Shareholders sue over disclosures about ‘clean coal’ plant

COAL: Shareholders file a class-action suit against Southern Co. alleging failure to disclose adverse information about the Kemper “clean coal” power plant. (SunHerald)

ALSO:
• Conservationists in Kentucky are fighting back against attempts to gut the federal stream protection rule. (Public News Service)
• The director of West Virginia University’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development is the latest to debunk hopes of coal’s recovery despite what President Trump may do. (Fox40.com)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join fellow advocates, renewable energy business leaders, utility staff and regulators at the sixth annual Clean Power Summit Feb 23-24 in Charleston, S.C. As a supporting sponsor, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy extends a 10% discount off registration. Use code: CECPS ***

POLICY:
• The Trump administration suspends the awarding of any new grants or contracts by the EPA and imposes a blackout on external communications.

Louisiana governor urges lawsuits over oil industry damage

LOUISIANA:
• Louisiana’s governor encourages local governments to sue oil and gas companies for damage to coastal lands. (WWNO Public Radio)
• Environmental groups gird for the next round hearings over a contested pipeline set to cut across several southern parishes. (Associated Press)

POLICY:
• A transition document outlines how President Trump may pursue more than $800 million in budget cuts at the EPA, including state assistance programs. (The Hill)
• North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is slated as the keynote speaker at the University of North Carolina’s fourth clean tech summit March 2-3 in Chapel Hill. (Coastal Review Online)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join fellow advocates, renewable energy business leaders, utility staff and regulators at the sixth annual Clean Power Summit Feb 23-24 in Charleston, S.C. As a supporting sponsor, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy extends a 10% discount off registration. Use code: CECPS ***

COAL ASH:
• Ash containing rare earth elements needed for cell phones and computer hard drives potentially can meet the market demand for these and other industries that depend on it. (Waste360.com)
• A hearing this Thursday night in Northern Virginia is the latest in an effort to explain Dominion Virginia Power’s plans to store coal ash along the Potomac River.

Lab manager sentenced for faking water samples from coal mines

COAL: A lab manager in West Virginia is sentenced to two years in prison for doctoring water samples to benefit the industry. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ALSO:
• Decisions by an Ohio utility illustrate why coal mined in West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky is losing market share for power generation. (The Exponent Telegram)
• The Appalachian Regional Commission says it’s awarding nearly $26 million to train workers in five states impacted by coal’s downturn. (The State Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join fellow advocates, renewable energy business leaders, utility staff and regulators at the sixth annual Clean Power Summit Feb 23-24 in Charleston, S.C. As a supporting sponsor, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy extends a 10% discount off registration. Use code: CECPS ***

WIND: In two of his final acts as President, Barack Obama charted a course for cleaner energy off the Southeast Atlantic Coast. (Southeast Energy News)

ADVOCACY:
• Why a Conservative clean energy group in North Carolina is expanding into Virginia.

Pentagon dismisses North Carolina lawmakers’ concerns about wind farm

WIND: The Pentagon says a large wind farm in northeast North Carolina serving Amazon Web Services does not threaten its radar and other operations in nearby Chesapeake, Virginia.  (Associated Press)

POLICY: President-elect Trump plans to eliminate two offices in the Dept. of Energy, one focusing on energy efficiency and renewables, the other on fossil fuels. (The Hill)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join fellow advocates, renewable energy business leaders, utility staff and regulators at the sixth annual Clean Power Summit Feb 23-24 in Charleston, S.C. As a supporting sponsor, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy extends a 10% discount off registration. Use code: CECPS ***

UTILITIES:
• For the first time, the TVA board elects an African-American woman as its chairperson. (WKMS)
• Two former Virginia Attorneys General team up to help fight a 2015 Virginia law allowing utilities to forego rate reviews for five years. (WTVR)
• Duke Energy agrees to pay $600,000 to settle a lawsuit with the federal government over its acquisition of a natural power plant in Florida.

Nine companies compete for wind leases off North Carolina’s coast

WIND:
• The subsidiaries of at least two global oil companies are among the nine deemed qualified to participate in the March 16 sale of leases for wind energy systems off North Carolina’s coast. (Maritime Executive)
• A North Carolina state lawmaker blasts an effort by fellow Republicans asking the incoming Trump administration to pull the plug on a wind farm over alleged potential interference with U.S. Navy operations. (Triangle Business Journal)

PIPELINES:
• Advocates say federal regulators are downplaying the increase in methane emissions and other impacts of proposed interstate pipelines. (Southeast Energy News)
• The battle over the Bayou Bridge Pipeline stands to become the “Standing Rock” of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin. (Truthout.org)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join fellow advocates, renewable energy business leaders, utility staff and regulators at the sixth annual Clean Power Summit Feb 23-24 in Charleston, S.C. As a supporting sponsor, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy extends a 10% discount off registration. Use code: CECPS ***

UTILITIES:
• Georgia Power’s new online store is its latest initiative to generate new revenue and become a trusted adviser to ratepayers.

Sale of wind leases off North Carolina’s coast set for March 16

WIND: The first-ever lease sale for wind energy systems off North Carolina’s coast is scheduled for March 16. (UPI)

ALSO:
• The developer of the large wind farm in eastern North Carolina set to supply electricity to Amazon Web Services near a U.S. Navy radar center cautions Republican legislators against shutting it down. (Triangle Business Journal)
• Contradicting concerns raised by legislators, the U.S. Navy says Amazon’s wind farm can co-exist without compromising its nearby radar facility; here’s their agreement with the developer. (DailyAdvance.com, Greenfleet.DoDlive.mil)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join fellow advocates, renewable energy business leaders, utility staff and regulators at the sixth annual Clean Power Summit Feb 23-24 in Charleston, S.C. As a supporting sponsor, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy extends a 10% discount off registration. Use code: CECPS ***

UTILITIES:
• A much-anticipated constitutional challenge to how Virginia sets electricity rates is set to begin this week at the state’s Supreme Court. (Southeast Energy News)
• The Sierra Club files at the Florida Supreme Court to block a rate increase by Florida Power & Light that just took effect.

Despite push back, green jobs in North Carolina continue growing

NORTH CAROLINA: Renewable energy and energy efficiency businesses have created the equivalent of 34,000 full-time jobs in North Carolina while generating $6.4 billion a year in revenue, a trade group says. (Charlotte Observer)

NUCLEAR:
• Florida Power & Light wins a battle to store radioactive waste under Miami’s drinking water aquifer. (Miami New Times)
• In a long-awaited move, NuScale Power submits to federal regulators its design for a small “modular” reactor. (WVTF Public Radio)
• Federal regulators are to review a site near Oak Ridge, Tennessee for the TVA for what could be one of the nation’s first small modular reactors. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join fellow advocates, renewable energy business leaders, utility staff and regulators at the sixth annual Clean Power Summit Feb 23-24 in Charleston, S.C. As a supporting sponsor, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy extends a 10% discount off registration. Use code: CECPS ***

SOLAR:
• Florida Power & Light completes three solar systems and plans four more this year.

Report: Virginia coal ash dump ‘highly vulnerable’ to storms, rising sea levels

COAL ASH: More than 2 million tons of ash buried on the banks of the Elizabeth River in Virginia are “highly vulnerable” to Atlantic storms and rising sea levels, according to a new report. (The Virginian-Pilot)

RENEWABLES:
• Amazon is to begin receiving the first electricity from roughly 930 MW of new renewable energy agreements this month, including 80 MW from a solar farm in eastern Virginia. (Climatewire)
• In a new report, Greenpeace lauds cloud computing companies for sourcing a growing amount of power for their data centers in Virginia and elsewhere with renewables. (Greenpeace)

WIND: A new study spotlights almost $4 billion in benefits for Louisiana and Mississippi of the proposed Southern Cross transmission line to import wind power from East Texas. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)

COAL: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin says Donald Trump assured him the President-elect will fight to secure a “permanent health care solution” for retired miners.