Southeast Energy News

How a Florida utility became the world’s largest renewable developer

UTILITIES: An aggressive strategy of building wind and solar projects in states with renewable energy mandates helped make Florida’s NextEra Energy the world’s largest renewable developer. (E&E News)

ALSO:
• Georgia power is changing how it produces electricity, with more solar and less coal, according to a plan recently approved by state regulators. (WXIA-TV)
• Dominion Energy explains that refund checks going to former SCANA customers average $22 but range from $0.09 to $200. (WCBD-TV) 

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GRID:
• Texas’ grid operator lifts an emergency alert but urges people to continue conserving power on the fifth day of a triple-digit heat wave. (KXAN-TV)
• After several days of record electricity use, Texas’ heat wave caused prices to spike to $9,000 per megawatt-hour on Tuesday. (E&E News)
• In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, efforts to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical system offers lessons for boosting resilience. (Ensia)

EFFICIENCY:
• Florida power companies ask state regulators again to let them retreat from prior pledges to promote energy conservation. (Tampa Bay Times)
• Cleco Power begins producing power at a 50 MW plant in southern Louisiana that runs off of waste heat from an existing carbon black facility. (KATC-TV) 

TRANSPORTATION:
• North Carolina regulators are under pressure to deny Duke Energy’s $76 million plan to build the Southeast’s largest network of electric vehicle chargers. (E&E News)
• Florida’s plan to spend $166 million in Volkswagen settlement money leaves the door open to using it for fossil fuel vehicles, critics say. (WLRN)
• A bus rapid transit line connecting downtown Miami to West Miami-Dade remains nearly a decade off, according to a state timeline. (Miami Today)

COAL:
• Virginia and North Carolina are among 29 states and cities suing the U.S. EPA for easing restrictions on coal-burning power plants. (WTKR-TV)
• West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey calls the lawsuit a “power grab” and says cities and state suing the EPA are “dead wrong.” (WOWK-TV)
• The IRS challenges whether Fidelity Investments can claim tax credits for investing in chemically treated coal at three South Carolina plants. (Reuters)
• Attorneys general in Kentucky and Virginia ask the U.S. Trustee to immediately pay former employees of bankrupt coal company Blackjewel. (Courier Journal)
• Kentucky’s attorney general says his office is looking into whether other coal companies also fail to comply with a bonding requirement. (WYMT-TV) 

COAL ASH: Heavy metals from coal ash have seeped into groundwater at a Duke Energy complex on Florida’s Gulf Coast, state officials say. (Citrus County Chronicle)

BIOMASS: Georgia’s forests are threatened by Europe’s demand for wood pellet fuel, most of which comes from forests in the American Southeast. (Atlanta)

STORAGE: A new Texas law allows municipal utilities and electric cooperatives to own energy storage facilities without registering as a power generator. (Utility Dive) 

SOLAR:
• A local zoning board approves a special use permit for an eighth solar farm planned in Virginia’s Pittsylvania County. (Danville Register & Bee)
• Entergy Louisiana begins construction on one of the state’s largest solar farms, which is expected to save customers $29 million over 20 years. (The Advocate)

BUILDINGS: Louisiana strikes a deal with a private company to manage energy in state buildings, including upgrades at 31 state buildings. (The Advocate)

PIPELINES: A Texas commission orders Kinder Morgan to pay another $2.7 million in a widening eminent domain dispute over a proposed pipeline. (Houston Chronicle)

POLITICS: A national Republican group buys TV ads attacking a Democrat’s support for renewable energy ahead of a special election in North Carolina. (Open Secrets) 

COMMENTARY: A wave of incoming solar projects could help meet peak demand in Texas, particularly if they’re paired with batteries, an editor writes. (PV magazine)

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