Daily Digest

Chinese buying big into North Carolina solar

SOLAR: A Chinese solar giant buys rights to 68 megawatts of solar projects in North Carolina. (PV Tech)

ALSO:
• North Carolina officials press their case for regulating the disposal of solar panels if they are destroyed by storms. (Rhino Times)
• Environmental advocates spotlight the potential for solar atop big box retailers in North Carolina. (Public News Service)
Charleston, South Carolina officials balk at the cost of a proposed solar system atop the local port authority’s warehouse. (The Post and Courier)
• A high school in Virginia Beach is among a select few in the state now generating some of its electricity with a solar energy system. (The Virginian-Pilot)
Community solar is becoming a big business, where states enable it. (GreenBiz)

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EFFICIENCY:
• Two Charlotte businessmen raise the bar for how commercial buildings can save energy. (Business North Carolina)
• A Florida maker of utility chilling equipment dives into a major project for Duke Energy-Progress. (Jacksonville Business Journal)
• A key step toward energy justice in Memphis is stopping energy waste in aging homes of low-income residents. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)

ELECTRIC  VEHICLES: The next phase of Georgia’s push to boost charging stations targets 21 locations. (Fayette County Citizen)

UTILITIES:
North Carolina regulators approve two of three natural gas-fired generation units Duke Energy wants to build in Asheville. (Carolina Public Press)
Streamlined permitting for Duke Energy’s new natural gas generators in Asheville, North Carolina is met with a broad attack by opponents. (Mountain Express)
• The Army Corps of Engineers is weighing whether Dominion Virginia Power overestimated the demand for power to justify a new high-voltage transmission line. (The Virginia Gazette)
• A survey of executives finds an overwhelming majority say the industry’s regulatory model needs to change with the times. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR:
• The TVA wants the public’s input as it considers selling the unfinished Bellefonte nuclear plant in Alabama. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• Duke Energy says its nuclear plant in South Carolina produced electricity a record 98% of the time in 2015. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• The looming departure of William Ostendorff will leave the Nuclear Regulatory Commission without two its five members. (Platts)

FRACKING: A citizens group in Georgia hosts a meeting today to alert residents of the risks that come with hydraulic fracturing there. (Southern Environmental Law Center)

COAL:
• The CEO of the company responsible for a massive leak of a coal-cleansing chemical into a West Virginia river in 2014 gets one month in prison. (Climate Progress)
• The outlook for Kentucky’s coal industry grows dimmer by the day and the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia heightens concerns. (WFPL Public Radio)
• West Virginia lawmakers discuss how the industry’s decline is affecting county budgets. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

COAL ASH: A Virginia Tech professor who helped uncover the water crisis in Flint, Michigan agrees to assess water quality near Dominion Virginia Power’s coal ash disposal sites. (Chesterfield Observer)

OIL & GAS:
• Louisiana lawmakers looking to fill a budget gap with higher taxes on oil and gas companies are urged by industry groups to look elsewhere. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
• Studies find methane leaks erase the presumed climate benefit of natural gas (Climate Progress)

PIPELINES: Environmental advocates in Georgia are buoyed by progress of a bill aimed at protecting property owners’ rights. (The Florida Times-Union)

COMMENTARY:
• A Kentucky lawmaker makes the case for transitioning its economy away from coal towards renewables. (Louisville Courier-Journal)
• A Georgia utility commissioner says “criticizing carbon has become politically correct.” (Southern Political Report)
• Don’t underestimate the influence of surfers in Florida to illuminate the risks of offshore drilling. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)
• It’s time for officials Athens-Clarke County, Georgia to get serious about solar energy. (Athens Banner-Herald)

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