Southeast Energy News

GOP incumbent leads in Georgia PSC runoff

POLITICS: Democrats held leads this morning in both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff elections, but the Republican incumbent for a seat on the state’s utility commission had a 69,000 vote lead over his Democratic challenger with more than 99% of vote counted. Official results here. (Atlanta Journal Constitution) 

ALSO: Parts of southwestern Virginia’s coalfields may go unrepresented in the 2021 Virginia Senate after the COVID-19-related death of a state lawmaker last week. (Roanoke Times)

OVERSIGHT:
• Environmental groups sue the EPA for dragging its feet with a response to their challenge of eight permits issued by Texas regulators for projects that include an oil refinery and coal-fired power plant. (Texas Tribune)
• A new commissioner takes her seat on Virginia’s utility regulation board after her predecessor was appointed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (Augusta Free Press) 

SOLAR:
• Florida regulators approve Duke Energy’s plan to finance 750 MW of new solar power largely through customers who will pre-pay for clean energy and receive credits later. (Orlando Sentinel)
• After a southern Virginia planning commission denied its plans to build a solar farm on a former golf course last month, a North Carolina energy developer plans to appeal the decision to a circuit court judge. (Martinsville Bulletin)
• A new solar farm begins operations at Eastern Kentucky University, which now has the largest solar capacity of any public college in Kentucky. (WKYT)

UTILITIES:
• North Carolina regulators will decide next week whether Duke Energy needs permission to form a regional energy exchange market with other utilities. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Mississippi regulators order Mississippi Power to retire 950 MW of generation capacity by 2027, or provide justification for the excess capacity. (Delta Democrat-Times)

TRANSITION: A Texas city council presses for answers about the clean-up of a coal-fired plant it jointly owns with three other cities that is slated for potential closure. (Denton Record-Chronicle)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A central Virginia county receives two of the first electric school buses set to roll out across the state as part of a Dominion Energy program. (WWBT)
• A northern Virginia grocery store opens new electric-vehicle charging stations at one of its locations, with plans for more at another location later this year. (Loudoun Times-Mirror)

PIPELINES:
• Virginia regulators assert that the Mountain Valley Pipeline doesn’t qualify for a national stream-crossing permit, creating more complications for the already-delayed, over-budget natural gas pipeline. (Roanoke Times)
• The now-canceled Atlantic Coast Pipeline publicly releases plans for restoration and disposal of land and facilities by 2022. (Lynchburg News & Advance)

BIOMASS: Florida regulators approve a tariff to allow Florida City Gas to build and operate renewable natural gas projects. (Biomass Magazine)

COMMENTARY:
• Observers weigh the effects that this week’s runoff election in Georgia for two pivotal U.S. Senate seats may have on the oil and gas industry. (KTRK)
• Closing another coal-fired power plant in West Virginia by 2028 would have a broad impact on the region’s economy, writes a local newspaper. (The Logan Banner)

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