Southeast Energy News

TVA contracts could stifle Southern cities’ renewable growth

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UTILITIES: The Tennessee Valley Authority’s push to lock municipal utility and co-op customers into longer-term contracts could slow Southern cities’ efforts to expand renewable energy. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO: As California officials consider a public takeover of PG&E, the concept of publicly owned utilities has already shown results in other places such as Winter Park, Florida. (Energy News Network)

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SOLAR:
The world of “Big Solar” explodes as more communities approve project plans and developers quickly build large-scale solar farms. (E&E News, subscription)
• A Georgia solar farm that will supply energy to a new Facebook data center begins generating electricity. (Associated Press)
• Arkansas utility regulators, under pressure to complete a review of net metering and solar energy rates, will hold a public comment hearing in February. (Arkansas Business)
• Solar developers unveil Louisville, Kentucky’s largest solar project — 1,400 panels on the roof of a shopping mall. (WFPL)

CLIMATE: Youth activists pressure Virginia Tech to update is decade-old climate action plan and further reduce emissions. (Roanoke Times)

WIND: The U.S. currently has only one offshore wind farm under construction off the coast of Virginia, but a new report estimates a $70 billion market by 2030. (CNBC)

OIL & GAS:
• Dominion Energy files an air permit application with Virginia regulators to build a $600 million natural gas peaking power plant that would produce energy during high demand periods. (Chesterfield Observer)
• ExxonMobil teams up with Texas A&M to provide hazardous liquids emergency response training for Texas firefighters. (Government Technology)
• The Coast Guard responds to a 1,050-gallon crude oil spill in a bay near New Orleans. (KATC)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: A South Carolina lawmaker pre-files a bill that would permanently ban and stop any work related to offshore drilling on or off the state’s shore. (WMBF)

COAL ASH: An environmental group sues the Tennessee Valley Authority for not disclosing records about its support for an industry group fighting stricter rules for coal ash. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

COAL:
• For 20 years, Coal River Mountain Watch has been fighting mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia. (Ohio Valley Resource)
• West Virginia’s two U.S. senators introduce legislation to advance research and promote coal-derived carbon products like carbon fiber, graphite and carbon foam. (WDTV)
• While campaigning in Virginia, presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg pledges to shut down all remaining 251 coal plants across the nation. (Mountaineer Journal) 

COMMENTARY: North Carolina needs to focus on energy storage if the state wants a leading clean energy economy, writes a solar company employee. (Charlotte Observer) 

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