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.

Solar industry sounds alarm over Kentucky bill

SOLAR: Advocates say a Kentucky bill “takes all certainty off the table for the state’s solar industry. (Louisville Courier-Journal)

ALSO:
• A Florida bill allows property owners to generate and distribute solar energy to residents and tenants on their own property. (Palm Beach Post)
• Florida Power and Light says its recently announced solar expansion will save ratepayers money. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)

CLEAN ENERGY: A pair of Florida bills would establish “Energy Economic Zones” to encourage clean energy development. (Florida Politics)

UTILITIES: A bipartisan group of lawmakers urge Virginia’s governor to end a freeze on electricity rates that was tied to the Clean Power Plan.

Florida utility announces major solar expansion

SOLAR: A Florida utility announces plans for more than 600 MW of new solar. (SaintPetersBlog)

ALSO:
• A North Carolina county is considering a permanent ban on new solar farms. (Elizabeth City Daily Advance)
• The Florida League of Women Voters and the Florida Solar United Neighborhoods organizations are partnering to establish two solar co-ops. (PV Magazine)

CLIMATE:
• How a spat between two North Carolina scientists fueled a climate denial conspiracy theory. (New York Times)
• Clean energy and climate change will be the focus of conferences in Alabama later this month and in South Carolina next month. (AL.com, SCnow)

COAL: A union official doesn’t expect any new hiring as a result of the repeal of the federal stream protection rule, but says some jobs will be protected.

Opponents call proposed pipelines ‘climate disasters’

PIPELINES:
• Lawyers say language in a North Carolina bill could remove a key legal argument against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Southeast Energy News)
• A nonprofit that supports a transition away from fossil fuels says proposed new pipelines would be “climate disasters.” (Roanoke Times)
• The Sabal Trail natural gas line from Alabama to Florida is nearing completion and slated to begin operations in June. (Opelika-Auburn News)

COAL:
• A West Virginia congressman promotes coal in India. (The Intelligencer)
• The West Virginia coal miner who spoke alongside President Trump at a recent bill signing believes the president’s policies will “help turn this industry around.”

Duke customers could see rate increases for coal ash cleanup

COAL ASH: Duke Energy customers in North Carolina could see rate increases as the utility seeks to pass along $5 billion in coal ash cleanup costs. (Charlotte Observer)

ALSO:
• Duke Energy’s combination of offers to North Carolina homeowners affected by coal ash pollution is creating confusion, especially for people concerned about giving up their legal rights in the process. (Southeast Energy News)
• Opponents of Dominion Virginia Power’s plan to bury about 4 million tons of coal ash near one of its plants attend a public comment hearing before Virginia state regulators make a decision. (InsideNoVa)

COAL:
• Flanked by coal-state lawmakers, President Trump signs a bill repealing an Obama-era stream protection rule; repeal of the rule will have far-reaching environmental impacts. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting, InsideClimate News)
• New details emerge about a chemical leak from a West Virginia coal conditioning facility.

Thousands of Louisiana homeowners miss out on solar tax credits

SOLAR: Thousands of Louisiana homeowners did not receive a tax credit from the state for solar panel installations, leaving them with bills as much as $12,500 each. (The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report)

ALSO:
• A bill in South Carolina offers new tax exemptions for unused land or farmland to be developed as solar farms. (Greenville Journal)
• A North Carolina solar developer is proposing a 20 MW array on Virginia farmland. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• Rather than replace an underwater cable, the Coast Guard will convert a North Carolina lighthouse to LEDs powered by solar. (Raleigh News & Observer)

NUCLEAR: The head of the Georgia Public Service Commission says it “is without question” that Toshiba will complete the Vogtle nuclear project. (WSAV)

COAL ASH:
• Residents near some of Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds in North Carolina met to consider whether they want the company to provide them with a water line connection or filtration system, as mandated by state law. (Salisbury Post)
• A Georgia bill aims to “increase responsible stewardship” of coal ash. (Golden Isles News)

OIL AND GAS: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice backs legislation that allows horizontal drilling without landowners’ consent, saying “I’m going to make a lot of people mad, probably, at me, but I cannot understand why in the world we can’t get that through.” (Metro News)

PIPELINES:
• Federal officials prohibited journalists from interviewing citizens or recording comments at a public pipeline hearing in North Carolina.

Toshiba shakeup to delay South Carolina nuclear expansion

NUCLEAR:
• Santee Cooper announced yesterday that Toshiba’s financial shakeup is expected to delay completion of a South Carolina nuclear expansion to 2020. (Charleston Post and Courier)
• Southern Co. and Scana could wind up absorbing additional costs if Westinghouse is unable to follow through with its nuclear contracts. (Bloomberg)

COAL: A federal judge says West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality has “spun its wheels” in failing to write plans to address coal pollution in streams. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

COAL ASH: A hearing is scheduled for Thursday on Dominion Virginia Power’s plan to bury nearly 1 million tons of coal ash at the company’s plant near the Potomac River. (Washington Post)

SOLAR:
• Dominion Energy is investing nearly $800 million in solar in Virginia.

South Carolina utilities say they have a backup plan for nuclear expansion

NUCLEAR:
• South Carolina utilities say they have contingency plans in place to complete a nuclear expansion if Toshiba is unable to fulfill its obligations. (Charleston Post and Courier)
• Virginia lawmakers advance a bill that would enable Dominion to raise rates to cover nuclear expansion costs. (Hampton Roads Daily Press)

EFFICIENCY: Eight years after the state passed a law allowing PACE financing, the first local program is finally about to get underway. (Southeast Energy News)

WIND:
• The Southwest Power Pool set a record Sunday, becoming the first regional transmission operator in the U.S. to get more than 50 percent of its electricity from wind. (Arkansas Business)
• A North Carolina committee may have violated an open meetings law by refusing to proceed with a wind opponent’s presentation while a reporter from a conservative publication was present.