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Energy Update: May 5, 2023

In the States

MI: Governor Gretchen Whitmer approved a $130 million state appropriation for an electric vehicle (EV) center at the University of Michigan. Located on the North Campus with the College of Engineering, the center will be part of $16.6 billion in projects aimed at creating 16,300 jobs. The university has appointed engineering professor and former auto industry executive Alan Taub as the center's director. Officials say $50 million of the funding will support R&D of innovative technology through public-private partnerships, while $20 million will go towards educational programs to for over 1,200 students annually. The center aims to bring together academia, industry, and government to facilitate a smooth transition to the next century of mobility. "Cutting-edge research and development centers like the one here at U-M will bring together the innovators, dreamers, and doers that will help us grow our economy, build the future right here in Michigan, and define the next century of mobility,” said Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist in a press release. “Governor Whitmer and I were proud to partner with the University of Michigan to get this done.” University of Michigan receives $130 million for EV center—CBS Detroit


NY: East Hampton has become the first municipality on Long Island to implement a solar-plus-storage project, making its parks department building the first to achieve net-zero carbon emissions with respect to electricity generation. Governor Kathy Hochul said, “Adding batteries increases resiliency and brings stability to the grid. East Hampton is the first municipality on Long Island and one of the early leaders statewide to commit to a solution that helps integrate solar into government operations and provides a benefit to local taxpayers.” Developed with the New York Power Authority, the 165-panel system will produce about 90 MWh of energy annually and offset nearly 110,000 pounds of CO2 in the first year. The project supports New York State's renewable energy goals and is expected to save taxpayers at least $10,000 a year between bill credits and reduced electrical costs. 1st solar plus project up and running in East Hampton—Patch


OK: Governor Kevin Stitt and UK Minister for International Trade Nigel Huddleston have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen economic ties between Oklahoma and the United Kingdom. The agreement aims to increase trade, deepen economic development, and foster collaboration in energy innovation, agriculture, and other sectors. Governor Stitt said, "Both the United Kingdom and Oklahoma share the same vision for providing reliable, affordable energy for our citizens and there is a lot to learn from each other." The MOU will expand academic and research ties, as well as cooperation in agriculture and food production. Oklahoma is the fourth US state to enter into such an agreement with the UK. Governor Stitt signs MOU with United Kingdom—City Sentinel


TN: Tennessee is set to become home to the world's first UniMelt plasma cathode plant, as 6K Energy invests over $200 million to build the facility in Jackson. The project will create 230 jobs and strengthen the state's position in the electric vehicle industry. Governor Bill Lee said, "Tennessee is at the center of the automotive industry, thanks to our unmatched business climate and skilled workforce." 6K Energy, the cathode materials production division of Massachusetts-based 6K Inc., uses microwave plasma technology to develop materials for electric vehicle manufacturing and other sectors. Sam Trinch, President of 6K Energy, expressed excitement about breaking ground on the project and working with Tennessee to achieve their mission, adding that the teams at the state, county, and town levels went "above and beyond to ensure we will be successful building our plant." New cathode battery plant to be built in Jackson, TN—WKRN 


House Republicans successfully passed the "Limit, Save, Grow Act" (H.R. 2811), which would raise the debt ceiling and cut government spending. The bill contains reductions in clean energy tax incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed last year, reflecting long-standing Republican priorities on energy and regulatory policies. To address concerns of a number of  Midwestern Representatives, the legislation was amended to protect three specific IRA tax credits. The bill also includes the GOP energy package, the "Lower Energy Costs Act" (H.R. 1), which seeks to reform permitting for energy projects. President Biden has pledged to veto the bill, which sets the stage for debt ceiling negotiations between him and Speaker Kevin McCarthy. House passes debt bill with clean energy cuts—E&E News

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