Southeast Energy News

Court strikes Dominion rule that discouraged shopping for renewables

RENEWABLES: The Virginia Supreme Court upholds a decision by state regulators to let large customers shop for renewable power without having to give Dominion Energy five years’ notice if they want to return to utility service. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

FUEL EFFICIENCY: The U.S. EPA is expected to tout its repeal of Obama-era vehicle fuel efficiency rules Tuesday at a Virginia car dealership. (Reuters)

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COAL:
• Amid a historic surge in black lung cases, Kentucky lawmakers approve sweeping changes to workers’ compensation programs that miners and advocates say will make it harder to get benefits. (WKU Public Radio)
• A coal company owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is sued in bankruptcy court for failing to pay an earlier settlement. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• The small town of Hazard, Kentucky, is trying to reinvent its workforce in a fight for survival as coal jobs disappear. (CNBC)

UTILITIES:
• A government audit confirms a watchdog group’s concerns about exorbitant spending on luxury jets and helicopters by TVA officials. (The Chattanoogan)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority proposes to cut kilowatt-hour rates but add a grid access fee, which would increase bills for customers who conserve energy or generate their own power. (Brentwood Home Page)
• How one conservative activist is boxing out liberal groups’ shareholder proposals at Duke Energy (Charlotte Business Journal, subscription)
• Florida regulators are reviewing whether Florida Power & Light overcharged customers for hurricane recovery costs. (Miami Herald)

POLITICS: South Carolina’s state senate adjourns for a break without voting on a measure to reduce South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. customers’ rates by 13 percent. (Associated Press)

HYDROPOWER: The new owners of North Carolina dams want state regulators to force Duke Energy to buy hydropower from the facilities. (Associated Press)

BIOGAS: Duke Energy is burning biogas produced from pig manure at one of its North Carolina power plants to help it comply with a state law. (Charlotte Observer)

COAL ASH: A U.S. EPA proposal threatens to undermine North Carolina’s draft coal ash rules. (NC Policy Watch)

SOLAR:
• A Kentucky Senate committee approves minor changes to a controversial net-metering bill but renewable advocates still oppose it. (WFPL)
• Danville Utilities’ first solar farm is officially online, producing about 1.5 percent of the Virginia utility’s needs. (Danville Register & Bee)
• Virginia added more than 300 solar jobs in 2017. (WHSV)

COMMENTARY:
• Florida voters should demand the state open its electricity market to competition, argue a Sarasota policy analyst and a vice president at the Reason Foundation. (Your Observer)
• It’s much better to be a SCANA shareholder than one of its customers, a columnist writes. (Post and Courier)

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