Midwest Energy News

Wind energy is now the leading power source in Kansas, Iowa

WIND: Wind has surpassed coal as the largest source of electricity in Iowa and Kansas, according to a national wind energy trade group. (Des Moines Register, Kansas City Star)

ALSO:
• Great River Energy considers installing 800 MW of wind energy in North Dakota if it closes the state’s largest coal plant, which is operating at a loss. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Township officials in West Michigan face recall elections next month after voting to support a now-scrapped wind project. (MLive)
• A company is selected to build a 150 MW wind project in northern Iowa. (Renewables Now)

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SOLAR:
• Minnesota solar installers continue work with only limited disruptions as the sector is exempted from the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order. (Energy News Network)
• The chairman of the Ohio Power Siting Board, a longtime critic of renewable energy, says his concerns were resolved before approving an 80 MW solar project last week. (Energy News Network)
• A University of Minnesota researcher receives federal funding to study the costs and benefits of distributed solar for electric cooperatives. (Energy News Network)

CLIMATE: A climate action plan in Dane County, Wisconsin, includes an 80% target for wind and solar and a ramp up of energy efficiency to help cut carbon emissions in half. (Wisconsin State Journal)

COAL:
• The coal industry’s decline is accelerating due to the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. (Associated Press)
• Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attempts to mitigate the political fallout from a former coal plant smokestack demolition that endangered the surrounding neighborhood. (Chicago Sun-Times)
• NIPSCO plans to retire five coal ash ponds at a northwestern Indiana coal plant. (Daily Energy Insider)

RENEWABLES:
• An executive order in Michigan allowing for the online notarization of documents is helping advance renewable energy projects amid widespread COVID-19 closures. (MiBiz)
• Wind and solar projects in west-central Illinois move through the planning process despite limitations from the pandemic. (Journal Courier)

BIOFUELS: The head of Iowa’s biofuels association calls oil states’ attempt to get the federal government to suspend ethanol supports “galactically stupid” and “pathetic.” (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

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UTILITIES: Consumers Energy crews are working and quarantining together for two weeks at a time to avoid exposure to the coronavirus. (MLive)

COMMENTARY:
A Wisconsin clean energy advocate says We Energies’ continued reliance on coal will contribute to ongoing air pollution and harm public health. (Racine Journal Times)
• AEP has an “aspirational goal” to reach 100% renewable energy, but a utility watchdog group says the utility’s future includes a “hefty dose of fossil fuels.” (Energy and Policy Institute)

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