Energy News Roundup: Minnesota leading in clean energy, coal plant closing in Michigan

Energy News Roundup: Minnesota leading in clean energy, coal plant closing in Michigan
June 15, 2023 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:



Tax credits help lure solar-powered manufacturing plant, 60 new jobs to southern Illinois — Belleville News-Democrat

A new southern Illinois plant that will manufacture components for solar panels and electric vehicles also will be powered by a 15-acre onsite solar project.

Untapped solar potential awaits atop warehouse roofs — Energy News Network

Warehouse rooftops in Illinois and throughout the U.S. represent an untapped solar opportunity as land use tensions rise for projects.



BP to pay record-setting $40M to settle air, water pollution charges at Indiana refinery — Indianapolis Star

Environmental groups celebrate a $40 million penalty against a BP subsidiary for allegedly violating federal pollution laws at an Indiana oil refinery.

Indiana is adding electric vehicle charging stations, but makes EV owners pay a fee. Why? — Indiana Public Radio

Clean energy advocates say Indiana’s registration fee on electric vehicles is unfair, especially to owners who just drive locally.



Michigan House, Senate send letter to Gov. Whitmer about Palisades Nuclear Power Plant — WWMT

A bipartisan group of Michigan lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in support of state funding to repower a recently shuttered nuclear plant.

Clinton County greenlights study into Eagle megasite — WLNS

A central Michigan county will pause development on utility-scale wind and solar projects for a year as local officials craft new zoning regulations.

Early data shows electric vehicle owners are charging at the “right time” — Michigan Radio

Michigan’s two largest utilities report that the vast majority of its electric vehicle-driving customers are charging their vehicles during off-peak times.

Ohio and Michigan groups aim to boost underrepresented entrepreneurs in clean energy — Energy News Network

Business incubators in Ohio and Michigan launch a joint program to help clean energy startups commercialize their products faster and recruit people of color, women, veterans and people with disabilities.

Whitmer wants to make Michigan a clean energy haven. But rural communities are pushing back — Times Herald

Efforts to change local zoning regulations to benefit wind development in eastern Michigan townships have sparked recall attempts against local officials.

Planned coal plant closure opens up property for development — WOOD-TV8

Local officials say an impending Michigan coal plant closure opens a “unicorn opportunity” to redevelop 2,000 acres of lakefront property along Lake Michigan.

Amid wildfire smoke, Michigan leaders signal support for new clean energy standard — MLive

Poor air quality from Canadian wildfires is creating more urgency for major climate legislation in Michigan, though Democrats’ slim majority means they will likely have to compromise on more progressive aspects of a proposed bill.



Minneapolis bans new heavy-polluting industries, limits existing facilities — Sahan Journal

Minneapolis will now ban heavy-polluting industries from opening facilities in the city, and prohibit the expansion of existing plants that mostly operate in communities of color.

Minnesota Emerges as the Midwest’s Leader in the Clean Energy Transition — Inside Climate News

Advocates say Minnesota has leapfrogged Illinois as a climate leader by passing a suite of new equitable clean energy transition legislation this session.

Xcel will reassess investments in Minnesota after regulators’ decision — Star Tribune

Xcel Energy moves to withdraw its proposal to build the country’s largest utility-owned electric vehicle charging network after Minnesota regulators approve less than half of the utility’s rate increase request.



On day one, Ohio gets eight applications to frack on state lands — Cleveland.com

On the first day of a new regulatory program, Ohio received eight applications to drill for oil and gas under state lands.

Bidding begins for oil and gas leases on public land in Ohio — Ohio Capital Journal

Industry groups praise a new Ohio program that opens state lands for oil and gas drilling, while environmental groups say it’s not compatible with climate and public health.

Gas companies pitch fracking state park and two wildlife areas under new law — Cleveland.com

Fossil fuel companies request to drill for oil and gas beneath an Ohio state park and two wildlife refuges as a new regulatory program ramps up.

Ohio, like other GOP-led states, would limit considering climate change in pension investments — Allegheny Front

A bill moving through the Ohio legislature is among the latest that would prevent state pension boards from investing in funds that consider environmental, social, and corporate governance factors.

Ohio’s status as a leader in renewable energy development may not last — WXVU

Ohio ranks fourth in the nation for anticipated renewable energy development this year, though a recent state law giving local governments more power to block projects is already stalling new applications.



2 Madison-area companies get federal money to help curb climate change through fusion energy — Wisconsin Public Radio

Two Madison, Wisconsin-area companies receive millions of dollars in federal climate funding to advance nuclear fusion technologies.

UK-based company to repurpose electric vehicle batteries in shuttered Chippewa Falls frac sand plant — Wisconsin Public Radio

A U.K. company is investing $15 million to redevelop a former Wisconsin frac sand processing facility as a site to repurpose electric vehicle batteries.



Another target of GOP spending cuts: renewables for farmers — Grist

Congressional Republicans seek to cut the budgets of programs that support renewable energy projects on farms and in rural areas.

Hundreds of US localities restrict renewables siting, with 293 projects currently contested: Columbia report — Utility Dive

A Columbia Law School analysis finds 228 local restrictions across 35 states that aim to create legal and regulatory obstacles to renewable energy projects.

The remarkable upsurge in US clean energy manufacturing, in charts — Canary Media

The federal Inflation Reduction Act has made the U.S. the “most attractive destination for global capital in clean energy and cleantech,” an analyst says as domestic clean energy manufacturing ramps up.

Catch more news at Great Lakes Now:

Energy News Roundup: Illinois house passes ethics bill, EPA rule in Indiana

Energy News Roundup: $400 Million hydrogen fuel plant coming to Michigan, U.N. panel recommends shutting down Line 5


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