ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Michigan’s effort to secure major electric vehicle and battery manufacturing plants is part of a broader and intense competition among states to gain a foothold in the emerging industry. (E&E News)

SOLAR: For the first time, Iowa regulators “pre-approve” a utility’s investment in a large solar project, signing off on a 200 MW solar farm while continuing to review another 200 MW and 75 MW of battery storage. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

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HYDROGEN: A Norwegian company will build a $400 million plant at an as-yet undisclosed location in Michigan to manufacture equipment that produces hydrogen fuel. (MLive)

POLITICS: Guilty verdicts in the “ComEd Four” trial this week set the stage for former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s own bribery and racketeering case next year. (WLS) 

• An Iowa law allowing pipeline companies to access private land for surveys is unconstitutional because it doesn’t provide compensation for intangible damages to landowners, a judge rules. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)
• The operation of Line 3 in northern Minnesota has provided steady income for some residents but still poses environmental threats, advocates say. (WCCO)
• An Indigenous-led United Nations panel recommends that Canada and the United States shut down the Line 5 pipeline. (Michigan Advance)

• A carbon pipeline developer must secure property easements in Minnesota, which doesn’t allow the use of eminent domain for such projects, resulting in a more jagged route through the state. (Echo Press)
• U.S. colleges and universities are playing an outsized role in seeking federal funding for direct air capture projects that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for storage. (E&E News)

COAL: An Ohio city will host a community theater and art project to help residents deal with the “sense of loss” from the closure of a major coal plant in 2020. (Inside Climate News)

• University of Iowa officials seek to dismiss a lawsuit that the schools’ new private utilities manager filed earlier this year, claiming the school is not meeting contractual obligations. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• Following the conviction of the former CEO of its ComEd subsidiary, Exelon discloses that it may face $173 million in costs to address a lawsuit accusing it of hiding the bribery scheme from shareholders. (Crain’s Chicago Business, subscription)

RENEWABLES: The University of Minnesota will break ground this fall on a plant that produces ammonia from wind and solar power, which researchers say will help reduce carbon emissions from a carbon-intensive industry. (Great Lakes Echo)

CLIMATE: Iowa City, Iowa, is considering using its remaining federal American Rescue Plan Act funding for climate change projects. (Daily Iowan)

COMMENTARY: Distributed energy resources should be deployed across the U.S. to help stem increasing winter power outages caused by capacity constraints and aging infrastructure, solar advocates write. (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.