Midwest Energy News

South Dakota won’t enforce portions of pipeline protest bill

CLEAN TECH: The director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory says there’s still a need to advance clean energy technology even though much of it is already cost-competitive with fossil fuels. (Energy News Network)

PIPELINES: South Dakota officials agree to not enforce portions of a recent pipeline protest bill, which could have immediate implications for opponents of the Keystone pipeline and similar bills in other states. (InsideClimate News)

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SOLAR:
• Springfield, Illinois’ city utility considers reducing the amount customers with rooftop solar are credited for power sent back to the grid. (NPR Illinois)
• After major layoffs three years ago, First Solar has ramped up solar manufacturing at its Ohio plants. (Toledo Blade)
• Planned solar installations at public facilities in Peoria, Illinois, are expected to save $100,000 a year over the next 20 years. (Peoria Journal Star)

COAL: As the University of Iowa considers a private company to manage its utilities, officials say retiring coal faster could be part of the plan. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

CLIMATE: “Someone had to start on our side of the aisle,” Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana says about his role in launching a bipartisan climate caucus. (Indianapolis Star)

UTILITIES:
• A cloud hanging over Exelon’s and ComEd’s lobbying activity jeopardizes the companies’ chances at getting favorable legislation passed for the foreseeable future. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
• American Electric Power officials are optimistic about company earnings, which were bolstered by renewable energy investments. (Columbus Business First)
• Xcel Energy plans to boost its five-year infrastructure spending 10% to $22 billion. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

WIND: A county in southeastern Nebraska considers stricter wind regulations to extend setback distances and change how decibel levels are calculated. (Beatrice Daily News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Minnesota Power will donate 20 electric vehicle charging stations to business customers and provide up to $1,500 for installation. (Daily Energy Insider)
• Officials in St. Cloud, Minnesota, will use Volkswagen settlement funds to install a four-space EV charging station. (KSNI)

OIL & GAS: A pipeline leak in North Dakota causes 420 gallons of source water to spill into a nearby creek. (Bismarck Tribune)

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RENEWABLES: Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble is now buying 100% renewable energy to power some of its manufacturing plants, achieving a 2020 sustainability goal ahead of schedule. (Cincinnati Business Courier)

COMMENTARY:
• An energy analyst says a Minnesota think tank is “greatly exaggerating” the cost to transition the state to renewable energy. (Union of Concerned Scientists)
• An Iowa-based brand consultant says climate activist Greta Thunberg is a valuable case study in persuasive public speaking. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

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