Daily Digest

Showdown over coal ash oversight looms in North Carolina

COAL ASH: After clearing the House, a bill to reconstitute a commission to oversee ash disposal in North Carolina heads to the Senate and a possible showdown with Gov. Pat McCrory. (Charlotte Observer, Raleigh News & Observer)

ALSO:
• A test of a residential water well near a Dominion Virginia Power coal ash pond and the Potomac River shows contaminants above federal safety levels. (Inside NOVA)
• In a meeting closed to the media, Dominion Virginia Power tries establishing an “ongoing dialogue” with residents over disposal of ash near its Chesterfield coal plant. (Chesterfield Observer)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy on June 2, 11 a.m. EDT for a webinar featuring retired military officers on why top defense and intelligence agencies identify climate change as a key security risk. Register here.***

SOLAR:
• The first community solar garden in Virginia is fully subscribed and has a growing number of applicants on its wait list. (Legacy Newspaper)
• Bids for solar energy almost doubled in an auction for future wholesale power supplies in the PJM Interconnection. (PV Tech)
• FLS Energy starts building 96 megawatts of solar plants at eight sites in North Carolina. (SeeNews Renewables)
• The Tidewater area of eastern Virginia is drawing a growing number of solar project developers. (Daily Press)
• The Planning Board in Zebulon, North Carolina clears the way for final action on a proposed solar farm. (Raleigh News & Observer)

WIND:
• A public hearing in southwestern Virginia discusses a large wind energy system planned there. (The Roanoke Times)
Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee joins Sen. Lamar Alexander in opposing a proposed wind farm atop the state’s Cumberland Plateau. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• Residents near Edenton, North Carolina are about to see what a $400 million wind farm developed for Amazon Web Services looks like. (Daily Advance)

COAL:
• The first hearing in the eastern U.S. on federal coal leases is set for today in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Knoxville Mercury)
• Residents in southeast Tennessee challenge the quality of ground water near abandoned coal mines. (News Channel 9)

UTILITIES:
• A resolution at Southern Company’s shareholders meeting asking management to disclose its “carbon asset risk” receives 29% affirmative votes. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)
Florida-based NextEra Energy could shift after June 3 to acquire Oncor Electric in Texas rather than Hawaiian Electric. (Utility Dive)

NATURAL GAS:
• Cheniere Energy plans to start exporting liquefied natural gas in August from a second plant at its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana. (Bloomberg)
• Two environmental groups formally ask the North Carolina Court of Appeals to set aside its requirement for a $10 million bond if they continue challenging a power plant’s shift to natural gas in Asheville. (Citizen Times)

NUCLEAR:  Federal regulators challenge the TVA over a “chilled work environment” at its Watts Bar plant in eastern Tennessee. (WMOT Public Radio)

BIOMASS:
Florida, Georgia and Virginia are leading the growth in power generation from biomass resources, according to a new report by the EIA. (Biomass Magazine)
• The USDA resumes incentives to promote harvesting of biomass for renewable energy. (Ag Net West)

CLIMATE: Researchers model how rising sea levels in south Florida could affect the Everglades and the region’s water quality. (National Public Radio)

EFFICIENCY: Duke Energy’s replacement of street light bulbs with LEDs in a North Carolina town is expected to pay for itself within three years. (Raleigh News & Observer)

COMMENTARY:
• Burdening renewable energy projects with more unneeded rules is the worst idea possible for North Carolina’s energy future. (Wilmington StarNews)
• It’s possible to agree and disagree with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s energy and climate stances. (Power for the People VA blog)
• Incentivizing hog waste for renewable electricity generation is a win-win for North Carolina. (Fayetteville Observer)
Farmville, North Carolina’s second rejection of a re-zoning request for a solar farm on its outskirts is a lost opportunity. (Reflector)

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