Daily Digest

Pentagon dismisses North Carolina lawmakers’ concerns about wind farm

WIND: The Pentagon says a large wind farm in northeast North Carolina serving Amazon Web Services does not threaten its radar and other operations in nearby Chesapeake, Virginia.  (Associated Press)

POLICY: President-elect Trump plans to eliminate two offices in the Dept. of Energy, one focusing on energy efficiency and renewables, the other on fossil fuels. (The Hill)

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UTILITIES:
• For the first time, the TVA board elects an African-American woman as its chairperson. (WKMS)
• Two former Virginia Attorneys General team up to help fight a 2015 Virginia law allowing utilities to forego rate reviews for five years. (WTVR)
Duke Energy agrees to pay $600,000 to settle a lawsuit with the federal government over its acquisition of a natural power plant in Florida. (press release)

COAL ASH:
Some neighbors of Duke Energy’s coal ash dumps balk at its “goodwill” offers to account for the water and environmental risks they face. (WFAE)
Conservationists at a meeting in North Carolina gird for rollbacks in regulations designed to protect the state’s rivers and the water they drink. (Winston-Salem Journal)

BATTERIES: North Carolina’s Ocracoke Island is experimenting with a solar-plus-storage microgrid. (Microgrid Knowledge)

SOLAR:
• Appalachian Power issues an RFP for 25 megawatts of solar for its operations in Virginia or West Virginia as part of its plan to buy or develop 590 megawatts by 2030. (Roanoke Times)
Gulf Power officials say the company is on schedule to complete its first solar farm by summer. (Pensacola News Journal)

BLANKENSHIP CONVICTION: A federal appeals court affirms the December 2015 criminal conviction of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• Federal regulators find no safety issues if Dominion Virginia Power pursues a third reactor at its North Anna nuclear plant while lawmakers advance a bill enabling the utility to pass through plant upgrade costs to ratepayers. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• The University of Arkansas is offering free tours of the shuttered Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor before cleaning it up. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

HYDROPOWER:
• FirstEnergy agrees to sell its 713-megawatt portion of a pumped-storage plant in Warm Springs, Virginia to a private equity firm in New York. (press release)
• A couple in West Virginia explains how they went off the grid with with the help of a micro-hydropower system. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

NATURAL GAS: Gas fracked and liquefied for export from Louisiana reaches South Korea for the first time. (Reuters)

PIPELINES: Dismissing concerns by the EPA, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves two gas pipelines stretching across Kentucky, West Virginia and two other states. (Natural Gas Intelligence)

FRACKING: Westmoreland County, Virginia weighs rules to regulate fracking. (Westmoreland News)

COMMENTARY:
• What the Kemper “clean coal” project in Mississippi tells us about the odds of President-elect Trump reviving the industry. (Union of Concerned Scientists blog)
• Mitigating climate change is Virginia’s modern-day equivalent of the challenge faced by cleaning up after the Love Canal tragedy in New York in the 1970s. (The Virginian-Pilot)
• It’s time for south Floridians to choose whether they want to ensure safe water or put it at risk with fracking. (Palm Beach Post)

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