UTILITIES: Federal prosecutors charge five National Grid employees in the mid-Atlantic area in connection to soliciting and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cash, gifts and services in exchange for facilities maintenance contracts. (Newsday)

ALSO:
A last-minute change of heart from a legislative co-sponsor left the Maine senate one vote shy of passing the utility takeover bill; a second legislator also changed their vote, concerned with how the bill impacts collectible property taxes. (Bangor Daily News, Lewiston Sun Journal)
Proposed legislation in New York would require public utilities to report expenses, including lobbying monies, and all executives’ compensation. (WSHU)

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COAL: NRG Energy Inc. plans to retire roughly 1.6 GW of its coal capacity in the PJM Interconnection, including the 410 MW Indian River plant in Delaware, in June 2022, following sharply lower clearing prices at a recent capacity auction. (S&P Global Platts)

SOLAR: Officials in a central New York town potentially left thousands of dollars on the table when, struggling to handle a surge of solar development applications, they neglected to negotiate for payments in lieu of taxes. (Syracuse.com, subscription)

OFFSHORE WIND:
Several New Jersey shore towns resist recently proposed legislation seeking to preempt local control over siting, construction and maintenance of onshore infrastructure for offshore wind farms. (NBC 10 Philadelphia)
Federal officials soon plan to begin a formal environmental review of the construction and operation plans for the offshore Empire Wind farm near Long Island, New York. (Newsday)

NATURAL GAS:
Pennsylvania’s Environmental Hearing Board will have to hear appeals of a planned natural gas compressor station from a southeastern Pennsylvania township and would-be neighbors of the facility. (Bucks County Courier Times)
Six employees of an energy services company admitted to tampering with emissions control equipment on dozens of heavy-duty diesel transport trucks in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale; all but one received probation. (Penn Live)

OIL: Nearly two decades after an oil spill killed hundreds of wintering loons, a New Hampshire loon preservation group will receive a nearly $1 million settlement; conservation groups in Vermont, Maine, New York and elsewhere in New Hampshire are also tapped to receive payments. (Concord Monitor)

HYDROPOWER: Four environmental groups are challenging the legality of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision to relicense Maryland’s Conowingo Dam. (Bay Journal)

GRID: Maine’s state ethics commission is still deciding whether a non-profit limited liability corporation should register as a political action committee because of its activities related to the controversial New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line. (Portland Press-Herald)