Daily digest

We Energies to close major Wisconsin coal plant next year

SOLAR: Advocates say the first update in decades to the prices Michigan utilities must pay independent power producers will open the door for widespread solar development. (Midwest Energy News)

• The former director of a clean energy advocacy group in Missouri launches a project to deploy solar energy in Puerto Rico. (St. Louis Public Radio)
• Preliminary figures compiled by the Minnesota Department of Commerce show the state has added 366 MW of solar in 2017, more than doubling the capacity available at the end of 2016. (KELO)
• A Minnesota elementary school adds rooftop solar panels that are expected to provide around 80 percent of the school’s electricity. (Winona Daily News)
• An Indiana school district is working to complete a solar installation by the end of the year before the state’s net metering program is phased out. (Kokomo Tribune)
• A new report by solar advocacy groups says imposing tariffs on imported solar panels would have a major chilling effect on solar projects installed at schools. (Greentech Media)
• A utility-scale solar demonstration project by the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency is now operating near Chicago. (Chicago Tribune)

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• We Energies announces plans to close the 1,200 MW Pleasant Prairie coal plant in Wisconsin in the second quarter of 2018. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• Ohio-based coal executive Robert Murray says he “had nothing to do with” crafting the Department of Energy’s grid plan that would subsidize coal and nuclear plants. (E&E News, subscription)

• A federal agency says the recent Keystone pipeline spill was likely caused by damage during construction in 2008. (Associated Press)
• Once TransCanada finishes reviewing its next steps for the Keystone XL project, “it may be economics rather than politics that halts the pipeline.” (The Economist)
• A member of the state Pipeline Safety Advisory Board in Michigan says an agreement signed this week with Enbridge over the future of Line 5 “mostly goes in the wrong direction.” (Michigan Radio)

INDIANA: A new report by Indiana utility regulators shows increasing electric rates statewide as well as a steady decline in coal usage since 2007. (Indiana Public Media)

RENEWABLES: Wind and solar projects are expected to be among top economic development projects next year for a group of communities in northwest Illinois. (SaukValley.com)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Ohio residents voice their opinions during a two-day public hearing in West Virginia on the U.S. EPA’s plan to repeal the Clean Power Plan. (Columbus Dispatch)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Xcel Energy proposes a pilot program in Minnesota that offers discounted rates to electric vehicle owners who charge their cars during off-peak hours. (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal)

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REGULATION: Community leaders in a northern Michigan town are concerned about the possible closure — and trickle-down effects — of a cogeneration plant following a state ruling on avoided costs for utilities. (Cadillac News)

COMMENTARY: A business columnist says “regulatory relief for nuclear plants should do more than protect Exelon’s profits.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)

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