• As Ohio lawmakers consider subsidies for two uneconomic coal plants, a new report shows market forces — especially lower prices from shale gas development — are behind the general decline of coal plants’ competitiveness. (Midwest Energy News)
• New U.S. Energy Information figures show coal is still the dominant generation fuel in the Midwest. (Utility Dive)

FRAC SAND: Environmental groups are challenging a decision last month by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to grant permits for a frac sand mining operation that would fill 16.25 acres of wetlands. (LaCrosse Tribune)

• A Minnesota utility announces plans to plant pollinator habitat at an upcoming solar installation and at local substations. (Northfield News)
• A Minnesota couple’s efforts to promote pollinator-friendly solar gardens are receiving national attention. (Park Rapids Enterprise)
• A Wisconsin county is considering plans to move forward with privately funded solar installations at two government buildings. (Baraboo News Republic)
• An Ohio high school hopes to meet 80 percent of its electricity needs through a new solar installation. (Associated Press)
• Residential solar installations are on the rise in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula. (Northern Express)
• Construction is underway on a 12,000-square-foot industrial building near Chicago that will have a 1.2-megawatt solar installation on the roof. (Elgin Courier-News)

CLIMATE: Exxon Mobil joins other oil companies and major corporations in backing a plan by a group of Republicans to tax carbon emissions. (New York Times)

GRID: Grid operator PJM publishes three documents on ways to move its policies forward as more distributed generation comes online and as states consider carbon-pricing rules. (RTO Insider)

• Officials are trying to contain and find the origin of an oil slick spotted in a river in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. (WISN)
• An Ohio shale-drilling powerhouse is being acquired for $6.7 billion, “creating a monster in the domestic natural-gas industry.” (Columbus Business First)

EFFICIENCY: Officials in Ann Arbor, Michigan hire a firm to do an energy audit on city-owned buildings in hopes of identifying energy efficiency opportunities. (MLive)

UTILITIES: Members of a cooperatively owned power company in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula say the board is blocking input from members and is not being transparent with its management. (Houghton Mining Gazette)

COMMENTARY: Inserting changes to wind turbine setback requirements in an Ohio budget bill “is not the way to go,” says the Columbus Dispatch.

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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