SOLAR: Illinois incentives for small solar installations officially ran out this week, creating long-expected uncertainty for the industry as developers call on lawmakers for at least a short-term fix. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Michigan solar advocates call for lifting caps on customers who can participate in utility distributed generation programs, though power companies continue to claim the installations create cross-subsidies. (Bridge Michigan)
• Two Kansas residents are manufacturing solar-powered greenhouses to grow food for local consumption all year long. (Hutchinson News)
• A central Ohio county expects to receive $6 million in upfront payments after approving a large-scale solar project. (Circleville Herald)

***SPONSORED LINK: Looking to understand how bias affects energy policy? What role does environmental justice play in utility ratemaking? Join Renew Missouri on Dec. 18 from 12-1 p.m. CST for a critical, engaging webinar. Tickets are only $75. Sign up today! ***

POLICY: President-elect Joe Biden will reportedly pick former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to lead the Department of Energy. (Politico)

CLIMATE: The U.S. will need to swiftly build out major energy infrastructure projects to achieve Biden’s net zero emission goals, researchers say. (New York Times)

OHIO: A former Ohio Supreme Court justice and a state senator are among 31 applicants seeking to fill former Chairman Sam Randazzo’s position on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

PIPELINES:
• Twenty-two pipeline protesters were arrested for trespassing this week at a Line 3 construction site in Minnesota. (Star Tribune)
• A new coalition touts the economic benefits of the Line 5 pipeline through northern Wisconsin. (WAOW)

OIL & GAS:
• North Dakota advocacy groups question the legality of the state’s use of $16 million in pandemic relief funds to reimburse oil companies part of the cost of fracking wells. (Bismarck Tribune)
• North Dakota officials don’t see sustained oil production growth until at least the second half of 2022. (Bloomberg)

TRANSMISSION: “If you love renewables, you better love transmission,” a MISO executive says as the grid operator anticipates large-scale transmission projects in the coming years. (RTO Insider, subscription)

WIND: A central Illinois county board votes to keep wind turbine noise standards in line with statewide guidance and will soon consider rules on shadow flicker and turbine heights. (Piatt County Journal-Republican)

POWER PLANTS: A southern Illinois natural gas plant shuts down after “significant mechanical failures,” and operators say it’s unclear whether it will reopen. (Southern Illinoisan)

RENEWABLES: Allete plans to install solar panels and a wind turbine at its Duluth, Minnesota headquarters to symbolize the company’s clean energy shift. (Business North)

COMMENTARY:
• Advocates say Ohio energy efficiency programs have been particularly beneficial for low-income residents and health care centers. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• By keeping HB 6 in place, Ohio lawmakers signal their support for wasting energy and “keeping Ohio’s economy stuck in the past,” a columnist writes. (Columbus Dispatch)

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.