Despite a big win from Ohio regulators last month, FirstEnergy has filed papers asking for still more review.
Ten years ago, Lansing’s municipal utility was floating plans for a major new coal plant. Today the company plans to have no coal in its fleet at all by 2025.
Clean energy advocates, utilities and policymakers frequently tout the benefits of energy efficiency and demand-side management. But driving utilities to invest in such programs at a meaningful scale is not easy in a marketplace where profits are still often largely driven by volume of sales.
An Iowa utility that failed earlier this year to impose new constraints on solar customers is making another attempt in its currently pending rate case. Interstate Power & Light has asked the Iowa Utilities Board to allow it to create two new rate classes for “partial requirements” customers — those who generate some of their own energy. The utility has not requested a new rate for solar customers, but clean energy proponents suspect it will be coming if the Iowa Utilities Board approves the proposed new rate classes. In another move that would tend to impinge on efforts to reduce energy use, the utility has asked for a $3 increase in the fixed monthly fee for residential customers. The utility wants to raise the fixed fee by $6.20 for small business customers.
Plans to build natural gas plants to replace coal-fired generation in Michigan are facing scrutiny from advocates looking to ensure renewable energy and energy efficiency are also being considered. The Michigan Public Service Commission is considering a request by the Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (UMERC) to build two gas plants totaling 183 megawatts in the Upper Peninsula to replace a 62-year-old coal plant in Marquette. Meanwhile, earlier this month DTE Energy announced plans to build a $989 million, 1,100-MW natural gas-powered combined cycle plant in southeast Michigan near Detroit. While the projects are in different stages of development and are on a vastly different scale, clean energy advocates say there are similarities in determining what comprises Michigan’s future energy mix and how reliant the state will be on natural gas as aging power plants are retired.
As the Ohio legislative session resumes next month, subsidies for nuclear generation and 1950s-era coal plants are expected to once again be on the table.
In an effort to better align solar-energy production with peak demand, the electric utility in Columbia, Missouri has begun to pay higher rebates for new west-facing arrays than it will for those facing south.
Clean energy advocates say the automotive capital of the world could be doing more to support the growth of electric and alternative fuel vehicles.
A recent story in the New York Times raised new attention to the role of the Edison Electric Institute in pushing policies hostile to distributed solar — but ratepayers may not realize they’re footing much of the bill.
Retired Minnesota utility executive Will Kaul saw major changes throughout his four-decade career siting generation and transmission projects while also helping to usher in a wave a renewable energy.