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Midwest Energy News is taking a short holiday break, and we want to pause briefly to thank you, our readers, for another great year.

From its launch in 2010, this site has grown into a widely recognized resource for coverage of the clean energy transition that might otherwise go unnoticed in other media outlets.

***Last chance! Donations to Midwest Energy News through December 31 will be doubled as part of the NewsMatch program. Click here to contribute!***

Starting next year we will be rebranding as the Energy News Network to reflect our nationwide expansion. But fear not! Our Midwest reporting and daily email digest will continue unchanged and uninterrupted. You’ll hear more from us about this in January.

For now, without further delay, here are the top ten most-read Midwest Energy News stories from 2017. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next year!

  1. Indiana net metering: Our most-read story of 2017 was about the introduction of a bill to slash the rate customers are paid when energy they produce is sent back to the grid — just one example of a contentious debate taking place in multiple states. The bill ultimately passed after extensive debate.
  2. New technology cutting costs of solar installation: A clever way to avoid additional electrical work on solar installations is being pioneered by utilities in Nebraska and Ohio, among other places.
  3. Lessons from Germany’s aggressive path to integrate renewables on the grid: Through a fellowship with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Kathiann Kowalski, our Ohio reporter, gets a first-hand look at the Energiewende in Germany and the policy lessons it could provide back in the U.S.
  4. Conversion to natural gas brings new life to aging coal plants: Kari Lydersen, who wrote a book in 2014 about the campaign to close Chicago’s coal plants, takes a closer look at how converting other Chicago-area plants to natural gas is reducing local emissions.
  5. Rover pipeline problems continue in Ohio and Michigan: One of the lesser-known pipeline controversies, the Rover pipeline connecting the Marcellus Shale with a distribution hub in Ontario has been plagued with construction problems.
  6. Nation’s first integrated wind and solar project takes place in Minnesota: This unique project takes advantage of different production peaks for wind and solar as well as cutting costs on infrastructure.
  7. Developer seeks to bury transmission lines along railroad corridors: As new high-voltage transmission projects face opposition from landowners and local governments, a developer thinks he can avoid the controversy by taking advantage of existing railroad rights-of-way.
  8. Illinois engineer’s invention expected to be ‘game changer’ for grid: An Illinois inventor’s lab is an example of how technology can help bring more clean energy online.
  9. Decorah, Iowa is latest town to consider parting ways with its utility: Frustrated by resistance to renewable energy projects, a small Iowa city follows in the footsteps of Minneapolis and Boulder, Colorado in pushing to separate from its utility.
  10. Midwest wind farms follow in the wake of new transmission lines: Breaking transmission bottlenecks is helping to bring more clean energy capacity online.

Midwest Energy News will return on January 2, 2018. Thanks for reading!

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.