Energy News Roundup: Cleveland green bank aims to bring clean energy to underserved communities, DTE aims to improve grid reliability 60% over 5 years

Energy News Roundup: Cleveland green bank aims to bring clean energy to underserved communities, DTE aims to improve grid reliability 60% over 5 years
October 19, 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:



Loop parking garages to add 300 EV charging stations with help from ComEd — Chicago Sun-Times

A Chicago parking garage owner partners with ComEd on a plan to install 300 charging stations in its downtown facilities by 2026.

Illinois sues alternative electric supplier for ‘deceptive’ tactics that may have cost residents $15 million — Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois’ attorney general sues an alternative electric supplier, claiming “deceptive and unfair tactics” led to millions of dollars in rate increases for customers.

The End of Coal Culture — Grist

Residents in a southern Illinois community next to a large coal plant and mine grapple with a future without the industry that contributed to local prosperity.

DACC adding new geothermal training program after competitive grant win — WCIA

An Illinois community college receives a $95,000 grant to add a geothermal energy job training program to its environmental and energy curriculum.

Farmers, Illinois officials say Spire hasn’t done enough to fix damage from STL Pipeline — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Illinois landowners and the state’s attorney general say gas utility Spire has failed to live up to its promises of preventing damage to farmland during construction of a St. Louis-area gas pipeline.

State Rep. Bill Hauter opposes proposed carbon pipeline in central Illinois — WCBU

A central Illinois Republican opposes Wolf Carbon Solutions’ proposed carbon pipeline, claiming the company lacks emergency response plans and may rely on eminent domain to build the project.



County Plan Commission sends favorable recommendation to commissioners for moratorium on Utility Scale Battery Energy Storage Systems — WTCA

An Indiana county planning commission recommends a 12-month moratorium on utility-scale battery storage projects until local regulations are approved.

Stellantis announces second Kokomo battery plant as UAW pushes for ‘just’ EV transition — Indiana Public Radio

Plans for a second large electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Indiana come as the striking UAW seeks a just transition for workers at automakers for electric vehicle joint ventures.



DTE aims to improve grid reliability 60% over 5 years — MLive

Detroit-based DTE Energy unveils a five-year, $9 billion plan to improve grid reliability through more aggressive tree trimming and updated infrastructure.

Renewable energy and reducing energy waste met 25% of the state’s electricity needs last year — Michigan Radio

Renewable energy combined with energy waste reduction programs met 25% of Michigan’s power needs in 2022, according to state regulators.

Michigan Central offers free training for Detroiters to be future EV technicians — Detroit News

A new skills training initiative in Detroit will train residents to be electric vehicle and charging station technicians.

Enbridge: Federal review of Line 5 tunnel permit is ‘inexplicably lethargic’ — Bridge

Enbridge asks a Michigan permitting board to step in and advocate for a faster federal environmental review of a proposed tunnel for Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac.

Ann Arbor estimates storms, power outages in 2023 have cost city roughly $2M — MLive

Ann Arbor, Michigan, estimates that prolonged power outages from recent storms cost the city nearly $2 million in emergency expenses.

Utility-scale solar field to replace Consumers Energy’s old coal units — MLive

Consumers Energy will replace its old coal-burning power plant with a large-scale renewable solar array.

Did DTE Energy automatically enroll you in a paperless billing program? — WDIV

Michigan’s attorney general asks state regulators to investigate whether DTE Energy’s practice of automatically enrolling customers in an electronic billing program creates hardships.

900-acre solar development proposed in Fort Gratiot — Times Herald

Township officials are set to hold a public hearing on a developer’s plan for a 100 MW solar project in eastern Michigan.

Historic hydro plant powering eastern U.P. critical for energy transition — MLive

A 120-year-old hydroelectric plant in Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula is a key piece to a local utility’s clean energy portfolio.

HOAs could not block rooftop solar, home EV charging – even clothes lines – under new bill — MLive

A proposed bill in Michigan would prohibit homeowners associations from blocking members seeking to make home energy upgrades, including adding rooftop panels and electric vehicle charging stations.

MPSC report: Michigan residents see returns from energy efficiency investments  — Michigan Advance

Michigan ratepayers save nearly $3 for every $1 spent on utility energy efficiency programs, according to state regulators.

Public comments sought on waste water permit for Fermi 2 nuclear plant — Metro Times

Environmental groups seek changes in how water is used at a southeastern Michigan nuclear plant as state regulators take public comments on a new draft wastewater permit.

With tensions rising, Michigan Democrats unveil clean energy reforms — Bridge

Michigan Democrats formally introduce bills to speed up wind and solar permitting by shifting the approval process from local governments to the state Public Service Commission.



New Minnesota law aims to lower barrier for participating in public utility cases — Energy News Network

A new Minnesota law aims to level the playing field and allow small nonprofits to be reimbursed for eligible costs for arguing energy cases before state regulators.

‘Power to the people’: Efforts to ensure equitable clean energy transition — MPR

Minneapolis community organizations are encouraged by new policies aimed at making community solar more accessible in historically disadvantaged communities.

With its mine stalled, Twin Metals wants to drill exploratory holes in the Boundary Waters watershed — Star Tribune

A company whose effort to mine near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters was blocked by the federal government now wants to drill exploratory wells for nickel and copper at a nearby site.

U.S. Supreme Court will decide soon whether to hear appeal by big oil over Minnesota’s climate change lawsuit — MinnPost

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear oil companies’ appeal over whether a Minnesota lawsuit seeking damages from greenhouse gas emissions belongs in state or federal court.



Community’s concerns prompt changes at Oberlin natural gas plant — Ideastream

Local officials and nearby residents raise concerns about persistent noise and flaring from an Ohio renewable gas facility.

How efforts to restrict democracy in Ohio also make it harder to fight climate change — Energy News Network

Climate policy experts and political observers say Ohio’s gerrymandered legislative districts, dark money political contributions and voter suppression tactics insulate policymakers and limit the public’s ability to support climate action.

GOP lawmakers want a say on Ohio’s vehicle emission standards — Ohio Capital Journal

Ohio Republicans advance legislation that would block local governments and state agencies from adopting more restrictive vehicle emission standards.

Neither side speaks on solar, wind farm ban — The Review

Local officials begin public hearings on proposals to block commercial solar and wind projects in an eastern Ohio county’s last three townships that haven’t already blocked renewable energy development.

Cleveland green bank aims to bring clean energy to underserved communities — Energy News Network

A Cleveland green bank is leading a coalition of about 20 counties in seven states seeking $250 million in federal funding to help low-income households access solar power.

Cleveland Accelerates Its Ambitions for Hitting Net Zero Energy — Inside Climate News

Cleveland’s five-year update to its climate action plan calls for a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 despite a lack of state-level climate policy.



Sustainable: Canadian solar firm seeks Twin Cities site — Finance and Commerce

A Canadian solar panel manufacturer is scouting sites near Minneapolis for a new facility that could employ more than 500 people.



Legislature’s rules committee kills new building standards that advocates said would save money — Wisconsin Examiner

A Wisconsin legislative committee blocks a proposed statewide commercial building codes update that backers say would have saved electricity and lowered insurance costs.

Lake Geneva Plan Commission wants power company to consider alternative location for substation — Lake Geneva Regional News

Southern Wisconsin officials want an alternative location for a proposed power distribution substation, claiming it would be an “abomination” to the surrounding neighborhood.

How climate jobs can help Milwaukee tackle two big problems — WUWM

Wisconsin employers, unions, cities and educational institutions are working to ensure the state has enough trained workers to install an anticipated influx of renewable energy and efficiency projects made possible by federal funding.

Wisconsin consumer group questions need for electrical transmission line legislation — WUWM

Wisconsin consumer advocates oppose state lawmakers’ latest attempt to pass legislation that would limit competition and grant major utilities first rights to build transmission projects.

In Wisconsin, federal IRA grants could break bottleneck on climate funding — Energy News Network

A $5 billion federal Inflation Reduction Act program may give Wisconsin clean energy advocates an end-run around the legislature that has withheld funding for the state’s climate goals.



Democrats in Congress ask Biden for moratorium on carbon pipeline permits — Reuters

Congress members from Illinois and Minnesota lead a group of Democrats urging President Biden to halt federal permitting for carbon pipelines, citing public health risks from a potential rupture.

Large organic farm co-op with Wisconsin roots aims to be carbon neutral by 2050 — WUWM

Organic Valley, the nation’s largest cooperative of organic farmers, will help its 1,600 farms reduce emissions as part of the company’s 2050 carbon neutral goal.

$9 billion project aims to bridge east and west power grids, accelerate renewable energy — States Newsroom

A $9 billion transmission project connecting power grids in the western and eastern United States would create a “superhighway to export clean energy out of the Upper Midwest,” backers say.

ComEd: From 837 Solar Installations in 2016 to 49,000 Today — Solar Industry

ComEd reports that more than 49,000 residential rooftop solar installations have been added in its territory, compared to less than 900 in 2016.

Biden admin picks 7 ​‘clean hydrogen hubs’ for $7 billion federal boost — Canary Media

The Biden administration announces $7 billion in federal funding for seven regional hubs to accelerate production of clean hydrogen, including three in the Midwest.

Catch more news at Great Lakes Now: 

Energy News Roundup: Vision for green energy in underserved communities, nationwide burst of clean energy jobs

Energy News Roundup: Hazardous heat, equitable EV charging infrastructure


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