UTILITIES: A Utility Dive survey finds utility executives see “immense opportunity” in clean energy and new business models; Grist’s David Roberts digs deeper into the results. (Utility Dive, Grist)

ALSO: A Minnesota energy provider buys a majority stake in a water-services company, noting that “water and energy are intricately linked, and attention to that nexus is increasing.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. This event attracts a diverse assemblage of thought leaders from around the nation who share a passion for energy efficiency.***

SOLAR: Why a Minnesota co-op is offering members a share of a community solar garden along with a free hot-water heater for only $170, and solar advocates say Indiana legislation is “clearly an attack by utilities on customers’ energy choices.” (Midwest Energy News, Climate Progress)

BIOENERGY: Iowa State researchers say that in addition to a biofuel feedstock, plant waste could provide a significant carbon sink. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: Two major Ohio manufacturers invest $18 million in wind energy, and officials in a Michigan county say complaints from residents are prompting them to reconsider their ordinances for wind turbines. (Toledo Blade, Detroit News)

MICHIGAN: Michigan conservatives discuss the state’s clean-energy transition: “this is not a progressive issue.” (MLive)

• Enbridge defends its original proposed Minnesota pipeline route. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• A Wisconsin county delays a decision on a proposed pipeline expansion amid ongoing discussions over spill liability. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Orders for rail tank cars fall along with oil prices. (Bloomberg)
• North Dakota residents are concerned about looser regulations for radioactive drilling waste disposal. (KX News)
• Federal drilling leases net more than $4 million in North Dakota. (Forum News Service)

NUCLEAR: A prominent former opponent touts nuclear energy’s carbon advantages at an event in Chicago. (Chicago Tribune)

COAL: Ohio coal magnate Bob Murray takes his defamation case against a small-town newspaper to the state Supreme Court. (Columbus Dispatch)

CLIMATE: A new report projects significant temperature increases in the Lake Michigan basin over the coming century. (Great Lakes Echo)

ELECTRIC CARS: A Missouri utility plans to install more than 1,000 electric car chargers in the Kansas City area, and a ballot measure in Michigan would impose new fees on plug-in vehicles. (Kansas City Star, MLive)

FRAC SAND: A council member of a small Minnesota town says state officials are ignoring community concerns in the frac sand discussion. (The Uptake)

***SPONSORED LINK: Want to turn project ideas into reality in your community? Register for CERTs 2015 Conference: Community-Driven Clean Energy on March 10-11 in St. Cloud, MN to learn, connect, and act! ***

EFFICIENCY: State officials OK a University of Minnesota combined-heat-and-power project (background here). (Minnesota Daily, Midwest Energy News archive)

COMMENTARY: Why the Rockford coal-to-gas plant will be a losing deal for Indiana. (Fort Wayne News-Sentinel)

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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