SOLAR: A solar developer is acquiring land rights near U.S. coal plants, including in Nebraska in Kansas, in hopes of obtaining grid connections after the power plants are retired. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: An Ohio school district activates a solar installation and allows the public to track how much electricity is being generated and cost savings. (Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune)

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RENEWABLES: Four companies have submitted proposals to be Columbus, Ohio’s energy aggregator to help the city meet a 100% renewable energy goal by 2022. (Columbus Dispatch)

• County officials are scheduled to vote today on a proposed $300 million wind project in central Illinois that was previously rejected due to an incomplete application. (Bloomington Pantagraph)
• Kansas is among the top U.S. states for wind development potential that would have minimal impact on wildlife, according to a recent report by The Nature Conservancy. (Topeka Capital Journal)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois says air pollution’s role in driving health disparities in low-income areas of Chicago awakened her to environmental justice issues. (E&E News, subscription)

• Environmental groups say key details are missing from Enbridge’s plan to relocate part of the Line 5 pipeline in northern Wisconsin. (Wisconsin Public Radio)
• Lawsuits, the 2020 election and investor portfolios will be key factors driving the fate of major U.S. oil and gas pipelines, analysts say. (E&E News, subscription)

CLIMATE: Rising temperatures and extreme weather due to climate change are predicted to exacerbate energy insecurity during the pandemic and further the need for assistance programs. (InsideClimate News)

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UTILITIES: Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel calls Consumers Energy’s proposed 14% rate increase in 2021 “excessive and unnecessary.” (WCRZ)

• A North Dakota editorial board “doesn’t believe delaying wind farms will pump life into the coal industry.” (Bismarck Tribune)
The federal government should step in to support low-income utility customers who are struggling to pay bills as temperatures rise, COVID-19 forces them to stay home and shutoff moratoriums come to an end, an energy analyst says. (Union of Concerned Scientists)

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.