SOLAR: A Cleveland pilot project begins installing rooftop solar on low- and moderate-income homes, which advocates say is a first step to helping reduce the energy burden in disadvantaged neighborhoods. (Energy News Network) 

ALSO:
An Ohio county’s recent decision to reject new restrictions on commercial solar projects was about protecting landowner rights, an official said. (WYSO)
• Iowa regulators will partially reconsider a utility’s proposal to charge customers for a proposed 400 MW solar and 75 MW storage project. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

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PIPELINES: A section of the Keystone pipeline that leaked 14,000 barrels of crude oil in Kansas reopened after weeks of cleanup and repairs. (ABC News)

RENEWABLES:
• A central Ohio township approves restrictions on commercial solar and wind development in large areas of the township. (Marion Star)
Michigan regulators approve a 35-year agreement between Ford and DTE Energy to purchase 650 MW of solar output, which will help the automaker achieve its carbon neutral target. (MLive)

CLIMATE: Minnesota’s environmental review process will now require developers to calculate the carbon footprint of various types of large projects and how to limit their climate impact. (MPR News)

POLICY: Climate action and clean energy are among the policy agenda items to watch in Michigan as Democrats now control the legislative and executive branches of government for the first time in four decades. (Bridge Michigan)

COAL: Ameren closed its oldest and smallest coal plant on Dec. 31, marking the first of three expected coal plant closures this year. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The U.S. Treasury Department said last week that electric vehicles leased by consumers can qualify for up to $7,500 in tax credits. (Reuters)

GRID:
The U.S Energy Department’s loan office will hold a series of meetings in the coming weeks as it prepares an environmental impact study of the Grain Belt  Press transmission project. (Grand Bend Tribune)
• Missouri regulators will hold formal hearings in May on the Grain Belt Express developer’s request to amend parts of its previously approved plan. (Monitor Index)
• Ohio utilities are placing greater emphasis on grid infrastructure investments as outages grow more likely with extreme weather events. (Dayton Daily News)

OIL & GAS: A $500,000 federal grant will help support research into separating carbon and hydrogen from flared natural gas at North Dakota oil wells. (Dickinson Press)

MICROGRIDS: Cleveland-area officials select a company to develop a first microgrid that would operate separately from FirstEnergy. (Cleveland.com)

HYDROGEN: North Dakota will lead efforts with three other states this year to create a regional hydrogen development hub. (KXNET)

Fresh Energy is hiring!
Fresh Energy’s work is speeding the transition to a clean energy economy in Minnesota and beyond. To advance this work, we are seeking a director of inclusive finance to join the Energy Access and Equity team and a policy associate to join the Clean Electricity team. Find both job postings here.

UTILITIES: Michigan’s two largest utilities donated a combined $22 million last year to nonprofits that help reduce energy bills for low-income customers. (MLive)

COMMENTARY: U.S. Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota says the federal Inflation Reduction Act is the “most significant action ever to combat climate change and lower energy and health care costs for Americans.” (Duluth News Tribune)

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Andy Balaskovitz

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.