UTILITIES: Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke will retire in August after helping make the utility a national leader in clean energy; Fowke will stay on as executive chairman of the utility’s board. (Star Tribune)

COAL: Missouri lawmakers pass a bill that would allow utilities to refinance debt on retiring coal plants and save ratepayers money. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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MICROGRIDS: Wisconsin regulators approve Xcel Energy’s microgrid pilot program that will provide customers with backup power from energy storage during outages. (Wisconsin State Journal) 

• Rooftop solar customers and industry advocates are concerned about a South Dakota utility proposal that would limit the compensation they receive from sending excess power to the grid. (KELO)
• Officials break ground on a major solar project that will supply power to the city of Cincinnati. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
• An Indiana library considers installing solar panels that could cut its electricity costs by up to 98%. (Brown County Democrat)
• The University of Illinois completes a 12.3 MW solar project that includes pollinator habitat at its Champaign campus. (Solar Power World)

GRID: Eminent domain legislation that would effectively kill the Grain Belt Express transmission project is poised to go before the Missouri Senate. (News Tribune)

• Critics say recent claims from business groups about potential harm to regional energy markets by closing Line 5 are overblown and “fear tactics.” (MiBiz)
• The temporary shutdown of the Colonial pipeline after a cyberattack last week renewed debates over the role of fossil fuel infrastructure and the clean energy transition. (Bloomberg Green)
• Multiple pipeline projects, including in Michigan and Minnesota, are emerging as flashpoints for the Biden administration as it balances clean energy targets and crucial fossil fuel infrastructure. (Inside Climate News)
• A federal appeals court denies a procedural request from the Dakota Access pipeline owner in a case involving the project’s continued operation during an environmental review. (Bismarck Tribune)

OIL & GAS: Minnesota agencies say natural gas utilities should be prepared with more storage and be limited in how much they can automatically charge customers when gas prices skyrocket following widespread shortages during cold weather in February. (Star Tribune)

• An Iowa county approves an indefinite moratorium on commercial wind projects following backlash to a proposed project. (WHO)
• South Dakota regulators continue to debate rules that would require regular progress reports from wind project developers. (KELO)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Illinois will soon install signage along interstates to make it easier to locate electric vehicle charging stations. (FOX 2)

STORAGE: Grid operator MISO continues to seek an extension from federal regulators on an order to integrate energy storage in the wholesale market. (Utility Dive)

CARBON CAPTURE: North Dakota ethanol plants increasingly pursue carbon capture and storage, which will play a major role in the state’s new 2030 carbon neutral target. (KFYR)

COMMENTARY: Elected officials in a Cleveland suburb say proposed statewide legislation limiting cities’ ability to transition from fossil fuels would disrupt its local climate action plan. (Cleveland.com)

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.