Daily Digest

Mississippi ‘clean coal’ plant achieves key milestone

COAL:  Mississippi Power says it has started gasifying coal at its Kemper power plant with hopes of becoming operational by October. (SunHerald)

COAL ASH:
• North Carolina’s self-touted “leadership” on coal ash pales in comparison to efforts in South Carolina. (Southeast Energy News)
• North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signs a controversial ash disposal bill into law. (Associated Press)
• A media probe casts doubts about the credibility of a Duke Energy report about ash safety. (Carolina Public Press)

CLIMATE:
• Free speech or disinformation? A North Carolina foundation is at the center of a debate over climate change. (McClatchy)
• A new initiative strives to help South Carolina coastal residents deal with rising sea levels. (Tifton Gazette)
• Leaked emails illustrate climate denial among building owners in Florida. (Miami New Times)

SOLAR:
• A state senator in Florida launches a new political committee to promote a proposed constitutional amendment waiving taxes for some clean energy projects. (Utility Dive)
Danville, Virginia-area residents are invited to a public information meeting tonight about a proposed, privately-funded solar farm. (GoDanRiver.com)
• One of its first “graduates” extols the virtues of the Army’s “Solar Ready Vets” program. (Greensboro News & Record)

UTILITIES:
• In a hearing opening today, the CEOs of Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas are to defend their merger plan. (Charlotte Observer)
Duke Energy Florida ranks last in a survey of customer satisfaction among southern energy utilities. (Orlando Sentinel)
• The proposed acquisition by Florida-based NextEra of Hawaiian Electric is rejected by regulators. (Greentech Media)

2010 GULF OIL SPILL: BP says its final costs totaled $61.6 billion. (Associated Press)

STORAGE: The Oak Ridge National Lab teams up with Chattanooga’s Electric Power Board and a technology company to test an “islandable” microgrid. (Clean Technica)

FRACKING: Kentucky’s health department says it plans to penalize a firm disposing radioactive fracking waste from West Virginia in a garbage landfill. (Louisville Courier-Journal)

NUCLEAR:
• The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce steps up its fight against rate increases to pay for two reactors under construction there. (The Post and Courier)
• The TVA completes a key test at its Watts Bar 2 reactor and aims for full-power operations by summer’s end. (EnergyWire)

EFFICIENCY: A building council in western North Carolina touts energy conservation and other sustainability measures for existing homes. (Asheville Citizen-Times)

NATURAL GAS: Citing low natural gas prices, a West Virginia company eliminates 67 jobs. (Metro News)

COMMENTARY:
• Florida utilities are misleading voters about solar with their proposed state constitutional amendment. (Solar Love)
• Did the PJM power grid just disincentivize renewables? (Climate Progress)
• An environmentalist says the battle over Dominion Virginia Power’s coal ash disposal plans is just beginning. (Washington Post)
Half a coal-ash cleanup in North Carolina isn’t enough. (Fayetteville Observer)

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