Daily Digest

North Carolina conservatives again target renewable energy standard

CLEAN ENERGY: Conservative North Carolina lawmakers are making another attempt to freeze the state’s renewable energy standard. (WRAL)

ALSO: A Virginia school’s recognition last month for its net zero energy status is part of a growing trend in the Southeast. (Southeast Energy News / Living Building Chronicle)

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CLIMATE:
• A new study says rising sea levels will displace 500,000 people in the New Orleans area by 2100. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
• Officials in Florida communities worry about the impact on real estate values — and therefore, local tax revenue — from rising waters. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR:
• A bill to implement voter-approved tax breaks for solar energy passed its final committee in the Florida Senate on Thursday, drawing praise. (SaintPetersBlog, Daily Energy Insider)
• Several new solar farms in the Southeast are complete, including a 743 KW solar installation at Furman University in South Carolina; a 52 MW facility in Georgia, which is one of the state’s largest; and a 30 MW facility at an Army installation in Alabama(Greenville Journal, Telegraph, WTVY)
• Orlando and Tampa are ranked among the top U.S. cities for solar energy leadership and development, according to a new report from an environmental group. (Orlando Business Journal)
• Starbucks Corp.’s solar farm in North Carolina will deliver energy equivalent to the electricity that powers 600 of its stores by mid-May. (Puget Sound Business Journal)

NATURAL GAS:
• Following complaints from residents, Clemson University will find a new location for a proposed Duke Energy plant away from homes and closer to campus. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Natural gas surpassed coal to provide about one-third of electricity produced last year, and will become the next likely target for climate activists. (Bloomberg)
• The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners formed a new task force this week to focus on natural gas service for underserved areas. (Daily Energy Insider)

OIL: Thursday marked the seventh anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, and a new report says the ensuing oil spill did $17.2 billion in damage to the Gulf of Mexico and other affects still remain, including sick cleanup crews and dolphins struggling to reproduce(Orlando Business Journal, Tampa Bay Times, ABC News)

COAL: Residents of a Virginia neighborhood organize to fight coal dust pollution from trains. (WTKR)

COAL ASH: The University of Louisville is studying the effects of coal ash on children who live within a 10-mile radius of plants and is seeking more research participants. (WKU)

NUCLEAR: The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded South Carolina State University more than $280,000 to develop a way to predict nuclear accidents before they happen. (T&D)

COMMENTARY:
• A Kentucky advocacy group’s plan to reduce carbon emissions and grow clean energy jobs is earning praise from a newspaper editorial board. (Lexington Herald Leader)
• Duke Energy is “out of step with the public’s desire for clean energy” by asking North Carolina to change contract terms that would make it more difficult to build solar projects. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Thursday’s seventh anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion is a reminder of why offshore drilling should end. (CleanEnergy.org)
• The executive director of Audubon Florida says the state is starting to realize its solar potential. (TC Palm)

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