• The state House again passes a bill to make clean energy standards voluntary, though Gov. John Kasich has hinted that he would veto such an attempt and both chambers may not have veto-proof majorities. (Toledo Blade)
• The House bill does, however, remove a provision that would have limited AEP’s ability to pay for roughly 900 megawatts of new wind and solar projects. (Columbus Business First)

• A new website launched by the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center highlights Midwest electric cooperatives that have invested in solar in hopes of getting other co-ops to do the same. (Midwest Energy News)
• Georgia-based Suniva is planning “significant cuts” at a facility in Saginaw, Michigan, citing “continued downward market pricing pressures.” If it closes permanently, it would owe the local township for tax abatements it received. (MLive)
• The number of solar jobs in Illinois increased 6.7 percent in 2016, ranking the state 17th in the country, according to an industry report. (Chicago Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference April 24-25 in Columbia, Missouri. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

WIND: A new report by the Iowa Policy Project says the state’s relatively low electric rates are due to its robust wind industry. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

MICROGRIDS: A planned study will determine how the Cleveland area could use microgrids as an economic development tool. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

• Multiple environmental groups sue the Trump administration over its decision to approve construction for the Keystone XL pipeline, saying it relied on an outdated environmental assessment. (Reuters)
• Federal officials will keep in place many corrective actions ordered as a result of a North Dakota pipeline spill last year, saying the pipeline is vulnerable to future spills. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Uncertainty three months ago over the future of an Exelon nuclear plant in Illinois has been replaced by confidence as an additional 1,600 supplemental employees are on site during a planned refueling. (Quad-City Times)

GRID: A new study by grid operator PJM says its system can remain reliable with more generation from natural gas and renewables and less from coal and nuclear. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

COAL: U.S. senators from Ohio and West Virginia ask President Trump to preserve funding for a program that provides millions of dollars to retrain displaced miners in Appalachia. (The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register)

OVERSIGHT: A state Senate hearing to confirm Iowa Utilities Board Chair Geri Huser to another two-year term is canceled after a report that she maintained her job as an attorney while serving on the board. (WHO-TV)

DEMAND RESPONSE: Michigan’s two major utilities launch incentive programs for customers to cut down on energy use during peak times. (Michigan Radio)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2nd Grid Modernization Forum, April 3-5 in Chicago, examines key lessons from top utilities including Eversource, Alliant Energy, Con Edison, National Grid, Ameren and many others. Enter MWEN when registering for 20% off.***

EFFICIENCY: A $50,000 grant from Ameren Illinois will help low-income families take advantage of energy efficiency projects. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

COMMENTARY: An advocacy group says Illinois’ NextGrid project in some ways follows New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision and could go further in how it values distributed generation on the grid. (Environmental Defense Fund)

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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