CLEAN POWER PLAN: A federal court grants North Carolina’s request to withdraw from a legal challenge to the Clean Power Plan; meanwhile, President Trump is expected to order the Justice Department to stop defending the plan, likely leaving the case in legal limbo. (WFAE, E&E News)
• Georgia is the top state for solar power developed by rural co-ops, according to a new report. (Solar Industry Magazine)
• Alabama’s largest solar farm is complete and will provide enough electricity to power 15,000 homes. (Yale Climate Connections)
• A new report says the U.S. solar market is poised to triple in size over the next five years. (Greentech Media)
• Florida Power & Light’s project to fix pollution issues issues at the Turkey Point Nuclear station is approved by the state.
• New energy legislation under consideration in North Carolina might allow third-party energy sales and streamline the permitting process for solar projects. (Coastal Review Online)
• Florida Power & Light announces plans to install 100 “solar trees” around the state. (News 13)
WIND: Prices for offshore wind are falling dramatically, making leases in places like the Carolina coast more attractive. (Bloomberg)
EPA: Former North Carolina DEQ secretary Donald van der Vaart is still in the running for deputy administrator of the EPA. (E&E News)
POLICY: The chief of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality talks about his vision for the agency. (Southeast Energy News)
• Westinghouse Electric, the U.S. nuclear power plant developer owned by Toshiba, hires bankruptcy attorneys, but no official decision to file for bankruptcy has been made.
• 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.
• 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)
• 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: 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)
• 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)
• 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.
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)
• 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.
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)
• 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.
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)
• Female coal miners talk about their experiences working in a male-dominated workforce.
COAL: West Virginia lawmakers advance a bill allowing more pollution into streams despite strong opposition at a public hearing. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• 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)
• 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.
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)
• 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.