Advocates say recent regulatory changes in Michigan could spur more solar energy development from independent producers and ensure existing renewable energy generators are paid fair prices from utilities for their power.
The Ludington Pumped Storage hydroelectric facility in western Michigan is a clean and renewable energy source that should receive credits for its ability to reduce carbon emissions, according to various state and federal lawmakers. But amid comprehensive energy policy proposals at the federal and state levels, debate swirls over whether the operation along Lake Michigan is actually clean or renewable.
In northern Minnesota, an electric utility is proposing a 500 kV, cross-border transmission line that would let it tap Canadian hydropower to serve as a “battery” for its growing wind portfolio.
As energy market forces continue to shift, Minnesota’s largest utility now foresees meeting modestly growing electricity needs primarily with natural gas and hydropower imported from Canada.
A newly operating small hydro plant in Minneapolis offers a potential model for developers seeking to extract energy from existing dams.