Daily Digest

Independent power producers file lawsuit to block Illinois nuclear subsidies

ILLINOIS: Four companies that own coal and gas plants in Illinois file a lawsuit to stop legislation passed in late 2016 that provides subsidies to Exelon’s struggling nuclear plants in Illinois. (Quad-City Times)

POLICY: As in Michigan, Ohio Republicans are back on a path to weaken the state’s renewable and efficiency standards despite clean energy support from those states’ Republican governors late last year. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

HYDRO:
• Separate research teams at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University are tackling engineering, social and environmental concerns associated with hydroelectric generation. (Midwest Energy News)
• Michigan’s network of aging dams that once supplied hydropower pose flood risks, though not to the scale of the worsening situation in Oroville, California. (Detroit Free Press)

WIND: A Wisconsin-based electric cooperative will begin purchasing 80 megawatts of wind energy from an Iowa project. (Wisconsin Ag Connection)

GRID:
• The Illinois Commerce Commission approves a plan by ComEd that allows companies and researchers to access anonymous energy usage data to improve grid efficiency. (Transmission & Distribution World)
• Xcel Energy joins a new “electric grid-centered intelligence community” to enhance access to cyber and physical security intelligence. (Transmission & Distribution World)

PIPELINES:
• The tribes looking to stop construction on the Dakota Access pipeline say in a new court filing that the Army Corps violated federal regulations when it recently granted a permit to finish the project. (Reuters)
• A Dakota Access protest camp faces challenges with cleaning up waste from the site as flooding looms. (Bismarck Tribune)
• A movement to divest from the financial institutions supporting the Dakota Access pipeline is growing. (Grist)

STORAGE: A new study suggests that residential energy storage can increase power consumption and undercut the environmental benefits of rooftop solar. (Utility Dive)

COAL: Murray Energy looks to intervene in a proposed settlement for an Ohio utility that would close two coal plants, saying it would hurt its business. (Dayton Business Journal)

RENEWABLES: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback cosigns a letter from a bipartisan group of governors asking President Trump to support the development of wind and solar. (Greentech Media)

OIL AND GAS:
• North Dakota lawmakers reject a plan that would have directed more oil tax revenue to communities in the western part of the state. (Forum News Service)
• A Thailand-based developer delays a decision on constructing a major ethane cracker plant in eastern Ohio; environmental groups warn a surge in such facilities, spurred by fracking, will lead to air and water pollution. (Columbus Dispatch, DeSmog Blog)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An Ohio State University researcher looks to solve the “chicken or the egg” problem with siting electric vehicle charging stations as part of a smart transportation program in Columbus, Ohio. (The Lantern)

RATES:
• Low prices for natural gas and renewables, along with greater energy efficiency efforts, bring the average share of energy costs per American household to an all-time low. (MinnPost)
• A new website helps Ohio ratepayers find the best deals on electricity and gas based on their energy usage and market conditions. (Columbus Dispatch)

COMMENTARY: Clean energy advocates are waiting for major investor-owned utilities in Wisconsin to follow co-ops and residents there in pursuing solar. (Midwest Energy News)

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