Southeast Energy News

Tampa utility will close coal plant 20 years early in shift to solar

SOLAR: Tampa Electric doubles its target for solar power, beginning construction of four new projects totaling 225 MW and announcing plans to retire a coal plant two decades ahead of schedule. (Florida Politics)

ALSO:
• A North Carolina solar developer re-applies to build a 149 MW facility in Virginia, less than two months after it withdrew its proposal in the face of public opposition. (Culpeper Star-Exponent)
• Duke Energy and Ameresco collaborate to build a floating photovoltaic solar microgrid at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg military base. (Microgrid Knowledge)

***SPONSORED LINK: North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association is offering a virtual clean energy continuing legal education (CLE) course on Feb. 2, with a specific focus on the Southeast region. Register today! ***

POLITICS:
• Two coal-country Republicans from central Appalachia secure prominent spots on congressional subcommittees with environmental and investigative power. (E&E News, subscription)
• Florida environmental groups cheer President Biden’s early executive orders, which they say are necessary to combat climate change that’s already occurring and which disproportionately affects minority communities. (WLTV)

COAL:
• West Virginia’s coal lobby braces for a “pretty tough time” under the Biden administration. (WV Metro News)
• After West Virginia makes changes to how it funds reclamation of former coal mines, environmental groups drop a lawsuit but remain concerned about the potential for coal bankruptcies to overwhelm states’ ability to pay for cleanup. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A safety inspector at a now-bankrupt Kentucky coal mine becomes the third person, of nine that have been charged, to plead guilty to rigging dust-monitoring equipment to skirt safety rules. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: President Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline probably will benefit west Texas oil drillers but negatively affect regional refineries by reducing supply, says a state economics professor. (KLBK)

WIND: A north Texas group advocates against wind power as a potential threat to the endangered whooping crane, and succeeds in pushing one developer to cancel its plans. (KFDX)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A German company expands its carbon composite manufacturing in Arkansas to include components for electric vehicles. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

COMMENTARY:
• San Antonio’s city-owned electric utility should close a coal-fired plant even though it was built relatively recently, in part because it imports most of its fuel from other states, writes the leader of a conservative group that advocates for energy innovation. (San Antonio Express-News)
• Despite his campaign promises to save coal, Donald Trump leaves office with the industry in collapse, writes a columnist. (Northwest Florida Daily News)
• A Texas newspaper editorial board welcomes federal funding for a ship channel, both for its short-term benefit for the oil and petrochemical industries and for longer-term cargo trade as those industries fade. (Beaumont Enterprise)

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