OHIO: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was presented with a dossier of Samuel Randazzo’s ties to FirstEnergy before appointing him to chair the state’s Public Utilities Commission; Randazzo resigned last month amid an FBI corruption probe. (Associated Press, Energy News Network archive)

• A former iron ore mining site in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is being repurposed for a 300 MW solar project. (WXPR)
• A Minnesota panel explores the potential for building solar arrays on closed landfills. (Finance & Commerce)
• A nearly 1.4 MW community solar project is completed in St. Cloud, Minnesota. (Solar Power World)

***SPONSORED LINK: Looking to understand how bias affects energy policy? What role does environmental justice play in utility ratemaking? Join Renew Missouri on Dec. 18 from 12-1 p.m. CST for a critical, engaging webinar. Tickets are only $75. Sign up today! ***

• Minnesota utility Great River Energy announces three new power purchase agreements for wind projects that will help it replace power from a major coal plant retiring in 2023. (Star Tribune)
• Despite opposition from neighbors, some landowners are eager to sign leases for a planned wind project near Columbia, Missouri. (Columbia Missourian)
• A record year for wind turbine shipments at Duluth, Minnesota’s port is a sign of economic benefits across the Midwest. (Minnesota Public Radio)

MICROGRIDS: Xcel Energy asks Wisconsin regulators to approve a pilot program to support microgrids for large industrial customers. (Wisconsin State Journal)

• Des Moines is considering an ambitious climate change target that includes eliminating fossil fuel generation by 2030 and relying entirely on clean energy. (E&E News, subscription)
• The expected closure of coal, natural gas and oil power plants within the next 20 years may make the Biden administration’s 2035 climate targets more of a smooth transition than a radical disruption, researchers say. (Inside Climate News)

PIPELINES: Enbridge holds a virtual ceremony to mark the start of the Line 3 pipeline replacement and expansion project in northern Minnesota, though protesters are maintaining opposition along the line’s path. (Grand Forks Herald, Minnesota Public Radio)

BIOFUELS: The Trump administration is opposing oil refiners’ request to the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court’s decision involving waivers for federal biofuel blending requirements. (Reuters)

NUCLEAR: For some northern Illinois residents, recent plans to close the Byron nuclear power plant are more concerning than previous announcements. (WNIU)

GRID: FirstEnergy is nearing the completion of a transmission modernization project in northeastern Ohio that aims to improve reliability for more than 100,000 utility customers. (Transmission & Distribution World)

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.