Energy News Roundup: Ohio law blocks solar energy development, Line 5 fight in Michigan continues

Energy News Roundup: Ohio law blocks solar energy development, Line 5 fight in Michigan continues
June 29, 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:



Largest solar farm in Illinois will help Chicago’s city operations meet climate goal — Energy News Network

About half of the output from Illinois’ largest solar project will be devoted to offsetting the city of Chicago’s municipal electric use when it’s completed in late 2024.

The meteorologist telling Congress about climate change — Politico

A former Illinois weatherman who now serves in Congress is using his position to educate the public and fellow lawmakers on climate change.

Legislation protecting local enterprise zone area signed into law — News-Leader

A new Illinois law will prevent large-scale wind and solar development within a 2,000-acre enterprise zone west of Chicago.



West Terre Haute carbon-capture project viewed as a forerunner — Inside Indiana Business

An Indiana fertilizer plant expected to come online in 2026 will feature one of the country’s largest carbon sequestration projects.

St. Joseph County officially lands $3.5 billion General Motors EV plant — Indiana Public Radio

A joint venture between General Motors and Samsung will bring a $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant and thousands of jobs to northern Indiana.

Indiana groups say they’re being ‘shut out’ of Midwest clean hydrogen hub conversations — WFYI

Indiana environmental, racial justice, and faith leaders say they are being shut out of planning discussions as a regional alliance seeks federal funding to create a Midwest hydrogen production hub.



Michigan lags behind neighboring states in solar power — Michigan Radio

Michigan lags Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin for installed solar capacity, a recent industry report finds.

Detroit incinerator smokestack to come down Sunday — Michigan Radio

Neighborhood activists raise air pollution concerns about the demolition of a former waste incinerator smokestack in Detroit, citing the botched 2020 demolition of a coal plant smokestack in Chicago.

From turtle rescues to trenches: How Consumers Energy is constructing a $550M pipeline in Michigan — MLive

Construction continues on a $550 million natural gas pipeline through southeastern Michigan.

Detroit’s Boston-Edison homeowners balance historic restoration and energy efficiency — Planet Detroit

Residents in a historic Detroit neighborhood struggle to balance preservation with energy efficiency upgrades needed in large old homes.

Lawmakers want Michigan 100% off fossil fuels sooner than all but 1 other state — MLive

Michigan House Democrats introduce a series of clean energy bills that include a 100% carbon-free electricity target by 2035, one of the fastest timelines in the country.

Dismay as Michigan hands out millions of dollars in ‘low carbon’ grants for gas projects — Planet Detroit

Environmental groups criticize Michigan officials for approving tens of millions of dollars in low-carbon infrastructure funding for biogas production and fossil gas infrastructure.

Lawmakers revive bipartisan community solar efforts as Dems work toward clean energy goals

— Michigan Advance

Allowing more community solar projects in Michigan helps consumers take back control of their electricity use and “empowers our economy,” a GOP state lawmaker says.

Montcalm Twp. Board awaits county review of wind ordinance — Daily News

A Michigan township considers new wind energy regulations that limit turbine heights to 300 feet and require half-mile setback distances from homes.

Michigan-Quebec EV corridor adding more chargers — WOOD-TV8

Advocates say an electric vehicle charging corridor spanning southwestern Michigan to Quebec will help ease range anxiety for drivers.

Wisconsin Line 5 shutdown order may disrupt pipeline fight in Michigan — MLive

A court ruling ordering Enbridge to shut down Line 5 in three years for trespassing on tribal land in Wisconsin signals that the company shouldn’t invest in a pipeline tunnel in the Great Lakes, Michigan tribal leaders say.

Nessel applauds Wisconsin Line 5 ruling, says Michigan’s fight to close the pipeline will continue — Michigan Advance

Michigan’s attorney general says a recent court ruling ordering Enbridge to shut down Line 5 on Wisconsin tribal land removes risks of pollution to Lake Superior.

Consumers Energy opens state-of-the-art natural gas training facility in Flint — MLive

Consumers Energy debuts a Flint, Michigan, facility that will train hundreds of workers in the state who build and operate natural gas infrastructure.

Big rebates proposed for rooftop solar and home battery storage under new legislation — Michigan Radio

New legislation in Michigan would require utilities to provide significant rebates to customers for home solar and battery systems.



Electric vehicle infrastructure on the horizon as registrations rise — Duluth News Tribune

Supply chain disruptions have delayed a utility’s plan to deploy 16 electric vehicle fast-charging stations across northern Minnesota.

Xcel Energy pulls funding for Minneapolis resilience hub projects — Energy News Network

Xcel Energy abruptly pulls funding for three planned Minneapolis “resilience hubs” that would support environmental justice communities in the event of climate or other emergencies.

Solar grazing a family business for Northfield couple — AgWeek

A Minnesota couple runs a mobile sheep grazing company that offers full-service vegetation management on dozens of solar farms across three states.

Minnesota’s clean energy plan needs nuclear power, but aging plants have their own risks — Star Tribune

Watchdog groups say ongoing maintenance will be key to helping Minnesota’s nuclear plants safely operate for decades to come and contribute to the state’s carbon-free electricity portfolio.

Proposed Minnesota nickel mine begins environmental review, would supply Tesla if approved — Associated Press

The operator of a proposed Minnesota nickel mine files to begin the environmental review for the project that would supply nickel to Tesla for electric vehicle batteries.



Fifth Greene County township declared off-limits from large-scale solar/wind, sixth in the works — Dayton Daily News

A western Ohio township bans large wind and solar projects while another township in central Ohio holds a forum on a proposal to do the same.

Ohio strategy would match workforce to EV demand — Tribune Chronicle

Ohio leaders work to craft a workforce strategy to help fill thousands of electric vehicle-related jobs expected over the coming years.

Why Ohio is pushing away millions of dollars in solar energy development — WEWS

Ohio landowners say a state law allowing local governments to block utility-scale solar projects, even if they secure a lease from a developer, violates their property rights.

Commissioners to host public hearing on wind, solar ban —The Review

Four townships in an eastern Ohio county will hold public hearings this summer on whether to ban large-scale wind and solar projects.

House leadership protects scandal-ridden House Bill 6, blocking repeal effort — ABC 5

Ohio Republican leaders block a bipartisan attempt to repeal coal plant subsidies at the center of a $61 million bribery scandal.

Clermont County divided over large solar farms as commissioners prepare to vote, some say ‘No more solar’ — WCPO

A southwestern Ohio county grapples with the rural clean energy debate as neighbors share differing views on utility-scale solar developments and townships move to ban such projects.

Clermont County bans large solar and wind farms in seven townships: ‘We like our county the way it is’ — WCPO

Seven southwestern Ohio townships opt to ban commercial wind and solar projects amid strong pushback from local residents.



‘We cannot wait any longer’: Milwaukee close to adopting climate and equity plan — Wisconsin Public Radio

Milwaukee officials consider a citywide climate and equity plan that calls for cutting emissions by 45% by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Dane County will join cities in push back to MGE, Alliant Energy solar rate changes — Wisconsin State Journal

Dane County, Wisconsin, joins other local governments in opposing two utilities’ plan to eliminate net metering and compensate customers less for excess solar power.

Tribe has mixed reaction to federal judge’s Line 5 shutdown order — Wisconsin Examiner

Leaders of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa welcome a judge’s order for Enbridge to shut down Line 5 on tribal property in three years, though they say the timeframe still leaves them vulnerable to a spill.

American Indian Policy Institute (@AIPInstitute) tweeted at 2:02 PM on Tue, Jun 20, 2023:
Conley agreed with the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa that the pipeline posed an environmental threat and ordered a section to shut down gradually over 3 years. Although a partial victory, the Tribe remains vigilant.



The Inflation Reduction Act will generate more than 1 million wind and solar jobs by 2035 — Marketplace

The federal Inflation Reduction Act may create up to 1 million new wind and solar jobs in the U.S., which experts say will require local job training programs to meet labor demand.

Power companies quietly pushed $215m into US politics via dark money groups — The Guardian

A new analysis shows that U.S. utilities have made at least $215 million in political contributions to dark money nonprofits in recent years that have helped increase power prices, hinder customer solar programs and elect sympathetic legislators.

Catch more news at Great Lakes Now:

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

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


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