SOLAR: Minnesota solar developers say Xcel Energy is openly defying state regulators with its effort to prevent community solar projects from being co-located on the same site. (Midwest Energy News)

• Exelon puts pressure on Illinois lawmakers, saying it will decide whether or not to close three of its nuclear plants later this summer. (EnergyWire)
• Federal regulators approve a Michigan utility’s proposal for a new reactor at the Fermi plant, but there are no plans to begin construction. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: EPA’s section 111(D) is driving generation and transmission in MISO. Infocast’s MISO Market Summit 2015 will bring policy-makers together with utility, IPP and DR executives to explore the opportunities to solve reliability and power market problems.***

• Wisconsin regulators approve Wisconsin Energy’s bid to buy Integrys Energy Group; the deal is still contingent on approval in Minnesota and Illinois. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• Utilities say drones can help save time diagnosing outages but pose security risks for nuclear plants. (EnergyWire)
• Rural co-ops in Minnesota buy out an investor-owned utility. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Sen. Mitch McConnell says the Clean Air Act prohibits multi-state agreements to cut carbon emissions unless they’re approved by Congress. (The Hill)

MICHIGAN: Advocates say Michigan utilities are trying to “create the perception of a crisis” over capacity issues to get lawmakers to do away with retail competition. (Michigan Radio)

• MidAmerican Energy plans to build another 522 MW of wind energy in Iowa, which will make wind account for 57 percent of its capacity in the state. (Omaha World-Herald)
• Another Berkshire Hathaway affiliate takes over a 400 MW project in Nebraska. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• A stalled North Dakota wind will proceed after Xcel Energy agrees to buy it. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• An industry report says 100 wind projects were under development in 23 states in the first quarter of the year. (The Hill)

COAL: Lawmakers from downstate Illinois propose a package of coal-friendly legislation: “We are here to make sure coal remains an important part of our energy policy.” (Springfield State Journal-Register)

EFFICIENCY: The U.S. House approves an amendment to block funding for enforcement of light bulb efficiency standards. (The Hill)

OIL: U.S. Senators propose fees for older rail cars that will go toward safety training and spill cleanup costs. (Associated Press)

FRAC SAND: A Minnesota court hears arguments from owners of a sand mine who say they should be exempt from trout stream setbacks. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the nation’s most successful women leaders in energy as they share their industry knowledge, strategies and experiences at the Leadership Conference for Women in Energy, June 2-3 in Indianapolis.***

GRID: The new president of the PJM Interconnection prepares to oversee “an industry in transition.” (RTO Insider)

COMMENTARY: How an Ohio wind farm is saving ratepayers money. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

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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