Energy & Environment

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

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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. 

Lyndsey Gilpin / Grist

RICHMOND, Va. — A permit needed to build a natural gas compressor station for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Virginia was thrown out Tuesday by a federal court that found the state failed to adequately consider the potential health effects on a historic African American community.

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

Duke Energy says 2020 rebates for new residential and commercial solar installations in North Carolina were taken up quickly after applications opened on Jan. 2. But there's still money left for nonprofits and local governments.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A utility company in South Carolina finished removing all the coal ash from the site of a nearly 50-year-old power plant on the Wateree River.

The work to remove the toxic ash byproduct of making power from burning coal was finished at the Wateree Station east of Columbia more than a year ahead of schedule, Dominion Energy announced earlier this month.

Western trailhead of the Antiquity Greenway, featuring a Carolina Thread Trail "lollipop sign"
Michael Falero / WFAE

A new greenway stretches behind the homes and shops of the Antiquity neighborhood in Cornelius. At the trailhead is a large, elevated walkway that slopes down to a paved, half-mile trail. Eileen Hume and her husband, Darin, were taking a morning walk on the trail recently.

“We kind of watched them build this, and this is absolutely beautiful, but I’m not for sure the official name of it. But it is lovely," Hume said.

Workers pull core samples out of the drill.
David Boraks / WFAE

A company hoping to mine lithium in northern Gaston County has received key state and federal permits for the project and plans to speed up development of a processing plant in Kings Mountain. But it's pushing back the mine's projected opening by a year.

The developer wants to turn the mill into a commercial center that could have shops, restaurants and a brewery.
NCDEQ

State environmental officials have given Charlotte developers the preliminary go-ahead to redevelop a former asbestos factory in downtown Davidson. But they still need to overcome the concerns of residents in the historically black neighborhood around the mill. 

water faucet and glass
Pixabay

A new report says North Carolina had the fourth highest budget cuts in the country over the last decade when it comes to environmental protection.

The Metrolina Warehouse in Davidson was an asbestos factory from 1930 to 1960.
David Boraks / WFAE

The N.C. Division of Waste Management will hold a public meeting Monday night in Davidson to talk about how a former asbestos mill could be cleaned up and redeveloped. 

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