Top North Carolina environmental official won’t support coal ash bill

• The head of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality says a recently passed coal ash bill “substantially weakens” environmental protections in current law. (Wilmington Star-News)
• A Virginia utility’s plan to store coal ash at a closed power plant site still faces questions from local officials. (Virginian-Pilot)

EFFICIENCY: Rural co-ops in North Carolina make strides on energy efficiency with the help of a federal loan program. (Southeast Energy News)

• Advocates in Virginia see the state’s largest utility as a formidable obstacle to solar power, but pressure from corporations may change that. (Southeast Energy News)
• “Shalom, y’all”: An Israeli company celebrates the opening of its first solar array in the U.S., a 22 MW facility in southern Georgia. (Florida Times-Union) 
• A developer planning to install solar on all new homes faces obstacles in Florida. (Broward-Palm Beach New Times)
• Consumer groups criticize a Florida utility for pursuing a rate increase while spending millions on a ballot measure campaign. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
• Alabama Power breaks ground on a 10 MW solar project at Fort Rucker. (Birmingham Business Journal)
• Work is expected to begin this month on a solar installation at a second Alabama military facility. (Greentech Lead)
Low electricity prices are cited as a barrier to solar development in Alabama. (Decatur Daily)
• A Virginia town offers discounted pricing on solar to residents. (Loudoun Now)

PIPELINES: Bills to restrict eminent domain and to study pipeline oversight go to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk. (Anderson Independent Mail)

OIL AND GAS: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu joins the effort to push the industry to repair damage to coastal wetlands. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

NUCLEAR: The TVA’s Watts Bar 2 reactor generated electricity for the first time on Friday. (Chattanoogan)

COAL: A film explores how the history of South Wales could provide direction for Kentucky’s post-coal economy. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

• Engineers may provide the best advice on what to do with coal ash. (Charlotte Observer)
• “In a state where the main export is sunshine, Florida’s record on solar power is surprisingly terrible.” (Broward-Palm Beach New Times)
• Tech companies can drive clean energy development in Virginia. (Blue Virginia)
• Environmentalists say a Virginia utility’s new natural gas plant is “a textbook case of economic inefficiency.” (Bacon’s Rebellion)

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