Daily Digest

Minnesota regulators approve plan to close three biomass facilities

PIPELINES:
• Michigan officials are taking a closer look at what it would take to tunnel Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac, as many unanswered questions remain. (Midwest Energy News)
• Oil-recovery efforts following the Keystone pipeline spill will now shift to soil that has been impacted, TransCanada officials say. (Watertown Public Opinion)

UTILITIES: Industry, consumer and environmental groups support a utility-reform bill in Ohio that is meant to protect customers from “subsidizing the operations of utility corporate affiliates.” (Midwest Energy News)

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BIOMASS: Minnesota utility regulators approve Xcel Energy’s plan to close three biomass facilities in the state, despite opposition from the timber and turkey-farming industries. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

WIND: Executives at seven wind companies urge Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to lobby against a cut in a federal tax credit that could derail $1.5 billion in planned projects across the state. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

NUCLEAR: More than 100 mayors urge Canadian officials to reject plans to bury nuclear waste in Ontario near Lake Huron. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• We Energies’ announcement to close a 1,200 MW coal plant in Wisconsin follows plans by the utility to build 350 MW of solar by 2020. (pv Magazine)
• New state incentives for renewable energy are leading to interest by solar developers for projects in west-central Illinois. (Springfield State Journal-Register)

COAL:
• A central Minnesota utility is transitioning a coal plant to run on natural gas. (West Central Tribune)
• A lawsuit is filed against officials in Springfield, Illinois for allegedly withholding information about coal contracts. (Fox Illinois)

OIL AND GAS:
• Drillers say there is more oil production potential in the coming years in North Dakota. (Minot Daily News)
• “Slightly elevated” levels of petroleum in water spilling from a gas pipeline construction site in Michigan has led the developer to halt water-pumping activities there. (MLive)

POLICY: The U.S. Senate passes legislation that aims to give tribes more flexibility when developing energy resources. (Bismarck Tribune)

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EFFICIENCY: An advocacy group says a quarter of Minnesota homes lack proper insulation and would benefit from energy efficiency audits. (Minnesota Public Radio)

COMMENTARY:
• An editorial board says customers of Michigan’s largest municipal utility should support reasonable rate increases as the utility plans to retire coal plants. (Lansing State Journal)
• A steel supplier that recently opened a new distribution facility in South Dakota to serve the region’s growing wind energy sector says a federal tax reform bill under consideration creates uncertainty for workers. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)
• The Wisconsin State Journal says “congratulations to We Energies on its smart decision” this week to close a 1,200 MW coal plant in Kenosha County.

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