A biomass fueled combined-heat-and-power project in Minnesota has been challenged financially by an unexpected plunge in natural gas prices.
WIND: Ikea plans to build a wind farm in Illinois large enough to produce 65 percent more electricity than the retailer’s U.S. operations consume, while a new industry report says policy uncertainty caused wind industry growth to slow in 2013. (Chicago Tribune, USA Today)
EFFICIENCY: At an Ohio panel discussion, business leaders say combined heat and power has strong potential in the state, but regulatory hurdles and legislative efforts to gut efficiency laws are creating barriers. (Midwest Energy News)
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PIPELINES: A ruptured Michigan pipeline responsible for a major 2010 spill has been rebuilt and is weeks away from restarting at double the capacity. Meanwhile, President Obama quickly rejected a call by 11 Democrats to issue a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline by May 31.
A trio of major pipeline projects proposed by Canadian fuel transporter Enbridge have been moving forward in Minnesota, mostly below the national radar.
A legislative reform moving ahead in Minnesota aims to better position the state to become a wind energy exporter.
A proposed $250 million distributed solar project appears to have held its own in a Minnesota regulatory process that put it in competition with three natural gas options.
The Sierra Club is repeating a threat of a lawsuit against a northern Minnesota utility, alleging thousands of pollution violations at its coal-fired power plants.
Minnesotans may soon be able to pay for insulation, energy-efficient appliances, and even solar panels through a line item on their utility bill.
Minnesota utility regulators on Wednesday approved the nation’s first statewide formula for calculating the value of customer-generated solar power.
IOWA: As Iowa faces a potential surge in distributed generation, advocates and some legislators are concerned the state isn’t prepared. (Midwest Energy News)
GRID: A new study from GE Energy Consulting finds the PJM Interconnection could move to 30 percent renewable energy by 2026 with no impact on reliability and a potential decline in energy costs. (EnergyWire)
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EPA: A bill to block proposed EPA carbon regulations passed the House on Thursday but faces hurdles in the Senate, where its odds likely hinge on whether sponsors can convince Democrats from coal-rich states to join the cause.
Aging utility infrastructure isn’t the ticking time bomb that many perceive it to be, argues Lee Willis, a veteran utility consultant and author of a 2013 book on the subject.