Ohio House passes bill to make clean energy standards voluntary

OHIO: The state House passes a bill that would make renewable energy standards voluntary for the next three years. If passed by the Senate, advocates are hoping Gov. John Kasich will veto the measure. (Columbus Dispatch)

MICROGRIDS: A new five-story office building in suburban Minneapolis will be equipped with a microgrid powered by a mix of renewables, combined heat and power and storage. (Midwest Energy News)

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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman asks pipeline protesters to return home

COAL:
• U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio vows to hold up work on any other legislation until lawmakers address maintaining health and pension benefits for retired coal miners. (USA Today)
• By paying back a loan term early, bankrupt Peabody Energy could save more than $12 million in interest payments. (St. Louis Business Journal)

SOLAR:
• Rural Minnesota businesses are embracing solar power to reduce electricity costs. (Forum News Service)
• A municipal utility in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is on track to open a community solar project next summer.

Illinois General Assembly passes bill to save nuclear plants

NUCLEAR: The Illinois General Assembly passes a wide-reaching energy bill that will provide financial support for two of Exelon’s struggling nuclear plants as well as increase investments in renewable energy and efficiency. (Southern Illinoisan)

EFFICIENCY:
• Amid the announcement of a company deciding to stay in Indiana and save 1,000 manufacturing jobs, Gov. Mike Pence “ignored a plea by Carrier and other manufacturers two years ago to save jobs by leaving Indiana’s energy efficiency standard intact.” (EnergyWire)
• Construction wraps on a $12 million energy efficiency project in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, one of the largest privately funded projects in the U.S. (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal)

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CLEAN ENERGY: Critics of an Ohio proposal to make the state’s clean energy standards voluntary say the state would miss out on business opportunities and jobs within the sector.

Rauner, Exelon reach deal over nuclear plant subsidies

NUCLEAR: Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner agrees to a deal with Exelon over a major energy bill that would subsidize nuclear plants there. (Quad-City Times)

ALSO:
• Federal regulators delay a decision to extend for 20 years an operating license for a southeast Michigan nuclear plant. (Toledo Blade)
• Exelon employees are optimistic that a deal will be reached to keep struggling nuclear plants open in Illinois. (Quad-City Times)

***SPONSORED LINK: Exhibit or sponsor to connect to thousands of attendees regarding renewable energy and sustainability at The Energy Fair, June 16-18 in Custer, WI and coming soon to Saint Paul, MN September, 2017. Exhibitor registration opens November 30.***

WIND: Amid protests over the Dakota Access pipeline, seven Sioux tribes in North and South Dakota are developing what would be an enormous collection of wind farms on six reservations.

Standing Rock arrests have overburdened North Dakota’s court system

GRID: Chicago-based Exelon and other major utilities are increasingly turning to new software that relies on data and analytics to monitor the performance and reliability of the grid. (Midwest Energy News) 

POLICY:
• An Illinois House panel approves a bill that would make a long-awaited fix to the state’s renewable portfolio standard as well as provide subsidies to struggling nuclear plants. (Midwest Energy News)
• Clean energy supporters attend an Ohio Senate hearing with a “show of force” as lawmakers look to scale back renewable energy and efficiency standards there. (Columbus Dispatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: Exhibit or sponsor to connect to thousands of attendees regarding renewable energy and sustainability at The Energy Fair, June 16-18 in Custer, WI and coming soon to Saint Paul, MN September, 2017. Exhibitor registration opens November 30.***

PIPELINES:
• The economic benefits to come if and when the Dakota Access pipeline is built are unclear.

Business groups lukewarm to latest version of Illinois energy bill

POLICY: Advocates say while proposed energy bills in Michigan call for increasing the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 15 percent, they still would limit access to the market for independent producers and self-generating customers. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• Ohio lawmakers may advance at least one bill this week that would effectively continue the state’s “freeze” on clean energy standards by making them voluntary goals. (Midwest Energy News)
• A slimmed-down version of a major energy bill in Illinois is not getting support from some key business groups. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

***SPONSORED LINK: Exhibit or sponsor to connect to thousands of attendees regarding renewable energy and sustainability at The Energy Fair, June 16-18 in Custer, WI and coming soon to Saint Paul, MN September, 2017. Exhibitor registration opens November 30.***

GRID: The Illinois Supreme Court agrees to hear a dispute over the Rock Island Clean Line transmission project, a $2 billion plan to move wind energy from the Great Plains to eastern states.

Minnesota county becomes first in state to ban frac sand mining

FRAC SAND: Local officials in an eastern Minnesota county narrowly vote to become the first to ban frac sand mining there. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

POLICY:
• Clean energy advocates are optimistic that a major energy bill in Illinois will pass this week after key compromises are reached over demand charges and coal supports. (Midwest Energy News)
• Energy reforms moving through the Michigan legislature have split business groups and House Republicans over proposed changes to the state’s electric choice market. (MiBiz)

***SPONSORED LINK: Exhibit or sponsor to connect to thousands of attendees regarding renewable energy and sustainability at The Energy Fair, June 16-18 in Custer, WI and coming soon to Saint Paul, MN September, 2017. Exhibitor registration opens November 30.***

SOLAR:
• An Iowa co-op plans a new net metering policy and demand charge in part to rebuff efforts to expand solar power in the area.