SOLAR: The number of rooftop solar installations in Illinois has plummeted as state incentives run out, down to 313 this past spring compared to 2,908 during the same period the year before. (Inside Climate News / Chicago Sun-Times)

• An Indiana town’s solar investment is paying off as expected, according to an official who says critics of a $5.4 million loan for the project misunderstand how it is supposed to work. (North Vernon Plain Dealer & Sun)
• Concerned about aesthetics, the president of a trucking company is organizing protests against solar farms in Michigan, which a developer says are providing a critical income stream for area farmers. (Fox 47)

GRID: Activists and city officials call for a state investigation of Michigan’s utilities after recent storms left hundreds of thousands of customers without power; Meanwhile DTE Energy offers $100 credits to those still without electricity. (Detroit News, Detroit Free Press)

• Advocates are promoting a plan to develop the country’s first carbon-neutral mixed use development on a polluted former golf course site in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Star Tribune)
• North Dakota’s new Clean Sustainable Energy Authority is expected to begin issuing $25 million in grants as soon as December, though critics have warned the authority’s board is heavily tilted toward fossil fuels. (Bismarck Tribune)

FRACKING: A new study is the first to link hydraulic fracturing to surface water contamination, though levels of three pollutants remain below EPA thresholds. (Inside Climate News)

PIPELINES: Opponents of the Line 3 pipeline briefly shut down Duluth, Minnesota’s iconic Lift Bridge yesterday. (Minnesota Reformer)

BIOFUELS: The USDA announces $26 million in grants to expand availability of higher-blend biofuels in 23 states. (Green Car Congress)

CLIMATE: At a utility forum in Nebraska, some farmers claim increasing levels of carbon dioxide are improving their crop yields, though scientists have warned that climate change will outweigh any benefits. (Norfolk Daily News, NASA) 

CARBON CAPTURE: A consulting firm that worked on the Dakota Access pipeline is seeking agreements with Iowa counties to provide inspection services for a proposed carbon dioxide pipeline system. (Charles City Press)

UTILITIES: An Indiana task force hears testimony on proposed time-of-use rates. (WFYI)

• Consumers Energy unveils new fast-charging stations for electric vehicles in downtown Flint, Michigan. (WNEM)
• It’s the “wild, wild West” for automotive suppliers as they rush to meet automakers’ demands for electric vehicle production. (Reuters)

EFFICIENCY: Ohio State University’s trustees approve $44 million in energy efficiency upgrades across 40 campus buildings. (news release)

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.