S.C. House votes to lift net metering cap on residential rooftop solar

SOLAR: South Carolina House lawmakers pass legislation to lift a net metering cap that threatens to curb residential rooftop solar in parts of the state. The proposal still faces a contentious debate in the Senate. (Post and Courier)

***SPONSORED LINK: Receive continuing education credits, learn about new energy solutions and best practices, and network with over 700 attendees at the 2018 State Energy Conference of North Carolina, April 17-18, in Raleigh, N.C.***

NUCLEAR:
• ​The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves a license to build two new reactors at Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point site, which could cost as much as $21.8 billion. (Palm Beach Post)
• ​Jacksonville, Florida’s JEA utility no longer wants to buy nuclear power from Georgia’s Plant Vogtle and wants Georgia regulators to cancel the troubled project. (Savannah Now)
• A plan to use costly treated wastewater to fix Florida Power & Light’s nuclear cooling canals could threaten nearby drinking water, environmentalists say.

Convicted ex-Massey CEO blames government, calls for mine safety reform

COAL: Ex-Massey CEO Don Blankenship, who served a year in prison for his role in the deadly 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster, is calling for more mine safety amid his West Virginia Senate campaign. (USA TODAY)

MORE: Today is the eighth anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster; 29 coal miners who died are remembered. (WSAZ)

***SPONSORED LINK: Receive continuing education credits, learn about new energy solutions and best practices, and network with over 700 attendees at the 2018 State Energy Conference of North Carolina, April 17-18, in Raleigh, N.C.***

NUCLEAR:
• ​Citigroup calls Westinghouse’s nuclear reactor business a “de facto Ponzi scheme” and files claims worth $7.5 billion against the company related to South Carolina’s now-failed Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
• A company that makes components for nuclear power plants and services and fuels plants is moving its North American headquarters from North Carolina to Virginia. (Associated Press)
• The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, will receive an additional $10 million in federal funding to clean up a nuclear reactor test site it owns.

Virginia regulators say new Dominion-backed law may not be constitutional

OVERSIGHT: Virginia regulators question whether the state’s recently approved electric utility overhaul is constitutional, saying the utility-backed law may unfairly disadvantage out-of-state renewable projects. (Associated Press)

MORE: A ruling by Virginia utility regulators lowers a barrier for businesses that want to bypass the state’s major utilities to buy power and sets the stage for legal fights. (Southeast Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Receive continuing education credits, learn about new energy solutions and best practices, and network with over 700 attendees at the 2018 State Energy Conference of North Carolina, April 17-18, in Raleigh, N.C.***

NUCLEAR:
• The South Carolina House passes a bill to form a committee to study the possible sale of state-owned utility Santee Cooper following the failed Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
• Duke Energy says a change in federal regulations means North Carolina’s Shearon Harris nuclear plant could continue operating for another 48 years. (WRAL)
• Georgia Power customers will receive this month the first of three $25 credits related to the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion.

From pig farm to pipeline: N.C. project aims to scale hog waste energy

BIOGAS: A new North Carolina project is helping Duke Energy meet a mandate to generate a small portion of its power from pig waste, with developers hoping it can serve as a model for others across rural America. (Southeast Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Receive continuing education credits, learn about new energy solutions and best practices, and network with over 700 attendees at the 2018 State Energy Conference of North Carolina, April 17-18, in Raleigh, N.C.***

CO-TENANCY:
• West Virginia’s new co-tenancy law is expected to aid natural gas development, but exactly how significant its impact will be remains unclear. (Natural Gas Intel)
• Another new West Virginia law requires oil and gas companies to disclose to royalty owners how much oil or gas is produced from their land and explain deductions from payments. (WV News)

UTILITIES:
• Mon Power customers in West Virginia should not expect changes to their electricity service related to FirstEnergy’s bankruptcy filing. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Greentech Media)
• The clean energy unit of Florida-based NextEra Energy is selling its renewables portfolio in Canada in a $1.27 billion deal.

N.C. coal ash basins exceeded groundwater standards hundreds of times

COAL ASH:  Major utilities found new evidence of groundwater contamination at coal power plants nationwide, including a pair of Duke Energy coal ash basins in North Carolina. (Associated Press, Star News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Receive continuing education credits, learn about new energy solutions and best practices, and network with over 700 attendees at the 2018 State Energy Conference of North Carolina, April 17-18, in Raleigh, N.C.***

COAL:
• A new law in Kentucky prevents radiologists from judging X-rays in state black lung claims, leaving diagnoses mostly to lung and respiratory physicians who mostly work for coal companies. (WAMU)
• West Virginia’s steady increase in electricity rates can primarily be attributed to utilities’ continued reliance on coal-fired power plants, says an energy expert. (Charleston Mail-Gazette)
• A group of Kentucky coal companies file a lawsuit against U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke over his disapproval of state regulations related to water protection, saying it would unfairly increase the cost to cleanup abandoned mines. (Courthouse News Service)
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is ordered to pay $9.4 million for defaulting on a loan related to a coal company he owns.