Southeast Energy News

Despite concerns, Mississippi approves air permit for wood pellet plant

SOLAR: A city utility in Harrisonburg, Virginia, could become a statewide test case for net metering as it grapples with how to accommodate customers’ growing interest in solar. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• A West Virginia solar company works to bring affordable distributed solar energy and solar industry job training to coal country. (E&E News)
• Florida regulators approve Duke Energy’s solar projects and a monthly bill increase for ratepayers to pay for them. (Tampa Bay Times)
• A solar company begins work on a project in South Carolina that could be the largest in the state. (PV Magazine)
• Georgia homeowners rush to install solar before tax credits for residential solar installations expire at the end of the year. (Georgia Public Broadcasting)
• At least 10,000 acres of solar farms will be coming online in Georgia. (WFXL)
• University of Texas researchers receive funding to develop a solar cell coating that could boost efficiency by up to 20%. (Houston Chronicle)
• Two Florida beach towns launch a business-focused solar cooperative. (Jacksonville Business Journal, subscription)

BIOMASS: Mississippi regulators approve an air pollution permit for what will be the largest wood pellet plant in the world despite objections from environmental groups. (Associated Press)

WIND: A renewable energy developer starts construction on a 234 MW wind farm in Texas. (Renewables Now)

TRANSMISSION: A Texas law that gives utilities first dibs on building new transmission lines could have ripple effects on the U.S. energy grid. (E&E News, subscription)

UTILITIES: South Carolina utility Santee Cooper, which is in debt because of a failed nuclear power plant, will pay its new CEO $1.65 million — the highest salary in its history. (The State)

COAL:
• A former employee Blackjewel coal company, which filed for bankruptcy last week, files a class action lawsuit to recover wages for employees. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• The leader of a miners’ union says at least half of the Democratic presidential candidates accepted his offer to tour coal mines and speak with miners. (Reuters)

COAL ASH:
• The Tennessee Valley Authority announces plans to turn part of a coal ash impoundment into a water processing basin and put some ash in an onsite landfill. (Oak Ridger)
Concerns over coal ash at an Alabama landfill reignite a debate over health risks. (Alabama News Network)

OIL & GAS:
• Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) questions Energy Department officials about the state of the Appalachian natural gas storage hub. (WV Metro News)
• A gubernatorial candidate in West Virginia says the state should diversify its economy and not rely on the temporary natural gas boom. (WV News)

PIPELINES: A pipeline company proposes expansions in Canada, Montana and Wyoming that would deliver more oil to Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast. (San Antonio News-Express)

COMMENTARY:
• Coal states like West Virginia and Kentucky are making futile bids to prop up the dying coal industry, an environmental group says. (Environmental Working Group)
• Test offshore wind turbines are a good way for Virginia to try out renewable energy sources, an editorial board writes. (Daily Press)
• Proposed North Carolina legislation would make it harder to enact stronger building energy codes, which will cost homeowners and renters, a construction expert writes. (North Carolina Building Performance Association)

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