NOTE TO READERS: Recipients of the 2016 Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 were announced last week. Representing energy professionals from business, government, academic, and advocacy sectors, congratulations to the honorees.

STORAGE: Shedd Aquarium in Chicago later this month will be operating a 1-megawatt storage system on site and “essentially straddle the divide between power consumer and power producer.” (Midwest Energy News)

EFFICIENCY:
• A real estate development company is finishing up $12 million in efficiency upgrades to three major buildings in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. (Finance & Commerce)
• A provision in the Illinois School Code that allows districts to make energy efficiency improvements in buildings is being used to fund unrelated and unbudgeted projects. (Illinois News Network)

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OIL AND GAS:
• A legacy fund set up in North Dakota for oil and gas tax collections has grown to $4 billion in value in less than six years. (Forum News Service)
• A Marathon refinery in Ohio is using light oils from the Utica shale region to make gasoline for motorists around the state. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation into possible antitrust violations by oil and gas driller Chesapeake Energy. (Associated Press)
• A faulty pump causes a roughly 40-gallon oil spill in rural mid-Michigan. (WLNS-TV)

SOLAR: Illinois homeowners discuss the cost benefits of installing solar projects. (Southern Illinoisan)

CLIMATE: A new survey finds that even among those who say climate change is an important issue, most “rarely or never discuss it with their friends and family.” (ClimateWire)

WIND: An analysis shows Xcel Energy “could have plenty of bids coming” as it seeks to develop 1,500 megawatts of wind in the Upper Midwest. (SNL / Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

BIOFUELS:
• A railroad company settles with an Ohio county for $170,000 related to cleanup costs stemming from an ethanol accident four years ago. (Columbus Dispatch)
• A Nebraska company has found a way to make dry cattle feed pellets from an ethanol byproduct. (Associated Press)

TRANSPORTATION: A move to run buses on compressed natural gas two years ago is paying off for St. Cloud, Minnesota. (St. Cloud Times)

UTILITIES: Xcel Energy is recognized for the design of a power substation in downtown Minneapolis that is integrated with its surroundings. (Finance & Commerce)

PIPELINES:
• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tries to balance the free speech rights of pipeline protesters with rules related to camping on corps-owned land and grazing rights. (Forum News Service)
• Federal officials say they will not evict protesters who have set up a sprawling camp on federally owned land. (Associated Press)
• Tribal members from Minnesota go to North Dakota to join in Dakota Access pipeline protests. (MinnPost)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: A report by four Democratic U.S. senators shows more than $100 million has been funneled from the fossil fuel industry to key players in the litigation over the Clean Power Plan. (DeSmog)

VOLKSWAGEN SCANDAL: The German automaker agrees to pay U.S. dealers $1.2 billion to compensate them for losses as a result of the company’s emissions-cheating scandal. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Tesla’s threat to withhold building a manufacturing plant in Michigan because it cannot directly sell cars to customers is blackmail and “outrageous.” (Crain’s Detroit Business)
• Why have Ohio and Michigan been able to decrease coal consumption while Indiana hasn’t? (Indianapolis Star)
• Self-generating solar customers are an asset to, not a drain on, society. (Duluth News Tribune)

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.

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