Daily Digest

Appalachian coal miners are learning to code

COAL:
• A Kentucky startup is helping “high-tech hillbillies” transition from coal mining to software development. (Bloomberg Business)
• Mississippi Power delays again and adds $110 million to the now $6.6 billion estimated cost of its Kemper coal gasification plant. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

NUCLEAR:
• Georgia Power’s parent company signals more nuclear reactors “will be a dominant solution” for new generation. (EnergyWire)
• Georgia regulators vote to begin a lengthy examination of the rising costs of Georgia Power’s two reactors under construction. (Morris News Service / Athens Banner-Herald)

WIND:
• The federal government will likely lease by year’s end the first tracts off North Carolina’s coast earmarked for a wind farm. (Coastal Review Online)
• Researchers at the Sandia National Labs, University of Virginia and other colleges are trying to develop turbines with blades longer than two football fields. (Treehugger)

SOLAR:
• Entergy begins building its first solar system in New Orleans. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
• A North Carolina county rezones land for a solar project. (Fayetteville Observer)
• A New Jersey utility affiliate buys into North Carolina’s solar market. (NorthJersey.com)

CLIMATE: A new and growing coalition in Virginia is pushing Gov. Terry McAuliffe to speed the state’s transition toward cleaner energy. (Public News Service)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Seismic surveys using air-gun blasts are put on hold while federal officials assess their potential harm to protected whales and dolphins. (Coastal Review Online)

UTILITIES:
• Customers of Florida Power & Light are to see the fourth price reduction in the last 16 months due to low natural gas prices and a new clean energy center. (Saint Peters Blog)
• Regulators grant accelerated approval of Duke’s Energy proposed financing of its Piedmont Natural Gas acquisition. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Regardless of whether Cleco Power in Louisiana is acquired by an investor group, its headcount is to remain as is. (The Town Talk)

COAL ASH: A judge’s ruling appears to clear the way for an enforcement hearing against Duke Energy over groundwater pollution from a coal-ash pond. (Charlotte Business Journal)

LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS: Lake Charles, Louisiana prepares for boom times, if they ever come. (Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International)

OIL & GAS:
• An Arkansas water utility urges federal regulators to uphold fines against ExxonMobil over a 2013 oil spill.  (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• An analysis of tourism spending in Gulf counties adjacent to offshore drilling shows how it scares off tourists. (Southern Environmental Law Center)
West Virginia lawmakers consider beefing up how companies report accidents. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

COMMENTARY:
• North Carolina officials are flip-flopping on risk assessments and plans for managing the disposal of the state’s coal ash. (Raleigh News & Observer)
Regulators need to re-think how they weigh the environmental impacts of proposed pipelines. (The Roanoke Times)
• North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory now has clear responsibility to manage the disposal of Duke Energy’s coal ash. (Greensboro News & Record)

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