Minnesota regulators significantly increase carbon price used in planning

EMISSIONS: Minnesota utility regulators vote 3-2 to significantly increase the social cost of carbon emissions from power plants — a figure used in planning decisions — to $9.05 to $43.06 per short ton by 2020. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

STORAGE:
• Minnesota’s largest retail electric cooperative is in negotiations to build a 20-megawatt capacity storage project, which would be the largest in the state. (Midwest Energy News)
• Stakeholders say grid operator MISO should begin considering the value of energy storage so those resources can participate in wholesale markets. (RTO Insider)

WIND:
• Ohio lawmakers expect to revisit the contentious topic of wind turbine setbacks in the legislature this fall. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• Ohio-based AEP needs approval from four state regulatory agencies to move forward with a 2,000-megawatt wind project in Oklahoma, which it hopes to receive by early 2018.

Michigan Supreme Court rejects health claim related to 2010 oil spill

AIR QUALITY: Residents in low-income, minority communities across Chicago are monitoring air quality as part of a broader push for clean energy in their neighborhoods. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: Ohio-based AEP will spend $4.5 billion on what will be the largest single wind installation in the U.S., a 2,000-megawatt project in Oklahoma. (Columbus Business First)

PIPELINES:
• The Michigan Supreme Court rejects a man’s claim that a 2010 oil spill near Kalamazoo caused various health problems, ruling that he failed to show a direct connection between the incidents. (MLive)
• A group of landowners’ lawsuit against a 167-mile Enbridge pipeline completed in 2015 through Illinois is returned to a lower court. (Bloomington Pantagraph)
• Native American tribes are objecting to the intervention of national trade groups in the legal case over whether to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline.

North Dakota coal is ‘under heavy pressure’ from wind energy

COAL: Lignite coal production in North Dakota is “under heavy pressure” from the growing amount of wind projects being developed. (SNL)

CLIMATE: A new report says that — like Exxon Mobil — major utilities across the U.S. knew about the threats of climate change for decades but joined in casting doubt on the science behind it. (InsideClimate News)

SOLAR:
• While a relatively large generator of solar power, Minnesota is not expected to see a significant decline in output during next month’s solar eclipse. (WCCO)
• Missouri-based SunEdison is approved for a bankruptcy plan “that will leave what was once the world’s largest renewable energy firm as a shell of its former self.” (Bloomberg)

WIND:
• As more Nebraska wind projects come online, local opposition grows. (Nebraska Radio Network)
• A South Dakota county will revisit wind energy ordinances and consider larger setbacks for turbines after opposition from some residents.

Plans for offshore wind project in Lake Erie move forward

UTILITIES: Clean energy groups and officials in Madison, Wisconsin begin working with the local utility to move forward on the city’s goal to power its operations by 100 percent clean energy. (Midwest Energy News)

GRID:
• Ohio regulators continue hearings this week to seek input on statewide grid modernization improvements. (Midwest Energy News)
• A new report commissioned by Congress says the U.S. grid is vulnerable to cyberattacks and natural disasters and calls on the Department of Energy to play a bigger role in coordinating with grid operators. (Morning Consult)

WIND: An offshore wind project in Lake Erie moves closer to state-level approval. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

EMISSIONS: Coal plants in Indiana and Ohio are among three dozen singled out in a potential lawsuit against the U.S. EPA by the state of Maryland over smog-inducing emissions drifting over state lines.

Utility, clean energy groups call for higher social cost of carbon in Minnesota

EMISSIONS: Clean energy groups and Xcel Energy tell Minnesota regulators to adopt a “much higher” social cost of carbon figure than is used now. (Minnesota Public Radio)

GRID:
• Clean energy groups are divided over the need for a 125-mile, $500 million transmission line proposed through southwest Wisconsin. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• The lead author and independent consultant on a highly anticipated grid study by the Department of Energy says the report has not been influenced politically. (E&E News)

COAL:
• Illinois utility representatives say their customers are being hamstrung by high electric rates because their wholesale power supplier is over-invested in coal. (Southern Illinoisan)
• Researchers are using North Dakota coal seams as a model for finding rare earth elements.

Ohio gas pipeline project entangles Dakota Access developer in another public battle

SOLAR: A clean energy financing program in Michigan reaches 1 megawatt of solar development and aims for $1 billion in clean energy projects over the next five to seven years. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• A Minnesota city considers subscribing to a community solar project. (ABC Newspapers)
• A Catholic school in Milwaukee plans a 1,000-panel solar installation. (Milwaukee BizTimes)
• An Illinois agency begins seeking proposals for large-scale solar projects. (PV Magazine)

WIND:
• As wind energy expands in Iowa, the Center of Rural Affairs says developers should prioritize working with local communities.

Minnesota regulators to update cost of carbon emissions

UTILITIES: As attention turns to a utility trade group’s role in promoting policies that discourage rooftop solar, critics question whether ratepayers should be footing the bill. (Midwest Energy News)

EMISSIONS: Minnesota regulators will spend the next week deciding how to update the state’s price on carbon dioxide emissions, which will impact what kind of new generation is built into the future. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

NUCLEAR:
• Opponents of Illinois’ subsidies for nuclear generation vow to appeal a recent court decision allowing the policy to move forward. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
• The largest portion of radioactive waste from nuclear generation is being temporarily stored at seven sites across Illinois, making it the “nation’s biggest de facto nuclear waste dump.” (NPR Illinois)

FRAC SAND: The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources agrees to reconsider a permit it issued to a company allowing it to fill wetlands as part of a frac sand development. (LaCrosse Tribune)

PIPELINES:
• A group fighting the Keystone XL pipeline says it will appeal a judge’s ruling upholding a decision by regulators allowing it to move through South Dakota. (Associated Press)
• A panel of industry officials say protests similar to the ones over the Dakota Access pipeline will likely become commonplace.

Minnesota emerges as the national ‘epicenter’ of community solar

SOLAR: A major utility in Michigan is partnering with a well-known property developer to launch its first solar-plus-storage project in a Grand Rapids neighborhood. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• Minnesota is the “epicenter of one nation-topping experiment: community solar.” (OZY)
• Residents in a southern Michigan town have raised concerns about a developer’s attempts to amass land for a major solar project. (Sturgis Journal)
• A Minnesota city reaches a 25-year deal to purchase 1.5 megawatts of power a year from a community solar project, while a northern Michigan city turns to solar to help it reach its 100 percent renewable energy goal. (Northfield News, WWTV)
• A public utility in southwest Minnesota launches a community solar program. (Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch)
• Construction is underway on the redevelopment of a former steel factory in Muncie, Indiana which calls for a 5-megawatt solar installation.