Energy News Roundup: Climate action plan in Illinois, Offshore wind project in Lake Erie

Energy News Roundup: Climate action plan in Illinois, Offshore wind project in Lake Erie
August 24, 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:



Wind, solar training facility opens in Bloomington — Pantagraph

Officials unveil a new technical training center in Bloomington, Illinois, that will train at least 100 people annually for wind and solar jobs.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources releases blueprint for climate action plan — WMBD

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources releases a climate action plan that calls for pollinator habitats at solar projects, electric vehicle charging stations in state parks and more electric vehicles.

Illinois governor vetoes effort to lift moratorium on new nuclear reactors — Energy News Network

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker vetoes a measure that would have lifted the state’s ban on new nuclear power plant construction as supporters of the technology promote small modular reactors as a potential climate solution.

Nuclear plant moratorium bill heads to veto session fight in Illinois — WGLT

The primary sponsor of an Illinois bill to lift the state’s ban on new nuclear power plant construction said she will file paperwork to attempt to override Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s veto.



AES Indiana says state storm outage inquiry not warranted — Indiana Capital Chronicle

AES Indiana says a state investigation is not needed into the utility’s recent outage response following major storms.

South Bend solar company with a mission planning to double reach — Inside Indiana Business

A small Indiana solar panel producer relies on former inmates to staff up and expand.



Climate costs imperil Detroit’s unique, diverse Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood — Planet Detroit

A unique, historic Detroit neighborhood designed around canals and waterfront parks is prone to “climate gentrification,” when people with resources to manage flood risks could displace those without them.

Health and climate justice experts caution against labeling Michigan a ‘climate haven’  — Michigan Advance

Some public health and environmental experts are hesitant to label Michigan a “climate haven” based on persistent air quality concerns and other factors that particularly harm low-income residents.

LG Energy Solution ‘seriously considering’ Holland for North American HQ — Crain’s Grand Rapids Business

LG Energy Solution is “seriously considering” making its western Michigan manufacturing plant the company’s North American headquarters as it goes on a building spree in the U.S. and Canada.

Ann Arbor-area couple wanted a home ‘for the journey.’ It’s among the greenest in the world — MLive

A southeastern Michigan net-zero home is awarded for its sustainability features that include solar and geothermal and highly efficient components.

CMS Energy to explore sale of 13 hydroelectric dams — Reuters

Michigan utility Consumers Energy is exploring the sale of its 13 hydroelectric facilities across the state as a way to reduce costs.

From cow pats to car power: Michigan State researchers find solution to sustainable vehicles — WWMT

Michigan State University researchers are developing a system to convert cow manure into renewable natural gas that can be used to charge electric vehicles.

Speaker Twp. voters reject zoning amendment — Sanilac County News

Township voters in Michigan reject an ordinance amendment that would have created restrictions on a proposed wind project.

These 6 projects will build out NW Michigan’s clean energy and electric boating infrastructure — Second Wave

A Michigan program awards grants to six companies for projects related to developing clean-fueled and electric marine vessels.

Michigan gets control of 21 oil wells, $2.85 million in lawsuit settlement — MLive

Michigan will take control of more than 20 old oil wells as part of a settlement with the owner that allegedly failed to properly maintain the sites.

The Dirty Work Of Building Clean Energy Is Dividing This Michigan Town — HuffPost

A planned $2.4 billion electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in rural Michigan is emerging as a test case for the complexities of climate change politics.

DTE asked for roughly twice what it needed in rate increase, attorney general says in new filing — MLive

Michigan’s attorney general says DTE Energy’s $622 million rate increase request for pilot programs and higher profit margins is nearly twice as much as the utility actually needs.



Listening to the birds and the bees to make solar farms more biofriendly — MPR

Researchers have been collecting data for years at three Minnesota solar farms to determine what kind of pollinator plants promote biodiversity.

Minnesota’s ambitious EV dreams still need a charge — MPR

Long stretches of Minnesota still lack adequate electric vehicle charging options, complicating the state’s effort to increase electric vehicle adoption.

Minnesota to expand its grant program for electric school buses — WCCO
A Minnesota agency is expanding a grant program for school districts to apply for up to $375,000 to buy electric buses.

Cities like Moorhead are planning for more extreme weather. Lawmakers approved $100 million to help — MinnPost

Minnesota lawmakers this year approved a $100 million program that provides funding for cities’ climate resilience projects.

In northern Minnesota, early adopters make the case for cold-climate heat pumps — Energy News Network

Installers and early adopters of electric heat pumps in northern Minnesota are showing that the technology, paired with weatherization upgrades, can be effective even in cold weather climates.

‘The Velvet Hammer’: Tina Smith Is The Senate’s Rising Progressive Powerhouse — HuffPost

Environmental advocates say U.S. Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota has emerged as an unsung hero in Washington, and played a key role in helping to pass climate provisions the Inflation Reduction Act.

Behind the Scenes in the Senate, This Scientist Never Gave Up on Passing the Inflation Reduction Act. Now He’s Come Home to Minnesota — Inside Climate News

After playing a key role in crafting the Inflation Reduction Act as U.S. Sen. Tina Smith’s top energy advisor, a scientist and political staffer returns home to Minnesota to help the state implement some of the country’s most ambitious clean energy laws.




In Youngstown, a Downtown Tire Pyrolysis Plant Is Called a ‘Recipe for Disaster’ — Inside Climate News

Clean energy and neighborhood groups worry about air pollution from a planned facility in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, that would convert tires and other feedstocks into a synthetic gas to be burned for heating and cooling buildings.

Ohio leads the U.S. in solar and wind farm rejections — WVXU

More than 40 Ohio townships have banned wind and solar projects since a 2021 state law permitted local governments to restrict development.

Remaining three townships request ban on wind, solar farms — East Liverpool Review

The only three townships in an Ohio county that haven’t banned large wind and solar projects all seek to do so.

‘It’s theft. It’s forgery. It’s lying’: Solar site accused of altering OH driver’s licenses to get tax break — WCPO

Ohio accuses a solar developer of submitting altered driver’s licenses for employees in order to qualify for tax breaks for hiring local workers.

In FirstEnergy class action, Ohioans get $16 as lawyers make millions — Cleveland.com

Settlements ranging from $1 to $20 are being issued to FirstEnergy customers in northeast Ohio as part of a $49 million class action settlement related to the state’s bribery and racketeering scandal.



Shoemaker wants to explore ability to transmit electricity from Michigan — Sault Star

An Ontario, Canada, mayor expresses interest in a partnership that could transmit power from a plant in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.



Evers signs school bus driver law, vetoes bills on energy, unemployment, occupational licensing  — Wisconsin Examiner

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers vetoes a bill that would have blocked state agencies and local governments from restricting or discriminating against utilities for using fossil fuels.

How Wisconsin’s largest power company lobbies legislators to stall a clean energy transition — Tone

Newly revealed emails show how Wisconsin’s largest utility company sought to persuade state lawmakers to preemptively block local governments from limiting natural gas hookups in their communities.

Senate panel votes to kill building code update supporters say would save energy, improve safety — Wisconsin Examiner

A Wisconsin Senate committee rejects an update to the state’s commercial building codes that supporters say would improve efficiency, reduce emissions and save costs for building owners.



As Feds Look To Cut Red Tape, More Local Governments Are Curbing Wind And Solar — HuffPost

As federal officials seek to cut red tape for wind and solar projects, a growing number of local governments are adopting restrictions on where they can be built.

Great Lakes gets its first wind farm – but some fear environmental fallout — Guardian

A pilot offshore wind project in Lake Erie could be a test case for future Great Lakes wind projects, supporters say.

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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