• Several utilities across the Midwest are backing the push to use Volkswagen settlement funds for electric school buses. (Midwest Energy News)
• The first electric school bus in the Midwest will begin transporting students in a suburban Minneapolis-St. Paul school district this fall. (Midwest Energy News)

• Minnesota regulators approve Xcel Energy’s plans for a major wind energy expansion across four states that will increase the utility’s regional wind output by 70 percent. (Electric Light & Power)
• Contention between bird conservation groups and wind energy interests in Ohio is likely to continue as projects are pursued along Lake Erie. (Toledo Blade)

• Environmental groups launch a crowdfunding campaign to build solar panels along the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Wisconsin Gazette)
• The University of Minnesota commits to purchasing additional community solar subscriptions. (press release)

PIPELINES: The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is ordering Energy Transfer Partners to come up with a plan for cleaning spills related to the construction of its Rover gas pipeline. (Associated Press)

GEOTHERMAL: The University of Notre Dame installs three geothermal fields to “lower campus carbon dioxide emissions, reduce use of natural gas and coal, and create long-term savings.” (South Bend Tribune)

COAL: The Illinois Basin was once home to a thriving coal mining industry, but sulfur dioxide regulation in the 1990s “was devastating for the industry.” (Pacific Standard)

UTILITIES: Staff at the Illinois Commerce Commission issue a report recommending state regulators devise a plan for handling utility-scale data analytics software. (Utility Dive)

CLIMATE: Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota teams up with David Letterman on a web series to fight back against the “creeping apathy and disregard toward science and climate change.” (Minnesota Public Radio)

OIL AND GAS: A company is planning an expansion at a natural gas processing plant in North Dakota that would make it the largest facility of its kind in the state. (Bismarck Tribune)

• As other states aim to scale back net metering policies, “Illinois has a shining opportunity to become a leader in solar energy.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
• Energy analysts say “well-designed wholesale electricity markets and clearly-specified state environmental policies can work together to maintain reliability and decarbonize the electricity sector at lower cost than less-market-based approaches.” (Utility Dive)

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.

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