Daily digest

Xcel Energy asks Minnesota regulators to revisit community solar program

SOLAR: A Missouri Supreme Court ruling forces an investor-owned utility to comply with solar provisions in the state’s 2008 renewable energy law and provide solar rebates to customers. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ALSO: Xcel Energy asks regulators to revisit Minnesota’s community solar program, says it is encouraging large projects and developers will benefit from a rate structure “intended for small-scale development.” (Minneapolis StarTribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: Get something nice for energy geeks you love and yourself–Valentine’s Day is the extended Early Bird deadline for the CERTs 2015 Conference: Community-Driven Clean Energy on March 10-11 in St. Cloud! ***

OHIO: Utilities with coal and nuclear plants could gain an edge in upcoming capacity auctions over renewables and natural gas if “bailout” plans are approved. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Ohio’s Energy Future Tour makes another stop and businesses see the good and bad as legislative efforts attempt to thwart clean energy. Background on the Energy Future Tour here(Columbus Dispatch, Midwest Energy News archives)

WIND: Five years after a developer proposed offshore wind turbines in Michigan, the debate since then has been “relatively silent.” (MLive)

NATURAL GAS: A state audit of an Ohio gas company that owns pipelines and wells in seven states leads to the resignation of three board members and appointment of a new director. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

CLIMATE:
– The National Academy of Sciences publishes a two-volume study on why geoengineering is not — at least yet — a panacea for climate change. (Mother Jones)
– White House seeks to gain $2 billion in private investment to combat climate change. (The Hill)
– Researchers say coupling energy from biomass with carbon sequestration could drastically lower emissions, paving way for zero-carbon future. (ClimateWire)

CHICAGO: Nicor Gas unveils a $2 billion, nine-year plan to replace roughly 1,000 miles of aging gas lines in its suburban service territory as concerns mount over another company’s capital project. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

ETHANOL: 55,000 gallons of ethanol are still unaccounted for as monitoring continues at the site of an ethanol train derailment in Iowa. In Ohio, the safest modes for transportation are debated. (Radio Iowa)

OIL:
– Recent studies show that low oil prices are not driving consumers from electric vehicles or hybrids back to gas-guzzling cars, and vice versa. (Los Angeles Times)
– A poll by a pro-export group shows that 7 in 10 Americans support easing restrictions on the country’s oil export ban. (The Hill)
– The International Energy Agency says the slide in oil prices won’t last long, but the rebound will be limited. (Wall Street Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Wind on the Wires March 19 for the “Energizing the Future” gala featuring former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff & former Congressman Bob Inglis. Reduced rates for NGOs.***

REUSE: A fly ash reuse company is moving its headquarters from Wisconsin to North Carolina, along with 29 jobs. (Racine Journal Times)

COMMENTARY: Five reasons why Minnesota motorists still need alternative fuels when oil is cheap. (MinnPost)

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