Southeast Energy News

Kentucky solar gets a double whammy from federal, state governments

SOLAR: Kentucky’s solar industry faces a one-two punch of President Trump’s import tariffs and a bill by state lawmakers that would cut by more than two-thirds the amount of money residential solar customers get back from utilities for producing electricity. (Courier-Journal)

MORE: President Trump’s 30 percent tariff on solar panel imports gets mixed reviews in Georgia. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

NUCLEAR:
• Dominion Energy’s plan to buy South Carolina’s SCANA Corp. is still on the table, but the biggest impediment may be South Carolina lawmakers lack of trust in the utilities following the failure of the Summer nuclear project. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Post and Courier)
• 
The South Carolina House passes a proposal to replace the state’s Public Utilities Review Committee, a group that screened members of the Public Service Commission who approved rate hikes for the now-failed Summer nuclear project. (Richmond Times Dispatch, The State)

COAL:
• U.S. coal production drops 38 percent in a little less than a decade due to declining demand, with only the most efficient mines containing the highest-quality coal able to survive. (New York Times)
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Murray Energy Corp. plans to acquire a 51-percent stake in five more Kentucky mines owned by Armstrong Energy Inc., which filed for bankruptcy last year. (Wheeling News-Register)

OIL: The U.S. Coast Guard responds to a towing vessel that sunk on the Mississippi River north of Memphis and was leaking oil. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: Construction on the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana begins amid protests and ongoing legal challenges. (The Advocate)

UTILITIES:
• Duke Energy customers gather at a public hearing in North Carolina to protest a proposed rate hike the utility says is necessary to pay for coal ash cleanup, among other efforts. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• Duke Energy’s North Carolina president says nuclear energy is necessary for the utility to meet its carbon-reduction goals. (Charlotte Business Journal, subscription)
Tennessee Valley Authority’s CEO says he regrets a decision to bypass Memphis Light, Gas and Water with its new $975 million natural gas plant. (Memphis Business Journal)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says he needs to consider the effect on his state’s tourism industry before deciding whether to support the Trump administration’s plan to expand offshore drilling. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Virginia lawmakers can ensure low renewable electricity prices by passing legislation that allows Dominion Energy to run the grid and leave solar and wind development to specialized firms. (Blue Virginia)
• Legislation to restore coal tax credits in Virginia are an opportunity for the newly elected Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to extend an olive branch to his state’s deep red counties. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)
• A columnist questions whether SCE&G could really pay for South Carolina’s nuclear debacle without going bankrupt, even though state officials say the utility would not. (The State)
• President Trump’s tariffs on imported solar panels and modules are meaningful, but not destructive, to industry. (Digital Journal)
• Online price quote aggregators can lower the cost of a new solar energy system by much more than President Trump’s new tariff raises it. (Think Progress)

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