CLEAN ENERGY: A Minnesota company is helping colleges develop alternatives to natural gas heating, often the final hurdle in efforts to reach zero emissions. (Energy News Network)

• Federal agents carried out a training exercise in the Midwest last year involving potential attacks on wind turbines from environmental activists, even though no evidence supports such a threat. (The Intercept)
• Invenergy plans to increase the capacity of wind power delivered from the Grain Belt Express transmission line to Missouri and Kansas after regulatory delays in Illinois. (Associated Press)

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PIPELINES: Some Dakota Access pipeline protesters remain in prison after attempting to block the project, which now has a questionable future, nearly four years ago. (In These Times)

• The general manager of the municipal utility in Lansing, Michigan, installs solar panels at his home that send excess power back to the grid: “I’ve got to lead by example.” (Lansing State Journal)
• A solar co-op launches today in southwestern Minnesota that allows for group purchasing to reduce installation costs. (Echo Press)
• The University of Toledo expects to save $30,000 a year in electricity costs after installing a solar project. (WTVG)
• A developer presents plans for a 100 MW solar project in southwestern Ohio. (Hillsboro Times-Gazette)

• The owner of two Cincinnati-area coal plants, Texas-based Vistra Energy, joins the coalition calling for the repeal of HB 6, the Ohio power plant bailout law at the center of an alleged bribery scheme. (Cincinnati Business Courier)
• The failed 2019 campaign to repeal HB 6 could face sanctions from state election officials for not disclosing its funders. (

POLICY: A national solar trade group is among parties seeking a rehearing on a recent federal rule that critics say limits third-party renewable energy projects. (Utility Dive)

COAL: North Dakota officials continue an ongoing project to reclaim hundreds of abandoned coal mines in the western part of the state. (Dickinson Press)

NUCLEAR: A small earthquake last week prompted safety inspections at the Fermi 2 nuclear plant in southeastern Michigan while federal regulators will review operations this week. (Detroit News)

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BIOFUELS: The campaign of presidential candidate Joe Biden states its commitment to federal ethanol blending requirements while criticizing the Trump administration for delaying a key decision on the issue. (Reuters)

• Fleet electrification can help states like Michigan achieve broader electric vehicle adoption even during economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the leader of an advanced energy group says. (Energy News Network)
• A Nebraska Public Power District board member raises concerns about local efforts to block wind development through restrictive zoning. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• More thorough air quality testing should occur to determine whether additional pollution controls are needed at Missouri’s largest coal plant, an editorial board says. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Andy compiles the Midwest Energy News digest and was a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News from 2014-2020. He is managing editor of MiBiz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was formerly a reporter and editor at City Pulse, Lansing’s alternative newsweekly.