UTILITIES: Candidates in this month’s board of directors election for the Nebraska Public Power District drew record-breaking campaign contributions as various interests sought to steer the utility’s agenda. (Energy News Network)

• FirstEnergy’s credit rating is downgraded to “junk” status after the company tapped into revolving credit lines and as fallout continues from the nuclear bailout scandal. (Utility Dive)
• Wisconsin regulators approve a one-year rate freeze for Madison Gas and Electric, which the Sierra Club says still locks in high fixed charges that limit electricity customers’ control over their bills. (Wisconsin State Journal) 

• Enbridge sues the state of Michigan in federal court in hopes of stopping the Whitmer administration’s attempt to shut down Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. (Bridge Michigan)
• The Red Lake and White Earth Bands of Chippewa ask state regulators to halt Line 3 pipeline construction, saying it would increase the risk of coronavirus spread. (Associated Press)
• Line 3 opponents are preparing to confront police and private security during protests despite the state’s requirement that “counterinsurgency tactics” not be used against protesters. (The Intercept)

OHIO: The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel seeks refunds for utility customers if lawmakers or the courts halt charges FirstEnergy is expecting under a power plant subsidy bill. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Civic leaders and residents are building community support to convince Exelon not to close a northern Illinois nuclear plant next year. (Rockford Register Star)

• A company plans a $40 million project to repower 17 turbines and increase the output of an Iowa wind farm. (Telegraph Herald)
• Developers plan a 100 MW wind project in southwestern Wisconsin. (Telegraph Herald)

• An Indiana startup looks to provide turnkey solar options for school districts concerned about high upfront costs and maintenance. (Indianapolis Business Journal)
• Researchers say adding pollinator habitats to solar projects can boost nearby crop yields, reduce soil erosion and provide long-term operations and maintenance savings. (InsideClimate News)
• The Forest County Potawatomi Community seeks to add solar panels on two of its buildings in Milwaukee. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A growing number of automakers and suppliers reach agreements over wireless electric vehicle charging infrastructure. (Detroit Free Press)

OIL & GAS: About 200 barrels of source water leaks from an oil field pipeline in southwestern North Dakota. (Bismarck Tribune)

• The CEO of First Solar says Ohio is positioned to be a national leader in solar manufacturing if it maintains a “level playing field” for companies. (Cleveland.com)
• A task force’s recent report on Indiana’s energy future should help it realize its wind generation potential, the head of a national wind trade group says. (Indianapolis Star)

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.