GRID: Minnesota solar installers say connecting systems to Xcel Energy’s grid still takes too long despite recent efforts by the utility and state regulators to reduce delays and clear a project backlog. (Energy News Network)

RENEWABLES: A Michigan county’s rejection of wind energy ordinances this week prompts discussions about the state taking a more active role in approving sites for renewable energy projects. (Bridge Michigan)

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• Iowa regulators deny a developer’s pre-approval request for a 400 MW solar and 75 MW storage project, saying alternative generation sources weren’t adequately studied, though the project could still move forward. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• A southern Indiana county finalizes solar zoning regulations that will allow the developer of a 200 MW project to submit formal plans. (The Republic)
• Eastern Ohio county officials will consider a developer’s request to make direct payments to local entities instead of paying property taxes on a proposed 49.5 MW brownfield solar project. (Herald-Star)

STORAGE: Federal regulators waive Vistra from regional interconnection rules so the company can add battery storage at two retiring Illinois coal plants. (Utility Dive)

HYDROGEN: Nuclear plants in Ohio and Minnesota are part of a federal project demonstrating the potential to produce clean hydrogen at nuclear reactors. (Utility Dive) 

OIL & GAS: President Biden is expected to announce a new rule today to cut down on methane emissions at smaller drilling sites. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: Wisconsin regulators approve Madison Gas & Electric’s nearly 9% rate hike to cover increased fuel costs, and also approve the utility’s plan to buy part of a new natural gas plant. (Wisconsin State Journal)

BIOFUELS: U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska plans to introduce federal legislation to expand year-round sales of gasoline with higher ethanol blends, saying the proposal has support from a major oil industry trade group. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Michigan economic development officials prepare two additional rural “mega sites” in hopes of attracting electric vehicle and battery manufacturers. (Crain’s Detroit Business, subscription)

SMART METERS: AES Ohio now charges customers a nearly $100 one-time fee as well as nearly $37 a month to opt out of installing smart meters to cover the cost of manual meter-reading and billing. (Dayton Daily News)

• Tribal leaders say Canada’s invocation of a 1977 pipeline treaty to keep Line 5 open is an attempt to “circumvent tribal rights within the U.S. legal system for a pipeline that we do not need or have alternatives for.” (Toronto Star)
• Indiana’s chief energy officer says Gov. Eric Holcomb is at COP27 this week to demonstrate “how our results-oriented approach to the energy transition is already delivering strong outcomes for the state.” (Indianapolis Star)
• Local zoning authorities in Indiana should hold meaningful engagement between landowners and developers to avoid distrust with large renewable energy projects, an editorial board writes. (Herald Bulletin)

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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.