Georgia regulators seek reassurance on Vogtle nuclear plant

NUCLEAR: Georgia regulators passed a resolution Tuesday instructing Georgia Power to determine by the end of month whether it intends to finish or abandon the Vogtle nuclear project. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

ALSO:
• The Florida Public Service Commission approved Duke Energy Florida’s request to recover $50 million related to its Crystal River nuclear plant, which closed in 2013. (Tampa Bay Times)
• South Carolina Electric & Gas withdrew its request that state regulators approve its plans to abandon the Summer nuclear project, though plans to do so have not changed. (Associated Press)
• Florida Power & Light is seeking permission to continue its quest to license two new nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point plant, though the “project is effectively dead.” (Local 10)

COAL: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says he plans to revise a wastewater rule for power plants that the agency put on hold in April. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: The Sierra Club seeks to force the Energy Department to reveal the groups it consulted with in developing its grid reliability study. (Reuters)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Microsoft, Facebook, Walmart and other key players in Southeast energy at Infocast’s Southeast Renewable Energy Summit – November 1-3 in Atlanta. Register today!***

WIND: Duke Energy issued a request on Tuesday for proposals to increase its wind energy capacity in North Carolina by 2022. (Citizen-Times)

SOLAR: The U.S. International Trade Commission held its first hearing on Tuesday on Georgia-based Suniva’s request for import tariffs on solar panels, as opponents argued the move could cut more than a third of solar jobs in the United States.

Supporters seek federal lifeline for Georgia nuclear project

NUCLEAR: Efforts to give hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to the Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia seem stuck in the U.S. Senate as lawmakers look at a broader tax overhaul. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

ALSO:
• Supporters of Georgia’s troubled Vogtle nuclear plant are asking the Trump administration to help the project to ensure its completion. (Bloomberg)
• An analysis says it is likely that future plans to build full size nuclear reactors in the U.S. “are now being put on indefinite hold.” (Energy Collective)
• There are job fairs being held this week following the abandonment of South Carolina’s Summer nuclear plant project, which put about 6,000 people out of work. (Post and Courier)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Microsoft, Facebook, Walmart and other key players in Southeast energy at Infocast’s Southeast Renewable Energy Summit – November 1-3 in Atlanta. Register today!***

FERC: New FERC chair Neil Chatterjee said Monday that coal and nuclear plants must be compensated properly “to recognize the value they provide to the system.” (Washington Examiner)

COAL: The EPA plans to do away with a measure limiting water pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Lawmakers want federal aid to revive South Carolina nuclear project

NUCLEAR: U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham leads a push for billions of dollars to revive the abandoned Summer nuclear project in South Carolina, saying the project’s demise “would be the end of a nuclear renaissance before it even started.” (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• The state-owned utility Santee Cooper has dropped its plans to increase rates after abandoning construction at the Summer plant. (Associated Press)
• Neither President Trump nor Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who have both advocated pro-nuclear positions, have publicly addressed the abandonment of the Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
• A lawsuit filed on Friday accuses South Carolina Electric and Gas of mismanaging finances for the Summer plant as well as concealing money problems from its customers. (Associated Press)
• Westinghouse said Friday it furloughed 870 employees, following the filing of a lawsuit alleging that the company violated labor laws by laying off workers without proper notice.

Expert says Appalachia pipeline could cause problems for water resources

PIPELINES: A water geologist from West Virginia says planned construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline through Appalachian mountain ridges is “the worst” place for it and could cause major problems for water resources. (WVTF)

NUCLEAR:
• A South Carolina lawmaker is asking utility regulators to stop any attempt to charge customers for the abandoned Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
• Although SCANA failed to build two new nuclear reactors in South Carolina and is now seeking to recoup billions from customers, it paid its executives millions in bonuses. (The State)
• Georgia energy regulators plan to take up a resolution that instructs Georgia Power to answer 14 questions when the utility declares whether it intends to complete the Vogtle nuclear plant. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)
• The Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia needs the billions of dollars promised by Toshiba to complete construction.

Potential buyers for South Carolina power company may help abandoned nuclear project

NUCLEAR: South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Santee Cooper say they have potential buyers for all or part of the state power company to help restart the abandoned Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)

ALSO:
• South Carolina lawmakers have formed committees to investigate the abandonment of the Summer nuclear project and how to prevent residents from paying billions more through their utility bills. (Associated Press)
• Florida regulators are again considering two new nuclear reactors in the state, as utility customers say they want proof the reactors would be worth the costs. (Palm Beach Post)

COAL:
• Scientists studying the aftermath of a coal-ash spill in North Carolina have discovered a byproduct of coal that may pose human health risks, making burned coal even more toxic than previously thought. (Bloomberg)
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is asking President Trump to provide the Eastern coal industry with $4.5 billion a year in federal funding, which miners in Western states say goes against free-market principles.

West Virginia governor wants to pay utilities to burn coal from the region

COAL: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s plan to boost the regional coal industry — saying it is a matter of national security — includes paying utilities $15 for each ton of coal they burn from fields in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. (West Virginia MetroNews)

ALSO: Two grants were awarded in Kentucky as part of the 2016 Abandoned Mine Lands program to revitalize coalfields in the state. (WMKY)

OIL & GAS: Roughly 175 people attended a state-hosted public hearing on Monday about drilling off North Carolina’s coast, with the majority opposing a proposed federal offshore leasing program. (Coastal Review Online)

CLIMATE:
• A draft federal climate change report says the Southeast region has seen the lowest temperature increases in the country, but increases in extreme rain could be mitigated by reductions in carbon emissions. (New York Times, Associated Press)
• As President Trump continues his pledge to revive the nation’s struggling coal industry, the report also shows that burning fossil fuels is driving an increase in heat waves, droughts and floods.

South Carolina governor looking for ways to complete abandoned nuclear project

NUCLEAR: South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is seeking ways to get at least one nuclear reactor completed at the troubled Summer plant, including selling the state-owned electric utility Santee Cooper. (Post and Courier)

COAL: The U.S. Interior Department ends an Obama-era rule on royalties paid for extracting coal and other minerals that mining companies said was burdensome and costly. (Associated Press)

NATURAL GAS:
• The growth of shale gas extraction is positioning the U.S. to challenge Russia’s hold on the European market, thanks in part to Cheniere Energy’s shipments from a natural gas liquefaction plant in the Louisiana. (The Peninsula)
• Southwestern Energy, one of Appalachia’s largest natural gas producers, expects better natural gas prices now that there is a FERC quorum to potentially approve more pipeline projects. (Natural Gas Intelligence)

SOLAR:
• The upcoming solar eclipse will affect hundreds of solar plants, mostly in North Carolina and Georgia.

FERC nominations could fast track two Southeast pipeline projects

OIL AND GAS: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration is hosting public hearings this week on President Trump’s proposed drilling off the state’s coast as opponents prepare for a fight. (Southeast Energy News)

PIPELINES:
• President Trump’s slowness to fill FERC vacancies helped create a growing backlog of natural gas pipeline projects. (Politico)
• Meanwhile, West Virginia oil and gas officials say U.S. Senate confirmation of two FERC nominees could fast track the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipeline projects. (Exponent Telegram)
• Two mayors in Virginia are asking residents to support the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, citing its economic and energy benefits. (Daily Herald)
• There are several billion dollars’ worth of pipeline projects in some stage of development to move Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas.

Duke ratepayers could also be on the hook for an unfinished nuclear plant

NUCLEAR: Duke Energy customers could wind up paying $500 million for a South Carolina nuclear plant that may never be built. (Charlotte Observer)

ALSO: The abandonment of the Summer nuclear plant project has sparked a debate between environmentalists and nuclear power proponents. (E&E News)

WIND: Despite support from Gov. Roy Cooper, wind energy proponents are concerned some state lawmakers are still trying to shut down the industry. (Southeast Energy News)

UTILITIES: Three power projects in the Southeast – two nuclear expansions and a “clean coal” plant – that became over-budget and significantly delayed may signal the end to utilities’ mega projects. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• Duke Energy says the upcoming solar eclipse’s impact on its solar farms in North Carolina will not interrupt utility customers’ power, and the TVA says its grid also is prepared for the event. (News & Observer, WKMS)
• Dominion Energy has acquired two solar generating facilities and plans to purchase two other solar farms in North Carolina.

Company predicts $25 billion price tag, longer start date for Vogtle reactors

NUCLEAR: Officials say it could take a couple more years and could cost up to $1.7 billion more to complete Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear plant project. (Augusta Chronicle)

ALSO:
• The chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission says there are significant differences between the recently abandoned nuclear project in South Carolina and the ongoing one in Georgia. (Augusta Chronicle)
• Workers fired after the Summer nuclear project was abandoned gathered at the South Carolina statehouse on Wednesday while lawmakers pledged to overhaul the utility review process. (Associated Press)
• SCE&G wanted to complete just one of the two proposed reactors at the Summer nuclear plant, but Santee Cooper voted to abandon the project altogether. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• South Carolina legislators want to stop SCE&G from continuing to collect money to pay for the Summer nuclear plant construction.