Midwest Energy News

Wisconsin regulators approve large solar project, raise land-use questions

Editor’s note: Midwest Energy News is taking a break for the holidays. We will return on January 2. Thanks for reading!

SOLAR: Michigan saw a 57% increase in net metering installations in 2018, raising concerns among solar advocates that utilities will reach caps in the next year preventing more customers from participating. (Energy News Network)

• State regulators approve plans for a 100 MW solar project in eastern Wisconsin while raising questions about future land-use impacts of large projects. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Though federal tax credits and retail-rate net metering programs are phasing out, declining costs and battery storage will likely help the distributed solar industry. (Utility Dive)

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POLICY: Federal regulators issue an order that critics say amounts to a subsidy for fossil fuel plants and will hurt renewable energy in grid operator PJM’s territory. (InsideClimate News)

• Columbia Gas proposes building a $135 million natural gas pipeline through central Ohio. (WBNS)
• Industry groups say shutting down the Line 5 pipeline through Michigan would increase propane prices in the Upper Peninsula, but critics say continued operation isn’t worth the risk of a spill. (Detroit News)
• South Dakota lawmakers are working on a bill backed by tribes that would require oil companies to pay for cleaning up pipeline spills or leaks. (Associated Press)
• North Dakota officials consider a permit for a pipeline to carry carbon dioxide that would be used to help recover more oil. (Bismarck Tribune)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Analysts say the future of electric vehicles remains “highly uncertain” as forecasts vary and in some cases have scaled back estimates. (E&E News, subscription)

BIOFUELS: Farm groups and farm-state lawmakers express anger over the U.S. EPA’s final proposed renewable fuel standard, which they say fails to uphold President Trump’s promises. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join The Energy Gang’s Katherine Hamilton at RENEW Wisconsin’s “2020 Vision: The Path to 100% Clean Energy” Summit on Thursday, January 16 in Madison. Panels include renewables industry, utility, advocacy, and policymaker experts. Register Today!***

CLIMATE: Minnesota is among 25 states on track to meet emission-reduction targets in the Paris climate agreement. (MPR News)

• A transition to advanced mobility built on an electrified platform is underway in Michigan, say leaders of groups representing advanced energy and automotive companies. (Crain’s Detroit Business)
• The wave of deep decarbonization commitments by major utilities in the Midwest and nationally was among key energy trends in 2019, advocates say. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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