Michigan county halts commercial solar development to sort out regulations

BIOENERGY: A pair of federal efforts could make it more profitable to turn organic waste from agriculture and other sources into energy by taking advantage of the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• A county in eastern Michigan passes a moratorium on new commercial solar development until an ordinance is passed to regulate such projects. (Huron Daily Tribune)
• A solar installation at a library in eastern Michigan is expected to save $50,000 in energy costs over the next decade. (MLive)

***SPONSORED LINK: Smart Cities Technologies in Wisconsin is taking place on June 6 in Milwaukee. Organized by the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and the City of Milwaukee, this workshop will explore how cities like Milwaukee are adopting Smart Cities Technologies.

PJM auction spells more trouble for nuclear plants

NUCLEAR: An Exelon nuclear plant in Illinois did not clear the latest PJM capacity auction, as low prices suggest a challenging market for demand response and coal plants as well. (Quad-City Times, Greentech Media, POWER magazine)

WIND:
• Officials from northwest Ohio ask state lawmakers to repeal restrictions on wind farms, as an industry report suggest the rules will prevent nearly $1.6 billion in economic development. (Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• An Iowa researcher says his design for concrete wind towers passed stress tests and will be viable for turbines up to 460 feet tall; more information on the technology here. (news release, Midwest Energy News archive)

***SPONSORED LINK: Smart Cities Technologies in Wisconsin is taking place on June 6 in Milwaukee. Organized by the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and the City of Milwaukee, this workshop will explore how cities like Milwaukee are adopting Smart Cities Technologies.

Ohio bill would provide ‘perpetual subsidy’ for two coal plants

OIL AND GAS: A new study explores the risk of potential leaks from natural gas storage wells in Ohio following last year’s Aliso Canyon incident in California. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• An Ohio budget provision would allow park districts across the state to be included in oil and gas drilling sites, potentially against their will. (Youngstown Vindicator)
• The head of a major brewery in Michigan is one of several people who recount in a new video the 2010 pipeline spill near Kalamazoo. (MLive)
• An Upper Peninsula utility is proposing a $275 million plan for two gas-powered generators to replace an aging coal plant there. (UPMatters.com)

***SPONSORED LINK: Smart Cities Technologies in Wisconsin is taking place on June 6 in Milwaukee.

Clean energy groups still concerned over Minnesota energy omnibus bill

STORAGE: Energy storage will be a key focus at this year’s Midwest Solar Expo in Minnesota as the technology grows and integrates well with solar. (Midwest Energy News)

POLICY: Clean energy groups say there are still sticking points to a proposed energy omnibus bill in Minnesota as budget negotiations continue between the governor and the legislature. (Minnesota Public Radio)

***SPONSORED LINK: Smart Cities Technologies in Wisconsin is taking place on June 6 in Milwaukee. Organized by the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and the City of Milwaukee, this workshop will explore how cities like Milwaukee are adopting Smart Cities Technologies. Register before June 2.

Wisconsin officials authorize plan to fill 16 acres of wetland for frac sand facility

SMART GRID: Xcel Energy is helping lead efforts in Minnesota to modernize the state’s power grid, recently proposing a new software platform and to build an energy storage system instead of a substation. (Midwest Energy News)

FRAC SAND: Wisconsin’s environmental agency authorizes a Georgia timber company’s plan to fill more than 16 acres of wetlands in order to build a $65 million frac sand facility. (LaCrosse Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: Smart Cities Technologies in Wisconsin is taking place on June 6 in Milwaukee. Organized by the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and the City of Milwaukee, this workshop will explore how cities like Milwaukee are adopting Smart Cities Technologies. Register before June 2.

FirstEnergy continues push for Ohio nuclear subsidies

NUCLEAR: FirstEnergy continues to push for state subsidies for its nuclear plants even after the Ohio House stopped hearings on legislation, saying its subsidiary will go bankrupt without the assistance. (Toledo Blade, Columbus Dispatch)

EFFICIENCY:
• A Missouri utility is the latest to adopt inclining block rates, which create a larger financial incentive for customers to use less electricity. (Midwest Energy News)
• Ottumwa, Iowa, is the latest city to join Alliant’s Hometown Rewards efficiency program. (Ottumwa Courier)

***SPONSORED LINK: Network with 450-plus solar, storage and utility execs at the 4th Annual Midwest Solar Expo & Smart Energy Symposium, May 22-24 in Minneapolis. Gain the latest market insights and trends while networking with hundreds of industry leaders.

Ohio lawmakers suspend hearings on FirstEnergy nuclear subsidy plan

UTILITIES:
• Critics say American Electric Power’s request to more than double fixed charges on its Ohio customers will remove incentives for energy efficiency and distributed generation. (Midwest Energy News)
• Facing pressure from customers and shareholders, the CEO of Madison Gas & Electric says the utility is committed to its renewable energy goals and pursuing clean transportation projects. (Wisconsin State Journal)

NUCLEAR: The chairman of the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee suspends further hearings on FirstEnergy’s proposal for subsidies for its nuclear plants, citing the unwillingness for a vote among lawmakers. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

***SPONSORED LINK: Network with 450-plus solar, storage and utility execs at the 4th Annual Midwest Solar Expo & Smart Energy Symposium, May 22-24 in Minneapolis. Gain the latest market insights and trends while networking with hundreds of industry leaders.

Wind has growing appeal to electric providers in coal-heavy North Dakota

RENEWABLES:
• This week, Michigan’s two largest utilities have announced increased commitments to renewable energy based on the continued transition away from coal and in response to customer demand. (Midwest Energy News)
• The CEO of Detroit-based DTE Energy, which plans to cut carbon emissions 80 percent and phase out coal use by 2050, says climate change is “the policy issue of our era.” (Crain’s Detroit Business)

WIND: In coal-heavy North Dakota, the wind industry is growing as electricity producers diversify their portfolios and seek the “cheapest, most readily available generation resource.” (E&E News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Smart Cities Technologies in Wisconsin is taking place on June 6 in Milwaukee. Organized by the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and the City of Milwaukee, this workshop will explore how cities like Milwaukee are adopting Smart Cities Technologies. Register before June 2. ***

COAL:
• An ongoing lawsuit and costly pollution-control upgrades are complicating the future of a large coal plant in Indiana, though advocates say the plant owner should be working to retire the facility.

Dayton vetoes Minnesota budget bill critics say would have harmed clean energy

MINNESOTA: Gov. Mark Dayton vetoes Republican-backed budget proposals that critics say would have harmed the state’s clean energy sector. (Minnesota Public Radio)

PIPELINES:
• An environmental impact report compares alternatives for siting Enbridge’s revamped Line 3 pipeline through Minnesota, but makes no definitive recommendations. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• The Keystone XL pipeline developer is reassessing whether oil producers in North Dakota and Montana are still interested in using the route to ship products. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Smart Cities Technologies in Wisconsin is taking place on June 6 in Milwaukee. Organized by the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and the City of Milwaukee, this workshop will explore how cities like Milwaukee are adopting Smart Cities Technologies.

Northeast Ohio landowners file suit to block Nexus gas pipeline

OIL AND GAS: More than 60 landowners in northeast Ohio are asking a federal court to block construction of the Nexus gas pipeline, saying the project misuses eminent domain rights and jeopardizes their safety. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• A steam-generating plant in Cleveland has now fully transitioned from coal to run on natural gas. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• The completion of the Dakota Access pipeline is one of several factors that officials say is helping North Dakota’s oil industry rebound. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Smart Cities Technologies in Wisconsin is taking place on June 6 in Milwaukee. Organized by the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and the City of Milwaukee, this workshop will explore how cities like Milwaukee are adopting Smart Cities Technologies.