Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.
In this edition: Nuclear plants buoyed be Ohio legislation rebrands post-bankruptcy, Enrbdige completes rock sampling stage of Line 5 tunnel construction, activists fear coal reclamation fund in Ohio deliberately underfunded, Ontario premier Doug Ford under fire for cancelled green energy projects fallout and two Ohio residents look at using nuclear heat to fight toxic algae.
FirstEnergy Solutions, the Ohio energy utility that owns two nuclear power plants off the coast of Lake Erie, has emerged from its bankruptcy and rebranded itself as Energy Harbor. The utility was the subject of fierce debate over House Bill 6, which subsidized the two failing plants.
Enbridge has proposed the construction of an underground tunnel to run its pipeline through, in an effort to quell environmental concerns raised by some Michiganders and the administration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The rocks and sediment will be studied by geologists to help guide the design of Enbridge’s tunnel and of the tunnel-boring machine.
The Environmental Law and Policy Center, an environmental nonprofit, requested state and federal regulators back in October to evaluate Ohio’s Reclamation Forfeiture Fund, which the non-profit argues is underfunded in violation of federal law. The Fund is used to help close and reclaim mine property if mine owners are unable to safely pay off those costs.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s decision to cut over 750 green energy products is expected to cost taxpayers $230 million in financial penalties. The head of the Progressive Conservative Party, which won last year’s election, has been heavily criticized after insisting the cancellations wouldn’t impact taxpayers, who have already had to pay out $1.1 million to 13 renewable energy firms so far. Critics also argue that the $230 million earmarked for the green companies in question may not be enough.
Two Ohio residents have a new plan to fight Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms by using surplus heat from the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant to grow various types of algae in an enclosed, highly controlled environment, that would potentially draw down concentrations of phosphorus, nitrogen and other free-flowing nutrients that contribute to the growth of toxic algae in the lake.
Featured image: The Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Lake County, Ohio, Photo by FirstEnergy Corp. via flickr.com cc 2.0