Energy & Environment

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

Podcast

RSS

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.

Duke Energy's Marshall Plant on Lake Norman has about 32 million tons of coal ash stored on site.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has agreed to pay an $84,000 fine and will speed up coal ash cleanups at three coal-fired power plants in western North Carolina. The proposed agreement with state environmental regulators deals with pollutants seeping from coal ash ponds near the Marshall plant on Lake Norman, the Allen plant in Gaston County and the Rogers plant in Rutherford County.

Santee Cooper and SCE&G had been adding two reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in Fairfield County.
Santee Cooper

Updated 2:03 p.m.
Virginia's Dominion Energy said Wednesday it will buy embattled South Carolina electric utility SCANA for about $7.9 billion in stock. Dominion also will assume SCANA's debt, making the deal worth a total of $14.6 billion. Dominion also is offering to cut rates for customers of SCANA's South Carolina Electric & Gas subsidiary, and absorb other costs of a failed nuclear project north of Columbia. 

Reactors 3 and 4 under construction at Plant Vogtle near Augusta, Ga., in November 2017.
Georgia Power

By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr.
Associated Press 

ATLANTA — Georgia's utility regulators are allowing construction to continue on two new nuclear reactors, despite massive cost overruns for the multi-billion-dollar project.

Thursday's unanimous decision by the state's Public Service Commission will shape the future of the nation's nuclear industry, partly because the reactors at Plant Vogtle were the first new ones to be licensed and to begin construction in the U.S. since 1978.

Park rangers would get new radios in the project, which would allow them to communicate directly with nearby public safety agencies - something they can't do now.
National Park Service

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a long list of overdue maintenance projects. Now it's turning to a private partner to help raise money to upgrade the park's outdated radio system. That system lets rangers communicate during routine patrols as well as emergencies, like the wildfires that killed 14 people in east Tennessee a year ago.

dan river coal ash cleanup
David Boraks / WFAE

By EMERY P. DALESIO
AP Business Writer

Charging North Carolina consumers the full, multi-billion-dollar cost of cleaning up coal ash dumps is comparable to tire stores charging customers an extra fee to dispose of an old set of wheels, a Duke Energy Corp. executive said Monday.

Duke Energy and the state's utility consumer advocates have reached a partial agreement on a rate increase for eastern North Carolina that's lower than what the company originally sought. But Duke and the advocates are still haggling over how much consumers should pay for coal ash cleanups at Duke's North Carolina power plants and hurricane recovery costs.

In February 2017, workers used a giant crane to lower a containment vessel ring into place at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in Fairfield County, S.C.
SCANA

Updated 1:50 p.m.
South Carolina Electric & Gas is offering to cut customer rates by 3.5 percent immediately, and more in the future, as part of a proposed settlement related to the cancellation of a failed nuclear project.

Hurricane Irma repair costs affected Duke's third-quarter profits.
Duke Energy

Repair costs after Hurricane Irma cut into Duke Energy's profits in the third quarter.  The cancellation of a Florida nuclear project also contributed.

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

Duke Energy has removed about 13 million tons of coal ash at five plants in North Carolina as it complies with federal and state cleanup requirements. But ten times that amount remains in the ground across the state, and not all that will be removed.

Pages