COAL: The Energy Department announced yesterday that the second phase of the FutureGen project in Illinois will proceed. (Associated Press)

GRID: Why MISO is expanding into Louisiana and Arkansas, and what it will mean for transmission and renewable energy. (Midwest Energy News)

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NUCLEAR: Federal regulators accuse Exelon of deceiving the agency over its financial ability to clean up decommissioned nuclear plants. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

FRACKING: Ohio’s EPA investigates a wastewater dumping incident near Youngstown, and the state’s farmers remain divided on the drilling boom. (Akron Beacon-Journal, Columbus Dispatch)

GRID: A Minnesota company’s modular energy storage system — a refrigerator-sized device that sells for around $10,000 — is ready for real-world deployment, and politicians use the Super Bowl power outage as a launching point to discuss grid reliability. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Greenwire)

SOLAR: Minnesota advocates seek changes to state law restricting the size of solar installations tied to the grid, and a St. Louis prep school expects to save more than $450,000 over the next 20 years thanks to its new solar array. (Duluth News Tribune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

OIL: Residents of a North Dakota county seek an investigation of Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s oil industry campaign contributions, and gasoline (in 2008 and 2012) takes up the largest share of household income since the 1980s. (Grand Forks Herald, The Hill)

NOT IN MY BACKYARD: More land-use fights are expected over coming years amid massive expansions in the U.S. pipeline and electrical transmission line networks. (Bloomberg)

WIND: Xcel Energy, which is exceeding benchmarks to meet Minnesota’s renewable energy standard, says it may add more wind power if it’s cost-effective. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

FRAC SAND: An Iowa county approves an 18-month moratorium on frac sand mining. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: Businesses in Ann Arbor pursue more than $500,000 in funding through the city’s PACE program. (

COMMENTARY: Why energy efficiency isn’t to blame for the Super Bowl power outage. (OnEarth Magazine)

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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