South Dakota farmers concerned about ethanol future under Trump

RENEWABLES: Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith talks with Midwest Energy News about her efforts to expand clean energy in the state, saying residents “don’t have to choose between renewable energy and reliable energy.”

CLIMATE: At an appearance in Cleveland, the lead climate change lawyer who worked on the Paris climate agreement for the U.S. says the backlash from potentially pulling out of the framework “could well go beyond climate change.” (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference April 24-25 in Columbia, Missouri. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

BIOFUELS: Some South Dakota farmers face an uncertain future for ethanol production under the Trump administration. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

OIL AND GAS:
• Residents in northwest Ohio say the developer of a natural gas pipeline through the area has not fully made payments for land easements. (Toledo Blade)
• Consumers Energy looks to start the process of removing coal tar from sediments along the Flint River in Michigan, the legacy of a former manufactured gas plant. (East Village Magazine)

POLICY: Tribal officials in regions with harsh winters fear the Trump administration’s plan to eliminate the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides home heating assistance in cold months.

Iowa lawmakers seek to end tax that funds renewable energy research

SOLAR: Multiple Midwest states are changing interconnection rules for solar customers, which could likely to cut the time and money required to establish a connection to the grid. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• Officials unveil a 10-megawatt solar project at a National Guard base in Minnesota, the largest on any National Guard base in the U.S. and one of the largest projects in the state. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• Renewable energy developer Geronimo Energy purchases a 40-acre site near Minneapolis for a community solar garden. (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal)
• Officials will unveil a 1 MW utility-scale solar project next week near Champaign, Illinois.

Duluth coal plant looks to cut emissions by transitioning to natural gas

SOLAR:
• An Illinois foundation is funding a program that provides teacher training and materials for K-12 students across the state to learn about solar energy. (Midwest Energy News)
• A growing number of farmers across the country are turning to solar generation to help offset costs. (GreenBiz)

COAL:
• The city of Duluth, Minnesota is launching a pilot program to cut coal usage at its downtown steam plant by transitioning to natural gas. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• The Ohio Coal Association is preparing a “laundry list” of action items to revive the industry. (Washington Observer-Reporter)

***SPONSORED LINK: Solar Summit 2017 is 10!

More than a dozen solar projects are under construction in western Wisconsin

NUCLEAR: A bill to subsidize FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants in Ohio presents potential conflicts under state and federal law, as well as conceals information about costs from the public. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR: Construction on more than a dozen solar projects is underway in western Wisconsin. (Vernon County Broadcaster)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference April 24-25 in Columbia, Missouri. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

WIND:
• South Dakota regulators begin hearings over a dispute about avoided costs at wind projects in three different counties. (Watertown Public Opinion)
• A Nebraska utility, which already doubled its wind-generating capacity in January, will add even more to its portfolio to meet the needs of a new Facebook data center.

Bill to phase out net metering in Indiana heads to governor

SOLAR: The Indiana legislature signs off on a bill to phase out the state’s net metering program, sending it to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• A Minnesota county agrees to a 25-year deal to buy its electricity from a nearby 30-acre solar garden. (Winona Post)
• A Minnesota incentive program helped a Minneapolis brewery install solar panels on its roof. (Finance & Commerce)
• Eastern Michigan farmers learn about the benefits of installing solar on their property to hedge against uncertain fossil fuel costs. (Huron Daily Tribune)
• A large Michigan greenhouse opens a new solar project onsite.

Chicago looks to power hundreds of government buildings with renewables

RENEWABLES: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposes a plan to power more than 900 government buildings in the city on renewable energy by 2025. (CBS Chicago)

STORAGE: ComEd says its pilot energy storage project in a neighborhood about 40 miles south of Chicago will be the first of its kind in Illinois. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference April 24-25 in Columbia, Missouri. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

PIPELINES: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he’d veto a bill that would allow Enbridge to bypass state regulators and build a replacement for the aging Line 3 pipeline. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• Ohio is among multiple states where major energy companies are pressing state lawmakers for financial support for struggling nuclear plants.

Ohio lawmakers to consider nuclear subsidy bill for FirstEnergy

RENEWABLES: Clean energy advocates want Ohio utility regulators to investigate why utilities paid roughly 70 percent more on average for each renewable energy credit than competitive suppliers spent in 2015. (Midwest Energy News)

NUCLEAR:
• Ohio lawmakers have introduced a “bailout” bill to save two FirstEnergy nuclear plants that would impose an “unspecified increase in monthly electric bills” for customers with a nuclear plant in their service territory. (Toledo Blade)
• Michigan regulators will hold two public meetings next month in southwest Michigan as they consider a proposal to shut down the Palisades nuclear plant early. (MLive)
• Consumers Energy is considering buying one or more natural gas plants to replace the generation from the Palisades plant. (Michigan Radio)

***SPONSORED LINK: Solar Summit 2017 is 10!

Indiana lawmakers advance bill to phase out net metering

WIND: A report last month shows property values in Michigan have jumped since 2008 in areas where the most wind development has taken place, and some analysts say it’s not a coincidence. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• Elsewhere in the Midwest, wind turbines are helping farmers supplement falling incomes due to decreasing commodity prices. (Mother Jones)
• South Dakota regulators are scheduled to hear arguments in a dispute over the avoided cost of wind generation in several counties in the state. (Watertown Public Opinion)
• Chicago-based Lincoln Clean Energy has a deal to develop a $330 million wind farm in central Texas. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference April 24-25 in Columbia, Missouri.