Energy & Environment

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

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Margaret Hansbrough of the environmental group Mighty Earth is leading the "Stainless" campaign, urging steelmakers to convert to 100 percent clean electricity.
David Boraks / WFAE

Environmental groups launched a nationwide campaign in Charlotte calling on steel makers to stop using electricity generated by burning fossil fuels. The lead target of the "Stainless" clean energy campaign is Charlotte-based Nucor. Nucor is the largest U.S. steelmaker and has pioneered in the use of electric arc furnaces.

The $180 million project would include a 21-mile pipeline from Norwood, in Stanly County, to Union County.
Union County

A legal settlement has brought Union County a step closer to beginning work on a $180 million pipeline project to draw water from Lake Tillery on the Yadkin River. 

A house was flooded in Columbus County.
David Boraks / WFAE

Complaints about mosquitoes are on the rise across North Carolina after Hurricane Florence. They're plentiful and in some cases a lot bigger than what we're used to. 

The flooding Cape Fear River has surrounded the gas-fired Sutton plant near Wilmington and overrun a former cooling lake on the site.
Duke Energy

Flood waters have forced Duke Energy to shut down its power plant along the Cape Fear River near Wilmington. 

Floodwaters Inundate Lake At NC Power Plant, Raising Alarm

Sep 20, 2018

Duke Energy activated a high-level emergency alert at a retired coal-fired power plant in North Carolina as floodwaters from the nearby Cape Fear River overtopped an earthen dike at the facility and inundated a large lake, raising concerns of a potential breach.

Duke Energy

Duke Energy said rains from Hurricane Florence caused a release of storm water at the Sutton Power Plant in Wilmington. The company said some of that water “may have come into contact” with coal ash from a lined landfill at the site.

The Monroe solar farm, on about 400 acres off South Rocky River Road, has about 684,000 solar panels.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy says it expects to nearly triple its solar power generating capacity over the next 15 years in the Carolinas. At the same time, the company says in a new filing with state regulators it will continue to build gas-fired plants and close coal-fired plants. 

The Conversation: Farsighted Adaptation To Rising Seas Is Blocked By Just Fixing Eroded Beaches

Sep 2, 2018
Soil Science, CC BY

COMMENTARY:

Coastal communities around the world are struggling to adapt to rising sea levels and increasingly severe coastal storms. 

Sheldon Scruggs tends goats on his farm in western Mecklenburg County.
David Boraks / WFAE

Mecklenburg County has more than 230 farms, about half the number of 40 years ago. Residential and commercial development, rising land costs and urbanization are to blame. But renewed interest in local food and the growth of farmers markets offer hope for reversing the trend. Farm advocates say Voluntary Agricultural Districts could protect remaining farms, and maybe encourage more. 

One of four turbines inside the mountain serve two purposes: to generate electricity and to pump water back up into the lake.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has begun a $200 million project to add electrical generating capacity at a big hydroelectric dam in South Carolina. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Aug. 6 approved a license amendment that lets Duke install more powerful turbines at the Bad Creek Hydroelectric Station on Lake Jocassee, in northwest South Carolina.

A federal jury decided Friday that the world's largest pork producer should pay $473.5 million to neighbors of three North Carolina industrial-scale hog farms for unreasonable nuisances they suffered from odors, flies and rumbling trucks.

Duke Energy imploded the oldest section of the retired Buck Steam Station coal fired power plant Thursday.
Duke Energy

With a series of explosions Thursday morning, Duke Energy demolished the oldest section of the Buck Steam Station, on the Yadkin River near Salisbury.

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.
SCANA

Shareholders of SCANA voted Tuesday to sell the South Carolina utility to Virginia-based Dominion Energy, which has agreed to swallow billions of dollars in debt from the company's failed nuclear construction project and other operations.

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

Just two weeks after Duke Energy began taking applications for new solar energy rebates, the program has run out of money for homeowners and businesses for this year. 

Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Federal regulators are allowing work on the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline to expand in North Carolina.

Cube Hydro's Narrows Dam on Badin Lake is among those in the dispute with Duke Energy.
Cube Hydro Partners

State regulators have ruled against the owner of hydroelectric dams on the Yadkin River, in a dispute over how it sells electricity to Duke Energy.

David Boraks / WFAE

Electricity rates will increase slightly for thousands of households in central and western North Carolina even though state regulators rejected Duke Energy's most recent rate hike request, the company said Wednesday.

The Monroe solar farm, on about 400 acres off South Rocky River Road, has about 684,000 solar panels.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has put out a call for companies that want to build new large-scale solar farms around the state.  The projects would satisfy a 2017 state law that requires the company to seek competitive bids for new solar projects.

Rebates would help pay for solar panels on a rooftop
Elliot Brown / Flickr

Duke Energy will begin offering solar rebates Monday in North Carolina. Solar energy advocates say it could help speed installations of rooftop solar panels.

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

A string of decisions by North Carolina regulators this year means electricity consumers could be seeing a multibillion-dollar bill to clean up mountains of waste Duke Energy created over decades burning coal to produce power.

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