OHIO: An administrative law judge blocks a request from Ohio’s ratepayer advocate for an audit of nearly $460 million that FirstEnergy has collected from customers as a grid modernization charge. (Ohio Capital Journal)

• The Urban League of Greater Madison will launch a solar installation training program in partnership with an organization that supports postsecondary education opportunities for low-income people. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• State regulators approve plans for a 325 MW solar project in central Ohio. (Columbus Dispatch)
• A suburban St. Paul city council approves an oil refinery’s plans for a 45 MW solar project that would be the largest in the Twin Cities. (Star Tribune)
• An administrative law judge in Ohio declines to delay a hearing involving a proposed 175 MW solar project. (Daily Herald)
• Local planners in Indiana recommend changing a county solar ordinance to require public hearings whenever a new project is proposed. (Muncie Star Press)

• Consumers Energy plans to issue 200 electric vehicle charging rebates, including 100 for fast-charging stations, to site hosts across its Michigan service territory over the next two years. (MiBiz)
• Ford is exploring ways to separate its electric vehicle operation from its century-old legacy business in an effort to attract investor interest. (Bloomberg)

• Ameren Missouri plans to make $8.4 billion in grid infrastructure upgrades over the next five years. (News Tribune)
• City officials near South Bend, Indiana, say electric bills are increasing because of unanticipated transmission charges from grid operator PJM. (South Bend Tribune)

WIND: A developer meets with local residents about the potential benefits of a proposed 180 MW wind project in northern Iowa. (Globe Gazette)

CARBON CAPTURE: Two Iowa bills that would have banned the use of eminent domain for carbon capture pipelines, as well as require pipeline companies to get approval from at least 90% of landowners, fail to advance. (Iowa Public Radio)

UTILITIES: Ameren’s fourth-quarter profits increased by $10 million from the same period a year earlier, bolstered by higher electricity sales and new electric service rates. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

• “Corn is king, and it turns out he’s an authoritarian ruler,” an Iowa columnist writes of the corn industry’s lobbying to discourage farmland preservation as well as utility-scale solar projects. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• Recently adopted net zero emissions targets in Nebraska show that clean energy has support in politically red states, according to a clean energy advocacy group. (Rocky Mountain Institute)

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.