SOLAR: Xcel Energy proposes a 460 MW solar project next to its retiring Sherco coal plant that would be by far the largest and among the lowest-cost solar projects in Minnesota thanks to existing transmission infrastructure at the site. (Star Tribune)

ALSO:
• The Omaha Public Power District announces plans to start construction next year on an 81 MW solar project that would be the largest in Nebraska. (Omaha World-Herald)
• Indiana utility NIPSCO signs a deal to purchase and operate a 200 MW solar project that’s expected to start construction next year. (Times of Northwest Indiana)
• County officials continue discussions over potential tax incentives for a proposed 280 MW solar project in southwestern Indiana. (Princeton Daily Clarion)

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BIOFUELS: A Nebraska ethanol plant that has fallen under increased scrutiny from environmental regulators received more than $210,000 in COVID-19 relief funds last year. (Lincoln Journal Star)

PIPELINES:
• Canadian officials tell the Biden administration that the Line 5 pipeline in Michigan is “nonnegotiable” as tensions mount over the project’s future. (Bloomberg)
• County officials in northeastern Michigan say a proposed resolution supporting state officials’ attempt to shut down Line 5 should also include the pipeline’s benefits to the state. (Iosco County News-Herald)
• U.S. House Republicans warn that the Biden administration’s opposition to Keystone XL could have negative implications for other pipeline projects under scrutiny, including Line 5. (E&E News, subscription)

BIOGAS: Developers propose plans for a renewable natural gas production facility at a former landfill near Minneapolis-St. Paul. (Star Tribune)

OIL & GAS: State and federal regulators aim to fine Exxon Mobil $1.5 million for alleged environmental violations at a Joliet, Illinois, refinery. (E&E News, subscription)

UTILITIES: Consumer and environmental advocates urge federal regulators to require more information about Duke Energy’s plan to sell a 20% stake in its Indiana utility. (E&E News, subscription)

WIND:
• County officials in northern Iowa pass a moratorium on commercial wind projects, though it’s unclear what it means for a project under development. (Globe Gazette)
• An economist says South Dakota may likely be the tail end of a recent boom in wind energy development. (InForum)

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NUCLEAR: Missouri lawmakers advance a bill meant to promote nuclear power by allowing projects to charge for construction costs before they are in operation. (Missouri Times)

COMMENTARY: Ameren Missouri’s latest rate increase request to help pay for renewable energy projects merits serious consideration from state regulators, an editorial board says. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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.