Energy/Environment

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The Federal Trade Commission has given its OK to Duke Energy's planned acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas, the companies said Tuesday.  

David Boraks / WFAE

Protesters were a fixture outside the recent climate change summit in Paris, calling on world leaders to agree on a plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On Wednesday, local activists staged a rally of their own, supporting a new federal plan addressing climate change - and opposing North Carolina’s response. 

Duke Energy plans to add two more solar energy projects to its North Carolina power network next year, as it works to meet state requirements for clean electricity.

The company is asking the North Carolina Utilities Commission for permission to take over two projects already in development -  a 60-megawatt solar farm in Monroe and a 15.4-megawatt facility in Mocksville, in Davie County.

If approved, construction on both would start in March and be done by the end of 2016. 

Duke Energy Solar farm near Elizabeth City NC
Duke Energy

Corning Inc. is boosting its use of renewable energy in North Carolina through a big solar power deal announced Monday with a division of Charlotte-based Duke Energy.

Duke Energy Renewables began construction earlier this year on an 80-megawatt solar farm in Conetoe, east of Rocky Mount in eastern North Carolina. When it’s finished later this month, it will be the largest of its kind east of the Mississippi.

It is December, but the effects of this summer’s drought in Mecklenburg County are still taking a toll on a local nonprofit. 


David Boraks / WFAE

Water use around the nation and in the Southeast is unsustainable, and it may already be too late to avoid long-term effects, says a NASA water scientist who spoke in Charlotte Tuesday night.

ncdenr.org

Environmental advocates are warning that a state regulatory change could increase air pollution while shielding the polluters from public scrutiny. They're reacting to a proposal from the North Carolina Environmental Department that would broaden exemptions for small manufacturers.

bobistraveling / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

North Carolina is home to 14.4 billion trees. Those trees provide habitat for animals and a healthy forestry business in the state. They also absorb carbon, helping fight the effects of climate change. The growth of burning wood pellets for utility-scale electricity may push the forestry industry even higher. But it’s a development that some say could have a catastrophic effect on global warming. Dave DeWitt of WUNC reports.

David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy is the nation’s largest power company, supplying electricity to more than 7 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest. But for the past six years, the Charlotte company also has been quietly building a separate startup business that sells wind and solar power to other utilities and businesses.

www.duke-energy.com

In response to a flood of criticism, Duke Energy is changing its plan to power the western Carolinas.  It's still replacing a coal plant in Asheville with natural gas, but the company will not build a transmission line through the mountains.

Duke Energy received more than 9,000 comments on the project, and much of the outcry focused on the transmission line.

Southern Environmental Law Center attorney D.J. Gerken says the large power line would've been a visual scar that cut through conservation lands and fragmented habitats.   

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