COAL: Ameren will close its second-largest coal plant by 2024 — 15 years ahead of schedule — instead of installing costly pollution controls that would have been required under a court ruling. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

EFFICIENCY: A Minnesota college will launch the state’s largest guaranteed energy savings project in which $12.3 million in clean energy upgrades will be paid for in savings with no upfront costs. (Energy News Network)

POLITICS: An environmental group says newly drawn Ohio congressional maps should be rejected because they would lead to further inaction on fighting climate change and adopting renewable energy. (Ohio Capital Journal)

• Michigan lawmakers pass a $1 billion incentive plan aimed at luring advanced automobile and battery cell manufacturing plants. (Bridge Michigan)
• A Michigan-based specialty vehicle manufacturer is making progress on designs for an electric vehicle chassis for medium-duty trucks, which is expected to be in production by 2023. (MiBiz)

• County officials in central Kansas vote unanimously to ban commercial wind projects in all zoned areas, delay a vote on creating a wind overlay district, and keep a moratorium in place until mid-March. (Hutchinson News)
• A 190 MW wind project in southeastern Kansas begins operations under a long-term contract with Facebook. (North American Windpower)

SOLAR: An Ohio family with generations of farming experience is divided over the prospect of leasing land for a large-scale solar project. (WYSO)

• The company responsible for North Dakota’s largest oil field spill reports another produced water leak from a pipeline in the same area, this time spilling 7,000 gallons. (Inforum)
• Kansas attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Derek Schmidt faces calls to disclose more information about his earnings from a natural gas well he owns while investigating companies for possible price gouging from last winter’s freeze. (Kansas Reflector)

• A former Illinois state representative pleads guilty to a federal tax charge stemming from the ongoing investigation into ComEd’s lobbying practices. (Chicago Tribune)
• FirstEnergy completes a stock sale that will generate $1 billion in capital that the utility will use for infrastructure improvements. (Akron Beacon Journal)

• A $67 million research project will capture carbon emissions from a municipal utility in Springfield, Illinois and use them to grow algae that can be converted to food for livestock. (WICS)
• County officials in Iowa will file formal comments condemning the possible use of eminent domain to build carbon pipelines through the state. (Ames Tribune)

• Madison, Wisconsin ranks as the “most improved city” in a recent clean energy scorecard by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• A North Dakota board recommends approving $28 million in grants and $135 million in loans to support various energy projects that are meant to reduce greenhouse emissions. (Inforum)

NUCLEAR: Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tours an Exelon nuclear plant in Illinois, noting that workers there are “on the front lines in the fight against the climate crisis.” (Power Engineering)

Andy compiles the Midwest Energy News digest and was a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News from 2014-2020. He is managing editor of MiBiz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was formerly a reporter and editor at City Pulse, Lansing’s alternative newsweekly.