GRID: A report by public policy researchers suggests Michigan’s lagging grid reliability and relatively high electricity rates are contributing to the state’s population decline. (Bridge)

• A former Wisconsin regulator says an out-of-state company and a conservative advocacy group worked to block state legislation last year that would have given in-state utilities first rights to build transmission projects. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• The transmission buildout needed to support U.S. clean energy goals will likely benefit large utility holding and transmission companies, while small firms may struggle to bid for projects, according to a credit rating agency. (Utility Dive)

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NUCLEAR: The owner of a shuttered Michigan nuclear plant signs long-term power purchase agreements with two electric co-ops to sell electricity from the plant if and when it reopens. (MLive)

POWER PLANTS: Indiana utility NIPSCO files plans to build a $644 million natural gas peaker plant that utility officials say is necessary to balance grid resources as more renewables come online. (Times of Northwest Indiana)

UTILITIES: Kansas City-based utility Evergy asks Missouri regulators to allow customers to opt out of new time-of-use pricing plans following ratepayer opposition. (Missouri Independent)

PIPELINES: South Dakota’s recent denial of carbon pipeline permits gives state lawmakers a chance to consider new eminent domain legislation. (KELO)

CLIMATE: Climate experts worry that Midwest homes located in a future “extreme heat belt” are not built to handle rising temperatures caused by climate change. (KCUR)

OIL & GAS: Ohio officials order four fracking-waste injection wells to halt operations because they pose an imminent danger to public health and the environment. (Athens County Independent)

MINING: The Department of Defense awards $20.6 million for nickel prospecting in Minnesota and Michigan in hopes of building a domestic supply chain for critical minerals used in technology like lithium ion batteries. (Associated Press) 

SOLAR: An Iowa county begins collecting public input on regulations for commercial solar projects. (Siouxland Public Media)

COAL: More than 100 clean energy advocates call on Evergy to close a Lawrence, Kansas, coal plant that the utility had promised to close by the end of the year before backtracking. (Lawrence Times)

• The electric vehicle transition has become a flashpoint in the contract standoff between Michigan automakers and the UAW, which seeks guarantees that its workers will be part of the shift. (The New Republic)
• UAW officials call plans for a $2.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Kokomo, Indiana, a “spit in the face.” (CNN)

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CLEAN ENERGY: Midwest solar developers are among clean power companies that are appealing to regulators to charge more for their generation as market forces jeopardize projects’ profitability. (E&E News)

COMMENTARY: Illinois labor and environmental advocates say training programs and public investments will be crucial to ensure a just transition for workers to electric vehicles and clean energy. (Energy News Network)

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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.