Southeast Energy News

North Carolina city grapples with 100% clean energy targets

Correction: Health insurer Anthem has agreed to buy power from a large solar project nearing completion northeast of Richmond, Virginia. An earlier version of this post misstated the project’s location.

EMISSIONS: Legislative politics, industry influence, and financial pressures from an aging bus fleet helped tip the scales toward fossil fuels in North Carolina’s first round of Volkswagen settlement spending. (Energy News Network)

CLIMATE: City officials in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, debate a proposal that would commit the city to running on 80% clean energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050, which some said would set the bar too high. (Winston-Salem Journal)

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COAL:
• North Carolina regulators wrap up hearings and are expected to rule in December on a Duke Energy rate hike proposal that includes passing along coal-ash cleanup costs to ratepayers. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• A West Virginia land trust is restoring a 5,000-acre expanse of woodland and former surface mines into a public recreation area. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

SOLAR:
• A health insurer agrees to buy power from a 20 megawatt solar project nearing completion in VirginiaNorth Carolina. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• A Virginia county is slated to vote Wednesday on a conditional-use permit for a second major solar farm that would power about 15,000 homes. (Winchester Star)

STORAGE: Federal regulators will allow a North Carolina municipal power agency to add battery storage to its system despite objections from its supplier Duke Energy Progress. (RTO Insider, subscription)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam celebrates the launch of Virginia’s first zero-emission electric buses while signing a new public transit funding law. (Augusta Free Press)

UTILITIES:
• A West Virginia gas utility is abandoning service to dozens of rural households because no one wants to pay to replace aging pipes. (Mountain State Spotlight)
• A poll of 1,078 South Carolina voters finds strong support for increasing competition in the state’s utility market. (Charleston City Paper)

PIPELINES: Federal regulators reject opponents’ request for a rehearing on a Mountain Valley Pipeline extension into North Carolina. (Kallanish Energy)

COMMENTARY:
• Texas needs a new generation of clean energy “wildcatters” to bring the state’s research innovation to market and change the world, a business columnist writes. (Houston Chronicle)
• Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a plan to put the state on a path to zero emissions by 2050, but his Department of Natural Resources apparently missed the memo as it continues to push oil and gas development, a columnist writes. (NOLA.com)
• A columnist says a deal between the Sierra Club and Appalachian Power to conduct retirement analyses on two coal-fired power plants in West Virginia is a “harbinger of more difficult times ahead” for the industry. (MetroNews)
• Kentucky regulators should pursue owners and controllers of bankrupt coal companies for the costs of reclaiming abandoned mines, a nonprofit group’s lawyer writes. (Lexington Herald Leader)
• A publisher says Florida Republicans are increasingly urging their party to accept climate science and start working toward solutions that reverse the trends and reflect conservative values. (Florida Politics)

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