Midwest Energy News

Pandemic causes spike in energy insecurity in Indiana

UTILITIES: The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a spike in energy insecurity among Indiana residents now struggling to pay utility bills. (Indianapolis Star)

ALSO: Minnesota Power receives a four-month extension from state regulators to file its long-term energy plan due to delays caused by the pandemic. (Duluth News Tribune)

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OHIO:
• An Ohio solar developer says FirstEnergy “captured the rulemakers and stacked the deck against clean energy and in favor of the status quo.” (E&E News, subscription)
• The state’s bribery scandal was years in the making and part of a broader trend as nuclear plant operators sought financial help amid competition with natural gas and renewables. (Associated Press)
• Ohio’s secretary of state calls for more transparency around contributions made to nonprofit “dark money” advocacy groups. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric truck startup Lordstown Motors will become a publicly traded company in a deal that will boost its valuation to $1.6 billion and includes a $75 million investment from General Motors. (Detroit Free Press)

WIND:
• Some Iowa lawmakers seek to block a plan that would give state utility regulators more authority over private property rights for wind projects. (Radio Iowa)
• Wind energy is on track to be grid operator Southwest Power Pool’s largest fuel source this year. (RTO Insider, subscription)
• A central Kansas county considers wind regulations with sound and flicker limitations rather than setback distances from properties. (Hutchinson News)

EMISSIONS: Forty-one states cut their carbon emissions from 2005-2017 even as their economies grew, according to a World Resources Institute report. (Grist)

COAL: The U.S. EPA extends the public comment period on a plan to remove coal ash from a northwestern Indiana coal plant to Oct. 18. (Chicago Tribune)

PIPELINES: Berkshire Hathaway proposes a scaled back expansion of a natural gas pipeline through Minnesota. (S&P Global)

RENEWABLES: AEP seeks to offtake power from new wind and solar projects in grid operator PJM’s territory. (Renewables Now)

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NUCLEAR: A southeastern Michigan nuclear plant is poised to restart after the longest refueling and maintenance outage in the U.S. this year due to the pandemic. (S&P Global)

COMMENTARY:
• Local candidates in Michigan races raise concerns about a nonprofit political advocacy group funded by Consumers Energy making outsized spending in primary races, a watchdog group reports. (Energy and Policy Institute)
• A national business group calls on Indiana regulators to no longer allow Duke Energy to pass on the costs of operating uneconomic coal plants to consumers. (Advanced Energy Economy)

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