SOLAR:
• Solar energy’s ability to compete with conventional energy looks to be a game-changer for utilities, including those serving Central Florida. (Orlando Sentinel)
• Earthjustice joins those opposing a proposed Florida Constitutional amendment backed by utilities. (Miami Herald)
• An environmentalist blasts Florida’s utilities for spending almost $10 million to “mislead and confuse” people for its proposed Constitutional amendment. (Florida Politics)
• A court ruling dims prospects that a large solar-energy farm capable of generating enough electricity for thousands of homes will ever be built in Tennessee. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
• An industry jobs survey finds solar companies in the South had little difficulty finding qualified workers. (Builder)
• A North Carolina senator says large, ground-mounted solar systems are ruining the state’s farmland. (Raleigh News & Observer)
• A church in Laurel Park, North Carolina begins construction of a solar system funded by 70 individuals and families to supply about half of its annual electricity needs. (Asheville Citizen Times)
• The first three solar farms in Sanford, North Carolina are now supplying enough electricity for about 750 homes. (The Sanford Herald)

WIND: Conservationists don’t want any proposed wind turbines to be seen from the Bald Head Island Lighthouse off North Carolina’s coast. (Wilmington StarNews)

SUSTAINABILITY: The Office of Sustainability in Memphis, Tennessee prepares to launch an initiative that encourages residents to conserve energy and water. (The Memphis Daily News)

CLIMATE: A new service targeting South Florida predicts how many days a property there is below sea level each year. (Broward-Palm Beach New Times)

OIL & GAS:
• Leaders of Kure Beach, North Carolina are set to vote tonight on whether to oppose offshore drilling. (Wilmington StarNews)
• Duke Energy asks North Carolina regulators to approve plans for a natural gas-fired power plant by March 1, a timeline that critics say enables limited oversight. (Asheville Citizen-Times)
• North Carolina regulators reject a petition by environmental groups to hold a full hearing on a Duke Energy natural gas plant in Asheville. (Charlotte Business Journal)

UTILITIES:
Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas ask for expedited approval of their $4.9 billion planned merger. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• The Jacksonville Electric Authority ranked high in a J.D. Power survey of businesses rating electric utilities. (Jacksonville Business Journal)
Florida Power & Light is set to request rate hikes totaling 24 percent by 2019. (Tampa Bay Times)
Virginia’s Attorney General said he has to defend a controversial law he opposed that could clear an uncontested path to higher profits for Dominion Virginia Power. (Daily Press)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Activists say North Carolina’s response to the federal rules does little to help low-income communities. (Indy Week)

ACADEMIA: Richard Newell, the founding director of the Duke University Energy Initiative, is stepping down to pursue new opportunities in research and public service. (Duke Today)

COAL ASH: Opposition grows over Virginia’s approval of Dominion Virginia Power’s coal ash wastewater disposal into rivers. (Prince William Times)

COAL:
• President Obama signals moves to help coal-dependent communities hit by mine closures and company bankruptcies. (The New York Times)
• Virginia makes it easier for laid off coal miners to transition to minerals industry. (Kingsport Times News)

EMISSIONS: If ever sued over damages linked to its carbon emissions, a utility such as Georgia Power could face a $1.7 billion liability from its biggest coal-fired power plan, new research suggests. (Utility Dive)

POLITICS:
• They live at ground zero, but Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio say climate change is a distant threat. (Miami Herald)
• Protestors in North Carolina want equal time and invite Gov. McCrory to the type of meeting he had last June with utility executives. (WNCN)

NUCLEAR: Southern Co. and X-energy have been awarded up to $40 million each to research and overcome “key technical challenges to the design, construction and operation of next generation nuclear reactors.” (The Hill)

FRACKING: A single well in the West Virginia Marcellus Shale field yielded enough natural gas in 2014 to provide electricity for about 24,000 homes. (The Intelligencer / Wheeling News Register)

LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS: The owner of the nation’s first port for exporting natural gas in Louisiana pushes back its startup time-frame to late February or March. (KSLA)

PIPELINES:
• Opponents of the Palmetto Pipeline from South Carolina through Georgia into northeast Florida say there is no regional need for the fuel it would transport. (Athens Banner-Herald)
• The planned Palmetto Pipeline includes an 11-mile stretch of land owned by the publisher of newspapers closely covering the permitting process.  (Atlanta Progressive News)
• Franklin County, West Virginia holds a public hearing tonight on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (The Franklin News-Post)

COMMENTARY:
• The deck in North Carolina already seems stacked in favor of offshore drilling by the very agency that’s supposed to protect the environment. (Lincoln Times-News)
• An increasing number of South Carolinians are saying no to offshore drilling. (The Post & Courier)
• A Virginia newspaper calls on an in-state company to end its quest to mine uranium for processing into nuclear fuel.  (Danville Register & Bee)
Coastal Georgians oppose risking their homes for claims of jobs and revenue “that will never be realized” from offshore drilling. (Savannah Morning News)

Questions or comments about this article? Contact us at editor@energynews.us.

Jim Pierobon

Jim Pierobon, a policy, marketing and social media strategist, was a founding contributor to Southeast Energy News. He passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer in 2018.

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