Midwest Energy News

Study: Biofuels mandate doing more environmental harm than good

SOLAR: A solar developer prepares for a long legal road ahead to clarify Wisconsin’s rules on third-party ownership. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• A Michigan judge recommends rejecting DTE Energy’s proposed fee and low compensation rate for customers who send solar power back to the grid. See previous reporting on the case. (Crain’s Detroit Business, Energy News Network)
• A single, 200 MW project in North Dakota will boost the state’s ranking for installed solar capacity. (PV Magazine)
• Critics of a planned large-scale solar development in Ohio say AEP is attempting to thwart the state’s competitive market rules. (Dayton Daily News)
• Construction may start later this year on a 2 MW solar project in southwestern Michigan. (Battle Creek Enquirer)
• Another planned southwestern Michigan solar project is delayed at least a month as local officials finish drafting solar regulations. (Sturgis Journal)

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BIOFUELS: The federal biofuel mandate has driven up demand for corn and soybeans, converting hundreds of thousands of acres of grasslands and wild habitats in the Upper Midwest and causing more environmental harm than good, researchers say. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

GRID: Critics say grid operator PJM’s capacity market lacks flexibility and favors large power plants, posing an “existential crisis” to Illinois’ renewable energy targets. (Energy News Network)

NUCLEAR:
• An Ohio bill aims to make the state a leader in advanced nuclear technology, though critics say it would shift risk to taxpayers and distract from more promising climate solutions. (Energy News Network)
• A Minnesota lawmaker pushes to overturn the state’s ban on new nuclear plants to help meet a 100 percent carbon-free electricity goal by 2050. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• Ratepayer bailouts of FirstEnergy nuclear plants could jeopardize plans for new natural gas plants, a developer says. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

WIND:
• DTE Energy brings online a 65-turbine wind project in mid-Michigan, the largest in the state. (Crain’s Detroit Business)
• Developers release details on the economic benefits of an upcoming 125 MW wind project in northwestern Ohio. (Toledo Blade)

POLICY: The new chairwoman of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission says Gov. Tony Evers’ 100 percent carbon-free electricity goal by 2050 is “achievable and reasonable.” (WisBusiness.com)

FRAC SAND: The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next month on a county’s frac sand mining ban. (Winona Daily News)

COAL: The demolition of a western Michigan coal plant is taking longer than expected and could last for another year. (MLive)

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PIPELINES: South Dakota is poised to adopt a law aimed at curbing “out-of-state rioters funded by out-of-state interests” ahead of Keystone XL pipeline construction. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• The Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial board calls Gov. Tim Walz’s plan for 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050 “ambitious but needed.”
• Clean energy advocates say solar power can help stabilize electric bills and be an economic engine to sustain Ohio communities. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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