Daily digest

Xcel Energy announces $2 billion in new wind projects across Upper Midwest

WIND: Xcel Energy announces a major push for wind energy, with plans to develop 1,500 megawatts across states in the Upper Midwest at a cost of $2 billion. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

ALSO: Construction on a scaled-back version of an Illinois wind project will begin next year, developers say. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

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SOLAR:
• A county executive in Wisconsin plans to allocate $2 million in the next budget for solar development, tripling the county’s solar production next year. (Madison Capital Times)
• A Wisconsin utility breaks ground on a new natural gas plant that will also include solar panels, making it the biggest solar energy producer of any utility in the state. (Janesville Gazette)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Electric car maker Tesla sues the state of Michigan for the right to sell its vehicles directly to customers and bypass dealerships. (Detroit News)
• Researchers at the Rocky Mountain Institute predict automation and electrification of the transportation industry could happen quickly and greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Washington Post)

CLEAN TECH: A 19-year-old University of Illinois student looks to “revolutionize the energy market” with technology that uses small devices under flooring to generate electricity with each footfall. (Midwest Energy News)

POLITICS:
• Iowa’s Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. David Young were among Republican lawmakers attending a conservative clean energy forum in Washington D.C. yesterday. (Southeast Energy News)
• Ohio Republicans discuss ways to engage with clean-energy advocates on renewable energy. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

OIL AND GAS:
• Tribes from Canada and the United States sign a treaty to jointly fight proposals to build more pipelines to move crude oil out of Alberta. (Reuters)
• State regulators approve a $1.1 billion, 1,100-megawatt natural gas plant in eastern Ohio. (Columbus Business First)
• Top-ranking Republicans in Ohio come out in support of the oil and gas industry “in an effort to counter rhetoric in the presidential race.” (WOSU)

EMISSIONS: Advocates want the U.S. EPA to deny Michigan’s plan to curb sulfur dioxide pollution near Detroit, saying the plan is not strong enough. (The News-Herald)

POLICY: The growing number of energy policy disputes in Ohio and nationally have led to a flood of new polling and research that are impacting politics. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

PIPELINES:
• Two major pro-development lobbying groups have launched a seven-figure ad campaign encouraging the Obama administration to support completion of the Dakota Access pipeline. (Grist)
• A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in early October on a tribe’s request to halt construction on a portion of the Dakota Access pipeline. (EnergyWire)

UTILITIES: As part of a settlement agreement with companies who fought the acquisition of Westar Energy by Great Plains Energy, the bidding process will be reopened for others. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

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EMISSIONS: In an effort to save the state money, Illinois will close several vehicle emission-testing sites around Chicago, potentially leading to long lines for motorists. (CBS Chicago)

COMMENTARY:
• Donald Trump’s pro-coal and pro-oil-and-gas platform would actually hurt shale gas producers. (Forbes)
• Responding to an Enbridge official who says the company’s Mackinac pipeline is safe, a Michigan advocate says: “Independent experts and Enbridge’s own track record say we shouldn’t trust these claims.” (Detroit News)
• A Michigan economist says it’s important to couple renewable energy development with nuclear as a way to keep emissions from growing. (Detroit News)

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