UTILITIES: FirstEnergy seeks to make a deal with the U.S. Justice Department to avoid possible criminal charges related to a bribery investigation and the state’s power plant bailout law. (Cleveland.com)

ALSO: An Xcel Energy official discusses the utility’s ongoing plan to eliminate coal-fired power from its portfolio. (S&P Global)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 16th annual Advancing Renewables Conference will be held May 18-19 noon-5 p.m. At this virtual event, industry leaders will address current topics in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Join us at the forefront of renewable energy! http://advancingrenewables.com/ *** 

• Des Moines, Iowa, is increasingly using a tax incentive program to encourage clean energy investments. (Energy News Network)
• Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs have led to predatory loans for some Missouri residents who have struggled to pay off investments. (ProPublica)

• Wisconsin regulators approve Alliant Energy’s plan to spend more than $1 billion on new solar projects as it phases out coal. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Some nearby residents seek more information about plans for a 690 MW solar project at a former nuclear plant site in Iowa. (KCRG)
• Ann Arbor, Michigan, officials settle a dispute with DTE Energy by agreeing to plans for a landfill solar project. (MLive)

• Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer commits to powering state-owned facilities with renewable energy by 2025. (Bridge Michigan)
• Detroit-based mortgage lender Bedrock aims to power 15% of its operations with renewable energy by 2023. (Detroit News)
• Michigan officials seek to help energy-intensive industries become more reliant on clean energy to power their operations. (Capital News Service)

• Bonnie Raitt and the Indigo Girls partner on a new protest song to raise awareness about the Line 3 pipeline. (Star Tribune)
• An Illinois farming community is divided over plans for a natural gas pipeline. (Chicago Sun-Times)

• An Indiana lawmaker plans to revive discussions over legislation that would give local units of government more control over renewable energy projects. (Indiana Business Journal)
• A Nebraska city looks to sell its excess renewable energy credits to other utilities or businesses. (Grand Island Independent)
• Ohio utility AEP expects renewable energy to make up more than 50% of its portfolio by 2030. (Columbus Dispatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Renew Missouri for its webinar “The Deep Freeze: SPP, Texas, and What to Do (and Not Do) in the Future” with Kevin Gunn of Paladin Energy on April 26th at 1:30pm. Only $75 with an hour of Missouri CLE credit. (KS pending. Others by request.) Sign up today! ***

BIOFUELS: The USDA issues more than $600,000 in grants to support biofuel infrastructure in Kansas. (KWCH)

NUCLEAR: Some Illinois lawmakers criticize a recent state-backed audit that suggests state ratepayers may need to subsidize two Exelon nuclear plants to keep them operating. (News-Press Now)

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.