Illinois regulators last week approved a plan by the state’s top utility to open up anonymized energy usage data to third-party companies and researchers.
Much of the work toward making the grid smarter, cleaner and more reliable takes place behind the scenes — quiet, incremental advances in technology familiar mostly to engineering experts and utility technicians.
“The Midwest is a pretty good place for us to get things done” despite concerns about the new president, says Howard Learner, director of the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center.
Iowa, followed by Illinois, topped a ranking released Tuesday by the nation’s retail and tech sectors urging state governments to lower barriers to the further development of renewable energy. Ohio came in 8th.
A new initiative at Argonne National Laboratory seeks to accelerate energy innovation by embedding promising young entrepreneurs in one of the nation’s foremost national laboratories.
Lawmakers in three Midwest legislatures closed out their 2016 lame-duck sessions with plans to both expand as well as slow clean energy development.
The recent passage of a sweeping energy bill in Illinois positions the state to be a leader nationally on energy and climate, says Anne Evens, CEO of Elevate Energy.
Of the many provisions of the massive energy bill signed by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, one that would have helped further fund advanced grid technology in the state didn’t make the cut.
Less than 24 hours after Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed off on a plan to subsidize two nuclear plants for billions of dollars over the next 10 years, energy companies in Michigan announced plans to close one of the state’s three plants as a way to protect ratepayers. Entergy’s decision to close the Palisades plant in 2018 — by cutting short a power-purchase agreement with Consumers Energy that was to expire in 2022 — is a strong contrast to the protracted debate in Illinois over whether to subsidize unprofitable nuclear plants there. Unlike in Illinois, Entergy and Consumers officials have no plans to push for such a ratepayer subsidy in Michigan. They say closing Palisades, which has faced multiple safety violations over the past several years, is the more financially prudent option. “We do not believe there would be support in Michigan for legislation that would subsidize nuclear and have no plans to push for that,” said Entergy spokesperson Patricia Kakridas.
New Illinois energy legislation was a product of negotiation and compromise, but many details still have to be worked out.