Southeast Energy News

Political spending by Florida utilities is soaring, report shows

UTILITIES: The rate of political spending by Florida utility companies more than doubled during the 2014 and 2016 election cycles compared to the previous decade, with companies contributing $43 million to candidates, parties and political committees, according to a report. (Miami Herald)

BIOMASS: A biomass company that wants to sell power to a Virginia college is challenging regulators’ interpretation of the state’s competitive supplier law. (Southeast Energy News)

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SOLAR:
• Florida’s only solar panel manufacturer, Solar Tech Universal, plans to hire up to 100 more employees, including some to staff a new facility in Puerto Rico. (Palm Beach Post)
• Georgetown County, South Carolina leaders consider adding rules for solar farms to the county’s zoning ordinance in order to spur solar development. (South Strand News)
• South Carolina’s first “luxury solar” home development offers solar roofing systems as upgrades. (Builder Magazine)
• Recurrent Energy closes on financing for a solar farm in North Carolina that will be one of the largest in the state when it is complete. (PV Magazine)

NUCLEAR: Georgia Power holds job fairs to recruit workers for its Vogtle nuclear plant. The utility wants to fill up to 1,000 jobs within the next few months. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

NATURAL GAS: Pike County, Kentucky wants back $400,000 it loaned a chemical company thats plans to build a plant to convert natural gas into synthetic waxes and fuels. (Lexington Herald Leader)

PIPELINES: West Virginia regulators cite Mountain Valley Pipeline for failing to control erosion at two work sites. (Roanoke Times)

COAL: A study of West Virginia forests near coal-burning power plants shows how soil stores excess amounts of nitrogen from the atmosphere. (WVPB)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Okaloosa County, Florida commissioners unanimously pass a resolution opposing the opening of more areas off the coast for gas and oil exploration. (WJHG)

COMMENTARY:
• Two environmental advocates argue that biomass is not only bad for our forests, air, and climate, but it’s also uneconomic. (Southeast Energy News)
• A Tennessee professor says TVA’s “grid access fee” shows how the company is failing to modernize in a new energy market. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

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