SOLAR: Iowa taxpayers could save $375 million over the life of solar projects installed at county facilities and school districts, the state’s auditor reports. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

ALSO:
• Developers of a planned 108 MW solar project in central Ohio say the project would deliver local economic benefits and have limited impact on neighbors. (Newark Advocate)
• Renewable energy advocates push for more solar installations at Wisconsin school districts to lower operating expenses without cutting educational programming. (WDJT)

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CLIMATE:
• Minnesota environmental justice advocates organize around Xcel Energy’s long-term energy plan that they say could deliver benefits to disadvantaged communities as statewide legislation stalls. (Sahan Journal)
• The county that covers Minneapolis and its inner-ring suburbs releases a climate action plan with hundreds of new strategies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (Star Tribune)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Michigan automotive suppliers begin to shift operations in preparation for the electric vehicle transition as automakers and public officials announce new targets. (MiBiz)

PIPELINES: Tribal leaders in Minnesota ask Gov. Tim Walz to issue an executive order halting Line 3 pipeline construction amid ongoing lawsuits challenging the project. (MPR News)

COAL:
• Indiana bills calling for more safeguards in coal ash disposal are among dozens of environmental proposals that didn’t get a hearing this legislative session. (Indianapolis Star)
• Smokestack debris from a former southern Ohio coal plant that was demolished last week fell into the Ohio River. (WCPO)

GRID:
• Researchers install ultraviolet spotlights on Nebraska power lines to limit sandhill crane collisions. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• Michigan utility and regulatory officials say the state has infrastructure and market safeguards in place to help prevent widespread outages seen in Texas last month. (Crain’s Detroit Business)

WIND: A Nebraska bill would require counties to enact wind energy zoning regulations before authorizing projects. (News Channel Nebraska)

RENEWABLES: Indiana county officials call on state senators to reject a bill that would limit local regulations on renewable energy siting. (Daily Journal)

CLEAN ENERGY: U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan plans to introduce legislation aimed at boosting clean energy manufacturing jobs. (WLNS)

POLICY: North Dakota lawmakers are considering several bills this session involving the state’s coal, oil and gas, and wind sectors. (Bismarck Tribune)

OIL & GAS: A previous proposal by St. Louis’ natural gas utility seeking unified gas rates in western and eastern Missouri could increase rates in the St. Louis area. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

UTILITIES:
• U.S. electric co-op customers are demanding greater access to renewable energy as the utilities remain tied to expensive and polluting coal plants. (Inside Climate News)
• Evergy will name two additional directors to its board as part of an agreement with an activist investor firm. (Reuters)
• Minnesota officials expand the amount of energy assistance available to qualifying households following last month’s cold weather snap. (MPR News)
• Missouri regulators will investigate the operations of investor-owned utilities during the recent string of cold weather. (Joplin Globe)

COMMENTARY: Peoples Gas’ ongoing natural gas pipeline replacement program risks are making gas prices unaffordable for Chicago residents and should be re-examined, an editorial board says. (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.