U.S. Energy News

Coal plants face more uncertainty, retirements

COAL: The two companies considering buying the West’s largest coal plant drop their bid to acquire the Arizona facility, which will close next year unless another buyer emerges. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Recent announcements by utilities in Ohio and Indiana to retire coal plants and add renewables “highlight the change underfoot in the heartland.” (E&E News, subscription)
• Residents in northwest Indiana highlight coal plants’ impacts on low-income and minority communities. (Chicago Crusader)

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HURRICANE FLORENCE:
• Floodwaters inundate a lake at a Duke Energy coal-fired power plant, prompting an emergency alert and concerns about a breach. (Associated Press)
• North Carolina’s solar farms only had minimal storm damage while other parts of the state’s electricity system failed. (InsideClimate News)
Duke Energy confirms a coal ash spill near Goldsboro, North Carolina, where environmental groups say coal ash is washing into a river. (News & Observer)
• As South Carolina floodwaters rise, Santee Cooper installs an inflatable dam to prevent 200,000 tons of coal ash from spilling into a river. (My Horry News)

SOLAR:
Indiana consumer advocates are divided over a utility’s plan to build and own a $76 million, 50 MW solar project. (Energy News Network)
• Climate and energy groups press Tennessee Valley Authority for more solar with their lawsuit over rate charges. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

GRID:
New England’s grid operator will tell FERC it “does not need and does not want” a controversial 1,000 MW natural gas and diesel power plant proposed in northwest Rhode Island, effectively canceling its electricity supply commitment with developer Invenergy. (ecoRI, Uprise RI)
• A Louisiana regulator floats the idea of leaving MISO over what he calls an attempt to avoid the state’s regulatory authority. (E&E News, subscription)

UTILITIES:
• California continues to lead the nation in rolling out time-of-use rates but policy hurdles remain. (Utility Dive)
• Some Washington utilities are raising electricity rates for bitcoin mining companies. (Energy Manager Today)

PIPELINES: The Dakota Access pipeline developer stands by its claims that Greenpeace violated federal racketeering laws related to pipeline protests. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE: Law firms in California and Washington that have defended oil companies over climate change damages are among nine firms that have pledged to work on climate issues for free, raising some suspicions at a recent climate summit. (E&E News)

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POLITICS: A challenger to Virginia’s Senate minority leader in the state’s Democratic primary plans to make the incumbent’s political and financial ties to Dominion Energy a major campaign topic. (Huffington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• A federal research lab continues to pursue energy storage breakthroughs despite President Trump’s efforts to defund it, David Roberts writes. (Vox)
• Analysts say relinquishing coal leases is the latest sign of trouble for the industry. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• Trump’s argument that weakening fuel economy standards will boost car sales is hardly sound, a transportation expert writes. (Scientific American)

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