SOLAR: Utilities acknowledge distributed solar energy is a threat to their business models, and seek a way to get in on the action. (Wall Street Journal)

ALSO: A lack of transparency in the solar industry makes it difficult to track the origin of defective panels, and how a new law enables Minnesotans to invest in solar power even if they don’t have a rooftop. (New York Times, Midwest Energy News)

COAL: A federal court decision deals another setback to the proposed Sunflower coal plant in western Kansas. (Associated Press)

OIL: A project to ship North Dakota oil on the Mississippi River is likely scuttled after a Missouri court denies eminent domain for a storage facility, shipping oil by rail is “here to stay,” and a Michigan congressman says a pile of petroleum coke on the Detroit River is “dirtier than the dirtiest coal” and calls for a study of health impacts. (Associated Press, Houston Chronicle, Detroit Free Press)

OHIO: While results of last week’s capacity auction will be good news for ratepayers, Ohio utilities are taking a financial hit. (Columbus Dispatch)

WIND: Developers scale back plans for an Indiana wind farm; Ohio regulators approve a 140 MW wind project near Urbana; and despite a record year for the industry and some of the nation’s best wind potential, Wyoming added no new wind capacity in 2012. (Associated Press, Columbus Dispatch, Casper Star-Tribune)

FRAC SAND: A Minnesota county is expected to rescind its moratorium on new sand mining now that it has new regulations in place. (Rochester Post-Bulletin)

TRANSPORTATION: Enterprise takes over a Chicago car-sharing service, and Sioux City considers running its school buses on natural gas. (Chicago Tribune, Sioux City Journal)

EFFICIENCY: An environmental group delivers petitions to a regulator calling on a Missouri utility to act more aggressively on energy efficiency. (Kansas City Star)

COMMENTARY: How innovation poses a threat to utilities, and are nuclear plants safe from tornadoes? (Grist, Forbes)

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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