Survey finds North Carolina solar market cooling off

SOLAR:
• A new market survey reveals a slowdown in North Carolina solar construction relative to other states. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Projects planned in a South Carolina county will more than double the state’s solar capacity. (Post and Courier)

TRANSMISSION: Arkansas’ congressional delegation urges Energy Secretary Rick Perry to reverse an Obama administration decision authorizing a wind energy transmission line through the state. (KASU)

WIND: Six companies remain in the running to bid on a North Carolina offshore wind lease. (Triangle Business Journal)

OIL AND GAS:
• In a unanimous vote, a Florida Senate committee advances a bill to ban fracking in the state. (Miami Herald)
• How a Louisiana export terminal is helping the U.S. meet short-term natural gas needs in a global market.

Duke Energy defends its North Carolina solar contracts

PIPELINES:
• As opponents march to protest the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a lower-profile fight continues over what activists call an “appallingly incomplete” environmental impact statement for the project. (Southeast Energy News)
• Legislation that prohibits the construction of petroleum pipelines along Georgia’s coast passed the state senate late last week. (Savannah Morning News)

SOLAR:
• Duke Energy says the 5-year contracts it’s offering for large utility-scale solar projects do not violate state or federal laws. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Solar advocates urge Florida lawmakers to move quickly to implement tax breaks approved by voters. (Solar Industry Magazine)

TRANSMISSION: Arkansas Republicans introduce legislation in Congress that would tighten restrictions on eminent domain for transmission projects, potentially blocking a project to deliver wind energy to the Southeast.

Solar power is booming in South Carolina

SOLAR: Nearly 1,400 permits were issued for new solar installations in the three-county area around Charleston, South Carolina, compared to only 100 in 2015. (Post and Courier)

ALSO:
• A 250 acre solar farm is planned in Louisiana. (Natchez Democrat)
• An industry group highlights the growth of solar jobs amid declining coal employment in states like West Virginia. (The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register)

NUCLEAR:
• Georgia Power defends using ratepayer funds for preliminary work on a now-suspended nuclear project. (E&E News)
• The TVA is investigating after a contractor brought a loaded handgun into an Alabama nuclear plant, which is a federal crime.

Virginia regulators approve plans for state’s first commercial wind farm

WIND: Virginia regulators approve plans for the state’s first commercial wind farm, but the turbines will be turned off at certain times to avoid harming bats. (Roanoke Times)

COAL ASH: Georgia lawmakers defeat a measure to require more public notification when coal ash is dumped into landfills. (Savannah Morning News)

UTILITIES: Moody’s downgrades Mississippi Power’s financial ratings because of “the increasingly uneconomic Kemper integrated gasification combined cycle plant.” (Biloxi Sun Herald)

NUCLEAR:
• Customers of a South Carolina utility could continue to pay for a nuclear expansion even if the project is abandoned. (The State)
• An environmental advocate praises Georgia Power’s decision to stop work at the Stewart County nuclear site but also notes $50 million in ratepayer funds had been spend on the project. (Atlanta Business Journal)
• Kentucky lawmakers lift a moratorium to prevent the storage of nuclear waste there, opening the door to future nuclear reactor construction.

Controversial Kentucky solar bill likely dead for this year

SOLAR: A Kentucky lawmaker tables a controversial solar bill ahead of a key hearing, and the measure is likely dead for this session. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

ALSO:
• Four Charlotte-area schools are receiving grants to install solar panels from Duke Energy’s multi-million settlement in 2015 of Clean Air Act violations. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• A Florida utility reveals more details about its major solar expansion. (News Service of Florida)
• A Florida city unveils a new 2 MW solar array atop a former landfill. (Palm Beach Post)

EFFICIENCY: Virginia efficiency advocates try again to update the state’s building code amid pushback from homebuilders.

Kentucky lawmaker ‘shocked’ by reaction to solar bill

SOLAR: A Kentucky lawmaker says he is “shocked” by industry pushback to his solar bill and says he plans to modify the bill to address their concerns; utilities strongly support the measure. (Louisville Courier-Journal, Lane Report)

ALSO: Solar advocates push back on a Georgia bill they say would “undermine” state regulators. (Solar Industry Magazine)

ENERGY STORAGE: North Carolina has given Alevo Energy almost $13.2 million in state and local incentives to build a new battery assembly line. (Triad Business Journal)

CLIMATE: Advocates push Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and other state leaders to do more to reduce carbon emissions absent leadership at the federal level. (WVTF)

COAL:
• Female coal miners talk about their experiences working in a male-dominated workforce.

Despite public backlash, West Virginia lawmakers vote to weaken pollution rules

COAL: West Virginia lawmakers advance a bill allowing more pollution into streams despite strong opposition at a public hearing. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ALSO:
• The Interior Department removes from its website a controversial claim that repealing the federal stream protection prevented the loss of “7,000 clean coal jobs in 22 states.” (Greenwire)
• A worker is killed at a West Virginia facility owned by Gov. Jim Justice. (WSAZ)

COAL ASH:
• More evidence emerges pointing to widespread pollution from a Kentucky coal ash site as state lawmakers and regulators seek to weaken oversight. (WFPL)
• New results showing that contamination from a North Carolina plant could flow toward drinking water wells has Duke Energy downplaying the importance of computer modeling it once emphasized. (Progressive Pulse)

PIPELINES: On Norman Bay’s last day as FERC commissioner, he made recommendations that pipeline project watchdogs have pitched for years.

Duke Energy claims it’s overpaying for solar by $1 billion

SOLAR: Duke Energy says it will end up overpaying solar developers $1 billion for the energy they generate over the next dozen years in North Carolina. (Charlotte Observer)

ALSO:
• South Carolina solar projects are in limbo as lawmakers consider new tax breaks. (The State)
• A Georgia regulator warns that a bill to weaken regulatory authority over utility resource plans could effectively kill solar in the state. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)
• An Alabama school will receive about one fifth of its daytime energy needs from a new solar array. (Birmingham Business Journal)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: North Carolina withdraws from a lawsuit challenging the Clean Power Plan.

North Carolina regulators to hear solar challenge to Duke Energy

SOLAR: North Carolina regulators will hold a hearing over whether Duke Energy is violating state and federal law by failing to three of a private developers solar projects to the grid. (Charlotte Business Journal)

ALSO:
• A state court of appeals hears a case over a North Carolina nonprofit’s effort to sell solar power to a church. (Greensboro News & Record)
• A North Carolina county’s solar ban fuels a legal dispute over a proposed project at a former golf course. (Elizabeth City Daily Advance)
• A community college in Virginia is developing a solar/renewable energy curriculum “TCC Solar Ready Veterans” to educate and employ military veterans. (WVEC)

NUCLEAR: 
• Southern Company’s CEO says “we have every reason to believe Toshiba will remain viable” amid growing concerns about the company’s nuclear projects.

Utility: ‘Clean coal’ plant will be cheaper to run on gas

COAL: Mississippi Power says the Kemper “clean coal” plant will be cheaper to run on natural gas unless gas prices go higher. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoes a bill that would have reinstated tax credits for coal companies. (Roanoke Times)
• West Virginia mine operators hope a resurgence in steel demand can revive their industry. (WV Metro News)

COAL ASH:
• A Virginia lawmaker says coal ash legislation was “completely neutered” by his colleagues. (Capital News Service)
• In a series of public meetings, Duke Energy hears concerns from neighbors of coal ash facilities.