OHIO: Newly revealed documents from 2015 show that FirstEnergy quadrupled a consulting contract with Sam Randazzo, then a representative for an industrial electric customer trade group, in exchange for changing his position to support the utility’s effort to secure power plant subsidies. (Cleveland.com)

ALSO: Gov. Mike DeWine received more than $25,000 in campaign contributions from American Electric Power’s PAC and top executives a month after the utility revealed it had been subpoenaed in connection to the state’s ongoing bribery scandal. (Energy and Policy Institute)

SOLAR:
• A new Illinois law expands protections for homeowners to install solar while facing opposition from homeowners associations. (Energy News Network)
• An Illinois university expects to save about $45,000 a year on utility costs after installing solar panels on two buildings. (Daily Journal)
• AES Indiana announces plans to acquire a 250 MW solar project combined with energy storage. (WEVV)

RENEWABLES:
• Nearly 58% of Iowa’s electricity came from renewable sources last year, more than any other state, according to an industry report. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• Renewable energy industry representatives discuss strategies to combat misinformation against projects in Indiana and elsewhere. (Indiana Environmental Reporter)

CARBON CAPTURE: The proposed federal infrastructure bill includes $14.6 billion to benefit carbon capture projects and carbon dioxide pipelines in the Bakken region. (Williston Herald)

NUCLEAR:
• Financially struggling U.S. nuclear power plants would get a $6 billion lifeline under the proposed bipartisan infrastructure bill. (Bloomberg)
• The proposed credit program alone is insufficient to keep two Illinois nuclear plants operating, Exelon officials say. (S&P Global)
• Top Illinois Republicans call on lawmakers to reconvene and pass legislation to prevent Exelon’s nuclear plants from closing. (WIFR)

PIPELINES: Enbridge executives say the company’s pipeline network will remain crucial amid the clean energy transition. (Natural Gas Intelligence)

OIL & GAS: Canadian researchers find that a rare bacteria could be a potential solution to clean up oil spills in places like the Great Lakes. (Great Lakes Now)

COAL:
• Some Minnesota lawmakers express concern about a proposal to sell North Dakota’s largest coal plant and keep it operational. (HometownSource.com)
• Opponents of the proposed North Dakota plant sale now plan to challenge the deal through state and federal regulatory boards. (Inside Climate News)
• DTE Energy will work with local officials in eastern Michigan on a planning study to potentially redevelop a former coal plant property. (Times Herald)

WIND:
• The developer of a central Illinois wind project donates $250,000 to a local initiative to expand public broadband internet access. (Jacksonville Courier)
• A Michigan agency denies permits for a proposed wind project in the state’s Upper Peninsula over wildlife and wetland concerns. (Daily Mining Gazette)

COMMENTARY: Illinois lawmakers and advocacy groups are at an impasse on a sweeping clean energy bill, which an editorial board calls “unconscionable at a time when new and more terrifying climate catastrophes are erupting all around us.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

Andy Balaskovitz

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.