EMISSIONS: Duluth, Minnesota, continues to reduce emissions from downtown buildings as it expands a redesigned district heating system after converting boilers from coal to natural gas. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: A federal judge dismisses a lawsuit from Minnesota auto dealers against a state agency over proposed rules that would require them to provide a certain number of zero-emission vehicles for sale in the state. (Star Tribune)

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• A federal judge accepts a felony racketeering guilty plea from a political action committee connected to the scandal involving the state’s power plant bailout law. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine appoints a former state appeals court judge to a full five-year term on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. (Cleveland.com)

• A University of Wisconsin campus plans to install five acres of solar panels to supply about 17% of its electricity needs and save $217,000 a year. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• Wisconsin regulators continue to grapple with legal and regulatory questions over leasing solar panels, which could be an option to reduce upfront project costs. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Minnesota consumer advocates say Xcel Energy could save customers billions of dollars with increased investments in utility-scale solar and distributed solar and storage. (PV Magazine)
• A Michigan appeals court says a judge erred in dismissing a solar company’s lawsuit challenging a township’s zoning ordinance without a hearing. (Lansing State Journal)

EFFICIENCY: Illinois officials say energy efficiency should be the foundation for electric grid upgrades that improve reliability. (State Journal-Register)

RENEWABLES: Indiana legislation that would create statewide regulations for wind and solar projects raises home-rule questions, some lawmakers say. (Dubois County Herald)

PIPELINES: Authorities say a suspicious device allegedly thrown during a Line 3 protest was not an explosive and evacuated residents were allowed to return home. (Associated Press)

• Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs an executive order declaring a state of energy emergency to ensure adequate propane delivery this week. (Associated Press)
• The North Dakota Senate passes amended legislation aimed at addressing mineral owners’ concerns over reduced royalty payments. (Bismarck Tribune)

UTILITIES: Ameren’s earnings rose in 2020 despite lower energy sales under new electric rates and returns on infrastructure investments. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

• A utility seeks to equip a North Dakota wind project with technology that dims turbines’ blinking red lights at certains times of the day. (Bismarck Tribune)
• A Nebraska county loosens restrictions on wind turbine siting as local officials hope to spur more clean energy development. (NET)

COAL: A western Michigan coal plant near Lake Michigan is demolished ahead of plans for a small natural gas generator to replace the facility. (Grand Haven Tribune)

• Iowa clean energy advocates call on continued investments in grid upgrades and energy storage to support renewable energy development and resilience. (Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier)
• A retired Minnesota Chamber of Commerce official commends the state for transitioning to cleaner energy but says commercial and industrial power rates remain too high. (Star Tribune)
• A Nebraska ethanol plant should remain closed for the foreseeable future as environmental contamination at the site remains a concern, an editorial board says. (Lincoln Journal Star)

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.