Toxic coal ash polluting groundwater in 22 states

Listen: A special podcast collaboration between the Energy News Network and Greentech Media spotlights the shift in clean energy politics. COAL ASH: Groundwater testing reveals coal ash contamination near at least 70 power plants in 22 states, with numbers likely to grow. (InsideClimate News)

EFFICIENCY: The Trump administration takes down the Energy Star website during its government shutdown while other sites remain online. (E&E News)

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GRID: Virginia utility regulators reject most of Dominion Energy’s $6 billion proposal to modernize its electric grid, saying the cost for customers was too high.

Colorado governor unveils plan to boost electric vehicles

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Colorado’s governor issues a sweeping executive order aimed at getting more electric vehicles on the road. (Colorado Sun)

• PG&E’s bankruptcy could be devastating for clean energy developers doing business with the utility. (New York Times)
• A federal judge in San Francisco overseeing PG&E’s criminal probation from a 2010 case determines many of the locations of the utility’s power lines were conducive to fires. (San Francisco Chronicle)

***SPONSORED LINK: Law Seminars International’s annual “Buying and Selling Electric Power in the West” Conference, January 24-25 in Seattle, features former FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer, state commissioners and leading energy experts. Register Today!***

• The latest campaign reports show that the parent company of Arizona’s largest utility spent $37.9 million to defeat a clean energy initiative.

Can Ohio pay for abandoned coal mine cleanup?

CLEAN ENERGY: A Minneapolis program is spurring solar and energy efficiency projects in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. (Energy News Network)

• Ohio officials raise concerns about the health of the state’s fund used to clean up abandoned coal-mining sites as the industry struggles. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Utilities report serious groundwater contamination at coal ash storage sites in several Midwest states. (InsideClimate News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Saint Paul-based Fresh Energy as a Policy Associate. Help move Minnesota to a carbon-free economy by advocating for the generation and delivery of more wind and solar for Minnesota through policy analysis and stakeholder advocacy.

Offshore wind developers offer $6.2 million to fishermen

WIND: The developers of a proposed 800 MW wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard offer to pay Rhode Island fishermen $6.2 million to compensate for lost access to fishing grounds and create a $23 million fund to research safe fishing around wind turbines. (Providence Journal)

• Seafood industry stakeholders and wind developer Ørsted create a task force to foster collaboration between commercial fishing interests and offshore wind developers. (SeafoodSource)
• Most residents speak out in favor of a proposed 22-turbine wind farm at a meeting in central Maine. (The Ellsworth American)

***SPONSORED LINK: The largest forum in the Northeast for the solar and energy storage industries will come together at Solar Power Northeast, February 5-6 in Boston. Join leaders from SEIA, SEPA, Green Mountain Power, Eversource Energy, and more alongside 1,500 attendees.***

• A Baltimore County bill would impose a nine-month moratorium on rural solar projects, which could lead to a permanent ban on solar installations on farmland.

Major companies team up to buy N.C. solar farm

GRID: Virginia utility regulators reject most of Dominion Energy’s $6 billion proposal to modernize its electric grid, saying the cost for customers was too high. (Energy News Network)

• Five companies, including Bloomberg, Gap, and Salesforce, team up to invest in a 100 MW solar project in North Carolina. (Fast Company)
• A massive solar farm planned in Spotsylvania County, Virginia is in serious doubt after heavy local opposition. (PV Magazine)
• A new solar cooperative launches in Collier County, Florida. (Naples Daily News)
• Solar energy advocates say thousands of jobs and billions of dollars could be lost if South Carolina lawmakers don’t approve a bill to ease restrictions on solar energy.