Southeast Energy News

SCANA executive will plead guilty to conspiracy fraud charges

TRANSITION: A new report warns that Dominion Energy and southwestern Virginia officials should prepare now for a likely early closure of an underperforming, 8-year-old hybrid coal plant or risk damaging the regional economy. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: Another new report says West Virginia would benefit economically if it pivots from coal toward renewables and energy efficiency over the next 15 years. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

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NUCLEAR:
• The former CEO of defunct South Carolina utility SCANA will plead guilty to federal conspiracy fraud charges involving the 2017 failure of a $9 billion nuclear project. (The State)
• An investigation of three unplanned shutdowns at Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point nuclear power plant results finds numerous issues, but with low safety risks. (Key West Citizen, subscription)

SOLAR:
• Texas and Florida added more than 2 GW of solar capacity through the third quarter — more than what they added in 2018 and 2019 combined. (FitsNews)
• An Arkansas school district approves a 28-year contract with a Little Rock company to build a solar power grid to offset energy costs. (El Dorado News-Times)
• A Tennessee solar company raises $225 million from investors that will be used to hire 40 new employees, enter new markets and add 1 GW of new capacity in the next two years. (PV Magazine)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The electric vehicle industry is primed for growth in Texas, due in part to thousands of skilled workers who have lost oil and gas jobs in recent years, according to a new report. (Houston Chronicle)
• Central Florida officials consider a pilot program to install electric coils in roads to charge electric vehicles as they drive. (WKMG)

WIND: Dominion Energy and Duke Energy are among the potential buyers for energy generated by an offshore wind project planned for waters off North Carolina’s Outer Banks. (Triangle Business Journal)

COAL ASH: Last week’s North Carolina Supreme Court ruling means Duke Energy and its shareholders won’t bear the full cost of coal ash clean-up, but the question of who will pay still remains unanswered. (Utility Dive)

COAL:
• A longtime coal executive resigns as head of West Virginia’s environmental regulation department, after four years during which he’s been criticized for lax oversight. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A court filing in the Blackjewel bankruptcy case lays out details about how former CEO Jeff Hoops allegedly defrauded the company through shell companies, royalty schemes and even grazing rights. (Ohio Valley ReSource)

OIL & GAS:
• Despite regulatory setbacks, two companies continue to push for new natural gas infrastructure in Virginia. (Virginia Mercury)
• Internal politics and turnover contribute to an Oklahoma company’s decision to move its headquarters and sell productive oil wells in Colorado to focus on holdings in Kansas and Oklahoma instead. (The Oklahoman)

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GRID: Oklahoma looks to Florida for lessons on infrastructure and maintenance improvements to protect its electric grid from storms and climate change. (The Oklahoman)

COMMENTARY:
• Florida businesses take the lead in recognizing and addressing climate change, but need the support of state lawmakers, argues a collaborative of state news organizations. (Palm Beach Post)
• Virginia’s reliance on investor-owned utility monopolies reduces energy democracy and consumer choice, writes an activist with an Appalachian advocacy group, but changes to improve access to clean energy and affordable electricity can help. (Appalachian Voices)
• The Blackjewel coal bankruptcy has reached a pivotal point that will determine the fate of thousands of acres of mine lands, nearby communities and the company’s former employees, write two staffers of an environmental and community advocacy group. (Appalachian Voices)

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