UTILITIES: Newly revealed text messages from a former Ohio utility regulator to a FirstEnergy executive suggested he knew that a grid modernization charge was likely illegal and that $456 million already collected from customers would likely not be refunded. (Energy News Network/Eye on Ohio)

ALSO:
• A Cleveland city councilor calls on FirstEnergy to relinquish its naming rights for an NFL stadium based on its role in a bribery scandal. (Akron Beacon Journal)
• Des Moines, Iowa, is expected to approve a new 13-year franchise agreement with MidAmerican Energy today along with a second agreement related to the city’s emissions-reduction goals. (Des Moines Register)

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NUCLEAR:
• The owner of a southwestern Michigan nuclear plant closes the facility 11 days earlier than planned, though state regulators say they are in discussions with a potential buyer that could seek federal subsidies to reopen the plant. (Bridge Michigan)
• U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm emphasizes the need for a centralized location to store spent nuclear fuel in the U.S. (Associated Press)

WIND:
• A wind energy moratorium in northern Ohio pauses the development of a planned 300 MW wind project. (Galion Inquirer)
• Two wind turbine manufacturing plants in Kansas and Iowa will shut down while the owner awaits for new orders. (Hutchinson News)

RENEWABLES: A northern Illinois county extends its moratorium on wind, solar and battery storage projects for three months as it considers local zoning regulations. (SaukValley.com)

SOLAR:
• Kansas City officials help launch a solar group-buying program that’s designed to lower installation costs for residents considering projects. (Kansas City Star)
• A Wisconsin school district unveils the largest solar installation at a K-12 school building in the state. (WKOW)
• A 150 MW solar project planned in northern Indiana promises hundreds of construction jobs and tens of millions of dollars in local tax revenue over the life of the project. (South Bend Tribune)

BIOFUELS: Officials are working to determine the cause of an explosion at a central Ohio ethanol plant as a new grain dryer was being installed. (Coshocton Tribune)

STORAGE: A University of Minnesota campus partners on a new energy storage research center. (MPR News)

BIOGAS: A central Minnesota city’s solar-powered wastewater treatment facility turns organic waste into biogas, helping “define what a clean energy future can look like,” officials say. (Star Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
• Following John Oliver’s segment on utilities, a think tank director suggests four strategies for increasing utility accountability. (Energy News Network)
• Missouri environmental advocates say the state is considering regulations that would drastically reduce oversight at coal ash dumps. (Missouri Independent)

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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.