Daily digest

Planners in rural Michigan county see commercial solar as ‘existential threat’ to farmland

NOTE TO READERSMidwest Energy News is taking a break for Labor Day. The email digest will return on Tuesday, September 5.

SOLAR: A draft policy in an eastern Michigan county looks to restrict commercial solar development, calling it an “existential threat to the county’s agricultural economy.” (Huron Daily Tribune)

• As the solar sector challenges traditional business models across the U.S., Minnesota is among some states where utilities and regulators are taking a collaborative approach. (Yale Environment 360)
• A northwest Indiana school board unanimously approves plans to install solar panels at several of its schools. (Michigan City News-Dispatch)
• Six years after it was first announced, a 1.6-megawatt solar project is now under construction at a former foundry site in southern Michigan. (Coldwater Daily Reporter)

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CLEAN ENERGY: A new poll shows strong support among Ohio voters for more use of clean energy there, even in Southeast Ohio where there is the most coal and gas development. (Midwest Energy News)

• An administrative law judge issues a preliminary order denying Ameren Illinois’ request to scale back its energy efficiency targets; state regulators are expected to issue a final decision in mid-September. (RTO Insider)
• Illinois regulators approve an $80 million refund for ComEd customers as part of the utility’s switch to a new energy efficiency funding mechanism under the Future Energy Jobs Act passed last year. (WLJ)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Amid road-funding problems in Wisconsin, lawmakers seek annual fees on electric and hybrid vehicles that would affect drivers most in the Madison and Milwaukee areas. (Wisconsin State Journal)

CLIMATE: After Minnesota recently increased its social cost of carbon standards, other states are following suit. (Utility Dive)

• North Dakota state and tribal leaders meet to settle a dispute over oil tax revenue as tribes seek more funds to deal with oil impacts. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declares a state of energy emergency in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to ensure adequate fuel supplies, which allows the suspension of some vapor pressure regulations for petroleum products being trucked in parts of the state. (Associated Press)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: A group of 14 attorneys general and local officials send a letter urging the EPA to retract a “legally incorrect” letter that told states they don’t have to comply with the Clean Power Plan. (Reuters)

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PIPELINES: Activists plan more protests against Enbridge oil pipelines through Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: Referring to the Enbridge pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac, a Detroit News columnist says the last thing Michigan needs is “another man-made disaster that fouls its fresh water, endangers residents and tarnishes further Michigan’s reputation as a responsible environmental steward.”

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