Oil company will pay $100 million for Louisiana coastal restoration

OIL & GAS: Freeport-McMoRa, one of 98 oil companies accused of destroying parts of Louisiana’s coast, agrees to pay a settlement of up to $100 million for coastal restoration but does not admit liability. (Lafayette Daily Advertiser)

RENEWABLES: Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen launches a renewable energy firm that allows companies to offset carbon impacts with short-term agreements to fund solar panels in communities. (Associated Press)

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NUCLEAR:
• After a speech in South Carolina, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) says local decision making is critical for nuclear waste storage and policy.

Virginia signs major renewable energy contract with Dominion

RENEWABLES: Virginia enters a contract with Dominion Energy to buy 420 MW of power from four solar projects and a wind farm to help meet a mandate of using renewables for 30% of the state’s electricity needs by 2022. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Roanoke Times)

SOLAR: Dominion Energy is proposing to pay the lowest avoided cost rate in the country to solar projects under PURPA in South Carolina. (PV Magazine)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register for Infocast’s Southeast Renewable Energy Summit, October 28-30 in Atlanta, to meet the top players in the market and explore the new renewable energy growth opportunities in the region. You’ll engage in networking and deal-making exchanges with the decision-makers driving the Southeast industry forward. Sign up today!***

POLITICS: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has frequently promoted his own coal companies, farms, and resorts while running the state government despite promising to focus on public service.

Florida regulators approve rate hike to cover solar projects

SOLAR: Florida regulators approve Tampa Electric’s plan to raise rates to cover the cost of its solar projects, adding about $1 a month to the average customer bill. (Florida Politics)

ALSO:
• Tampa Electric also gets approval to build two large solar projects in Hillsborough County that total about 150 MW. (WUSF)
• Target wants to put rooftop solar panels on 500 stores and other properties by 2020, including in Jacksonville, Florida. (Jacksonville Daily Record)
• Wells Fargo will power 400 of its Texas locations with solar energy. (Solar Power World)
• PJM Interconnection and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) will continue to be “hot markets” for renewables, with potential competition in Southern markets, according to analysts.

Gas flaring increases despite companies’ emission pledges

OIL & GAS: Oil and gas companies cite progress in curbing gas flaring, but data shows they’ve significantly increased flaring and venting of natural gas and greenhouse gases. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• Students and activists push for Houston to become the “energy capital of the world” by using renewables, not oil and gas. (Texas Standard)
• Growing power demand in the Permian Basin prompts officials and grid managers to expedite planning and construction of transmission projects. (S&P Global)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register for Infocast’s Southeast Renewable Energy Summit, October 28-30 in Atlanta, to meet the top players in the market and explore the new renewable energy growth opportunities in the region. You’ll engage in networking and deal-making exchanges with the decision-makers driving the Southeast industry forward.

Study: Fracking in Texas linked to some earthquakes

OIL & GAS: Some earthquakes in the Permian Basin in Texas are caused by hydraulic fracturing activity, according to a new study from the University of Texas at Austin. (Houston Chronicle) 

ALSO: A slump in oil prices has brought job creation around the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin to a halt and led to a steady trickle of layoffs. (Reuters)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register for Infocast’s Southeast Renewable Energy Summit, October 28-30 in Atlanta, to meet the top players in the market and explore the new renewable energy growth opportunities in the region. You’ll engage in networking and deal-making exchanges with the decision-makers driving the Southeast industry forward. Sign up today!*** 

CLIMATE:
• A Florida Republican says a recent climate change discussion in the legislature reflects a new generation of conservatives “who aren’t so much in denial about some of these issues.” (WJCT)
• Candidates for city offices in Savannah, Georgia participate in a forum on climate change.