Midwest Energy News

Utilities suspend shut-offs as coronavirus spreads

SOLAR: A Kansas City utility’s community solar program has been slow to fill subscriptions in contrast to others in the region. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Illinois regulators clarify state rules on power purchase agreements that will help entities obtain solar power through third parties. (Energy News Network)
• Several large-scale solar projects are planned on farmland across southwestern Ohio. (WVXU)
• Michigan’s two largest utilities oppose efforts to restore net metering and lift a state cap on participants as installers say their future is uncertain. (MiBiz)
• Local officials on Minnesota’s Iron Range seek $3.8 million in state grant funding to expand a solar manufacturing facility. (Duluth News Tribune)
• A Minnesota civil engineering firm that nearly closed during the Great Recession is now boosted by the fast-growing solar sector. (Star Tribune)

UTILITIES:
• Xcel Energy in Minnesota suspends disconnections and will offer payment plans during the coronavirus outbreak. Consumers Energy announces similar plans for senior and low-income customers in Michigan. (WCCO, MiBiz)
• A utility watchdog group is tracking utilities that have suspended shut-offs during the emergency. (Energy and Policy Institute)
• The University of Iowa transfers its utility services to a private company as part of a nearly $1.2 billion deal reached late last year. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

GRID:
• Grid operator PJM lays out a timeline for its capacity auction following a controversial ruling from federal regulators last year and amid criticism from nuclear and clean energy advocates. (E&E News, subscription)
• Officials postpone public meetings in Iowa involving a proposed underground transmission project due to coronavirus concerns. (Telegraph Herald)

WIND: County officials in northwestern Missouri approve a ban on commercial wind projects. (News-Press Now)

COAL: Developers finalize the decommissioning of a coal plant in western Michigan where it will remain a marine port terminal. (MiBiz)

COMMENTARY: An advocacy group including residents and farmers say a proposed Illinois coal mine is not worth the pollution risks. (Champaign News-Gazette)

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