MICHIGAN: Some state officials want to unite Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas into a unified grid. What would it take to pull that off? (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Michigan lawmakers seek to block rate increases to keep the Presque Isle power plant operating. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: A new report says Minnesota is already on track to meet its 10 percent by 2030 solar goal, a new St. Paul ballpark will claim the third largest solar array at a sports facility in the U.S., and Kohl’s is recognized by the EPA for its clean-energy efforts. (Midwest Energy News, Minnesota Public Radio, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

COAL: Eight years after the Energy Department launched a loan guarantee program for “clean” coal projects, no funds have been disbursed, and only two applications are active. (SNL)

EPA: A study finds EPA carbon rules could save the power sector $2 billion by 2020, and an analysis by the PJM Interconnection finds Ohio can meet early carbon benchmarks with power plant retirements that are already planned. (FierceEnergy, Columbus Business First)

FRACKING: Environmental groups in Ohio sue over drilling permits they say were issued illegally. (Columbus Dispatch)

OIL: Enbridge, with a lengthy record of spills, seeks to improve pipeline safety in Minnesota: “It’s not good for business for us to be unsafe or to be perceived to be unsafe.” (Minnesota Public Radio)

ETHANOL: Both the oil and ethanol industries say EPA delays on the renewable fuel mandate are hurting their industries. (Des Moines Register)

EFFICIENCY: A new study finds the cost of energy efficiency is less than half the cost of building new coal plants. (NRDC Switchboard)

ELECTRIC CARS: A group of utilities, including two of Michigan’s largest, commit to spending 5 percent of their fleet budgets on electric vehicles. (Detroit Free Press)

TECHNOLOGY: Why Google stopped spending money on renewable energy R&D, and Wisconsin researchers experiment with fool’s gold as a solar PV material. (Greentech Media, ECN)

COMMENTARY: Carbon pricing is becoming a reality. (Grist)

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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