WIND: It’s officially over for the controversial Goodhue wind farm in Minnesota, as developers tell state regulators they’re no longer pursuing the project. (Minnesota Public Radio)

FERC: Amid Republican charges that he’s “outside the mainstream,” Ron Binz’s nomination to lead FERC is far from a sure thing. Meanwhile, a former Iowa official says he was blocked from nomination to the FERC post for being “too pro-coal.” (Politico, E&E Daily)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register today for the Midwest’s largest energy efficiency event, the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, taking place January 14-16 in Chicago. Use Code MWEN25off for $25 off just for Midwest Energy News readers. ***

COAL: A St. Louis mining company offers to help finance pollution upgrades at Ameren’s five Illinois coal plants — or buy them outright — in order to create a market for its coal. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ALSO: American Electric Power decides to close the fourth unit of an Indiana power plant rather than convert it to natural gas. (Cincinnati Business Courier)

EFFICIENCY: A new report ranks Minneapolis and Chicago as the Midwest’s top cities for energy efficiency, and “virtual energy audits” reveal that behavioral changes can reap big savings in commercial buildings. (ACEEE, Greentech Media)

NATURAL GAS: Two companies team up to pipe North Dakota natural gas to Chicago; a Wisconsin utility names two possible sites for a new power plant; and at an Ohio event, former Energy Secretary Steven Chu says “you can have your cake and eat it too” when it comes to natural gas. (Associated Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Columbus Dispatch)

ELECTRIC CARS: GM hopes to out-innovate Tesla on electric cars by developing a better battery, with the ultimate goal of producing a relatively inexpensive car that can go 200 miles on a charge; and amid the usual field of sleek single-occupant racers, a solar car challenge in Australia this year will feature a four-door sedan. (Quartz, Electric Vehicle News)

***SPONSORED LINK: On September 24, join Shayle Kann, vice president of research for Greentech Media, and a panel of experts at the Science Museum of Minnesota for Power Breakfast: Solar means business in Minnesota. Buy your tickets today! ***

FRAC SAND: Officials in Minnesota will soon approve new standards to regulate frac sand mining, but it’s unclear how much legal heft the rules will have. (Minnesota Public Radio)

COMMENTARY: What FERC actually does, and why it doesn’t really have anything to do with the so-called “war on coal.” (NRDC Switchboard)

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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