COAL: Clean energy advocates are celebrating last week’s announcement that two Illinois coal plants will close next year, but remain concerned after state lawmakers failed to advance a proposal to ensure a “just transition” after plants close. (Energy News Network)

POLICY: Minnesota Republicans agree to allow the state’s clean vehicle program to move forward as planned after threatening a two-year delay, though separate measures to add training requirements for oil refinery workers have been delayed during budget negotiations. (Star Tribune, Minnesota Reformer) 

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SOLAR:
• Minnesota lawmakers plan to reintroduce bipartisan legislation that would limit homeowners associations’ ability to restrict solar installations. (MinnPost)
• Opponents ask for a rehearing after Wisconsin regulators approve plans for a 1,400-acre, 200 MW solar project. (Telegraph Herald)
• The CEO of Ohio-based panel manufacturer First Solar says removing the Trump administration’s tariffs on solar would “create challenges” as the company looks to expand. (WTVA)
• An Ohio manufacturer completes a nearly 1.8 MW onsite solar project that’s expected to reduce the facility’s electricity consumption by 60%. (Solar Power World)
• A northern Indiana solar co-op launches to help reduce installation costs for homeowners. (WNDU)

GRID: A proposed 350-mile underground transmission line that would connect the MISO and PJM grids between Iowa and Minnesota moves forward after the developer selects an engineering firm for the project. (S&P Global)

POWER PLANTS: Indiana consumer advocates push back on CenterPoint Energy’s plan to build new natural gas plants after coal plants close, saying battery storage and efficiency are better options. (WFYI)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: For the first time, members and leadership at grid operator MISO explore how the agency can ensure more equitable grid impacts so communities aren’t disproportionately burdened by energy production. (RTO Insider, subscription) 

EMISSIONS: A Cleveland suburb becomes the 15th Ohio community to join a coalition with a collective goal to reduce carbon emissions another 30% by 2030. (Cleveland.com)

OIL & GAS: North Dakota officials say recent federal approval to extend a natural gas pipeline will allow for more gas capture investments. (Prairie Public News)

BIOFUELS:
• Biofuel groups once again step up their lobbying campaign to protect federal fuel-blending mandates as oil refiners and their allies reportedly push the Biden administration to ease some requirements. (E&E News, subscription)
• U.S. congress members prepare to introduce legislation to boost the biofuel industry, including through tax credits for producers of “flex fuel” vehicles and federal funding for more high-biofuel blend pumps. (Reuters)

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.