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Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio nuclear bailout repeal, Minnesota coal plants, Georgian Bay hydroelectric plant

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio nuclear bailout repeal, Minnesota coal plants, Georgian Bay hydroelectric plant
July 29, 2020 Ian Wendrow
Photo by FirstEnergy Corp. via flickr.com cc 2.0

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Great Lakes states join others to sue EPA over new reading of Clean Water Act rule limiting their oversight capacities, Minnesota regulators allow utility company to let coal plants sit idle for half the year, Ontario residents of Georgian Bay lobby against proposed hydroelectric plant, and Ohio’s governor seeks to repeal nuclear bailout.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Minnesota:

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission granted Xcel Energy’s request to operate two coal-fired plants on a seasonal basis, as coal plants typically run at a net profit loss with renewable energies and natural gas providing cheaper and more efficient alternatives. Xcel’s Allen S. King Power Plant lies to the east of Minneapolis, sitting along the shores of the St. Croix River which also functions as a natural border with Wisconsin, and will be idle for six months out of the year according to the MPUC. 

Ohio:

Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday shifted gears and called on the Ohio General Assembly to repeal the law that would provide a $1 billion bailout of two nuclear power plants on Lake Erie, given revelations about the alleged $60 million bribery scheme that led to its passage.

Ontario:

Residents along Ontario’s Georgian Bay are facing off against a proposal by TC Energy to construct a hydroelectric pumped storage plant adjacent to a military base in the town of Meaford. TC Energy’s plan is to use the plant’s pumps at night when electricity demand and pricing is lower to siphon water from the Georgian Bay and store it in an inland reservoir and elevated by 150 feet. 

However, residents opposed to the project formed a group called Save Georgian Bay, arguing that the plant will disrupt the “pristine” environment of the Georgian Bay and threaten fish habitats. 

The Department of National Defence is taking public comments on the project until July 31.

National:

Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota have joined 16 other states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, challenging a new rule that the plaintiffs state limits their power to block infrastructure projects such as oil and natural gas pipelines over water quality concerns. The rule, published on July 13, limits the scope by which states can review federal infrastructure projects, declaring that said states can only focus on direct water quality impacts and not indirect factors such as air pollution.


Catch up on other Great Lakes energy headlines here:

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio pipeline, Indiana rejects rate increase

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Lake Huron nuclear waste storage plan dropped, renewable energy in Midland

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Hydrogen-from-nuclear plants, coal tar and diesel fuel barge beached, Line 3 in Minnesota


Featured image: The Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Lake County, Ohio (Photo by FirstEnergy Corp. via flickr.com cc 2.0)

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