UTILITIES: After being denied a rate increase by Ohio regulators, Duke Energy says it plans to sell 13 Midwest power plants that have delivered “volatile returns” in competitive markets. (Bloomberg)

EFFICIENCY: President Obama plans to announce today new efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. (Politico)

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COAL ASH: Duke Energy and North Carolina regulators tell state lawmakers a recent coal ash spill poses no threat to the public, as the incident raises broader questions about the enforcement of existing regulations. (Raleigh News & Observer, PBS NewsHour)

SOLAR: An Iowa Senate panel advances a bill that would establish a solar standard (more background on the legislation here), Minnesota’s first solar garden sells all its shares, and a central Minnesota utility considers a solar array at its headquarters. (Des Moines Register, Minneapolis Star Tribune, St. Cloud Times)

ALSO: Researchers seek to improve upon the silicon-based solar panel. (Ars Technica)

PROPANE: Propane prices fall below $3 a gallon, and a Wisconsin bill would establish a loan program for propane purchases. (Des Moines Register, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

TRANSMISSION: A former Iowa wind energy advocate compares new transmission lines to the interstate highway system. (Omaha World-Herald)

KEYSTONE XL: South Dakota tribes plan a last stand to block Keystone XL construction. (McClatchy)

DIVESTMENT: In response to calls to divest from fossil fuels, the University of Minnesota may require reports disclosing its investments in renewable energy companies. (Minnesota Daily)

COMMENTARY: A Minnesota company’s closure highlights the challenges facing the energy storage business. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Ken Paulman

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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