COAL: Several Ohio towns, locked into contracts with the Prairie State Energy Campus in Illinois, have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars without receiving any electricity. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR: General Electric announced last week it’s stopped work on its highly publicized solar plant in Colorado, but says it’s still committed to the project. (Denver Post)

ALSO: Minnesota solar installers say the end of an Xcel Energy rebate program will harm the industry, a judge rules that an affluent St. Louis suburb acted capriciously in denying a couple a permit to install solar panels on their home, and Iowa homeowners install solar shingles. (Minnesota Public Radio, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

HYDRO: Federal regulators may revoke a license for a long-delayed plan to install hydro turbines on a downtown Minneapolis dam. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

25 BY 25: Backers of an initiative to expand Michigan’s renewable energy standard turn in 530,000 signatures in hopes of getting the measure on the ballot. (Detroit Free Press)

WIND: The denial of a state grant for an offshore wind project is part of a growing pattern of inertia for an Ohio commission intended to spark new industries, and a Michigan farmer becomes an aggressive advocate for wind power in his county. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Battle Creek Enquirer)

EFFICIENCY: Kroger supermarkets announce they’ll voluntarily cut lighting by a third to help reduce electricity demand during the heat wave. (Cincinnati Business Courier)

CLIMATE: Climate activists abandon a plan to put an ice sculpture of the word “hoax” in Washington D.C., and will instead use the money to help people impacted by the heat wave. (The Hill)

NATURAL GAS: A St. Louis-area school district considers converting buses to run on natural gas. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

OIL: The January death of a worker in North Dakota’s Oil Patch was caused by inhaling petroleum fumes, according to a state forensic examiner. (Bismarck Tribune)

COMMENTARY: David Roberts says ubiquitous disclaimers in news stories about climate and weather show how conservatives have been able to “work the refs” on media coverage, and Geoffrey Styles says GE’s Colorado pullback is “a sign of sanity” in solar manufacturing. (Grist, The Energy Collective)

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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