SOLAR: Critics say a new solar advocacy group founded by ComEd was created to help push controversial, utility-backed legislation in Illinois. However, supporters say the group is helping to expand access to solar for low-income communities. (Midwest Energy News)

• Municipal utilities in Ohio are increasingly interested in solar-plus-storage projects, as the first in the U.S. by a municipal utility comes online there. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Utility Dive)
• Advocates continue to “spread the solar gospel” in Ohio amid legislative attacks on clean energy. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• A Minnesota school district installs solar panels at four of its schools, hoping to save $2.7 million on electric bills over the next 25 years. (Grand Forks Herald)

***SPONSORED LINK: Now Open: Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 award program seeks young leaders working to transition Midwest to clean energy. Make your nomination today! ***

FRAC SAND: A Wisconsin agency’s draft report on frac sand mining is quickly criticized by environmental groups who say it relies too heavily on industry-funded air-quality data. (LaCrosse Tribune)

• Local officials in one Wisconsin county are recommending an independent review of residents’ claims that a wind project is adversely affecting their health. (Green Bay Press-Gazette)
• A push by developers to double the number of wind farms in Indiana faces opposition from some rural landowners. (Batesville Herald-Tribune)

• Utility and local government officials discuss the future of coal ash storage piles at an Ohio coal plant that closed in 2014. (WVXU)
• Missouri-based Arch Coal says it has reached a deal on a restructuring agreement that would allow it to exit bankruptcy without the threat of litigation. (St. Louis Business Journal)
• AEP sells a 90-year-old former coal plant near Columbus, Ohio, to a real estate developer who is looking to re-purpose the site. (Columbus Business First)

EMISSIONS: Areas in Michigan and Illinois are identified by the U.S. EPA as not in compliance with sulfur dioxide emissions standards. (Utility Dive)

PIPELINES: A Texas landowner’s lawsuit against the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline could complicate TransCanada’s NAFTA challenge against the rejection of the northern portion. (DeSmog Blog)

OIL AND GAS: Developers of a proposed oil refinery in North Dakota say the project would not be visible from the nearby Theodore Roosevelt National Park. (Bismarck Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: A Wisconsin-based energy-efficient lighting supplier is expanding after landing a contract with a major regional retailer. (Milwaukee Business Journal)

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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