Energy News Roundup: Line 5 approval is appealed by tribes and environmental groups

Energy News Roundup: Line 5 approval is appealed by tribes and environmental groups
January 11, 2024 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:



Utility co-op aims to stay ahead of the power curve —  Southern Illinoisan 

A new Illinois law that took effect on Jan. 1 prohibits utilities from shutting off power to customers when temperatures reach certain heat thresholds. 

Solar company, humane society in Illinois to partner for solar installation program — Telegraph Herald 

An Illinois solar company launches a nonprofit assistance program that covers a portion of costs for installations at local charities. 

Evanston on track to hit 2025 emissions goal — Evanston RoundTable  

Lowering emissions from residential natural gas use is the primary barrier to Evanston, Illinois’ plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050, city officials say. 



NiSource sells 19.9% stake in NIPSCO for $2.16 billion to fund renewable energy — Times of Northwest Indiana 

Indiana-based NiSource sells a minority stake in its utility NIPSCO for $2.16 billion that executives say will help the utility invest in more renewables. 



Large Indiana solar farm approved to power southwest Michigan — MLive 

Michigan regulators approve plans for a 245 MW solar project in Indiana that would help power six counties in southwestern Michigan. 

Tribes, environment groups appealing Line 5 tunnel approval — MLive 

Environmental groups and four tribes will appeal Michigan regulators’ decision to allow plans for an underground tunnel for Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. 

200 orphan oil and gas wells plugged in 2023 by Michigan regulators — MLive 

A $25 million federal grant allowed Michigan to plug 200 orphaned oil and gas wells in 2023, nearly half of all known orphaned wells in the state. 

‘We’re not burning anything’: Consumers Energy starts operations at new wind farm — FOX 17 

Consumers Energy begins operating a 72-turbine, 201 MW wind project in central Michigan. 

For Love of Water files appeal to overturn approval of Enbridge’s Line 5 relocation — 9&10 News 

A Michigan environmental group appealing state regulators’ approval of an underground tunnel for Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac claims the board violated state law by dismissing alternative options. 

Power outages and pipelines: Big energy decisions thrust Michigan agency into spotlight — MLive 

Often considered an obscure agency, the Michigan Public Service Commission has been thrust into the public spotlight by recent widespread grid failures and pipeline regulatory decisions. 

Michigan farms expanding solar following legislation — Brownfield Ag News 

Michigan farmers are pursuing larger onsite solar installations after a new state law allows for compensation for a larger amount of excess power they send back to the grid. 

Committee launches effort to undo laws giving solar, wind siting authority to state — Detroit News 

A newly formed Michigan committee plans to gather signatures for a ballot initiative to overturn new state laws that give renewable energy permitting authority to state regulators. 

Lawmakers call on EGLE to address permitting conflict with West Michigan digester — Michigan Advance 

A bipartisan group of 15 Michigan lawmakers raise concerns about state regulators’ proposed permitting changes that could lead to the closure of an anaerobic digester waste-to-energy plant. 



Minnesotans take big hits on non-negotiable bills like electricity, insurance — Star Tribune 

Minnesota utilities continue seeking rate increases for grid investments and clean energy as inflation on services remains stubborn for consumers. 

Minnesota mental health professionals say climate concerns driving patients to depression — Minnesota Reformer 

More than half of Minnesota mental health professionals in a 2022 survey reported seeing climate-related anxiety, depression and chronic psychological issues in patients, including adolescents expressing hopelessness about the future. 

St. Paul, Minnesota sees city buildings as opportunity for quick wins on climate plan goals — Energy News Network 

 Decarbonizing more than 150 city-owned buildings is a key piece of St. Paul, Minnesota’s climate action plan and also a way to lead by example, officials say. 

Northfield project aimes to tackle twin crisis of climate change and affordable housing — WCCO 

A southeastern Minnesota net-zero affordable housing project is fully electric and will cap residents’ electric and heating bills at $20 a month. 



Grant seeks to recruit Appalachian manufacturers for clean energy economy — Energy News Network 

A $10 million federal grant will support economic development efforts in Ohio and neighboring states to help lure small- and medium-sized manufacturers specializing in the clean energy supply chain. 

Energy company paid $43M for dirty bailout. Says it acted in a “legal way” — Ohio Capital Journal 

The former FirstEnergy subsidiary that was to receive the bulk of a ratepayer-funded bailout for two of its nuclear plants says it acted in a “legal way” to help get House Bill 6 passed. 

DeWine signs bill letting gas companies charge Ohioans millions for new pipelines — Cleveland.com 

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signs a bill allowing gas companies to charge customers up to $1.50 a month to extend gas lines to support potential large developments. 

A Plant Proposed in Youngstown, Ohio, Would Have Turned Tons of Tires Into Synthetic Gas. Local Officials Said Not So Fast — Inside Climate News 

Youngstown, Ohio, officials halt plans for a facility that would convert recycled tires into synthetic gas in a neighborhood of predominantly Black residents. 



Alliant Energy brings six new solar projects online — Capital Times 

Alliant Energy announces the completion of six solar projects in Wisconsin totaling 514 MW of new capacity. 

Wisconsin trails Illinois, Minnesota on solar adoption. Advocates say policy changes could help turn the tide — Wisconsin Public Radio 

Despite lagging neighboring states on solar installations, advocates say expanding community solar and allowing third-party financing could make Wisconsin a regional clean energy leader. 

Badger Hollow Solar Park: Wisconsin’s largest solar project is fully up and running — WTMJ 

A 300 MW Wisconsin solar project comes online, which Madison Gas and Electric and WEC Energy Group officials say is the state’s largest installation. 

Sheboygan’s Onion River Solar Project is now in service. Here’s the impact it’s expected to have. — Sheboygan Press 

A $200 million solar project now online in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, includes 40 acres of native grasses for pollinators and will generate about $18 million in local revenue over 30 years. 



The commercial energy storage market may be small, but it’s slowly growing — Solar Power World 

The U.S. commercial and industrial markets for energy storage are vastly underdeveloped and could be poised for major growth in the coming years as more states set capacity targets. 

DOE $70M grid security and resilience funding targets cybersecurity, wildfires, other risks — Utility Dive 

The U.S. Department of Energy will release up to $70 million for public and private entities, universities and national laboratories to advance grid security and resilience research. 

The (Pretty Short) List of EVs That Qualify for a $7,500 Tax Credit in 2024 — Inside Climate News 

New eligibility requirements in a federal tax credit program mean that just 19 electric vehicle models can receive the full credit when purchased, compared to 43 last year. 

The Midwest could produce more biofuels and bio-based products. A federal bill aims to help — Harvest Public Media 

A bipartisan bill in Congress would expand federal grant funding and loans for biofuel facilities and advanced biofuel-based manufacturing. 

Catch more news at Great Lakes Now: 

Energy News Roundup: Community solar projects seen as key step toward energy justice in Illinois, Great Lakes offshore wind farm put on hold

Energy News Roundup: Opponents appeal decision to allow drilling under Ohio state parks and wildlife areas, preparing for the green economy



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