OHIO: Major Ohio utilities’ spending on lobbying and political contributions continued this year in the wake of the scandal surrounding House Bill 6. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Former Public Utilities Commission Chairperson Sam Randazzo helped lobby state lawmakers in 2019 to keep a state budget provision that saved FirstEnergy tens of millions of dollars, newly revealed text messages show. (Ohio Capital Journal)
• Consumer advocates ask state regulators to reopen an audit of FirstEnergy to determine whether the utility used ratepayer funds as part of a $60 million bribery scheme. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• The Biden administration confirms that it is reviewing the potential environmental impact of replacing the Line 5 pipeline but that it has not made a decision on the existing pipeline. (Detroit News)
• The global climate change conference in Scotland will feature a panel today of Minnesota advocates and tribal officials discussing the Line 3 pipeline. (KARE)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The coal industry has emerged as an unlikely champion of electric vehicles in North Dakota, where some hope demand for power from drivers could act as a lifeline for coal plants. (Washington Post)
• John Deere is partnering with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop components for heavy-duty electric vehicles that offer more power while managing the heat produced. (Centered)
• The U.S. Department of Energy awards a tribally owned company in Minnesota more than $6.5 million to purchase a fleet of electric vehicles. (Native News Online)

SOLAR:
• The largest solar project in the U.S. under development in northwestern Indiana is poised to provide huge financial gains for dozens of local landowners and the two counties where it’s located. (Indianapolis Star)
• A national nonprofit launches a solar group-buying program in Minneapolis-St. Paul to help low-income homeowners access incentives to install solar. (Spokesman Recorder)

TRANSMISSION: The Wisconsin Supreme Court denies developers’ request to block a lower court ruling that could temporarily stop construction on a controversial transmission line between Iowa and Wisconsin. (Wisconsin State Journal)

RENEWABLES: The proportion of U.S. electricity generated from wind, solar and geothermal nearly quadrupled between 2011 and 2020, according to a new analysis. (Washington Post)

UTILITIES:
• American Electric Power officials say the utility is still on track to get half of its electric generation from renewables by 2030. (Columbus Dispatch)
• More than 7,000 electricity customers in northern Illinois are moved from a retail power supplier back to ComEd after the power supplier failed to meet a financial requirement. (Crain’s Chicago Business, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• Recent analyses show a pair of large-scale solar projects at a former Iowa nuclear plant could have a total economic impact of $260 million in the state, an economic development official writes. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• An offshore wind demonstration project in Lake Erie “could launch a new national enterprise that employs hundreds of Ohioans — if state government would just let it happen,” an Ohio state representative says. (Akron Beacon Journal)

Andy Balaskovitz

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.