🔌 UTILITIES: Dayton Power & Light Company announced it is opening a smart operations center with cutting-edge, data-centric technology to increase its operational efficiency across the country, which will especially help the integration of renewable energy and smart grid technologies. It’s touted as the first such operations center in the United States to monitor, remotely operate, and improve management of power generation operations.
- Minnesota’s Xcel Energy is updating its online mapping tool that helps clean energy developers determine where to site their projects, according to the Energy News Network.
- Xcel Energy also is one of the five biggest U.S. utilities committing to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and it was among the first, reports Greentech Media.
⛏ COAL: University of North Dakota researchers developed a more environmentally friendly method of extracting rare earth elements from low-rank coal ash.
🏙️ BUILDINGS: Chicago is one of the cities enacting regulations to reduce carbon emissions from buildings, but retrofits on historic buildings have to balance adding energy efficiency innovations and maintaining design integrity, reports the Energy News Network.
🌱 AGRICULTURE: Agtech is critical for regenerative agriculture, including recently announced initiatives from Midwest food companies including Cargill, General Mills, and Land O’Lakes, reports GreenBiz.
- Today Amazon announced the first five businesses to receive investments from its $2 billion The Climate Pledge Fund, a program to support sustainable technologies that help Amazon and other companies meet commitments to be net-zero carbon by 2040. Michigan-based electric truck startup Rivian received some of the climate investment money during a funding round in July; last year Amazon committed to purchasing 100,000 electric delivery vehicles once the startup begins production.
- Madison, Wisconsin-based MGE Energy is one of the investors in the Winnow Fund, a new venture capital fund, reports Wisconsin Inno. The Winnow Fund has now raised $6 million in investment capital to support pre-revenue startups emerging from Wisconsin colleges.
🔬 RESEARCH: Michigan State University researchers are creating a Science DMZ, or demilitarized zone, to allow sharing of large amounts of data among research institutions.