Energy & Environment

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

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activist and Belmont resident Amy Brown.
Michael Falero / WFAE

About 45 residents showed up for a public hearing Thursday night in Belmont. They asked questions about Duke's plans to transfer coal ash from the Allen Steam Station to new, lined landfills.

Conrad Erb.

An art installation that visualizes pollution in the air we breathe returns to Charlotte this weekend for a month-long residency.

Duke Energy's solar rebates help homeowners, businesses and nonprofits pay for the cost of installation.
RENU ENERGY SOLUTIONS

Solar advocates and dozens of consumers are asking state regulators to investigate after Duke Energy's online system for solar rebates crashed shortly after applications opened Jan. 2. 

Love Is In The Air – And Red Wolf Conservationists Are Taking Note

Feb 17, 2020
Will Melfi / UNC Media Hub

Joe Madison, hands in his pockets, eyes the fresh tracks in the sand with keen interest. “They may have been here since this morning,” he says.

Duke Energy building
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy turned a profit of $660 million for the last three months of 2019, up 42% from a year ago. Duke attributed the growth in part to new investments in electric and gas plants and new renewable energy projects that came online.

Orange line shows the boundary of the Bradford Farm conservation easement, which is being added to the Ramah Creek Conservation Area in north Mecklenburg.
Catawba Lands Conservancy

One of Mecklenburg County's oldest, continuously operating farms will be preserved under an agreement announced this week by the Catawba Lands Conservancy. 

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

A judge in Wake County has approved a settlement between state environmental officials, environmental groups and Duke Energy that requires Duke to dig up nearly 80 million tons of coal ash at six plants around the state.  

A researcher at the Duke University laboratory that tested samples from water filters in central and southeastern North Carolina.
Duke University

There's lots of concern these days about new and unregulated chemicals in drinking water across North Carolina. A new study from Duke and North Carolina State universities finds many home water filters may not be protecting you from these compounds. 

 


 

Work has begun on a new artificial reef off the North Carolina coast. The 162-acre underwater site is located about 7 miles south of Oregon Inlet sea buoy off Dare County.  

 

People attending the North Carolina Utilities Commission public hearing for Duke's rate increase wave green cards to agree with a speaker instead of applauding.
Michael Falero / WFAE

Opponents of Duke Energy’s request for a proposed 6% rate increase in Western North Carolina dominated a public hearing in Charlotte on Thursday night.

Updated 5:34 p.m.
The town of Davidson is restricting access to a town park after tests found asbestos in several locations. Town officials say the asbestos at Roosevelt Wilson Park off Griffith Street is from the former Carolina Asbestos mill nearby. 

Caught Off Guard: The American Southeast Struggles With Climate Change

Jan 27, 2020

Like hundreds of other cities, Louisville, Kentucky, is searching for a path to address climate change. Mayor Greg Fischer has declared a climate emergency, proposed a climate action plan and set a goal of reducing citywide carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. 

Gov. Roy Cooper (seated) signed Executive Order 80 in 2018 at SAS Institute's solar farm in Cary.  With him were DEQ Secretary Michael Regan (right) and SAS executive Jerry Williams.
NCDEQ

With the federal government's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, state and local governments in North Carolina have set their own ambitious goals for addressing climate change. Now, they're puzzling over how to carry out the big changes needed to reach those goals - such as switching to electric vehicles and shifting to more renewable energy. At least for now, it's still mostly data-gathering and discussion. 

drought
Pixabay

North Carolina is on track to experience the most significant changes to its climate ever by the end of this century, according to a new report.

turtle
Cape Hatteras National Seashore / Facebook

HATTERAS — More than 100 sea turtles stunned by recent cold temperatures have washed up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the National Park Service said.

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

A group of state lawmakers from North and South Carolina want to deregulate the states' electricity markets by allowing competition for power production. At a press conference Thursday in Charlotte, the lawmakers said they want the two states to study the issue together and suggest reforms.  

Miguel Alvalle of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality explains the Davidson "asbestos watch area" to residents Monday at the Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson.
David Boraks / WFAE

State environmental officials want to designate part of the west side of Davidson as an "asbestos watch area." But the renewed discussion about asbestos from an old factory nearby is reviving concerns among residents in the historically African American neighborhood. 

Residents held up signs naming the different heavy metals found in coal ash.
David Boraks / WFAE

State environmental regulators will hold a series of public hearings in February on plans to excavate coal ash at six Duke Energy plants around the state, including plants on Lake Norman and Lake Wylie, and to recycle ash at four other sites. 

Corn
Alternative Heat / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-2.0/

The federal government’s leading atmospheric research agency published data this week showing 2019 was North Carolina’s hottest year on record.

The project will convert hog waste from Smithfield's plant in Tar Heel, in Bladen County, into biogas to power about 2,000 homes and businesses.
Duke Energy

Smithfield Foods says it's now producing natural gas from hog waste at a plant in Bladen County, in eastern North Carolina.  The $14 million project is a partnership between Smithfield, Duke Energy and Raleigh-based OptimaBio. 

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