Virginia governor signs 11 bills related to clean energy

WIND: A Florida entrepreneur has started a company that creates a community financing option for wind projects. (Southeast Energy News)

POLICY: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday signed into law 11 bills that promote the use of solar and other renewable energy options. (Fauquier Times)

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SOLAR:
• The Tennessee Valley Authority awarded on Monday 10 MW of solar capacity to seven local power companies.

PJM says North Carolina coal plant to shut down

CLEAN ENERGY: Why siting renewable energy projects on former strip mines isn’t as easy as it sounds. (Southeast Energy News)

ALSO: The Republican mayor of Abita Springs, Louisiana and the Democratic mayor of Columbia, South Carolina explain why their cities are pursuing 100% renewable energy. (Baton Rouge Advocate, Triple Pundit)

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COAL:
• The PJM Interconnection says a 116 MW coal plant in North Carolina will be shut down, but a specific date hasn’t been set.

Southern Co. says it needs $3.7 billion from Toshiba to complete Vogtle plant

OFFSHORE DRILLING: A coastal business group explains how it plans to fight efforts to expand offshore drilling. (Southeast Energy News)

ALSO:
• Mayors and activists along the Carolina coast warn of the dangers offshore drilling could pose to the area’s tourism economy. (The State)
• A North Carolina industry group says drilling can “safely coexist” with tourism. (Raleigh News & Observer)

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Florida lawmakers to vote today on ‘good enough’ solar bill

SOLAR: Florida’s state Senate is expected to vote today on legislation implementing voter-approved tax breaks for solar; industry backers say the revised bill is “good enough.” (Orlando Sentinel)

ALSO:
• A North Carolina solar installer has withdrawn its complaint against Duke Energy over interconnecting its projects, background here. (Charlotte Business Journal, subscription)
• A North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center report finds regulators in many states are reluctant to support utility efforts to restrict rooftop solar. (PV Magazine)
• The Mississippi attorney general’s office releases a consumer guide for solar, which Gov. Jim Hood calls “good for the environment, for people and for the economy.” (Mississippi Today)

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Failure to extend nuclear tax credit raises new questions about South Carolina project

NUCLEAR: Congress’s budget plan excludes a provision that extends the deadline for nuclear power plants to receive tax credits, which raises questions about whether the V.C. Summer project will be completed. (Post and Courier)

ALSO: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission heard arguments challenging Florida Power & Light’s request to build two additional nuclear reactors at the Turkey Point plant in Miami-Dade County. (Palm Beach Post)

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PIPELINES:
• Opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are increasing pressure on Democratic candidates running for governor in Virginia.

Federal budget bill includes fix for coal miners’ benefits

COAL:
• A permanent fix to fund health care benefits for retired coal miners is included in Congress’s $1 trillion budget deal and while miners praise lawmakers, their pensions are still uncertain. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, Lexington Herald-Leader, WKU)
• West Virginia’s coal industry is seeing an upswing, but it’s unclear how long it will last. (Bloomberg)
• Mississippi Power Co. said in a filing on Monday that it expects the remainder of its Kemper plant to be operational by May 31, though its cost will increase by $38 million. (Mississippi Today)

UTILITIES: A bill in the North Carolina legislature backed by Duke Energy would “crush renewables,” critics say, by restricting the number of projects allowed from independent producers.

Southeast states push back on Trump’s offshore drilling order

OIL AND GAS: 
• President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that could open up water off the Atlantic coast to oil and gas drilling, drawing opposition from leaders and citizens in Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Beaufort Gazette, WABE, Tallahassee Democrat)
• Meanwhile, it is likely the executive order will prompt a lengthy review and legal battle. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• An appeals court grants a delay to legal action challenging the Clean Power Plan, a decision that could make it easier to repeal the rules entirely; West Virginia leaders praise the decision. (Bloomberg, Bluefield Daily Telegraph)
• In coordination with the People’s Climate March in Washington D.C., protesters gathered Saturday around the country in support of fighting climate change including Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. (Tampa Bay Times, Sun Sentinel)

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BP makes major oil discovery in Gulf of Mexico

OIL & GAS: BP has discovered 200 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico about 150 miles from New Orleans. (Houston Chronicle)

ALSO:
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order today to open up offshore oil and gas drilling, as opposition mounts from environmental groups. (USA Today, WSAV)
A Louisiana parish has filed a lawsuit against oil and gas companies for damage to its wetlands, with the district attorney telling the companies, “clean up the mess that you have made and restore our coast.” (Times-Picayune)

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NUCLEAR:
• A SCANA executive said Thursday the V.C. Summer nuclear plant completion could hinge on the extension of federal tax credits.

Georgia company may have just started new solar trade war

SOLAR: Georgia-based Suniva files a petition for new tariffs on imported solar components, a move that could have global implications for the industry. (Reuters, Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• North Carolina-based Strata Solar wants to fill hundreds of job openings in Virginia with military veterans. (Southeast Energy News)
• The Smart Electric Power Alliance has named the top 10 U.S. utilities for solar power, which include Georgia Power, Duke Energy and Dominion Power. (Solar Industry)

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Developer: North Carolina offshore wind could take a decade or more

WIND: One month after its successful bid to develop North Carolina’s first offshore wind farm, the CEO Avangrid Renewables says it will be “well beyond 2020” before the project is complete. (Triad Business Journal)

NUCLEAR: 
• A South Carolina bill would more strictly regulate rate increases for future power plant cost overruns, but exempts the V.C. Summer nuclear plant. (Aiken Standard)
• Environmental groups say Florida Power & Light’s proposed Turkey Point nuclear wastewater plan needs to be studied further. (Palm Beach Post)
• Delays at Plant Vogtle have been good for nearby businesses that cater to construction workers. (Marketplace)
• Toshiba said this week it will split itself into four subsidiaries in response to losses in its nuclear power division. (Nuclear Street)

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