WIND: Google signs a deal with MidAmerican Energy for 407 megawatts of wind energy to power a new Iowa data center. (Omaha World-Herald)

BIOFUELS: In response to market conditions, the EPA has retroactively lowered the cellulosic biofuel target for 2013. (The Hill)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the conversation, expand your network and meet face-to-face with key solar industry players at the Midwest Solar Expo on May 16th at the Hilton Minneapolis. Sponsor this event and become a strategic player in the expanding Midwest solar market.***

SOLAR: Xcel Energy sets off a bidding war in Minnesota as it calls for 100 megawatts of new projects. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

ALSO: This year marks the 60th anniversary of the development of the first solar photovoltaic cell. (Greentech Media)

• A loophole in the law means transportation officials don’t review railroads’ emergency plans for oil train disasters. (EnergyWire)
• Railroad officials say current tanker cars have a one-in-four chance of leaking if they derail. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• North Dakota drillers push back against calls to slow down production. (Associated Press)
• The Cowboy and Indian Alliance protests the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington, D.C. (Omaha World-Herald)
• North Dakota’s Three Affiliated Tribes’ oil production would place it among the top ten states. (Associated Press)

OHIO: Opponents of a bill to freeze Ohio’s energy laws criticize state Sen. Bill Seitz’s behavior during hearings, which includes walking out on witnesses and invoking Hitler and Stalin. (Associated Press)

GRID: Michigan regulators are concerned about reliability in the Upper Peninsula, and American Electric Power expects demand in Ohio to fall 16 percent from 2011 levels by 2024. (Platts, Columbus Business First)

EFFICIENCY: Thousands of U.S. cities will compete for a new $5 million energy efficiency prize, and the transit agency serving the Minneapolis area shows off its new energy-saving light rail cars. (ClimateWire, Minnesota Public Radio)

FRACKING: Illinois activists send a letter with 2,700 signatures opposing fracking to Sen. Dick Durbin, and Exxon’s CEO drops out of a lawsuit challenging a fracking operation near his home. (Carbondale Southern, Columbus Business First)

FRAC SAND: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he doesn’t have the authority to impose a moratorium on frac sand mining. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

UTILITIES: A Michigan city hopes to save $54,000 over the next two years by switching natural gas providers. (MLive)

COAL: A Michigan utility pledges to find a new use for the site of a soon-to-be-retired coal plant. (MLive)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register today ($15/individual) for the 15th Anniversary Conference of Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light “Climate Stewardship: Sustainability, Eco-Justice and Well-Being” on May 18 in Milwaukee. Keynote, workshops, exhibits and more. Be a sponsor, $100-$1,000.***

POLLUTION: Activists in Muscatine, Iowa say “there’s been a change in attitude” about their city’s notorious air pollution. (Muscatine Journal)

COMMENTARY: Is cellulosic ethanol really worse for the climate than gasoline? Not so fast. (Great Plains Institute)

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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