Daily Digest

Appalachian Power sees more clean energy in its future

UTILITIES:
• The Virginia Supreme Court heard from opponents of a 2015 law that froze Dominion Virginia Power’s rates, which they say allows the utility to keep hundreds of millions of dollars in excess profit. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• The new Appalachian Power president says his company is looking at renewable energy because that is what is being demanded by some of the country’s biggest businesses. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ADVOCACY: An environmental organization’s history in the Southeast could provide a template for other advocacy groups to defend clean energy policies under the Trump administration. (Southeast Energy News)

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COAL: 
• Georgia regulators give a power plant until 2023 to comply with tougher water rules; advocates are concerned the EPA may weaken standards by then. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Republicans are dividing further over President Donald Trump’s support for coal as renewables become among the cheapest sources of electricity. (Bloomberg)
• A former coal miner in West Virginia says switching jobs was the right choice, even though it meant a significant pay cut. (WKU)
• Many lawmakers from coal-mining states continue their push to extend retired coal miners’ health benefits that are set to expire this week, as House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan could prompt a partial government shutdown. (Associated Press, McClatchy)

SOLAR:
• The final day of the North Carolina Utilities Commission’s biennial hearing with Duke Energy and solar industry representatives was contentious on Friday as the two sparred over power prices and solar policies. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Georgia entrepreneurs unveil a mobile solar power unit designed to help farmers during periods of high energy demand. (Valdosta Today)

NUCLEAR:
• A report last week from the Congressional Research Service says Westinghouse’s bankruptcy raises “fundamental questions” about the future of nuclear power. (Power Magazine)
• The TVA’s inspector general says “challenges still exist” in the safety culture at the Watts Bar plant. (Times Free Press)

OIL:
• The prospect of offshore drilling in the Atlantic still concerns backers of the fishing and tourism industries on the Carolina coast. (Asheville Citizen-Times)
• Scientists studying the 2010 BP oil spill asked American households how much money they would be willing to pay to prevent another similar disaster. (Huffington Post)

EFFICIENCY: A 62-home housing development that will be powered in part by its own microgrid with solar panels and battery storage is expected to be complete next spring in Alabama. (Birmingham Business Journal)

PIPELINES: A candidate for governor of Virginia says he is the only one opposed to two proposed pipeline projects and that the state’s leaders must have the political courage to stand up to electric utilities. (Huffington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• If President Donald Trump wants revive coal country, he should consider renewable energy to create jobs. (Consortium News)
• Instead of waiting for “an impossible comeback,” West Virginia should follow Kentucky’s lead by converting former coal mines into solar farms. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

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