ENERGY TRANSITION: Great River Energy will close a major coal plant in North Dakota several years early as it grows too costly to run while adding 1,100 MW of wind to its portfolio. (Star Tribune)

• The utility will also pilot an “aqueous air” battery system, a long-duration storage technology that can discharge power for up to 150 hours in an effort to achieve baseload renewables. (Greentech Media)
• As part of its coal transition, Great River Energy will repower a 99 MW coal plant in North Dakota to run on natural gas. (Jamestown Sun)
• North Dakota coal advocates raise concerns about the job impacts of Great River Energy’s coming coal retirements. (KXNET)

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EFFICIENCY: Getting people out of poverty and older inefficient homes helped Minneapolis lower its per capita greenhouse gas emissions over the past decade, according to a new report. (Energy News Network)

• Grid operator MISO finds 12% of the coal-fired power in its territory was dispatched uneconomically from 2017-2019. (Utility Dive)
• Advocacy groups start a petition to make it easier for residents to comment on NIPSCO’s plans to remove coal ash at sites in northwestern Indiana. (Times of Northwest Indiana)

RENEWABLES: Wind and solar are playing a larger role in grid operator MISO’s territory as energy demand shifts and declines due to COVID-19. (WBOI)

• Michigan solar installers returned to work this week with new safety guidelines after work stoppages due to the pandemic. (MiBiz)
• A Missouri Botanical Garden program helps residents install solar projects through information sessions and connections with installers. (Yale Climate Connections)
• First Solar manufacturing facilities, including one in Ohio, have largely maintained production, but the company withdrew its 2020 guidance as uncertainty unfolds for the global market. (Greentech Media)
• A southwestern Illinois community begins work on a model solar ordinance for both small- and large-scale projects. (Alton Telegraph)

UTILITIES: Indiana utility NIPSCO has entered into several agreements for new wind power and is seeking additional bidders as it replaces 80% of its coal fleet by 2023. (Times of Northwest Indiana)

CLIMATE: The University of Iowa plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, though the goal falls short of what climate activists have demanded for more than a year. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric pick-up trucks and larger EV models could help usher in a new era for the industry. (New York Times)

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OIL & GAS: Idled wells and cuts in production by large oil producers sends a ripple effect through oil patch contractors in North Dakota. (Bismarck Tribune)

CLEAN TECH: Two Chicago clean tech startups receive funding for projects that recycle electric vehicle batteries and help data centers run more efficiently. (ChicagoInno)

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.