Midwest Energy News

Wisconsin regulators decline to hear solar leasing case

GRID: Regional grid operator PJM says its system performed reliably during the polar vortex in large part due to planning and learning lessons from a 2014 storm. (Energy News Network)

DEMAND RESPONSE: Michigan utilities’ request for customers to turn down their thermostats to lower demand during the polar vortex was a widespread exercise in demand response. (Energy News Network)

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OVERSIGHT: Finalists for a vacant Public Utilities Commission of Ohio seat are a longtime clean energy critic, two attorneys with consumer advocacy backgrounds, and an appellate court judge. (Energy News Network)

• Wisconsin regulators decline to hear a case about whether owning and leasing solar panels qualifies an entity as a utility. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• The company that built former President Jimmy Carter’s solar farm in Georgia seeks to build a 2 MW project in Illinois. (Champaign News-Gazette)
• Michigan was one of the most active states on distributed solar policy in 2018, according to a new report. (Solar Industry Magazine)

• The sound of rotating wind turbine blades does not have negative health impacts but is linked to annoyance, according to Iowa researchers. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• Nebraska lawmakers hold a hearing on a wind energy bill that critics say is too restrictive and stifles local control. (Omaha World-Herald)

• The polar vortex drove up demand for natural gas but fuel prices dropped this week. (Associated Press)
• Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer orders a study on Michigan’s natural gas infrastructure following utilities’ storm response. (Bridge Magazine)
• Xcel Energy restores natural gas to customers in central Minnesota who lost service during a supply shortage this week. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• The North Dakota Senate rejects a bill to use part of the state’s oil tax savings account for low-interest loans on large infrastructure projects. (Associated Press)

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COAL: Illinois officials gather public comment on a proposal to reopen a coal mine that has been idle since 2015. (Platts)

• A northern Michigan editorial board says the polar vortex showed the state’s need for a “healthy mix of viable energy options.” (Traverse City Record-Eagle)
• A University of Wisconsin graduate student urges utilities to transition from coal to improve the state’s water quality. (Madison Capital Times)
• A Forbes columnist says electric vehicles benefit utility ratepayers more than EV drivers.

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