Daily digest

State report criticizes Xcel’s management of solar garden program

SOLAR:
• A state-backed report criticizes Xcel Energy’s handling of its community solar program in Minnesota, particularly for its slow approval process. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• With a new 10-acre solar project on vacant city-owned land in Detroit, DTE Energy is “looking to be a catalyst for new technology and techniques in Detroit.” (MLive)

OHIO:
• Providing a lifeline for a struggling nuclear plant under a recent “bailout” deal comes as both economics and public opinion are shifting against nuclear generation. (Midwest Energy News)
• The CEO of alternative electric supplier Dynegy says the Sierra Club “sold out” by supporting an income-guarantee deal for AEP. (Columbus Business First)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the solar industry on May 17-19 for the 3rd annual Midwest Solar Expo! Expand your network and meet face-to-face with key Midwest solar industry players. Register today!***

WIND:
• Developers announce plans for a $613 million, 400-megawatt wind project in southwestern Kansas, which would be the second-largest in the state; Google plans to buy half of the output from the project. (Lawrence Journal-World, Topeka Capital-Journal)
• Local officials in North Dakota approve plans for a 150-megawatt wind project, sending it to state regulators for final approval. (Forum News Service)

IOWA: State officials begin taking public input on what will be a comprehensive statewide energy plan. (The Gazette)

FRACKING: New research suggests fracking wells can cut the amount of toxic chemicals used in the process by eliminating biocides, which have been used to protect pipes. (Scientific American)

NUCLEAR: Crews at a southwestern Michigan nuclear plant cleaned up oil over the weekend after 2,000 gallons spilled as a result of a transformer failure. (The Herald-Palladium)

COAL: The appearance of wildlife in areas of southeastern Ohio show that efforts to reclaim streams and land after decades of unregulated coal mining in the 19th and 20th centuries are paying off. (Columbus Dispatch)

UTILITIES: Westar Energy, the largest utility in Kansas, is drawing takeover interest from rival Ameren Corp. and a group of investors. (Bloomberg)

PIPELINES:
• Iowa regulators say the developer of the Dakota Access pipeline can’t start construction until all permits are finalized by other regulatory bodies. (The Gazette)
After nearly 17,000 gallons of oil leaked from the Keystone pipeline, company officials said over the weekend that the pipeline was ready to operate again. (Associated Press)

CLEAN JOBS: Greater Cincinnati ranks second in Ohio among cities with the greatest number of clean-energy sector jobs, according to a new study. (Cincinnati Business Courier)

OIL AND GAS:
• Some members of the Three Affiliated Tribes in North Dakota want an audit to see how the tribe’s oil and gas revenues have been spent. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Temporary housing that was used in the now-slumping North Dakota oil patch is being relocated to South Dakota for workers in another industry. (Associated Press)
A former mayor in North Dakota says these temporary housing “man camps” for oil-patch workers were intended to be temporary. (Williston Herald)

DERAILMENT: Officials say human error was the cause of a train derailment in Wisconsin in November that spilled more than 20,000 gallons of ethanol into the Mississippi River. (WCCO)

BIOFUELS: A new study by the American Lung Association says the use of biodiesel in Minnesota has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 7.4 billion pounds. (Biofuels Digest)

NATURAL GAS: Construction is expected to begin soon on a $890 million, 940-megawatt natural gas plant in northeast Ohio. (Natural Gas Intelligence)

ELECTRIC CHOICE: Chicago-area residents are finding out that it may have been cheaper to stay with ComEd rather than go with an alternative electric supplier. (CBS Chicago)

COMMENTARY:
• A new 10-year, $10 million tax credit in Iowa meant to encourage the extraction of chemicals from biofuels for everyday products is “a big deal.” (Sioux City Journal)
In Ohio income-guarantee deals, AEP and FirstEnergy are rewarded for making “bad bets.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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