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)

• 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)

• 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)

• 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)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition via Fresh Energy is hiring for a Manager of Building Policy and Technology contractor to play a lead role in developing strategy and resources in support of local, state, and regional advocates. Learn more.***

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)

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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.