WIND: Wind has surpassed coal as the largest source of electricity in Iowa and Kansas, according to a national wind energy trade group. (Des Moines Register, Kansas City Star)

ALSO:
• Great River Energy considers installing 800 MW of wind energy in North Dakota if it closes the state’s largest coal plant, which is operating at a loss. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Township officials in West Michigan face recall elections next month after voting to support a now-scrapped wind project. (MLive)
• A company is selected to build a 150 MW wind project in northern Iowa. (Renewables Now)

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SOLAR:
• Minnesota solar installers continue work with only limited disruptions as the sector is exempted from the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order. (Energy News Network)
• The chairman of the Ohio Power Siting Board, a longtime critic of renewable energy, says his concerns were resolved before approving an 80 MW solar project last week. (Energy News Network)
• A University of Minnesota researcher receives federal funding to study the costs and benefits of distributed solar for electric cooperatives. (Energy News Network)

CLIMATE: A climate action plan in Dane County, Wisconsin, includes an 80% target for wind and solar and a ramp up of energy efficiency to help cut carbon emissions in half. (Wisconsin State Journal)

COAL:
• The coal industry’s decline is accelerating due to the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. (Associated Press)
• Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attempts to mitigate the political fallout from a former coal plant smokestack demolition that endangered the surrounding neighborhood. (Chicago Sun-Times)
• NIPSCO plans to retire five coal ash ponds at a northwestern Indiana coal plant. (Daily Energy Insider)

RENEWABLES:
• An executive order in Michigan allowing for the online notarization of documents is helping advance renewable energy projects amid widespread COVID-19 closures. (MiBiz)
• Wind and solar projects in west-central Illinois move through the planning process despite limitations from the pandemic. (Journal Courier)

BIOFUELS: The head of Iowa’s biofuels association calls oil states’ attempt to get the federal government to suspend ethanol supports “galactically stupid” and “pathetic.” (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

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UTILITIES: Consumers Energy crews are working and quarantining together for two weeks at a time to avoid exposure to the coronavirus. (MLive)

COMMENTARY:
A Wisconsin clean energy advocate says We Energies’ continued reliance on coal will contribute to ongoing air pollution and harm public health. (Racine Journal Times)
• AEP has an “aspirational goal” to reach 100% renewable energy, but a utility watchdog group says the utility’s future includes a “hefty dose of fossil fuels.” (Energy and Policy Institute)

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.