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Resiliency in the face of hurricanes makes the case for renewables even stronger

People of the Carolinas are picking up the pieces after Hurricane Florence, the wettest tropical cyclone on record.  Solar-power installations were largely able to escape without harm.Before the storm hit, Duke Energy’s 40 solar-power sites were “de-energized” and set up horizontally to minimize wind damage. Although it’s too soon say what, if any, damage occurred, the signs are good. Soon after the storm passed, all the installations had begun producing power. Rooftop solar installations fared well too.

Omaha company idles Iowa ethanol plant, points to trade war, lack of year-round E15

Omaha-based Green Plains says it's idling production at a northwest Iowa ethanol plant, but the facility remains open and its nearly 50 employees continue to work. Jim Stark, Green Plains spokesman, said the company plans to resume production at Superior, but he's unsure exactly when that will occur. The facility employs 46 workers.

Trump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands

The Trump administration on Tuesday finalized its plans to weaken regulations on methane gas releases from drilling on public land.The action from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rolls back key provisions of an Obama-era rule that limited releases of the greenhouse gas during oil and gas production on publicly owned lands leased to fossil fuel companies.The new rule is expected to allow for more leaks of the gas through a practice known as venting or flaring, adding to air pollution.

Indiana NIPSCO plan would eliminate coal-fired electricity generation within 10 years

IPSCO has a tentative plan to retire its entire coal-fired electricity generation fleet in the next decade, with the majority of its coal-fired generators to be retired in the next five years.The company made the announcement at the fourth of five public meetings detailing the development of a new Integrated Resource Plan for the utility.“This creates a vision for the future that is better for our customers, and it’s consistent with our goal to transition to the best cost, cleanest electric supply mix available while maintaining reliability, diversity and flexibility for technology and mark

Solar Going Big (And Small) In Illinois

Solar power has been used here and there in Illinois for a long time. But now the state is going for it in a big way. With the Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016, Illinois charted a course to boost renewable energy, particularly solar, in a big way.It's all being managed by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA), led by Anthony Star. It was established to manage electricity markets, including renewables, and still does.

13 Solar farms coming to Northern Illinois county

As concerns over global climate change and limited resources rise, the race to provide renewable energy has come to Illinois. In the Stateline, companies pitch their plans to make local fields the source of that energy.  The Boone County Board is among many other local counties to be inundated with solar farm applications. County leaders tell us if green energy comes to the Stateline -- it could mean more money for local governments. Wednesday, a third solar farm was approved by the Boone County Board. The project is one of thirteen applications.

Attorneys dispute merits on controversial Iowa pipeline project

Iowa landowners’ constitutional rights were violated when a Texas company used state-approved authority to seize their property to build an underground oil pipeline that had no public use because the interstate project did not service Iowans directly, a lawyer argued.  Bill Hanigan, a Des Moines lawyer representing landowners in six counties, asked the Iowa Supreme Court to reverse a district court decision by ruling the state abused its eminent domain “police power” in allowing invalid land takings.

Gas pipeline gets rare rebuke from North Carolina local government

When Alamance County passed a resolution last week against a proposal to expand the Mountain Valley Pipeline into north central North Carolina, it became the first county in the state to formally voice opposition to an interstate gas pipeline. “We’re plowing new ground,” said Commissioner Bob Byrd after the unanimous vote.

Government group buying helping to spread solar across Minnesota

The state of Minnesota and nearly a dozen other government entities will use a collaborative buying approach to build 4 megawatts of on-site solar. Called “Solar Possible,” the initiative used a master contract and a joint request for proposals to select vendors and gather pricing data.

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