Midwest Energy News

PURPA contracts key to growing wind and solar, advocates say

RENEWABLES: Environmental groups tell federal regulators that the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) is still essential to grow wind and solar projects, particularly in the Midwest and Southeast. (Utility Dive)

COAL: A Minnesota utility faces criticism from clean energy groups for its long-term integrated resource plan that doesn’t phase out a large coal plant in North Dakota. (Energy News Network)

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• An Iowa landowner argues in court that a county board didn’t have the power to approve a wind project on land that’s historically been used for farming. (Associated Press)
• Residents in a northern Michigan county intend to file a petition that would force recent ordinance changes related to wind turbines onto a ballot. (Alpena News)

CLEAN ENERGY: An energy efficiency specialist says entrenched policies supporting fossil fuels in Ohio block the growth of clean energy industries. (Clean Energy Finance Forum)

• A northern Wisconsin city will have to spend up to $2.9 million on solar projects to meet a 25 percent renewable energy goal by 2025, but the investment will pay off in about 15 years. (Ashland Daily Press)
• The mayor of Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, says the city is considering a 5 MW solar project after the success of a smaller installation. (KNEP)
• Universities in six Midwest states receive federal grant funding for solar initiatives and boosting the solar workforce. (Utility Dive)
• Some neighbors oppose a planned northern Illinois solar project, calling it an eyesore and claiming it could depreciate nearby property values. (Mendota Reporter)
• County officials in central Illinois say it’s unlikely most solar proposals will get built in the area due to competition for renewable energy credits. (Piatt County Journal-Republican)

NATURAL GAS: Local business leaders in northeastern Ohio say a $1 billion investment in a new natural gas plant reshapes the area’s industrial landscape. (Business Journal Daily)

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POLITICS: Democratic candidates for governor in Illinois and Michigan are among other leaders in the party committed to stronger clean energy policies. (Politico)

COMMENTARY: A University of Michigan researcher says few wind-rich states in the Midwest and Great Plains are using climate policies to boost renewable energy growth. (The Conversation)

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