Midwest Energy News

Study: Renewables can meet most of Minnesota power needs by 2050

RENEWABLES: Minnesota can economically get 70 percent of its power from wind, solar and renewables by 2050, according to a state-commissioned study. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

STORAGE: A new approach to improve grid resiliency involves using battery storage and other “non-wire alternatives” to provide backup power during outages. (Energy News Network)

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WIND:
• A lawsuit over Ohio’s wind setbacks centers on whether various stakeholders had a chance to be heard before stricter terms were adopted in a last-minute budget bill amendment in 2014. (Energy News Network)
• Critics of a proposed wind project in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula submit petition signatures for a referendum on zoning changes for the project, which has prompted debate about tax revenue and wilderness preservation. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette, Energy News Network archives)
• Kansas State University will meet half of its energy needs with wind power while saving up to $200,000 per year by 2020. (Kansas City Star)
• Residents in a central Kansas county seek a one-year moratorium on commercial wind development, which a developer says would kill plans for a 220 MW project. (Hutchinson News)
• Residents in a southeastern Kansas community say adopting strict zoning regulations could block proposed wind development. (Parsons Sun)
• The Iowa Supreme Court rejects an appeal by the owners of three wind turbines attempting to keep them amid a legal dispute. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)
• A public hearing in North Dakota is rescheduled after a larger-than-expected turnout over a proposed wind project. (Bismarck Tribune)

TRANSMISSION:
• The sale of the Grain Belt Express transmission project to Chicago-based Invenergy leaves some customers hopeful that it will be completed. (Energy News Network)
• Residents and local officials agree on a planned route for a new transmission project through central Illinois. (Bloomington Pantagraph)
• A University of Wisconsin professor explains the complicated process of electricity moving through transmission lines. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

SOLAR:
• Madison, Wisconsin’s new sustainability coordinator aims to fast-track solar permits and ramp up the city’s solar group-buying program. (Badger Herald)
• A developer seeks to build a solar project on a 54-acre tract of rural property in western Illinois. (Quincy Herald-Whig)
• A small Nebraska town’s first solar project is expected to come online in January. (Schuyler Sun)

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UTILITIES: FirstEnergy’s CEO says the company reached major milestones this year in finalizing its transition to a fully regulated utility. (Daily Energy Insider)

COMMENTARY: As utilities face increasing pressure from shareholders and corporate customers for clean energy, Ohio lawmakers should encourage the transition instead of hinder it, says an official with sustainability nonprofit Ceres. (Energy News Network)

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