Southeast Energy News

South Carolina utilities kept nuclear project concerns under wraps

NUCLEAR: SCANA’s former CEO warned contractor Westinghouse that both SCANA and Santee Cooper had serious concerns about cost overruns and design delays six months after the Summer nuclear project began, according to a newly disclosed email. (Post and Courier)

COAL ASH: The EPA dismisses a civil rights case brought by residents of a small, overwhelmingly African American town in Alabama who say a coal ash landfill has made them sick. (The Guardian)

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PIPELINES: A federal judge grants Mountain Valley Pipeline developers immediate possession of land in Virginia after nearly 300 owners refused the company’s offers to purchase easements. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

TAXES: Striking West Virginia public school teachers want the state to raise its severance tax on oil and gas extraction in order to fund their insurance. (Slate)

SOLAR:
• An 18-mile stretch of rural Georgia highway is solar paved and uses new technologies to be “a zero carbon” highway. (Popular Science)
• A new initiative allows Roanoke, Virginia, homeowners and businesses to install solar energy systems at reduced prices. (Roanoke Times)

RENEWABLES: Utility-scale wind and solar power facilities operator Apex Clean Energy plans to build a new headquarters in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. (Virginia Business)

RATES: North Carolina regulators consider raising rates on an additional 2 million customers, a week after approving Duke Energy’s rate increase that includes coal ash cleanup charges. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: Analysts say energy and environment issues could be pivotal during the midterm elections in some contested seats, including ones in Florida, Virginia and West Virginia. (E&E News, registration)

OIL:
• Rising U.S. shale oil production could soon bottleneck at Gulf Coast ports unless new infrastructure is built. (Reuters)
• A fire at an oil refinery in Alabama on Sunday was contained and did not cause any injuries or property damage. (WALA)

NATURAL GAS: Cheniere Energy is sending the first-ever consignment of U.S. liquefied natural gas to India via the Sabine Pass Terminal in Louisiana. (Forbes)

COMMENTARY:
• Large utilities, including Duke Energy, recognize clean energy makes good business sense. (National Resources Defense Council)
• True competition, customer choice and disciplined government could put to rest a number of Virginia’s problems related to its utilities, says an energy and environmental policy analyst. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• West Virginia still has strong competitive advantages to meet the nation’s energy needs as renewable energy sources approach economic parity with fossil fuels, says a guest columnist. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Solar growth in the Southeast is dominated by utility-scale projects that often impose inefficient or unnecessary constraints on distributed generation. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)
• Two bills could lower electric rates for South Carolina customers — and the Legislature should pass them, says an editorial board. (Post and Courier)

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