Midwest Energy News

Upper Midwest transmission congestion reaching ‘crisis point’

CLEAN ENERGY: Though sitting in disrepair along the Indiana shoreline, the House of Tomorrow unveiled in the early 1930s still provides design lessons for solar and energy efficiency. (Energy News Network)

OIL & GAS:
A governor-appointed energy task force in Michigan makes progress on a plan for propane alternatives in the Upper Peninsula, but larger questions remain about the region’s energy future. (Energy News Network)
• Midwestern farmers’ need to dry crops following a wet growing season is driving a regional propane shortage. (Forum News Service) 

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TRANSMISSION:
Transmission congestion in the Upper Midwest is “getting to a crisis point” and jeopardizing a large build out of wind and solar, clean energy advocates say. (E&E News, subscription)
• Two environmental groups file suit in federal court against Wisconsin regulators, alleging a conflict of interest in their approval of a transmission project. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

COAL:
• Analysts find self-committing coal plants in the Southwest Power Pool cause market distortions and allow less-economic coal plants to operate, similar to findings in grid operator MISO’s region. (Utility Dive)
• Experts recommend city officials in Springfield, Illinois, decide next month the future of a coal-fired power plant. (NPR Illinois)

WIND:
A central Iowa county passes an indefinite moratorium on wind turbine building permits, citing concerns over drainage infrastructure and decommissioning plans. (KCCI)
• Two birding groups file a federal lawsuit in hopes of blocking a planned offshore wind project in Lake Erie. (Toledo Blade)
• An Ohio lawmaker behind a proposal to allow a local referendum on wind projects says residents should have a say instead of only “unelected bureaucrats” at the Ohio Power Siting Board. (Ohio Capital Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Michigan school district unveils new electric school buses that will be used on routes in the city and carry about 500 students daily. (WWMT)

SOLAR: The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe in South Dakota is in the process of installing solar panels at 11 different sites with help from federal grant funding. (Moody County Enterprise)

EFFICIENCY: Michigan’s medical and recreational marijuana laws don’t address energy efficiency, but some utilities say they are willing to work with growers to reduce electricity demand. (Lansing State Journal)

PIPELINES: A 900-mile natural gas liquids pipeline spanning Montana to Kansas is now complete. (Bismarck Tribune)

POLITICS: A new clean energy and climate caucus in the Minnesota Senate seeks to make progress on some of Gov. Tim Walz’s climate agenda next year, but political challenges remain. (MinnPost)

CLIMATE:
• Two Sunrise Movement activists are arrested in Lansing, Michigan, during a climate change protest at Sen. Gary Peters’ office. (Lansing City Pulse)
• The Republican mayor of Carmel, Indiana, pursues multiple clean energy initiatives locally to achieve goals outlined in the Paris climate agreement. (NBC News)

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DEMAND RESPONSE: Demand response provider Voltus enters the Southwest Power Pool market, which spans 17 states and has more than 5,000 MW of demand response potential. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY: Advocates highlight the past year’s “ups and downs” for clean energy in Michigan, including the new administration’s focus on climate change and DTE Energy’s “deeply flawed” long-term plan. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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