Southeast Energy News

Feds say Mountain Valley Pipeline not high risk to endangered species

PIPELINES: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a revised opinion says Mountain Valley Pipeline construction would not likely jeopardize five endangered or threatened species of fish, bats and plants. (Roanoke Times)

OIL & GAS:
• A group of investment managers call on Texas regulators to ban the routine flaring of natural gas from the state’s shale fields. (Bloomberg)
• A group seeking to oust U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham targets the South Carolina Republican for his openness to offshore oil and gas drilling. (Associated Press)
• West Virginia economic development officials are expected to vote tomorrow on a $5.5 million loan guarantee for a proposed gas-fired power plant. (Herald-Dispatch)

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GRID:
• Texas avoided an electricity price surge this summer thanks to cooler weather, greater generating capacity, and stay-at-home guidelines. (Houston Chronicle)
• Advocates want South Carolina lawmakers to study the potential of a regional transmission organization to lower utility bills and boost renewables. (Statehouse Report)

SOLAR:
• A report says Jacksonville, Florida, lags in rooftop solar relative to its potential, and advocacy groups blame municipal utility JEA for unfriendly policies. (WJCT)
The number of large solar projects is surging in the U.S., with Texas playing a big role in the industry’s growth this year. (PV Magazine)
• A Georgia city council approves a solar ordinance that allows rooftop installations but limits ground-mounted systems to agricultural or industrial land. (Times-Enterprise)
• Critics of a proposed $166 million solar farm in South Carolina raise concerns with county officials about what will happen to the panels after the end of their useful life. (My Horry News)
• A Tennessee city prepares to seek quotes on solar energy projects after a new contract with TVA gave it some sourcing flexibility. (Daily Times)
• An insurance company and a partner acquire $200 million in solar projects from a developer in North Carolina. (Columbus Dispatch)

EFFICIENCY:
• A Florida school district considers an $8.9 million contract to fix an aging HVAC system and improve energy efficiency, including LED lighting. (Greeneville Sun)
• A Kentucky city’s municipal utility continues to make steady progress upgrading street lights to energy efficient LEDs. (Messenger-Inquirer)

OVERSIGHT:
• The Alabama Supreme Court rules that state regulators were within their rights to remove a person for recording a hearing in November on a utility’s controversial solar fees. (Montgomery Advertiser)
• North Carolina regulators seek alternatives to a Duke Energy proposal to charge customers nearly $490 million for coal-ash cleanup. (Charlotte Business Journal)

COAL: Coal miners living with black lung disease face greater challenges and complications amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Allegheny Front)

NUCLEAR: Dominion Energy seeks federal approval to continue operating two nuclear reactor units in Virginia until 2058 and 2060. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

WIND: The University of Tennessee receives $1.1 million in federal funding to develop new technology for large-scale recycling of wind turbine blades. (news release)

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POLITICS:
• With Texas suburbs emerging as a political battleground, conservative groups argue clean energy could be a winning issue for Republicans. (Empire-Tribune)
• An annual coal miners union picnic goes virtual amid the pandemic but still attracts political candidates seeking to win over voters. (MetroNews)

COMMENTARY: The combination of traditional and new energy businesses can help get Texas’ economy back on track, writes the head of a coalition of wind, solar and storage developers. (Houston Chronicle)

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