WIND: A review of Michigan wind contracts by Midwest Energy News finds most were awarded without competitive bids, and legal experts say a lack of transparency makes it difficult to know whether consumers are getting the best deal.

ALSO: Republican lawmakers question the need to extend the wind production tax credit, and energy from a MidAmerican wind farm will offset carbon emissions from an Iowa State University football game this weekend. (The Hill, Des Moines Register)

HIGH-SPEED RAIL: An Illinois feasibility study finds that a high-speed rail network connecting Chicago to St. Louis, Indianapolis and other cities would be expensive to build but could operate without subsidies. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

SOLAR: A utility-backed study on the “value of the grid” to solar customers aims to turn the tables on the net-metering debate, and a national solar tour will make a stop in Ypsilanti, Michigan this weekend. (Greentech Media, MLive)

CLIMATE: The U.S. Supreme Court takes no action on a key climate case, making it likely it will formally decline to hear the case next week. (Reuters)

POLITICS: Sen. Lisa Murkowski says “everybody needs to be embarrassed” after a bipartisan energy efficiency bill is bogged down by unrelated amendments. (Politico)

BIOFUELS: A second Minnesota ethanol plant may switch production to isobutanol. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

OIL: Oil prices rise on news that the first segment of the Keystone XL pipeline is nearing completion. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC CARS: Tesla shares dip following a widely publicized video of a Model S catching fire after running over a large chunk of metal, EV charger sales are expected to top 4.3 million by 2022, and a study finds consumers are more likely to buy an electric car once they’ve driven one. (Reuters, BusinessGreen)

TRANSMISSION: An Iowa county changes its position on a major transmission project from supportive to neutral, and a 40 MW storage facility goes online in Ohio. (Spencer Daily Reporter, Renew Grid)

ENERGY LOANS: A profile of Peter Davidson, who is charged with reviving the Department of Energy’s politically embattled loan program. (InsideClimate News)


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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