Daily Digest

Nine companies compete for wind leases off North Carolina’s coast

WIND:
• The subsidiaries of at least two global oil companies are among the nine deemed qualified to participate in the March 16 sale of leases for wind energy systems off North Carolina’s coast. (Maritime Executive)
• A North Carolina state lawmaker blasts an effort by fellow Republicans asking the incoming Trump administration to pull the plug on a wind farm over alleged potential interference with U.S. Navy operations. (Triangle Business Journal)

PIPELINES:
• Advocates say federal regulators are downplaying the increase in methane emissions and other impacts of proposed interstate pipelines. (Southeast Energy News)
• The battle over the Bayou Bridge Pipeline stands to become the “Standing Rock” of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin. (Truthout.org)

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UTILITIES:
Georgia Power’s new online store is its latest initiative to generate new revenue and become a trusted adviser to ratepayers. (Greentech Media)
• The Memphis City Council and the TVA agree to boost funding for the city utility’s low-income home weatherization program. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)
• Residents of East New Orleans protest Entergy’s plans for a new power plant there. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

POLLUTION:
• The shift away from coal-fired power generation helped reduce air emissions of toxic chemicals in Georgia by more than half over the past decade. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Maryland suffers a setback in trying to rein in pollution from upwind states including Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee. (Utility Dive / Baltimore Sun)
Two large power plants serving Louisville have slashed toxic air pollutants during President Obama’s eight years in office, new data show. (Louisville Courier-Journal)

SOLAR:
• A government watchdog group asks Florida’s attorney general to investigate sales tactics by solar installers. (Campaign for Accountability)
Duke Energy brought about 500 megawatts of new solar systems online in 2016. (PV-Tech)
• Strata Solar of North Carolina files to build a 20 megawatt solar farm in Gloucester County, Virginia. (Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal)
• SunEnergy1 of North Carolina files to build a 20-megawatt solar farm in Hanover County, Virginia. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Valdosta, Georgia is to vote tonight on adding more solar energy to help power its wastewater treatment plants. (Valdosta Daily Times)

BATTERIES: North Carolina-based Alevo says its GridBank energy storage unit is ready for delivery to its first customer. (Charlotte Observer)

FRACKING: The League of Women Voters in Virginia spotlights six bills in this year’s General Assembly aimed at advancing hydraulic fracturing and the risks they pose if passed. (The News & Advance)

COAL:
• Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, introduce separate bills to boost benefits for retired miners. (The Hill)
• Mitch McConnell admits rolling back the Obama administration’s environmental rules won’t entirely help miners in eastern Kentucky. (McClatchy Newspapers)

CLIMATE: Before heading to Washington for the inauguration of Donald Trump, Miami-Dade’s GOP major says sea-level rise is “not a theory. It’s a fact. We live it every day.” (Miami Herald)

COAL ASH: Federal officials say the ecosystem harmed by the massive ash spill in Kingston, Tennessee in December 2008 has been restored. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

COMMENTARY:
• President Obama’s legacy in Appalachia is a lot about seeding an economic transition, not the so-called “war on coal.” (Lexington Herald-Leader)
U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee calls on the Senate to confirm Scott Pruitt as administrator of the EPA. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• If Scott Pruitt is confirmed to be EPA administrator, North Carolina stands to lose big. (WIRED)
• Outgoing Dept. of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz calls for consolidating the storage of spent fuel from nuclear power plants. (Bloomberg)

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