Daily digest

Wisconsin among states considering major solar policy changes

COAL:
• Plans to expand a central Illinois coal mine are moving forward, despite it being shut down and evacuated because of elevated carbon monoxide levels that its operator can’t find the source of. (Midwest Energy News)
• Major changes won’t happen over the next three years amid the federal moratorium on new coal leases for public lands, but potential changes over time “terrify industry and coal-state lawmakers.” (Greenwire)

DEMAND RESPONSE: The U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s authority to require that power users be paid for scaling back energy usage during times of peak demand. Environmental groups welcomed the ruling(Greenwire, New York Times)

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SOLAR:
• Wisconsin is among 10 states that are undergoing potentially major changes to statewide solar policy. (Utility Dive)
A neighborhood coalition in Minneapolis looks to address racial, economic and environmental injustice issues through a community solar project. (Minnesota Daily)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• A Missouri lawmaker — and critic of the federal rules — wants ratepayers’ electric bills to include a line item for Clean Power Plan costs. (EnergyWire)
• Grid operator MISO says a mass-based approach to compliance would cost one-third as much as a rate-based approach by 2030. (RTO Insider)
A West Michigan municipal utility is in the midst of transitioning its energy mix away from coal. (Grand Haven Tribune)

TRANSMISSION: A report from NOAA says a new transcontinental transmission system to move wind and solar energy could reduce carbon emissions 78 percent over the next 15 years. (Climate Central)

BIOFUELS: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad stands by his comments on withdrawing support for presidential candidates who don’t support federal ethanol mandates. (Radio Iowa)

OIL AND GAS:
• The first big challenge to upholding renewable energy goals in the Paris climate accord is continued reliance on oil amid low prices. (New York Times)
As low prices continue to hit Kansas’ oil and gas industry, the state’s market for wind energy has seen steady growth. (Lawrence Journal-World)
Exxon Mobil projects global energy demand to grow 25 percent by 2040 due to population growth and economic expansion. (Houston Business Journal)

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EFFICIENCY: Saginaw, Michigan undergoes a $1.8 million project to convert all of its streetlights to LEDs. (MLive)

COMMENTARY: Wisconsin’s moratorium on new nuclear plants should be lifted, but don’t expect an immediate build-out of plants if it is. (Wisconsin State Journal)

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