• Iowa’s two major utilities are seeking a new rate structure for distributed generation that clean energy advocates say would undermine solar producers. (Midwest Energy News)
• Utilities, regulators and lawmakers debated a variety of solar policy changes in all but four states last year. (Utility Dive)
A Minnesota county reaches a solar power purchase agreement with Xcel Energy that will save more than $1 million over the life of the contract. (Mankato Free Press)

TRANSMISSION: Responding to the Rock Island Clean Line project, Iowa lawmakers advance a bill that would revoke applications for transmission projects after two years of inaction. (The Gazette)

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CLEAN ENERGY: A new report ranks Midwest states on their clean energy economies. Some of the findings include:
• Illinois leads the region in clean energy jobs and has strong projected growth. (Chicago Tribune)
• Wind and solar industry officials say Iowa is a “pretty big force” in developing a clean energy economy. (The Gazette)
Kansas and Indiana both predict growth in clean energy jobs, but lag behind others in the region. (Topeka Capital-Journal)
Wisconsin ranks ninth of 12 in the region with nearly 25,000 jobs. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Ohio leads the region in clean energy manufacturing jobs. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
In Missouri, clean energy jobs — more than two-thirds of which are in energy efficiency — are expected to grow by 8 percent this year. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

FRACKING: Environmental groups and the federal government make legal arguments against a federal court’s injunction last year on fracking rules for public and tribal lands. (EnergyWire)

STORAGE: In general, utilities are still figuring out whether energy storage is a threat or a business opportunity. (Utility Dive)

EFFICIENCY: A Michigan competition looks for property owners that reduce energy use from industrial and commercial buildings. (MLive)

COAL: An Illinois city hears competing proposals from utilities over moving forward with a new coal contract. (State Journal-Register)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Automakers look to appeal to a broader audience by marketing electric vehicles faster and quieter than traditional gasoline cars. (Associated Press)

OIL AND GAS: Companies that operate pipelines, storage and gas plants are at a disadvantage with low feedstock prices compared to end users of energy commodities. (SNL)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference, April 11-12 in Columbia, Missouri focuses on programs, policies, and projects that enhance the use of renewable energy resources in the Midwest for the economic benefit of the region. Register today!***

MERGER: Washington D.C. regulators are scheduled to revisit the proposed Exelon-Pepco merger today, but it’s unclear what the outcome may be. (Baltimore Business Journal)

• A third Ohio utility is following “in the shameless footsteps” of FirstEnergy and AEP in seeking income guarantees for its coal-fired plants. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
Minnesota legislators need to prioritize funding for climate change research. (Minnesota Daily)

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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