Daily digest

Wind energy quickly displacing coal in Iowa

ILLINOIS: As Illinois officials seek to cut sulfur dioxide levels in two cities, a utility is using the process to seek an exemption for installing pollution controls at one of its coal plants. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: Wind is rapidly eroding coal’s share of Iowa’s energy mix. (SNL)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join us at the 14th annual Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainability Fair, August 22 & 23, 2015, at the Ogle County Fairgrounds in Oregon, Illinois. Speakers, exhibits, children’s activities, music, food.***

NUCLEAR: A rural Wisconsin town laments the closing and decommissioning of a nuclear plant built in the 1970s. (New York Times)

EMISSIONS: A new study shows that emission reductions in the western U.S. are being offset by those coming from China and the upper atmosphere, suggesting the need for global pollution-reduction goals. (Greenwire)

FRAC SAND: West Michigan residents are upset over a resurgence in sand mining along Lake Michigan, and experts suggest it may be to support fracking. (Michigan Radio)

COAL:
• Consumers Energy releases a decommissioning plan for a major coal plant set to retire next year at a prominent West Michigan location. (MLive)
• Coal companies seeking Chapter 11 “restructuring” are facing a lot of scrutiny from investors and judges for how their businesses can survive in the future. (EnergyWire)

SOLAR:
• A solar installer says an Iowa power company’s softened stance on net-metering could revive more projects. Background on the story here. (Telegraph Herald, Midwest Energy News)
Market analysts say 2015 will be the “tipping point” for community solar, as steady growth is projected and utilities catch on to the business model. (UtilityDive)

KANSAS: Hearings will begin later this month on a Kansas utility’s plan to raise rates on customers as part of a deal that included backing off on higher fixed charges for solar. (Associated Press)

BIOENERGY: The EPA estimates biodigesters last year eliminated 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. (AFP)

WISCONSIN:
• Lower natural-gas and coal costs are likely to offset rate increases for We Energies ratepayers. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
We Energies has proposed selling a small coal-fired power plant to a local medical center to avoid costs of installing pollution controls. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
A state court rules that a judicial review is not necessary for an air pollution permit given to Enbridge. (Associated Press)

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BIOFUELS: $63 million in newly announced federal loans and grants will benefit rural biofuel producers. (Biodiesel Magazine)

COMMENTARY:
• Calls from state regulators and advocates to better limit residents’ exposure to coal dust near a Wisconsin plant is “entirely reasonable.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Federal tax credits for renewable energy should be extended(Quad-City Times)
A new documentary about Enbridge’s Line 5 below the Straits of Mackinac should be “the summer’s top horror flick.” (Grist)

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