Daily Digest

Fines and tensions grow between Ohio and Rover pipeline developer

UTILITIES: Despite a big win from Ohio regulators last month, new FirstEnergy filings could delay a court ruling on “bailouts” for the utility’s uneconomic coal and nuclear plants, further adding to customer bills. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• Chicago-area developers, advocates, and government agencies are rushing to prepare local communities to take full advantage of incentives for community solar projects under a new energy law passed last year. (Midwest Energy News)
• A small Indiana town wants to power its government buildings entirely with solar. (WDRB)
• A pending case on whether to impose tariffs on imported solar equipment has several foreign manufacturers considering whether to open up shop in the U.S. to avoid potential trade restrictions. (Greentech Media)

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PIPELINES:
• Ohio environmental regulators’ fines against the developer of the Rover gas pipeline now reach $2.3 million for numerous water and air pollution violations during construction, and regulators now want the state attorney general’s office involved. (Associated Press)
• A settlement agreement between North Dakota and the Dakota Access pipeline developer involving the discovery of artifacts along the route does not include fines, but requires the company to plant more trees and develop an industry manual for “managing unanticipated discoveries.” (Bismarck Tribune)

OIL AND GAS: Reactions are mixed at a public hearing in Ohio over plans for a 955-megawatt natural gas plant near a second plant that was recently completed. (Toledo Blade)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: A new plant at a landfill in Lawrence, Kansas collects the greenhouse gases produced by rotting trash and turns it into fuel for natural-gas-powered vehicles. (Lawrence Journal-World)

MICROGRID: ComEd is partnering with the Illinois Institute of Technology to create one of the first microgrid clusters in the world in a Chicago-area neighborhood. (press release)

WIND: Four column-type wind turbines installed on the roof of a state-owned building in Toledo, Ohio are removed after sitting idle and broken since 2012. (Toledo Blade)

CLIMATE:
• The Minnesota state auditor, who has declared her candidacy for governor, wants fossil fuel companies to pay for their emissions mostly with direct payments to taxpayers. (Huffington Post)
• Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham calls for a price on carbon at a climate change conference. (Time)

STORAGE: As energy storage grows, so does the human and environmental damage from extracting lithium for batteries. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY:
• Some Midwest states are performing better than others in deploying advanced metering infrastructure, which a business advocacy group says is a “foundational step toward enabling a smart grid and animating a market in distributed energy resources.” (Utility Dive)
• Researchers say imposing tariffs on imported solar panels would overall hurt the U.S. solar sector, and misses the bigger picture that solar manufacturing is a global industry. (The Conversation)

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