Energy & Environment

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



tap water
Steve Johnson / Flickr

When you turn on the faucet, you expect that water to be safe. But that’s not necessarily the case for many South Carolina residents who depend on small utilities for their water.

Mary Ellis Stevens was striking for climate action Friday with from left, Julia Duffy and Alyssa Smith of Myers Park High School, Julia Caussil of Hopewell
David Boraks / WFAE

For the past seven Fridays, 14-year-old Mary Ellis Stevens of Charlotte has skipped classes at Trinity Episcopal School and staged what she calls a School Strike for Climate outside Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center. It's not about getting a day off - she's following the lead of other young activists trying to build a global youth movement to fight climate change.

Trucks move coal ash at Duke's Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman. The company plans to cover ash in place at the plant.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 11 a.m.
Duke Energy says it will file an appeal soon of state regulators' orders last week that it must excavate coal ash from six coal-fired power plants in North Carolina that don't already have approved closure plans.   

A mountain of coal ash has been reduced to the original ground level near Riverbend.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated: 6:49 p.m.
The state Department of Environmental Quality has ordered Duke Energy to excavate coal ash from six remaining coal-fired power plants in North Carolina that don't already have closure plans. 

An electric vehicle at a charging station.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy is proposing a $76 million program to add more than 2,500 public and private electric vehicle charging stations statewide and to promote the use of electric vehicles.

The proposed bill would ban wind farms in red areas of this Department of Commerce map, deemed "significant risk." Yellow "moderate" risk areas aren't affected.
N.C. Department of Commerce

An 18-month moratorium on new wind energy farms in North Carolina ended Dec. 31. But a bill introduced in the state Senate Wednesday would ban new projects in all or part of two dozen eastern North Carolina counties. Renewable energy advocates say the bill would hurt economic development. 

Dominion Energy is offering buyouts less than three months after purchasing the parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas.

Duke CEO Lynn Good
Duke Energy

Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good's total compensation was down last year, compared with 2017. Good, who has led Duke since 2013, received $13.9 million, about one-third less than $21 million the year before.

Credit Duke Energy / TVS Design

Duke Energy says it will start construction at the end of April on what is now a planned 40-story office tower across from its headquarters in uptown Charlotte.

The new Duke Innovation Center is at Parkwood Avenue and 16th Street, in an old textile mill.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has opened a new innovation center in an old mill just outside uptown, and it's not like any button-down corporate office you've ever seen.

Elevated Pollutants In Rivers Suspected In Many Parts Of NC

Mar 3, 2019

Elevated levels of industrial pollutants in North Carolina rivers are almost certainly not limited to areas near Wilmington and Fayetteville, where GenX contamination has raised concerns in recent years, according to environmental scientists.

Duke Energy headquarters in Charlotte
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy says it eliminated 1,900 jobs across the company last year. In a securities filing Thursday, the Charlotte-based company says it paid out $187 million in severance to those employees.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Dominion Energy says it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after a lower court declined to reconsider throwing out a permit allowing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail.

Dominion plans to expand use of new technology on pipelines and wells, like this Zero Emissions Vacuum and Compression system.
Dominion Energy

Methane that leaks from natural gas wells and pipelines or is vented during pipeline testing contributes to destruction of the ozone layer.  Dominion Energy of Virginia says it will cut methane emissions from its natural gas system by about 25 percent over the next decade to help fight climate change.

The study used 2016 federal agricultural aerial photos and 2016-17 NC Emergency Management  images.
City of Charlotte

Charlotte's tree canopy was little changed from 2012 to 2016, shrinking only slightly as trees were cut for development. A new study delivered to the City Council Monday shows losses were offset by tree planting and natural growth.

A Yoshino Cherry tree in east Charlotte is the 2019 Charlotte Tree of the Year.

We Charlotteans love our trees, from majestic oaks to flowering fruit trees. When city officials and the people who care for those trees gathered for the annual TreesCharlotte summit Tuesday night, one tree stood out.

A federal appeals court has ruled that the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline cannot be built across national forest land and the Appalachian Trail.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Cost estimates for the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline have risen by a half-billion dollars, to 7.5 billion dollars, and its projected completion date has been pushed back by a year to 2021, amid legal delays on key environmental permits. But lead developer Dominion Energy of Virginia says it still expects to finish the pipeline.

Erin Oliverio, the city of Charlotte's Tree Canopy Program manager, spoke at Tuesday's TreesCharlotte Big Tree Summit.
David Boraks / WFAE

Charlotte arborists, city officials and tree lovers celebrated the city's efforts to preserve its tree canopy at the annual TreesCharlotte Big Tree Summit Tuesday. But a question loomed: Will it be enough? 

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

People who live around a half-dozen of Duke Energy coal ash sites in North Carolina have expressed strong feelings over the past few weeks about how Duke should have to clean up the ash. They want the state to order Duke to remove it.

Amy Brown of Belmont urged regulators and Gov. Roy Cooper to require Duke Energy to remove coal ash from Allen Steam Station.
David Boraks / WFAE

More than 200 people came to a public meeting in Gaston County Tuesday night to let state environmental officials know how they feel about coal ash at the Allen Steam Station on Lake Wylie. Their main message to regulators and Governor Roy Cooper: They want the ash removed, here and across the state.