Energy News Roundup: Indigenous communities in Canada, U.S. offer clean energy solutions

Energy News Roundup: Indigenous communities in Canada, U.S. offer clean energy solutions
October 13, 2022 Kathy Johnson, Great Lakes Now

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:



With a 100% carbon-free electricity target by 2045, Illinois must now grapple with the complexities over how exactly to reach that goal.

A pair of hyperlocal ride-hailing startups in Chicago are positioning themselves to better serve predominantly Black neighborhoods that are underserved by traditional ride-hailing services and public transit.

Illinois is so far the only state that has tried to address “cultural dislocation” related to its energy transition from coal, according to a report from a clean energy think tank.



NIPSCO will soon begin closing three coal ash ponds at a northwestern Indiana coal plant and detail corrective measures to protect groundwater from contamination.

Environmental advocates in Gary, Indiana, raise environmental concerns about a proposed bioenergy plant along Lake Michigan.

Federal transportation officials approve Indiana’s nearly $100 million electric vehicle charging network plan, which will support fast-chargers along all of the state’s interstate highways.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signs legislation creating a regulatory framework for companies seeking to store carbon emissions underground.



The Michigan Public Service Commission, which regulates investor-owned utilities, found distribution plans from DTE Electric and Consumers Energy were insufficient and ordered both utilities to implement a range of actions to increase transparency around distribution and maintenance plans.

A bill before a Michigan Senate committee would require state regulators to commission a feasibility study on nuclear energy. That study would look at the economic and environmental impacts of generating nuclear power in the state.

As DTE Energy pushes for a rate increase, the state is taking a closer look at its sale of customer debt to collection agencies. The company’s use of shut-offs and response to outages are also drawing criticism.

The Electreon Company signed a five-year agreement with the state of Michigan to research a potential road network that charges electric vehicles as they drive.

Over the past few years, corporate demand for cleaner energy to power their operations has directly led to the development of large-scale wind and solar projects across Michigan. Through voluntary “green pricing” programs created under 2016 statewide energy reforms, utilities regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission have reported exponential growth in the amount of customer-purchased renewable energy.

Michigan regulators recently approved a Consumers Energy settlement that will create a community solar pilot program and could allow for the development of a landfill solar project in Grand Rapids.



A company plans to begin producing emissions-free hydrogen at an Xcel Energy nuclear plant in Minnesota starting in 2024.

Residents in neighborhoods with less tree cover face hotter summers, higher bills and more health complications. Minneapolis-St. Paul nonprofits are working to address a longstanding inequity by planting more trees in disadvantaged neighborhoods to lower health risks and combat rising electricity bills.

Members of Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency and Department of Transportation are turning to indigenous communities throughout the state for climate solutions. During ‘Climate Week,’ representatives from the state agencies plan to visit 11 Native communities.

A federal judge rejects claims by tribes and environmental groups in Minnesota that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately review Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline expansion plan.



A northern Ohio county will take at least another month to vote on whether to restrict solar and wind energy projects as allowed under a recent state law.

Solar energy opponents in rural Ohio often outnumber supporters of large-scale projects during public meetings and demand local officials to fall in line and oppose projects.

Electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors begins producing electric trucks at its Ohio manufacturing plant.

Ohio has become the first state to host a renewable natural gas fueling station designed to support Amazon’s heavy-duty trucks. The renewable natural gas station in Groveport is operated by Clean Energy Corp. and is the first of about 19 that will be placed around the country for Amazon.

Three Ohio utilities rank among the worst in the U.S. for transitioning from fossil fuels, likely because the state’s power plant bailout law at the center of a corruption scandal provided ratepayer subsidies to coal plants.

State regulators will soon consider FirstEnergy’s request to shield from the public 39 documents related to payments it made to top government officials for favorable legislative and regulatory treatment.



A Sudbury environmental organization is rolling out the second intake of a successful program to help businesses and organizations reduce their carbon footprint. The Green Economy North program provides participant organizations with the tools to measure their greenhouse gas emissions and the knowledge on how to manage it through carbon reduction.

B2B Industrial will repurpose old tires for use in the mining, construction, forestry, military, fishing and car repair industries thanks to a novel partnership in Sudbury.

In partnership with First Nation leaders from across Ontario, Hydro One announced its new industry-leading equity partnership model on new capital transmission line projects with a value exceeding $100 million. Hydro One’s model will offer First Nations a 50 per cent equity stake in all future large-scale capital transmission line projects.

A new federal framework will be used to assess projects such as mines, dams, and liquefied natural gas facilities. The Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework for Project Reviews and Regulatory Decisions is the first step in the development of guidance specific to Indigenous knowledge in assessing projects impacting lands and resources, and in the preparation of regulatory decisions.

A Lakehead University team in Thunder Bay has been awarded $127,000 in research funding from the Ontario government to research next-generation offshore wind systems. The Lakehead initiative aims to reduce the cost and size of wind systems while improving their efficiency and reliability.



A federal appeals panel hears arguments for and against a controversial transmission line through southwestern Wisconsin that could influence future permitting decisions.

Wisconsin residents push back on We Energies’ latest electric and gas rate increase proposal given home heating costs are expected to significantly increase this winter.



The number of U.S. schools generating solar power has more than doubled over the last seven years as districts seek long-term cost savings.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announces billions of dollars in federal aid for carbon capture projects while environmental advocates criticize the technology as a diversion from renewables.

A study finds that among 47 large U.S. companies, only Xcel Energy tied its CEO pay to measurable greenhouse gas emission reductions.

From Arizona to Maine and beyond, a new generation of Indigenous entrepreneurs, activists and government leaders are making strides — and money — with clean energy.

Catch more news at Great Lakes Now: 

Energy News Roundup: Line 3 protests, renewable energy efforts growing

Energy News Roundup: New climate laws impact states, energy bill assistance in Illinois


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