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 Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.