EFFICIENCY: Critics say FirstEnergy’s efficiency plan filed in Ohio would not produce energy or cost savings beyond business-as-usual and that the company could take credit for work done by others, making millions of dollars as a result. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• Some progress was made this week in long-running disputes between solar installers and Xcel Energy over Minnesota’s community solar program. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• A music school in Minnesota claims to be the first in the Midwest to run entirely on solar energy. (Woodbury Bulletin)

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MERGERS: According to new filings, legal complaints against Great Plains Energy’s planned $12.2 billion acquisition of Westar will be dropped. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

OIL AND GAS:
• A series of gas pipelines under development in the Marcellus and Utica shale region could lead to billions of dollars in additional drilling activity, industry officials say. (The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register)
• A Michigan lawmaker introduces a bill aimed at ensuring utility customers aren’t paying for unrepaired gas leaks. (MLive)

WIND:
• Local officials celebrate the completion of a 200-megawatt wind project in Minnesota. (Worthington Daily Globe)
• Consumers Energy applies for permits to continue expanding a wind project in eastern Michigan. (Tuscola County Advertiser)

RENEWABLES: A new agreement between Xcel Energy and the state of Minnesota requires 33 percent of the energy used at the government’s State Capitol Complex to come from renewable sources. (KQDS)

PIPELINES:
• As the Dakota Access pipeline dispute continues, the Obama administration looks to improve tribal relations during his final months in office. (Reuters)
• Iowa regulators will not appoint a public liaison to hear complaints about the Dakota Access pipeline, following a request from environmental groups. (Fort Dodge Messenger)
• Dakota Access protesters interrupt North Dakota’s top oil regulator during a conference speech. (Associated Press)
• North Dakota will borrow $6 million to help cover law enforcement costs related to pipeline protests. (Associated Press)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Federal court proceedings over the Clean Power Plan are expected to draw hundreds of people. (ClimateWire)

COAL:
• Retired coal miners in southern Illinois are praising a U.S. Senate committee’s approval of a bill to protect healthcare and pension benefits for retired miners and their families. (Southern Illinoisan)
• A coal executive says right-sizing an industry that is used to being large is the key challenge for coal coal companies. (Platts)

FRACKING: Documents show that the White House was involved with the messaging of last year’s rollout of the U.S. EPA’s controversial fracking study. (EnergyWire)

CLIMATE:
• In his last address to the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama warns that the “bill could come due” unless leaders take action on climate change. (ClimateWire)
• President Obama says climate change must be factored into the development of all national security-related policies. (Washington Post)

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UTILITIES: AEP has reached an agreement with insurance company Nationwide following a dispute about which company should pay for damage to an Ohio couple’s home following a power surge. (Columbus Dispatch)

COMMENTARY:
• While wind energy development has been pursued in Kansas, state officials have “paid scant attention” to solar. (Transmission & Distribution World)
• A General Motors official says plug-in electric vehicles will one day be used to manage the intermittency of wind and solar on the grid. (GM Authority)

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.

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