Midwest Energy News

Solar tariffs could put net metering back on the table in Indiana

SOLAR:
• President Trump’s tariff on imported solar panels could revive the discussion in Indiana over phasing out net metering. (Indianapolis Star)
• An Indiana solar installer is ready to absorb the costs imposed by the new tariffs so they are not pushed onto customers. (WANE)
• Solar companies say there is growing interest in projects among Iowa’s pork producers, while renewable advocates make a similar pitch to Minnesota farmers. (WHO-TV, Mankato Free Press)

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PIPELINES:
• Federal regulators order Rover gas pipeline construction to stop at a section in Ohio due to ongoing concerns about drilling fluid spills. (Canton Repository)
• A Nebraska lawmaker withdraws a bill that would have protected landowners in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline because he believes it was designated to a legislative committee “where it was destined to die.” (Lincoln Journal Star)
• A Republican congressman from Michigan introduced a bill this month that would add stricter standards on pipelines operating in the Great Lakes. (Environmental Protection)
• North Dakota needs more oil and gas pipelines to keep up with demand, a top state official says. (Minot Daily News)

UTILITIES:
• The Ohio Supreme Court rules that state utility regulators engaged in “unlawful retroactive rate-making” when they ordered FirstEnergy to refund to customers about $43 million the company spent on renewable energy credits. (Toledo Blade)
• Ameren Illinois seeks permission from state regulators to pass on $50 million in savings to customers for the next two years under federal tax changes. (Bloomington Pantagraph)
• Utilities in southwestern Michigan are still deciding how savings under federal tax reform may impact customers. (St. Joseph Herald-Palladium)

FRAC SAND: A company appeals a Minnesota district court ruling that upheld a county’s frac sand mining ban. (Rochester Post Bulletin)

OIL AND GAS:
• A Maryland-based company is considering building a $1 billion natural gas plant near mid-Michigan whose electricity could be sold to utilities or the regional grid operator. (Livingston Daily)
• The North Dakota Industrial Commission denies Marathon Oil’s request for relief at several wells from the state’s natural gas flaring restrictions. (Bismarck Tribune)

WIND:
• Turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa plans to lay off 195 workers at a plant in Iowa due to low short-term business volume. (KWQC)
• A planned wind project in central Ohio is being scaled back as the original developer looks to transfer ownership to a new company. (Springfield News-Sun)
• A new Environmental Defense Fund report says North Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio could each have 7,500-15,000 jobs in wind energy by 2020. (North American Wind Power)

GEOTHERMAL: Construction is underway on a geothermal production and storage facility at the University of Notre Dame. (Inside Indiana Business)

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RENEWABLES: AB InBev says every bottle of Budweiser brewed in the U.S. by this spring will be made with 100 percent renewable energy, and the company plans a clean energy logo to go along with it. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
• The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board says Ameren Missouri does not need additional regulatory relief in order to invest in its system.
• Xcel Energy has announced aggressive new renewable energy goals because it makes economic sense, according to a Minnesota ratepayer advocacy group. (St. Cloud Times)
• Illinois advocates say provisions in the recent Future Energy Jobs Act will transform the way environmental justice communities access solar energy. (Environmental Defense Fund)

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