Energy & Environment

News and information about energy, environment or both from Charlotte and the Carolinas. 

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A grappler tears into bricks and metal at Duke Energy's retired Riverbend Steam Station in Mount Holly.
David Boraks / WFAE

A big transformation is happening at Duke Energy's retired Riverbend Steam Station on Mountain Island Lake northwest of Charlotte. The 1920s powerhouse is being demolished, wall-by-wall. And trains are hauling away coal ash that had been dumped behind the plant for about 90 years. 

Duke Energy headquarters in Charlotte.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy says it will pass along to customers some of the savings from new federal tax cuts that took effect Jan. 1.  In filings with utilities regulators in the Carolinas, Florida and Kentucky, the company says federal tax windfalls will go to reducing bills and offsetting future rate increases.

Opponents of Duke Energy's rate hike waved green paper to show support for a speaker at Tuesday's hearing in Charlotte.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy's request to raise electricity rates by 13.6 percent in western North Carolina got a chilly response from customers at a public hearing Tuesday night in Charlotte. Some worry about the monthly bill increases, while others say the company needs to share the blame and cost of what they see as past mistakes.

Duke Energy has settled a class-action lawsuit filed by homeowners who live near the company’s coal ash sites, and the suit has been dismissed. 

A deep freeze in January, which included a mid-month snow storm, pushed electricity use in North Carolina to record highs, says Duke Energy.
David Boraks / WFAE

Thanks to unusually low temperatures, January is turning out to be a record month for electricity use in North Carolina.  It also could mean higher bills for customers, according to Duke Energy. 

Map shows the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's proposed route through eastern North Carolina. It will orginate in West Virginia and run through Virginia as well.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Updated 6:35 p.m.
North Carolina environmental regulators have issued a key water permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It's one of the last permits needed before construction begins in the state.

Deborah Graham of Salisbury waits her turn to address the NC Utilities Commisssion. She lived near a Duke Energy storage pit and opposes the company's rate hike request to pay for coal ash cleanup.
Keri Brownn / WFDD

State regulators got an earful from residents who say they don’t want to pay for costs associated with coal ash cleanup across the state. The North Carolina Utilities Commission held a public hearing in Greensboro Wednesday night at the Guilford County Courthouse. The agency is considering a 16.7 percent rate hike request from Duke Energy. That’s around $18 more a month.

Rebates would help pay for solar panels on a rooftop
Elliot Brown / Flickr

Duke Energy has proposed a new solar rebate program for homeowners and small businesses in North Carolina - something required as part of the state's new renewable energy law that took effect Jan. 1. 

Coal ash is being excavated from Duke Energy's closed Riverbend coal plant on Mountain Island Lake.
David Boraks / WFAE

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is opposing Duke Energy's request to charge ratepayers for the costs of cleaning up its coal ash dumps around the state.  

A worker delivers bottled water to a home in Belmont, near Duke Energy's Allen coal plant. Duke will provide a permament drinking water supply to well owners by 2018.
David Boraks / WFAE

People who live near Duke Energy's North Carolina coal ash dumps on Thursday marked 1,000 days of living on bottled water, amid fears that their wells are contaminated. They're calling on lawmakers to adopt stronger groundwater standards to prevent contamination of private wells. And they want Duke to dig up and secure coal ash statewide - not just at a few sites as now required.

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