Daily Digest

Sale of wind leases off North Carolina’s coast set for March 16

WIND: The first-ever lease sale for wind energy systems off North Carolina’s coast is scheduled for March 16. (UPI)

ALSO:
• The developer of the large wind farm in eastern North Carolina set to supply electricity to Amazon Web Services near a U.S. Navy radar center cautions Republican legislators against shutting it down. (Triangle Business Journal)
• Contradicting concerns raised by legislators, the U.S. Navy says Amazon’s wind farm can co-exist without compromising its nearby radar facility; here’s their agreement with the developer. (DailyAdvance.com, Greenfleet.DoDlive.mil)

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UTILITIES:
• A much-anticipated constitutional challenge to how Virginia sets electricity rates is set to begin this week at the state’s Supreme Court. (Southeast Energy News)
• The Sierra Club files at the Florida Supreme Court to block a rate increase by Florida Power & Light that just took effect. (Palm Beach Post)
• With the positions of three directors, including its chairman, on hold, the TVA faces a possible strategy shift after President-elect Trump takes office. (Wall Street Journal)

COAL ASH: Despite claims to the contrary, Kentucky regulators and industry representatives privately rewrote rules governing the storage of ash near power plants. (WFPL)

WEST VIRGINIA: Gov. Jim Justice calls for a tiered severance tax system that lower taxes on oil and gas production when prices are low and increases them as prices rise. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

FRACKING: Federal officials are investigating the death at a worker at a fracking site in Tyler County, West Virginia. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

SOLAR:
• A new online marketplace for groups interested in developing community solar systems ramps up in North Carolina and other states. (ReCharge News)
Greenwood County, South Carolina approves a 20-year property tax reduction for a planned 900 acre solar farm. (Index-Journal)
• The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy sets informational meetings for the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s “Solar in Your Community Challenge” in Miami, Memphis and Orlando. (CleanEnergy Footprints blog)
• A commission authorizes a lease to study a large solar farm near the Glynn County, Georgia airport. (GoldenIsles.news)

PIPELINES:
• An inter-agency rift between federal regulators could come to a head this week over a planned compressor station for a gas pipeline planned through Kentucky and West Virginia. (Greenwire)
• A county judge in Virginia clears the way for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline to survey private land. (The News & Advance)
• Twelve persons are arrested outside at a Valero refinery in Memphis for protesting a planned oil pipeline. (Associated Press)
• At least eight persons are arrested in Florida at two construction sites for the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline. (Gainesville Sun)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Sales are down 80% in Georgia over the last year and a half after lawmakers replaced a $5,000 tax incentive with a $200 registration fee. (Utility Dive)

COAL:
• Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, West Virginia and nine other states sue to block the Obama administration’s recently enacted “stream protection” rule. (Associated Press)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, steps up his claim that environmental rules, not low-price natural gas, are mainly to blame for coal’s downturn. (KYForward.com)

RENEWABLES: The Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency is struggling to find renewable sources for its power generation portfolio. (The State Journal)

ACADEMIA: University of Kentucky officials pledge to reduce campus carbon emissions 25% by 2025. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

CLIMATE: A group of scientists in Florida pen a letter to Commerce Secretary nominee Wilbur Ross to defend the state’s coastline and his 15,000-square-foot mansion in Palm Beach. (Florida Politics)

NUCLEAR: Environmentalists start a petition against Florida Power & Light’s plan to store radioactive waste near an aquifer supplying Miami with drinking water. (Miami New Times)

COMMENTARY:
• Falling school enrollment due to coal’s decline in southwest Virginia is shortchanging their ability to function. (Roanoke Times)
• The Mountain Valley Pipeline prolongs the unequal burden that West Virginia bears for producing and delivering fossil fuels to energy consumers. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Here’s how cleaner energy can help fill Virginia’s budget gap and create jobs at the same time. (Power for the People VA blog)
West Virginia should follow China’s lead and reduce its reliance on coal. (Daily Athenaeum)

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