Cost of Peabody coal site cleanups will largely fall on taxpayers

RENEWABLES: Madison, Wisconsin sets an ambitious goal to power the entire city with 100 percent renewable energy – including steps to be taken on transportation and heating. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL:
• The cost of cleaning up former Peabody Energy sites will largely fall on taxpayers as a result of the company’s bankruptcy. (Wall Street Journal / Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• Coal ash being shipped into Virginia from overseas is being delivered to Wisconsin and Ohio for reuse. (Associated Press)
• Local officials in Ohio pass a resolution hoping to stop the planned closure of two nearby coal plants. (Ripley Bee)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference April 24-25 in Columbia, Missouri.

Indiana utility industry official says net metering is an ‘issue,’ not a ‘crisis’

SOLAR: One of Nebraska’s largest utilities is developing a vision for what its first community solar project might look like as a result of customer demand. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• Once confined to the U.S. Southwest, large-scale solar development is spreading across the country, including northern states like Minnesota and Wisconsin. (Yale Environment 360)
• A utility industry representative in Indiana says net metering doesn’t threaten utility profits now, but it could in the future. (Associated Press)
• The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association launches a new initiative to promote solar power. (Triple Pundit)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference April 24-25 in Columbia, Missouri.

Madison, Wisconsin aims for 100 percent renewables, net-zero carbon emissions

CLEAN TECH: A Chicago-based startup’s thermal-energy-storage battery is meant to address major engineering challenges with the electric grid as energy use spikes during periods of high demand. (Midwest Energy News)

SUSTAINABILITY: The city council in Madison, Wisconsin votes to set a goal of 100 percent renewables and net-zero carbon emissions for city operations, and directing $250,000 towards a plan to make it possible. (Wisconsin State Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference this coming April 24th & 25th in Columbia, MO. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

CLIMATE: New data shows 84 percent of Minnesota residents support funding for renewable energy research, while 71 percent of state residents “trust climate scientists about global warming.” (Minnesota Public Radio)

NUCLEAR: After being a main critic of bailouts for nuclear plants, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan agrees to defend the new state law against a court challenge brought by power generators. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

PIPELINES: Authorities in Iowa and South Dakota confirm incidents of vandalism against the Dakota Access pipeline; environmentalists involved in protests in four states last year say they were not involved.

Minnesota governor vetoes bill restricting state oversight of distributed generation fees

REGULATION: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton vetoes a bill that would have removed state utility regulators’ authority to settle disputes over electric cooperatives’ distributed generation fees, saying it would have hurt progress on clean energy investments; bill supporters vow to “keep trying.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COAL:
• AES subsidiary Dayton Power & Light officially announces it will close two coal plants in southern Ohio next year for economic reasons. (Reuters)
• Retired coal miners want President Trump to make good on campaign promises and protect their healthcare and pension benefits. (Ohio Valley Resource)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference this coming April 24th & 25th in Columbia, MO. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

UTILITIES:
• Minnesota regulators have approved a utility’s updated 15-year integrated resource plan that calls for more investments in wind, solar and energy efficiency while also closing a coal plant within the next five years. (Midwest Energy News)
• A program started by Michigan-based Consumers Energy looks to fast-track the development of vacant properties by building a site’s energy infrastructure first.

Once a leader, Wisconsin now lags behind other states in limiting greenhouse gas emissions

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Minnesota lawmakers are considering bills that would add an $85 to $125 annual fee for electric vehicles due to concern over the loss of tax revenue from gas receipts. (Midwest Energy News)

EMISSIONS: “Once a leader,” Wisconsin is now lagging behind other states in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal plants, even as the cost of renewable energy declines. (Wisconsin State Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference this coming April 24th & 25th in Columbia, MO. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

SOLAR:
• Minnesota solar advocates are “anxiously watching” to see whether Gov. Dayton signs a bill allowing electric cooperatives to set their own distributed generation fee structures without state oversight. (PV Magazine)
• A 21-acre, 2.3-megawatt solar project is a northeast Nebraska town’s latest effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Xcel Energy plans its largest Upper Midwest wind investment

WIND:
• Xcel Energy plans its largest wind investment yet in the Upper Midwest with a 600 megawatt project in South Dakota. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• Across the country, utilities are rushing to develop wind projects increasingly on economics alone, though transmission remains a challenge. (Utility Dive)

REGULATION:
• A bill to strip Minnesota utility regulators’ authority to settle disputes with electric co-ops over distributed generation fees heads to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• Proposed budget cuts to the U.S. EPA’s enforcement office could make it easier for air polluters to violate the law. (Climate Central)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference this coming April 24th & 25th in Columbia, MO.

Michigan’s ‘wind capital’ considers moratorium on commercial-scale solar

EFFICIENCY: Data coming in for the first few years of Chicago’s energy efficiency benchmarking program shows large buildings making progress in reducing energy use, but also challenges in how the data is disclosed. (Midwest Energy News)

ADVOCACY: The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel outlines its legislative priorities for the year, which include moving utilities closer to full market pricing for electricity and preventing opportunities for subsidies and excessive profits. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference this coming April 24th & 25th in Columbia, MO. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

SOLAR:
• An eastern Michigan county known for the amount of its wind development takes initial steps toward a moratorium on commercial-scale solar projects in order to sort out zoning regulations. (Huron Daily Tribune)
• Advocates are focusing in on a plan to cap net metering in Iowa that they worry could stunt industry growth.

Madison, Wisconsin moves forward with plan for 100 percent renewables

CLIMATE:
• Youth activists in Minnesota score another victory as a second community in the state adopts a “climate inheritance resolution” that could lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. (Midwest Energy News)
• President Trump could issue a sweeping executive order within days to reverse several of the Obama administration’s climate change policies. (Washington Post)

RENEWABLES: City officials in Madison, Wisconsin move forward with a plan to achieve 100 percent renewable energy and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions; the plan is subject to final approval by the city council. (Madison Capital Times)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference this coming April 24th & 25th in Columbia, MO. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

PIPELINES:
• A federal judge denies a request for an emergency injunction to stop oil from flowing in the Dakota Access pipeline, saying it would be against the public interest.

Ohio lawmaker: Bill to scrap energy laws ‘direct response’ to AEP wind, solar plan

OHIO: A new study by Ohio State University says most of the electricity cost increases in the state since 2008 are due to a lack of competition in the market. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: State Sen. Bill Seitz says his latest effort to scrap Ohio’s clean energy standards is “a fairly direct response” to AEP’s plan to build out 900 megawatts of wind and solar; hearings on the legislation begin today. (Columbus Business First, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2nd Grid Modernization Forum, April 3-5 in Chicago, examines key lessons from top utilities including Eversource, Alliant Energy, Con Edison, National Grid, Ameren and many others. Enter MWEN when registering for 20% off.***

PIPELINES:
• In a public meeting with state officials, Enbridge defends the safety of its Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac after a recent report called into question areas of protective coating. (Detroit News)
• Two tribes seek to head off the imminent flow of oil from the Dakota Access pipeline by appealing a judge’s decision allowing construction to be completed.

Minnesota city leads with renewable energy projects to reduce electricity costs

RENEWABLES:
• Advocates say a new study from an Ohio conservative group calling for repeal of the state’s clean energy standards relies on outdated assumptions. (Midwest Energy News)
• St. Cloud, Minnesota is a leader in the state for using renewable energy to cut utility bills and meet sustainability goals. (Minnesota Public Radio)

PIPELINES: Native Americans and their allies hold rallies in Washington D.C. to protest the Trump administration’s increased focus on pipeline development. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2nd Grid Modernization Forum, April 3-5 in Chicago, examines key lessons from top utilities including Eversource, Alliant Energy, Con Edison, National Grid, Ameren and many others.