Energy & Environment

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



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.  

Edgar Miller
Yadkin Riverkeepr

Yadkin Riverkeeper, an environmental group that keeps watch on the Yadkin River, has announced new leadership.

Edgar Miller is the organization's new executive director and Brian Fannon has been named the Yadkin Riverkeeper after serving as the interim riverkeeper since April.


The lagoons were supposed to be gone by now.

Nearly 20 years ago, North Carolina faced a reckoning. Hurricane Floyd inundated the state, flooding the open pits where farmers store hog waste. 

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

North Carolina's top environmental official hopes one of the country's largest chemical companies will change how it operates now that it has been hit with the largest penalty a polluter has had to pay the state.

Sam Perkins is stepping down after five years as the Catawba Riverkeeper.
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

Updated 2:25 p.m.
The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation has announced a change of leadership.

Sam Perkins has stepped down after five years as the Catawba Riverkeeper, monitoring the health and environmental concerns about the waterway.

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

North Carolina regulators say Duke Energy does not have to dig up and move coal ash at seven current and former coal-fired power plants. The state Department of Environmental Quality said Duke has met requirements in the state's coal ash cleanup law to have the sites declared "low risk." 

Duke Energy headquarters in Charlotte
David Boraks / WFAE

Two environmental groups are asking state regulators to limit lobbying and other expenses by electric utilities, which the groups call "influence money."

N.C. Environmental Secretary Michael Regan spoke at Monday's signing of a state executive order to fight climate change.

President Trump may have pulled the United States out of the 2017 Paris climate agreement, but its goals are alive in North Carolina. State and local governments are adopting their own measures to fight climate change.

Duke Energy's headquarters in Charlotte.
Zuri Berry / WFAE

Duke Energy's profits rose 13.4 percent in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, to $1.08 billion. The Charlotte-based company said increased electric sales and the lower federal income tax rate helped offset costs to restore power after hurricanes Florence and Michael.

The view inside a shipping container-sized energy storage battery at a Duke Energy test site in Charlotte.
David Boraks / WFAE

For years, utilities have been testing large-scale batteries to store electricity, especially from wind and solar power. Now Duke Energy is ready to bet on the technology, with plans to spend a half-billion dollars on batteries over the next 15 years in the Carolinas.

Gov. Roy Cooper spoke in Cary just before signing an executive order to fight climate change.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order to fight climate change that sets new goals for reducing the use of fossil fuels and promoting environmentally friendly policies in state government Monday.