This Week in Clean Energy Wins: Week of 9/30

As Hurricane Ian tore through Florida, the Biden administration announced the deployment of billions of dollars in Inflation Reduction Act funds to fulfill Democrats’ promise of a turbocharged transition to resilient clean energy. Despite Republicans’ fear mongering about the unreliability of renewables, solar power is keeping the lights on for thousands of families in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Fiona. Soon, millions of Americans will have access to these resilient, cheap energy sources through the Inflation Reduction Act’s investments, as evidenced by this week’s announcement from the Midwest grid operator (MISO) that, powered by a wave of renewable energy, the number of applications to connect new projects to the grid has doubled since the last period, itself a record.

In additional Biden administration news, the EPA opened a new office dedicated to environmental justice and announced a half a billion dollar investment in electric school buses, while the Department of Transportation announced that every state qualifies for EV charging funds. In order to fight off drought in the West, the Bureau of Reclamation mobilized billions of dollars in water conservation money. At a solar farm in North Carolina, Secretary Yellen touted the economic benefits of the IRA. 

The Inflation Reduction Act inspired private companies to invest in new facilities in Arizona and Ohio, an explosion of business for a battery facility in Pittsburgh, a utility announcement that it would retire a gas plant in North Carolina for wind and batteries, and a surge in demand for solar from corporations in Michigan. It also inspired New York Governor Kathy Hochul to announce that New York would require all new passenger vehicles sold in the state to be electric by 2035. While Democrats’ investments in climate and clean energy helped make these wins possible, Republicans in Congress continue to deny climate change’s existence and vote against climate legislation. This contrast will weigh on voters’ minds when they reach the polls this November.

If you would like to speak to an expert in the politics of this historic transformation, or about what it means for businesses, feel free to reach out to

President Biden ran on a message of climate action and won the presidency by a historic margin, particularly thanks to young voters and voters of color. These wins show how Democrats’ climate investments continued to pay dividends in communities this week.

Private sector wins:

The grid operator for the Midwest (MISO) announced that clean energy products drove the third consecutive record application period for connecting new generation. [E&E News, 9/28/22]

Heritage Battery Recycling announced the development of a new lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Eloy, Arizona. [Global News Wire, 9/28/22]

GM invested $760 million to convert a factory in Toledo, Ohio to produce electric vehicle parts. [Reuters, 9/23/22]

Duke Energy announced that incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act allow it to replace one 1,218-megawatt gas power plant with wind and battery storage by 2038. [Triad Business Journal, 9/27/22]

BP and Hertz announced they will partner to build a new national EV charging network. [Utility Dive, 9/28/22]

A battery manufacturer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania credits the Inflation Reduction Act with an explosion in their business. [Bloomberg, 9/27/22]

Demand for clean energy projects from corporations is driving new renewables in Michigan. [MiBiz, 9/25/22]

Ford broke ground on its new electric vehicle facility in West Tennessee. [Manufacturing Business Technology, 9/26/22]

A week after Hurricane Fiona, solar is keeping the lights on for those in Puerto Rico with solar-plus-battery systems installed in their homes. The grid, which was never fortified after Hurricane Maria in 2017, is still down across much of the island. [Canary Media, 9/23/22]

Administration announcements:

EPA Administrator Michael Regan announced the creation of a new Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights. [Washington Post, 9/24/22]

The Department of Transportation announced it has approved EV charging plans for all 50 states, opening access to $1.5 billion in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. [U.S. Department of Transportation, 9/27/22]

The EPA announced it would nearly double the funding available for clean school buses this year due to increased demand from school districts across the country.

The Bureau of Reclamation announced plans to use Inflation Reduction Act money to combat the Western drought by incentivizing water conservation. [Inside Climate News, 9/28/22]

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen touted the economic benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act in a speech at Cypress Creek Renewables in North Carolina. [Reuters, 9/27/22]

The Fed announced that six of the nation’s largest banks agreed to participate in its climate stress test. [Federal Reserve, 9/29/22]

State & local announcements:

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that New York would require all new vehicles sold in the state to be electric by 2035. [The Hill 9/29/22]

In an effort to reach their ambitious goal of net-zero emissions by 2030, Sacramento’s utility district purchased 200 megawatts of iron flow batteries, the largest-ever such investment in the U.S. [Canary Media, 9/27/22]