SOLAR: Across Minnesota there has been an “unprecedented surge” in the number of churches installing rooftop solar panels and encouraging members to do the same. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

• Construction begins on a portion of a 5.5-megawatt, utility-scale solar project in Iowa. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• Utility-scale solar capacity is expected to grow by 8 gigawatts this year, according to a new Energy Information Administration forecast. (Utility Dive)

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BIOFUELS: Researchers in Illinois have released county-level data on how converting land to biofuel crops impacts the ability to sequester carbon in soil. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: Despite receiving federal grant support, a planned offshore wind project in Lake Erie still faces many hurdles before construction can begin. (Great Lakes Echo)

COAL: Ohio-based AEP says it will lay off about one-third of the workforce at its Cook Coal Terminal in Illinois due to a decline in the amount of coal coming through the facility. (Platts)

UTILITIES: FirstEnergy wants customers to pay more than $500 million a year for eight years to “compensate for the economic impact of having its headquarters in Akron.” (Bloomberg)

PIPELINES: Dakota Access pipeline protesters are planning the next stages of their efforts, including a potentially large number of arrests through civil disobedience. (Radio Iowa)

TRANSPORTATION: Congressional leaders seek more time to study new vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards. (Reuters)

• North Dakota officials say more than 10,000 gallons of an oil and water mixture has spilled, though no surface water has been impacted. (Associated Press)
• “Keep it in the ground” advocates have asked a federal court to force the Obama administration to consider the climate impacts of oil and gas leasing on public lands. (EnergyWire)

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VOLKSWAGEN SCANDAL: More than 40 percent of Volkswagen owners who purchased cars that cheated on emissions tests seek a settlement with the company. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: It’s time for a Minnesota community to plan for life after a major coal-burning power plant. (St. Cloud Times)

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.

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