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Energy News Roundup: Green jobs, solar farms and the value of trees

Energy News Roundup: Green jobs, solar farms and the value of trees
July 15, 2022 Kathy Johnson

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

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Illinois

Solar, storage projects set to bring jobs, tax revenue to Illinois coal communities — Energy News Network

Six retired coal plants in downstate Illinois will soon receive solar panels and become renewable energy storage sites. Proponents hailed the program as a pioneering model, helping to create jobs, bolster the tax base and generate clean energy in communities where coal plants have closed.

Illinois issues draft renewable energy access plan to prioritize equity in the energy transition  — UtilityDive.com

Illinois Commerce Commission staff on Wednesday released a draft Renewable Energy Access Plan, or REAP, starting a 120-day public review and comment period. The REAP is a comprehensive, actionable plan for supporting an equitable, reliable, and affordable transition to decarbonization for a cleaner electrical system.

Indiana

St. Joseph County Council approves construction of solar farm — WNDU

A project to produce green energy in northern Indiana has gotten the green light from the St. Joseph County council. After four months of deliberation, the $165 million solar farm was approved by a unanimous vote.

Michigan

How Gov. Whitmer built a climate legacy in divided Michigan — E&E News

Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has used bipartisan deals and low-key appointments to craft a clean energy agenda that could last years after she leaves office.

Plans for 159-acre solar farm in rural Washtenaw County suffer setback — MLive

The Thorn Lake Solar project, a proposed 159-acre solar farm, which was projected to generate enough green energy to power thousands of homes in southeast Michigan suffered a key setback when the Manchester Township Planning Commission denied a required zoning permit.

Minnesota

Marshall calls for hearing on land annexation — Marshall Independent

A new solar installation project is under consideration by the Marshall city council. If a land annexation is approved, the 80.5 acre project would generate electricity for residents in southwestern Minnesota.

Ohio

Judge boots lawyers from FirstEnergy bribery suit for failure to ‘diligently prosecute’— Ohio Capital Journal

In an unusual move, a federal judge replaced the plaintiffs’ attorneys for failing to “diligently prosecute” a case involving a shareholder lawsuit against FirstEnergy. U.S. District Judge John Adams said he would appoint counsel on behalf of the shareholders who sued the company in connection with what federal prosecutors have called the largest bribery scandal in Ohio state history.

Ohio utilities commission meets with AEP regarding power outages — WOSU 89.7

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio heard from electricity provider American Electric Power and regional transmission organization PJM in a public meeting Wednesday regarding forced power outages in June. The decision to cut power to some residents during high temperatures has come under fire from those affected. American Electric Power officials say “physics” — not demographics — dictated where the power was shut off.

Ontario

How much should a tree be worth? Experts say cities should consider climate-related benefits— CBC

In Edmonton, near the construction of a new light-rail transit line, signs affixed to the fence show the value of the foliage: A rosy-bloom crabapple tree is worth $1,389, while nearby a spruce is pegged at $2,185. Placing a value on trees is a fairly common practice in Canada, to determine the monetary value in case it is damaged or killed. But forestry and biology experts say those dollar amounts don’t fully capture the environmental value of trees in an urban landscape — especially as they play an increasingly important role in helping to deal with the effects of climate change.

10 millionth tree in Sudbury, Ont., planted with Jane Goodall pitching in — CBC

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Jane Goodall help plant the 10 millionth tree in Greater Sudbury in northern Ontario on Thursday. The planting was a milestone for the area where government and community partners have been working to ecologically reclaim the former mining land since 1978.

Eastern Ontario Joins Province’s EV Revolution with Game-Changing Battery Materials Manufacturing Investment — Ontario.ca (government press release)

Umicore plans to make a $1.5 billion investment to build a first-of-its-kind industrial scale cathode and precursor materials manufacturing plant, in eastern Ontario. This investment would support Ontario’s vision of building an end-to-end electric vehicle (EV) supply chain in the province and becoming a North American hub for building the cars of the future.

$300-million battery storage project proposed near Sault Ste. Marie — NorthernOntarioBusiness.com

A $300-million, 10-acre battery system would be installed alongside the Prince Wind Farm site in Sault Ste. Marie. The city council expressed support on July 11 for a massive battery storage system that would involve both Crown and privately owned lands.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania appeals court order blocking climate plan –AP Press, GLN

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf asked the Pennsylvania high court to weigh in on a legal battle over the administration’s plan to charge power plants for their emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide.

Wisconsin

Alliant Energy to pay customers $25 to take over their thermostats at peak times — Wisconsin State Journal

Summary: Alliant Energy is banking on customers to help keep the electrical grid in balance. The Madison-based utility is rolling out a suite of programs including cash rewards in exchange for giving up occasional control over thermostats and water heaters.

Greening a home — and the next generation — in Wisconsin — Energy News Network

A group of students at Oconomowoc High School in Wisconsin received first-hand experience helping to reduce a home’s carbon footprint as part of a project for their AP Environmental Science course.

 

 

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