (St. Cloud Times)
The USDA’s rural energy program holds an Earth Day event recognizing a Nebraska community solar project. (Grand Island Independent)

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WIND: While liberal, coastal states are often looked at as clean-energy leaders, “decidedly red” Iowa has emerged as the nation’s leader in wind development. (Congressional Quarterly)

HYDRO: Developers plan to tap into the potential for more hydroelectric power in southeast Ohio with a series of six dam projects totaling 23 megawatts. (Midwest Energy News)

NUCLEAR:
• The organizers of a project to test whether a South Dakota site may be suitable to store nuclear waste are trying to convince residents that the testing will not involve radioactive waste. (Associated Press)
Following last week’s MISO capacity auction, an Illinois nuclear plant is cleared to run through May 2017, but its future after that is still uncertain. (Platts)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: A West Michigan dairy farmer says his 2,000-cow operation also generates enough electricity through three anaerobic digesters to power more than 700 homes. (MLive)

FRAC SAND: Wisconsin environmental advocates say the downturn in the state’s frac sand industry has left sites unattended, but they also predict mining will rebound. (WisBusiness.com)

CLIMATE:
• A group of religious leaders gather at the Iowa statehouse to call for action on climate change. (Radio Iowa)
World leaders are gathered in New York today to sign the Paris climate agreement. (Huffington Post)
The inaugural meeting of the bipartisan congressional Climate Solutions Caucus was a “good first date,” though no firm policy commitments were made. (E&E Daily)

GRID: After a spike in capacity prices last year, southern Illinois ratepayers can expect a decrease on their bills following a recent MISO auction. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

EFFICIENCY: A Michigan energy efficiency advocacy group announces the “biggest losers” in an annual contest of buildings that shed the most amount of energy consumption. (MLive)

ECONOMY:
• A new survey of Midwest and Plains states suggests the region’s economy remains stifled by low energy commodity prices. (Associated Press)
Advocates rally in Illinois for a statewide clean jobs bill. (Alton Telegraph)

METHANE: The U.S. avoided the “standard mistake” in its methane-reduction pact with Canada by reversing course and applying the new standards to existing oil and gas operations, not just new ones. (Forbes)

UTILITIES:
• The Ohio Supreme Court rejects nearly all challenges to a controversial 2012 rate increase by AEP. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Michigan-based Consumers Energy will raise natural gas rates by $40 million, though customers will actually see bill credits after being overcharged. (MLive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Automaker Volvo announces plans to sell one million electric cars by 2025. (CNET)

COMMENTARY:
• Regardless of whether the Supreme Court strikes down aspects of the Clean Power Plan, the U.S. will still likely hit emissions targets under the Paris climate agreement. (Bloomberg View)
If federal regulators side with two Ohio utilities on their income-guarantee requests, it could “set off a domino effect of fossil fuel plant bailouts” across the country. (Environmental Defense Fund)

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