NUCLEAR: Utilities building new nuclear plants in Georgia and South Carolina are hoping to recover cost overruns through Westinghouse bankruptcy proceedings. (Reuters)

ALSO: Federal regulators order a special inspection of the Turkey Point nuclear plant in Florida after a minor electrical fault. (Palm Beach Post)

COAL ASH: An amendment proposed by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe would pause coal ash permitting for more than a year. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

COAL: President Trump reiterates his pledge to support health care for retired coal miners. (McClatchy)

SOLAR:
• The Georgia Senate approved a measure Wednesday to loosen restrictions on conservation land to make way for more solar farms in Georgia. (The Daily Citizen)
• Newly proposed changes to expand options for developing solar and other renewable energy projects in North Carolina are expected to be introduced in this year’s legislative session. (Carolina Public Press)
• Even after state tax credits disappeared, at least 2,150 homes have solar energy in New Orleans at little or no initial cost to homeowners. (Fox 8)
• The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association launches a new initiative to promote solar power. (Triple Pundit)

WIND: A Tennessee senator again asked the TVA not to purchase power from a proposed wind energy project because he claims it would “carry comparatively more expensive, less reliable electricity to Tennessee and other southeastern states.” (WGNS)

PIPELINES: Many in North Carolina worry the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline poses environmental threats to the coast, while a West Virginia environmental group speaks out about the possibilities of the pipeline contaminating drinking water. Meanwhile, A Virginia conservation group is proposing a set of conditions for the pipeline. (Coastal Review Online, Record Delta, National Gas Intel)

OIL AND GAS:
• Oil companies have offered $274.8 million for this year’s central Gulf of Mexico oil leases, which is more than last year but only about half the amount bid in 2015. (Associated Press)
• Opponents of fracking in Florida gathered at the capitol on Wednesday in support of legislation to prohibit the practice statewide. (Naples Daily News)

EFFICIENCY: Kentucky is among states considering cuts to efficiency programs, in part because of falling energy demand. (Bloomberg)

GRID: Officials from several Miami-Dade communities asked a Senate committee Wednesday not to approve legislation to allow Florida Power & Light to build power lines in environmentally sensitive areas. (Miami Herald)

COMMENTARY:
• A Georgia homeowner says his utility is “cheating” him with high fixed charges for his solar system. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority says it expects solar and other renewables to play an increasingly important role as technology improves and costs continue to come down. (The Chattanoogan)
• The son of a Kentucky coal miner urges lawmakers not to short-change safety. (Los Angeles Times)

Ken Paulman

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.