Daily Digest

On first day of operation, another delay for Kemper plant

COAL: The Kemper “clean coal” plant in Mississippi generates electricity for the first time from gasified coal, but the company announces full commercial operation will be delayed for another month. (Associated Press, Mississippi Today)

ALSO: 
• An opposition group forms to prevent regulators from allowing FirstEnergy to pass costs for an uncompetitive West Virginia coal plant onto ratepayers. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Kentucky falls behind Illinois, becoming the #4 state in the country for coal production. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• House Republicans plan to vote Wednesday to repeal a federal stream protection rule they say makes it impossible for some coal mines to operate. (The Hill)

COAL ASH:
• A man who suspects coal ash is the source of chemicals found in his drinking water testifies in the Tennessee Valley Authority trial. (Associated Press)
• Neighbors of a TVA ash site in Alabama are watching the case closely. (WAFF)
• The new head of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality says he will make coal ash a top priority. (WNCN)

POLITICS:
• The political influence of Dominion Resources becomes a central issue in the Virginia governor’s race. (Associated Press)
• The TVA temporarily stops hiring in response to President Trump’s order for a federal hiring freeze. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• A Florida Republican has drafted a bill that would “completely abolish” the U.S. EPA. (Huffington Post)

WIND: Atlanta-based Home Depot agrees to buy 50 MW per year from a Texas wind farm. (Atlanta Business Journal)

SOLAR:
• A Florida university receives a $2 million Department of Energy grant to research how to better integrate solar into the grid. (Orlando Political Observer)
• Projects recently announced in a single county in South Carolina will net 20 times the capacity installed in the entire state in 2015. (PV Magazine)

PIPELINES: An advocate says the Sabal Trail pipeline is “a done deal” despite efforts on multiple fronts to stop it. (Orlando Weekly)

NATURAL GAS: Entergy breaks ground on a new 980 MW natural gas plant in Louisiana. (New Orleans Times-Picayune) 

RENEWABLES: The head of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association still sees co-ops investing heavily in renewables and energy efficiency even if the Clean Power Plan is eliminated. (Agri-Pulse)

COMMENTARY:
• A West Virginia congressman says “now we can put an end to the war on coal once and for all.” (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Jeff Sessions’ ties to Southern Co. raise questions about whether he could serve independently as attorney general. (PR Watch)

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