Southeast Energy News

Southern Company aims to reach net-zero carbon by 2050

Correction: Texas’ Austin Energy is the top U.S. municipal utility for solar power capacity per person. An earlier version of this digest linked to a news report that incorrectly described the ranking.

EMISSIONS: Southern Company sets a net-zero carbon emissions target for 2050 with plans to expand renewable energy, nuclear and energy efficiency, while still moving ahead with new natural gas plants. (Greentech Media)  

WIND:
• Louisiana regulators approve Southwestern Electric Power Company’s plan to buy three new wind facilities in Oklahoma totaling 1,485 MW. (KATC)
• Botetourt County, Virginia, officials vote 3-2 to approve fewer, taller wind turbines for a proposed mountain-top wind farm. (Roanoke Times)

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SOLAR:
• Texas’ Austin Energy is the top U.S. municipal utility for solar power capacity per person, with San Antonio’s city-owned utility also ranking high, according to the Environment Texas Policy and Research Center. (news release)
• Arkansas regulators oppose a federal petition to change how consumers and businesses are compensated for solar energy they send to the grid. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

UTILITIES: The Tennessee Valley Authority fights to keep its biggest customer, Memphis Power & Light, from purchasing power elsewhere. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

OIL & GAS: A bill seeking to invalidate environmental lawsuits by Louisiana coastal parishes against oil and gas companies advances to the House floor. (LSU Manship School News Service)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• Shell evacuates nine workers from an offshore drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico after five of them contract COVID-19. (Houston Chronicle)
• The coronavirus pandemic and the start of hurricane season will make it difficult for some Gulf of Mexico oil and gas operators to fulfill their drilling requirements on leases. (S&P Global)

PIPELINES: Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline damages a water line in Texas, spilling 60,000 gallons of water. (Hays Free Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Clearer skies from the lack of traffic during the pandemic show why Texas should invest in electric vehicles, an industry group representative says. (Austin American-Statesman)
• Southern Company’s new commitments to renewables have the potential to speed the transition to a clean energy economy in the region, environmental advocates say. (NRDC)

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