SOLAR: Unlike their counterparts in Wisconsin, Minnesota regulators recently rejected a proposed increase in fixed charges. But advocates are unsure if that will change the course of the debate. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: An NRG Energy executive questions why solar is the “bad boy” for utilities. (Greentech Media)

***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. ***

• FirstEnergy will close three Ohio coal plants today. (Associated Press)
• Lansing, Michigan’s municipal utility begins developing a plan to replace an iconic coal plant. (Lansing State Journal)

• Michigan lawmakers election officials approve petition language for a proposed fracking ban. (Detroit News)
• North Dakota sees its second month in a row of production declines. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

OHIO: Companies that generate their own electricity in Ohio may owe additional taxes. (Columbus Business First)

• Critics say ALEC leaders are trying to “speak out of both sides of their mouth” on climate change as more companies leave the group. (InsideClimate News)
• Tom Steyer’s political action group targets Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for waging a “war on science.” (Madison Capital Times)

TRANSPORTATION: Minneapolis-St. Paul’s transit agency will test electric buses next week. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

ETHANOL: A University of Nebraska study pegs the economic impact of the state’s ethanol industry at $5 billion. (Lincoln Journal Star)

WIND: A Minnesota wind developer has dropped its effort to get a legislative fix for a project’s expiring leases. (Minnesota Watchdog)

MEDIA: A survey finds fewer TV meteorologists reject climate science. (Minnesota Public Radio)

***SPONSORED LINK: What is the media’s role in addressing environmental challenges? Join Ensia magazine for a conversation with journalist Marc Gunther May 20 at the University of Minnesota. Free and open to the public.***

GRID: An Illinois utility will use drones to help repair power outages. (EnergyWire)

• States so far aren’t heeding Mitch McConnell’s call to ignore the Clean Power Plan. (NRDC Switchboard)
• The action for solar power is moving from the coasts to the Midwest. (Columbia Daily Tribune)

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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