Across the Great Lakes, 2016 brought a lot of conflict, with battles over water diversion, petroleum pipelines and other issues.
Cleveland’s own Charles Brush created the world’s first electric wind turbine in the 1800’s. He used it to power his home. And since then, wind turbines have popped up all over the world — but never in the Great Lakes.
The deep freeze has arrived in Great Lakes states and that means one thing: It’s time for the Lake Erie/Niagara River Ice Boom.
The U.P. was previously served by two Wisconsin based companies. State officials say the new agreement will replace those entities with the Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corporation.
The Michigan Public Service Commission says utilities are seeing attacks daily, from domestic and international sources. Now the state is creating rules to protect Michigan’s utilities from cyber-attacks.
The Lansing Board of Water and Light announced this month they paid a ransom of 25-thousand dollars to unlock their own communication system from a cyber-attack that occured in April. Continue reading
In June, Enbridge Energy, which owns Line 5, reported four spots that required additional support because of erosion.
The Department of Environmental Quality approved supports for those four spots, but delayed action on 18 others that Enbridge requested.
Environmental groups said they’re hopeful this means the government is getting serious about a line shutdown.
But Michael Barnes, a spokesperson for Enbridge, said that’s not how he sees it.
“We think that we’re all working towards the same thing and that’s to protect the straits and keep energy flowing into Michigan.”
Officials with the DEQ said they will delay a decision on the 18 additional supports until two studies on the risks of the pipeline and alternative ways for transporting the oil are completed. Results of those studies are expected early next year.
Michigan could benefit from cleaner energy. That was the message of a report released Monday on model scenarios about Michigan’s energy future.
The invasive in question is a hybrid cattail, a mix between a native species and an invasive plant..
Susan Atwater and her husband Ben are the sixth generation to run this farm. It’s been around since the mid-1800s and is one of the oldest in New York State.
It hasn’t been easy making it in the dairy business. With the summer drought, this year been has been a particular challenge. Now, the Atwaters are turning to the wind for financial help.
“I have all these tractors and tractor trailers to harvest the corn, our monthly cost of diesel is well into the six digits on a harvest season,”Susan Atwater said. “If I can help that with a supplement from a consistent energy producing wind turbine, it’s going to be huge for our business.”
They’re one of several local land owners who signed leases with Apex Clean Energy. The Virginia-based company plans to install 71 wind turbines, generating enough energy to power 53,000 homes.
Apex has nearly a dozen projects planned for communities in the Great Lakes region, including four in Ohio, one in Michigan and four in New York.
This particular project, which stretches 12 miles through the towns of Somerset and Yates, has been met with both fierce support and intense opposition.
“The shores of Lake Ontario is not the place for industrial wind energy period,” said Town Supervisor Dan Engert.
He’s frustrated, and says the town’s right to site the project has been stripped away by state law.
“How would you feel if you had no say? If the state came in and told you,” he said. “They’re not just going to put up a building. We’re not going to just have something that impacts one part of your town or your city we’re going to completely litter your entire town from one end to the other with these industrialized structures.
“How would you feel?”
Article 10 of the Power NY Act gives the task of siting the project to a board. It’s staffed with five state representatives and two community members.
The state says leaving siting decisions up to the board offers a streamlined process for permitting power plants greater than 25 megawatts. The state plans to expand its infrastructure — to generate 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.
The Great Lakes is a prime area for harvesting wind energy and developers are taking advantage of that. A U.S. Geological Survey map shows more than 500 wind turbines forming clusters along the Great Lakes Watershed.
Apex representative Dan Fitzgerald says the fresh water source is an open resource for energy.
“The lake area provides more open resource for us,” he said, adding that “there’s no back stop there’s no hills behind it.”
“There’s almost a drawing effect of the lake that actually accelerates the wind and gives us a better wind resource. So by locating a wind project near the better wind areas, which in this case are certain portions near Lake Ontario, we’ll have a more productive project.”
Apex has yet to submit an application for the Lake Ontario project. Fitzgerald says they hope to do so before the end of the year. The project’s expected completion date 2019.
This is one of the questions that will be asked as new research begins into artificial intelligence at the University of Michigan.
They say they have found a way to engineer films of microbes and bioelectrodes that convert waste into electricity.
This week, the state asked for an electric grid reliability study to test the generating capacity and reserve capacity in Michigan.
The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO would conduct the study. They are the electric transmission operator for much of the state.
Judy Palnau is with the Michigan Agency for Energy. Continue reading
The state has opened a public comment period on the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac.
Earlier this month, the company was ordered to install more supports under the pipeline. Some of the current supports are farther apart than the 75-feet, required by Michigan law. Continue reading
But among energy providers there is debate about what exactly the problem is – or if there is a problem at all.
The goal of the new roadmap is to increase our region’s competitiveness and efficiency in the production of clean energy.