CLEAN ENERGY: Why siting renewable energy projects on former strip mines isn’t as easy as it sounds. (Southeast Energy News)

ALSO: The Republican mayor of Abita Springs, Louisiana and the Democratic mayor of Columbia, South Carolina explain why their cities are pursuing 100% renewable energy. (Baton Rouge Advocate, Triple Pundit)

***SPONSORED LINK: Ready to network, learn, and strategize at Solar Power Southeast? Receive a 15% discount on your registration when you use code P15SACE17. Sign up today to secure your spot at one of the top solar conferences in the region. Solar Power Southeast is May 11-12 in Atlanta.***

• The PJM Interconnection says a 116 MW coal plant in North Carolina will be shut down, but a specific date hasn’t been set. (Rocky Mount Telegram)
• Entergy’s CEO says the company won’t be pursuing new coal plants: “Whatever the [Trump] administration does, that doesn’t change our point of view.” (Arkansas Online)
• Kentucky, once the leading coal-producing state in the U.S., has now fallen to fifth, behind Illinois and Pennsylvania. (McClatchy)
• A North Carolina-based scientist promotes the idea of using coal to produce transportation fuels. (Bristol Herald Courier)

• Customers of municipal utilities in North Carolina that get wholesale power from Duke Energy may see minimal impact from rate increases for coal ash cleanup. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• Arkansas utilities are moving forward with some pollution controls while challenging a federal haze rule in court. (Arkansas Online)

• A proposed solar plant at the University of Central Florida — possibly as large as 12 MW — is expected to save the school $2 million a year on energy bills. (Orlando Sentinel)
• Dominion announces plans to purchase a 79 MW solar farm in North Carolina. (Virginia Business)
• The National Park Service will host tours of a recently installed solar array at a North Carolina lighthouse. (Coastal Review Online)

OIL AND GAS: A whistleblower claims federal prosecutors ignored his evidence that oil companies illegally dumped chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico. (Courthouse News Service)

• A Virginia climate activist cheers candidates for rejecting donations from the state’s largest utility. (Roanoke Times)
• The prospects for rate reform in South Carolina are dimming. (Aiken Standard)

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.