Exelon proposes to buy FirstEnergy Solutions’ retail unit

EFFICIENCY: Iowa utilities unveil new five-year energy efficiency plans that scale back home energy audits, insulation rebates and light bulb discounts. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES: Exelon proposes to buy FirstEnergy Solutions’ retail business for $140 million, increasing its customer count by 40 percent. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

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PIPELINES:
• North Dakota’s attorney general sues the Dakota Access pipeline owner for allegedly violating a state law prohibiting large corporations from owning agricultural land. (Associated Press)
• Replacing the Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota still needs 29 more regulatory approvals before construction can start. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• Enbridge sues a shipping company accused of denting the Line 5 pipeline in an apparent anchor strike earlier this year.

Ohio solar projects would boost state’s capacity by 250 percent

SOLAR: Three solar projects planned in Ohio would boost the state’s solar capacity by nearly 250 percent. (pv Magazine)

ALSO:
• The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska emerges as a solar energy leader in the Great Plains. (Energy News Network)
• A Wisconsin company says a new form of solar-powered LED lighting “has the potential to revamp the industry.” (Wisconsin Public Radio)
• A pair of 2 MW solar projects are under construction in Evansville, Indiana, as the city looks to transition from coal. (WFIE)
• Ann Arbor, Michigan’s downtown development authority connects 36 solar panels to three electric vehicle carports. (MLive)

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Michigan utility proposes $13 million electric vehicle pilot program

COAL: A national nonprofit will help downstate Illinois communities prepare for the inevitable closing of more coal plants and mines. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• DTE Energy proposes a three-year, $13 million electric vehicle pilot program to develop charging infrastructure. (Crain’s Detroit Business)
• A coalition of clean energy groups in the Midwest looks to coordinate EV infrastructure and deployment. (Energy News Network)
• General Motors will boost production of its Chevrolet Bolt by 20 percent in response to higher-than-expected demand. (CNET)

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Iowa lawmakers welcome resignation of EPA head Scott Pruitt

POLITICS:
• Iowa officials and the biofuels industry welcome the news of EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s resignation. (Radio Iowa)
• Observers say Pruitt’s replacement, former Murray Energy lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, will likely continue a similar policy agenda. (Utility Dive)

COAL: A recent decision by federal regulators on grid operator PJM’s capacity market has potential to alter U.S. climate efforts. (E&E News, subscription)

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SOLAR:
• Kansas City airport officials, a southern Minnesota city, and an Ohio housing cooperative all look to solar as a way to decrease energy costs.

Ohio approves construction for first Great Lakes offshore wind project

WIND: Ohio officials grant conditional approval for the first offshore wind project in the Great Lakes, requiring a more detailed bird- and bat-monitoring plan. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

NATURAL GAS: A Minnesota judge recommends denying a 525 to 550 MW natural gas plant because Minnesota Power has not shown it to be in the public interest. (Minnesota Public Radio)

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PIPELINES:
• In new reports to the state of Michigan, Enbridge says rocks and gravel could protect the Line 5 pipeline from achor strikes. (Detroit News)
• Enbridge also discloses that Line 5 crosses Michigan waterways in nearly 400 locations, some of which are particularly sensitive.