Daily digest

Wisconsin utility plans to idle one of its coal plants for half of the year

WIND: Wind farms are cropping up close to a network of transmission lines coming to fruition in several Midwestern states. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• A proposed bill in Indiana seeks to end the state’s net metering policy. (Indianapolis Business Journal)
• A 62-megawatt solar project in Minnesota begins operations, making it the second largest solar project in Xcel Energy’s portfolio. (PV Magazine)
• Students at a West Michigan university have created devices that provide backup power from solar when electricity fails at an African hospital. (MLive)
• A tiny solar house that has been on display in Michigan for the past 10 years is purchased by a couple who plan to move it off the grid. (MLive)

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COAL:
• We Energies plans to idle one of its Wisconsin coal plants for half of the year due to low natural gas prices and flat demand for electricity. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• Consumers Energy is considering converting a 60-megawatt coal plant in West Michigan to run on natural gas and more than doubling its capacity. (Michigan Radio)
• The CEO of Wisconsin-based Dairyland Power Cooperative pledges that the utility will be less reliant on coal in the coming years. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

CLIMATE: Unlike two other state agencies, Wisconsin emergency management officials release a new report on climate change and its implications for the state. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

EMISSIONS: Carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector drop below those from transportation for the first time since the 1970s, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (Utility Dive)

RENEWABLES: States pushing for clean energy face uncertainty about the future direction of the Department of Energy. (Associated Press)

GRID: The University of Toledo is helping lead a research project into complex software that connects building infrastructure with alternative energy sources in order to make a more efficient grid. (Toledo Blade)

PIPELINES:
• The Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access pipeline inspire activists to take on fossil fuel projects across the country. (High Country News)
• A Hollywood actress’ trial related to charges from protesting the Dakota Access pipeline has been delayed again. (Associated Press)

POLICY: President Trump’s America First Energy Plan is “replete with misinformation and specious claims about climate and energy policy.” (Climate Central)

OIL AND GAS: A failed attempt to drill an oil well in South Dakota appears to have come to an end, though the drill bit will likely stay in the ground and the well may never be capped. (Rapid City Journal)

UTILITIES: Thousands of Duke Energy customers in greater Cincinnati will receive settlement checks based on a lawsuit filed against a company subsidiary’s contracts with large industrial and business users. (Cincinnati Business Courier)

COMMENTARY: Scott Pruitt’s nomination to head the U.S. EPA suggests that the Trump administration “will not understand either the future potential of the clean energy economy, or its current growing role in Ohio and across the nation.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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