Daily Digest

Critics question the value of ComEd’s Bronzeville microgrid project

RESEARCH: Analysts in Minnesota are joining others across the country to create standardized data from utilities to help counties and cities understand energy use for climate programs. (Midwest Energy News)

TRADE:
• In a high profile trade case, the Trump administration will impose a 30 percent tariff on imported solar photovoltaic modules and cells. The tariffs will decline by 5 percent each year until 2022. (Utility Dive)
• Solar advocates say the decision will cost tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S., while some analysts say proposed plans could have been more damaging. (Bloomberg)
• Chinese officials expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with the decision being pursued under U.S. law rather than through the World Trade Organization. (Associated Press)

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MICROGRIDS: ComEd’s proposed Bronzeville microgrid project on Chicago’s South Side faces opposition from clean energy and consumer advocates who are questioning the project’s overall value. (Background on the project here.) (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• Officials in a southeastern Michigan county are pursuing a 15-acre solar project that could save more than $60,000 annually in electric costs. (MLive)
• A town in southeastern Wisconsin begins exploring potential sites for large-scale solar projects to replace a nearby coal plant. (Kenosha News)

UTILITIES:
• Private investment groups agree to buy $2.5 billion in FirstEnergy shares to help the company navigate the expected bankruptcy filing of one of its subsidiaries that owns unprofitable coal and nuclear plants. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• Ohio-based American Electric Power holds a public hearing next month on a proposal to change electric rates through 2024 after failing to properly notify the public about a hearing last year. (Columbus Dispatch)
• At a hearing on the proposed merger of Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy, an attorney speaks out against moving the headquarters to Kansas City. (Topeka Capital Journal)

GRID: Milwaukee officials look to prevent city residents from paying for a $140 million substation to support a new major technology manufacturing facility. (Racine Journal Times)

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EMISSIONS: Grand Rapids, Michigan, plans for buildings in the city to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. (Michigan Radio)

COMMENTARY:
• The Chicago Sun-Times says a new agreement between Michigan and Enbridge still leaves the Great Lakes at risk of an oil spill from Line 5.
• A former U.S. EPA official asks whether the Trump administration has been a gift to the coal industry, as Murray Energy’s CEO has claimed: “The short answer to that question is no.” (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• An industry official says North Dakota’s coal industry can provide reliable electricity amid the transition to electric vehicles. (Inforum)

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