• Critics of Exelon’s push to keep open two uneconomic nuclear plants in Illinois say the plants are not needed for the state to meet Clean Power Plan targets. (EnergyWire)
• The future of a local library near one of Exelon’s Illinois nuclear plants is uncertain amid talks of the plant’s closure. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

COGENERATION: Critics say ComEd is not doing enough to promote its incentive program for combined heat and power systems based on the relatively low number of applicants. (Midwest Energy News)

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• Local officials approve plans for a 350-megawatt wind project in Nebraska. (Renews)
• An eastern Michigan community in a prime wind development region continues to study revisions to local regulations. (Tuscola County Advertiser)
• An Iowa county will take more time to consider new wind development regulations. (Muscatine Journal)

FINANCE: Westar Energy issues $350 million in “green bonds” to invest in wind projects in Kansas. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

• Local officials in West Michigan change course and look to develop a major solar project on public land rather than wind. (MLive)
• A Minnesota county approves plans for a three-acre community solar project, though local officials say more regulations are needed. (Winona Post)
• An Illinois university is demonstrating a “smart farm” that powers a 5,000-square-foot garden on solar energy. (Chicago Tribune)
• Solar power can help bolster Chicago communities, advocates say. (Chicago Defender)

• Customers of an Ohio utility will save $80 million in additional bill charges after the state Supreme Court reversed an earlier approval by utility regulators. (Dayton Daily News)
• It’s the second time in two months the Ohio Supreme Court has struck down bill charges “that were designed to protect utility profits at a time of market instability.” (Columbus Dispatch)

EFFICIENCY: District energy systems are on display this week in the Twin Cities, where projects are efficiently heating and cooling buildings on renewable energy. (Minnesota Public Radio)

• Enbridge will spend $7 million over the next two years on new equipment that could be deployed quickly at the Straits of Mackinac in the event of an oil pipeline spill. (Associated Press)
• Work will begin soon on a 35-mile petroleum pipeline through wetlands in southeast Michigan, a project local officials had opposed. (MLive)

POLICY: A key Michigan lawmaker is working to court business groups to support his statewide energy overhaul plan. (Bridge Magazine)

• Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory continue work on protecting the grid from cyberattacks. (Utility Dive)
• Federal regulators advise grid operator MISO to stop paying for reactive power from plants that have been retired or transferred to another owner. (RTO Insider)

• Low oil prices are prompting a discussion over whether the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is needed. (NPR)
• An oil well explosion in western North Dakota kills one and injures three others. (Associated Press)

• An oil company should take caution as it proceeds with plans for a drilling near a popular recreation area in North Dakota. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Proposals to expand crude oil pipelines around Lake Superior and Wisconsin do not make sense. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• Plans for a major solar project at a former industrial site show “Indiana is making progress” on transitioning to clean energy. (South Bend Tribune)
• An environmental group’s negotiations with Exelon over the future of the utility’s Illinois nuclear plants “involves a continuing dedication to transform the Illinois energy landscape and advance a new, clean energy economy.” (NRDC)

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Andy Balaskovitz

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.

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