• 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)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Michigan Energy Fair announces two new partners: The Sustainable Living Summit 2016 and The Great Lakes Emergency Preparedness Expo, June 24-25, Ingham County Fairgrounds, Mason, Michigan. For complete information go to ***

• 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)

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.

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