EFFICIENCY: A Minnesota initiative aims to lower the energy burden in manufactured home communities by connecting them with utility and federal weatherization resources. (Energy News Network)

• The contentious debate over the aesthetics, safety, and economic impact of large solar projects in central Ohio reflects a trend across U.S. rural communities that threatens to slow the clean energy transition. (Inside Climate News/ABC News)
• The CEO of U.S. solar panel manufacturer First Solar, which has operations in Ohio, says the company will consider expanding its U.S. operations if a federal climate bill that subsidizes equipment production is signed into law. (Reuters)

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OHIO: State regulators stop the Ohio consumer advocate’s deposition of a former FirstEnergy ethics official as the line of questioning appeared to address an ongoing federal investigation into the company’s alleged bribery scheme. (Ohio Capital Journal)

• The Keystone pipeline operator plans to increase crude oil volumes from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico through small, measured steps after the Keystone XL project was canceled. (S&P Global)
• A Democratic candidate for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission makes his opposition to carbon-capture pipelines a primary issue of his campaign. (South Dakota Public Broadcasting)

UTILITIES: Xcel Energy officials say grid operator MISO’s recently approved transmission plan, along with a federal climate bill deal, will help the utility add 10 gigawatts of renewable energy in its resource plans. (RTO Insider, subscription)

OIL & GAS: Several Iowa coal plants have or will transition to natural gas for fuel, which one expert says is less costly in some situations than building new gas plants. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

GRID: Clean energy advocates say $10 billion in Midwest transmission projects recently approved by grid operator MISO will boost renewable energy development in Illinois. (WBEZ)

• General Motors says it will take out fixed-rate “green bonds” to invest in projects such as zero-emission vehicles, battery systems, fuel cells and charging infrastructure. (Detroit Free Press)
• Electric vehicle startup Rivian, which has manufacturing operations in Illinois, began laying off 800 workers Thursday to help steer the company toward profitability. (CBS News)
• A compromise federal climate bill announced this week would extend $7,500 electric vehicle tax credits with cutoffs at certain income thresholds. (Smart Cities Dive)

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• An Illinois House lawmaker says the “invisible hand” of MISO has blocked the development of crucially needed renewable energy projects. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
• U.S. Rep. Sean Casten of Illinois and a global clean energy operator lay out an energy storage blueprint for Illinois that includes mandatory targets and faster permitting. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

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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.