Daily digest

‘Unprecedented surge’ in solar installations among Minnesota churches

SOLAR: Across Minnesota there has been an “unprecedented surge” in the number of churches installing rooftop solar panels and encouraging members to do the same. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

ALSO:
• Construction begins on a portion of a 5.5-megawatt, utility-scale solar project in Iowa. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• Utility-scale solar capacity is expected to grow by 8 gigawatts this year, according to a new Energy Information Administration forecast. (Utility Dive)

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BIOFUELS: Researchers in Illinois have released county-level data on how converting land to biofuel crops impacts the ability to sequester carbon in soil. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: Despite receiving federal grant support, a planned offshore wind project in Lake Erie still faces many hurdles before construction can begin. (Great Lakes Echo)

COAL: Ohio-based AEP says it will lay off about one-third of the workforce at its Cook Coal Terminal in Illinois due to a decline in the amount of coal coming through the facility. (Platts)

UTILITIES: FirstEnergy wants customers to pay more than $500 million a year for eight years to “compensate for the economic impact of having its headquarters in Akron.” (Bloomberg)

PIPELINES: Dakota Access pipeline protesters are planning the next stages of their efforts, including a potentially large number of arrests through civil disobedience. (Radio Iowa)

TRANSPORTATION: Congressional leaders seek more time to study new vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards. (Reuters)

OIL AND GAS:
• North Dakota officials say more than 10,000 gallons of an oil and water mixture has spilled, though no surface water has been impacted. (Associated Press)
• “Keep it in the ground” advocates have asked a federal court to force the Obama administration to consider the climate impacts of oil and gas leasing on public lands. (EnergyWire)

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VOLKSWAGEN SCANDAL: More than 40 percent of Volkswagen owners who purchased cars that cheated on emissions tests seek a settlement with the company. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: It’s time for a Minnesota community to plan for life after a major coal-burning power plant. (St. Cloud Times)

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