UTILITIES: Major Ohio utilities signal a positive financial outlook despite a drop in power demand during the pandemic, which critics say highlights policies that protect utilities from risk at the expense of ratepayers. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: A settlement with the U.S. EPA will require DTE Energy to reduce air pollution from five southeastern Michigan coal plants, pay a $1.8 million civil penalty and replace old school and municipal transit buses with cleaner models. (Detroit News)

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• North Dakota wants to use $33.1 million in federal coronavirus aid to plug abandoned oil wells, many of which were created by the latest industry downturn. (Associated Press)
• Oil extraction and mining businesses had the best success in getting loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, according to a Census Bureau survey. (Associated Press)

SMART GRID: The Illinois Commerce Commission is close to finalizing rules that will allow utilities to earn a return on investment for cloud-based computing solutions, which will help facilitate the transition to a smart grid. (Utility Dive)

COAL: The planned closure of a major North Dakota coal plant may signal a shift for electric cooperatives, which have been slow to embrace clean energy. (InsideClimate News)

PIPELINES: Michigan’s attorney general urges the state Public Service Commission to reject Enbridge’s request to move forward with construction of a pipeline tunnel for Line 5. (WILX)

SOLAR: An Illinois university expects to save up to $80,000 a year on electricity costs with a new solar project that includes no upfront costs. (Premier Broadcasting)

STORAGE:  A western Michigan company receives a $250,000 grant to advance its utility-scale energy storage technology. (MiBiz)

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EFFICIENCY: Ameren officials discuss ways residential customers can save energy as their demand grows during the pandemic. (Herald & Review)

• A FirstEnergy subsidiary’s stock buyback “is a brazen slap in the face to every Ohio customer who will have to pony up to subsidize a pair of nuclear power plants that are financially troubled,” an editorial board writes. (Toledo Blade)
• A North Dakota state senator says the state should invest in retraining workers at a major coal plant scheduled to close in 2022. (Inforum)

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.