UTILITIES: Minnesota regulators approve Xcel Energy’s long-term plan to retire its coal generation by 2030, extend the life of a nuclear plant by 10 years to 2040, and add several new wind and solar projects. (Star Tribune)

MICROGRIDS: A $25 million microgrid project in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood is set to come online and could serve as a model for utilities and communities across the country. (Canary Media)

SOLAR:
• An Ohio bill that would establish a community solar program in the state is advancing unopposed so far, with a third committee hearing scheduled today. (Energy News Network)
• Southwestern Iowa county officials weigh the potential benefits of updating a commercial solar ordinance with pushback they’ve received from the community. (KMALand)
• An eastern Kansas city is partnering with Evergy to potentially develop a 3 MW community solar project. (Miami County Republic)

OVERSIGHT: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has received a list of four finalists to be considered for the Public Utilities Commission, including two who have ties to the utility industry. (Cleveland.com)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• General Motors plans to increase production of electric trucks and SUVs this year by more than six times the previously planned output. (Reuters)
• Competition is building among major automakers and startups seeking to gain a foothold in the electric commercial fleet vehicle space. (CNN)

COAL: Ohio will receive $46.4 million in federal funding this year to help reclaim abandoned coal mines, a part of $725 million that’s being directed to 22 states and a tribe. (Cleveland.com, Grist)

OIL & GAS: Kansas regulators approve a settlement that will require natural gas customers to pay an extra $5 to $7 a month for up to 10 years to cover the extraordinary gas charges during last February’s cold snap. (Kansas City Star)

CARBON CAPTURE: A Nebraska environmental group testifies against proposed state legislation that would provide tax incentives for ethanol plants that invest in carbon capture facilities. (Nebraska Examiner)

BIOFUELS: Iowa lawmakers advance legislation backed by Gov. Kim Reynolds that would require most fueling stations to sell gas with a 15% ethanol blend. (Radio Iowa)

DIVESTMENT: Student activists call on Indiana University to stop investing in fossil fuels and instead direct funds to sustainable businesses. (WFYI)

COMMENTARY:
• Great River Energy’s member electric cooperatives should reject a proposal to sell the Coal Creek Station coal plant and transmission line in North Dakota and instead close the power plant while maintaining ownership of the valuable transmission line, an energy analyst writes. (Minnesota Reformer)
• Michigan regulators could avoid a rush from coal to natural gas by requiring all-source procurement when utilities propose new generation resources, a clean energy advocate writes. (Forbes)
• Ohio needs to reform its state utility oversight board instead of just issuing customer refunds for FirstEnergy’s improper lobbying, an editorial board writes. (Toledo Blade)

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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.