Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Illinois, Ohio coal plants closing; Michigan treatment plant upgrade, Wisconsin poor infrastructure

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Illinois, Ohio coal plants closing; Michigan treatment plant upgrade, Wisconsin poor infrastructure
October 2, 2020 Ian Wendrow
Photo Tony Webster via Wikimedia

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

In this edition: Power company plans to shutter coal plants in Illinois and Ohio; upgrading of East Lansing water treatment plan will save on energy costs; and Wisconsin receives poor grades for both energy and water infrastructure.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Illinois, Ohio:

Vistra, a Texas-based power company, intends to transition into a battery manufacturer and renewable energy company. To that end, it has begun a series of closures for several coal plants around the country, including five in Illinois and two in Ohio. In Illinois specifically, several of these plant closures were due to violations of the Clean Air Act or Illinois’ own Multi-Pollutant Standard, which limits the amount of allowed emissions of sulfur dioxide and other air pollutants. The first shuttering is expected to take place by the end of 2022, with others to follow suit in 2025 and 2027.


The 55-year old Water Resources Recovery Plant in East Lansing, Michigan, is expected to halve its current energy usage due to over $77 million of upgrades that began in 2014. The latest $32 million upgrade addresses the facility’s solid waste, which includes a recovery system that recycles methane that is released by breaking down solid waste and using that to help power the plant. Construction is expected to conclude by 2023.


The 2020 Infrastructure Report Card for Wisconsin was not one to boast over. Of the report card’s 13 categories – which measures the health of a state’s infrastructure by assessing its existing condition and needed maintenance or upgrades on an A to F scale – Wisconsin’s highest grade was only a B for its handling of energy, solid waste and hazardous waste. All others, including for inland waterways, stormwater and wastewater, were a C. Effectively, this means that Wisconsin’s water infrastructure is in passable condition but will require increased attention soon. The 2020 report card did not assess state infrastructure as it has been used during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Catch up on other Great Lakes energy headlines here:

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Wisconsin utility shutoffs postponed, Lake Erie wind farm, Minnesota mine legal win

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio nuclear bailout bill repeal, COVID-19 energy crises in Michigan

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Energy-efficient fertilizer in Minnesota, Ohio bailout law repeal, Wisconsin utility rate freeze

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Back Forty mine setback, Illinois and Ohio utility shutoffs

The Right to Mine: Michigan grants Canadian mining company permits while Wisconsin Menominee tribe fights those permits in court

Featured image: Xcel Energy Sherburne County coal-fired power plant at sunset (Photo by Tony Webster via Wikimedia)


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *