Daily Digest

Facebook data center depends on Virginia utility’s solar plan

SOLAR: A new Facebook data center in Virginia is tied to a $250 million solar plan by Dominion Energy, and a new tariff that must be approved by state regulators. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

OIL & GAS: U.S. Oil and natural gas operators began to stop production at platforms in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday ahead of Tropical Storm Nate, as Louisiana prepares for the storm to make landfall this weekend. (Reuters)

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NUCLEAR:
• Santee Cooper’s board is scheduled to choose an interim CEO today, following the retirement of its longtime CEO in the wake of the Summer nuclear plant failure. (Post and Courier)
• A Florida lawmaker is asking for safer measures to prepare for rising sea levels and major hurricanes as Florida Power & Light proposes expanding its Turkey Point nuclear plant. (Miami New Times)

PIPELINES:
• The Roanoke City Council is asking Virginia state officials to require developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline to either completely control sediment the project may cause in the Roanoke River or pay to clean it up. (Roanoke Times)
• TransCanada announced Thursday it is canceling a plan for a pipeline that would have sent 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from western Canada to the Atlantic coast. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: The Mississippi Public Service Commission voted to keep its plan for deciding on rates to pay for part of the Kemper power plant, going against the utility company’s request. (Associated Press)

NATURAL GAS: U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida filed legislation on Thursday to create gas reserves on the east and west coasts of his state. (ABC News)

COAL:
• A worker died on Thursday after slipping into a coal ash pond at a power plant in Kentucky. (Associated Press)
• A coal industry advocate told Kentucky lawmakers on Thursday that coal is “not being compensated fairly for some of the attributes it has” and should still play a role in the country’s energy supply. (WFPL)

GRID: Recent hurricanes could lead to grid modernization in hard-hit areas, including Florida, just as New York is overhauling its utility sector following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. (Utility Dive)

ALTERNATIVE SOURCES: As demand for wood pellets as an energy source grows, environmental groups in North Carolina raise concerns about the loss of biodiversity, deforestation, trade policies and climate change. (Coastal Review Online)

COMMENTARY:
• There’s little way for President Trump to salvage the coal industry, but he’s trying by keeping old, obsolete power plants alive and forcing consumers to overpay for their electricity. (Slate)
• President Trump has the power to crush the U.S. solar industry, following Georgia-based Suniva’s trade case. (CleanTechnica)
• The CEO of an energy think thank says it’s not surprising that the coal industry is trying to remain afloat with help from the federal government, but proposed subsidies could wreck America’s power market. (The Hill)

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