Energy & Environment

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



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.

Coal ash belmont
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

Residents around some Duke Energy coal ash dumps have been urging North Carolina regulators this month to require Duke to dig up the ash and move it to new, lined landfills. The last in a series of public meetings is Tuesday night, this time focusing on the Allen Steam Station on Lake Wylie.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican lawmakers are battling over the General Assembly's methods to scrutinize a side deal the governor reached last year with developers of a natural gas pipeline.

A legislative oversight committee agreed last month to hire an investigative firm led by former IRS and FBI agents to examine the January 2018 memorandum of understanding between Cooper and utilities building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The decision followed months in which Cooper and his office declined to answer directly all of the legislators' questions or provide documents they requested.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Legal delays on key environmental permits for the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline are starting to hit home for the pipeline's owners - and raise concerns among investors.

A Duke Energy worker uses a drone to examine damage to Puerto Rico's electric system in 2018. The company now is considering a bid to run the system.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy is among four finalists chosen to compete for the right to take over Puerto Rico's troubled electricity distribution system.

Barry Duckworth of Sherrills Ford spoke during a public meeting Thursday about coal ash at Duke Energy's Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman.
David Boraks / WFAE

More than 500 people packed into a school gym in Catawba County Thursday night for a public meeting about how state regulators should require Duke Energy to clean up coal ash at nearby Marshall Steam Station.

It wasn't supposed to be a public hearing, but people demanded to be heard.

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

The state Department of Environmental Quality has begun public meetings to discuss how coal ash should be cleaned up at six Duke Energy sites around the state. They include plants on Lake Norman and Lake Wylie.

Duke has offered $62 milllion in rebates over five years to help pay for solar panels on a home, business or nonprofit rooftops.
Duke Energy

For the second year in a row, North Carolina homeowners quickly snapped up all of Duke Energy's rebates for installing solar panels.

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.

Dominion Energy of Virginia said Wednesday it has completed its acquisition of South Carolina utility SCANA. The closing comes after Dominion won final approval two weeks ago from South Carolina regulators.


North Carolina wildlife officials are warning of a deadly disease encroaching on the state's deer population.

A stump is all that's left of the old tulip poplar at The Duke Mansion.
George Lainis / The Duke Mansion

North Carolina lost a lot of old trees this year to storms, like hurricanes Florence and Michael. Those made the headlines along with storm coverage. But hundreds more didn’t, like the two-century-old granddaddy of a tree cut down this week at The Duke Mansion in Charlotte.

Former New York Mayor met with Mayor Vi Lyles (left) and other city officials at Seventh Street Public Market before Wednesday's announcement.
David Boraks / WFAE

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited Charlotte Wednesday to announce a $2.5 million grant from his foundation toward the city's efforts to fight climate change. It's part of a $70 million campaign to tackle a problem Bloomberg said Congress and the White House are ignoring.

A rooftop solar project at Birdsong Brewing in Charlotte was among those that got Duke Energy rebates in 2018.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy says it expects rebates for rooftop solar panels in North Carolina to total about $10 million this year. Applications for the second year of the five-year program will be available beginning Jan. 2. 

Santee Cooper

State regulators approved Dominion Energy’s $15 billion purchase of troubled South Carolina-based utility SCANA Friday. South Carolina’s Public Service Commission approved the Virginia-based company’s offer of cash and stock to buy SCANA, which is the parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas.

Map shows the route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The builders of the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline say they will appeal a federal court ruling Thursday that invalidated a permit allowing the pipeline to be built through two national forests and across the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.

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

Updated at 8:55 p.m.
A federal appeals court in Virginia has ruled that the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline cannot be built across national forest land and the Appalachian Trail in west central Virginia.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The company building the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline says it has halted construction after a federal appeals court put on hold a key environmental permit.