Energy/Environment

Local News
6:47 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

It's Déjà Vu At Duke Shareholder Meeting

Protesters chanted outside the Duke Energy corporate headquarters in Uptown.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Duke Energy held its annual shareholder meeting Thursday. The meeting has developed into something of a tradition: environmental groups use it as a rare opportunity to face, question, and berate the CEO of one of America’s largest power companies. This year, with a new CEO at the helm and Duke under fire for its handling of coal ash, tensions ran higher than usual.


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Charlotte Talks
9:00 am
Thu May 1, 2014

The World Of Ants

Ant face
USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Insects are all around us: under our feet, in the air, living in the trees, even sharing our homes.  But perhaps the most ubiquitous of them all are ants.  We’re certainly outnumbered by them and probably have no idea exactly how massive the ant world in our region is.  But Dr. Eleanor Spicer-Rice does.  She’s made it her business to study these insects that impact agriculture, development, the economy and more.

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Local News
6:00 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Duke Energy Ranks Top 10 In Solar Generation, Twice

Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial subsidiary of the company (and not included in the rankings) owns a 20-megawatt solar farm in Dogwood, N.C.
Credit Duke Energy

Duke Energy’s Carolina utilities are top 10 in the nation for generating solar power, according to a new report released Monday.

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Local News
10:08 am
Mon April 28, 2014

New Coal Ash Proposal, Same As The Old One?

A law proposed by Governor Pat McCrory would require coal ash be removed from Riverbend Steam Station, which sits above Charlotte's drinking water intake on Mountain Island Lake.
Credit Duke Energy

Two weeks ago, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory released a plan, billed as a solution for the coal ash ponds leaking polluted water into rivers and lakes around North Carolina. But environmental groups are crying foul—because the governor’s proposal resembles a previous, widely-criticized agreement between the administration and Duke Energy, which was thrown out after a coal ash pond collapsed into the Dan River in February.


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Local News
1:25 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Duke Energy, State Officials Portray Coal Ash Removal As Lengthy, Costly

The Duke Energy ash pond spilled 30,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River in February.
Credit Duke Energy

State regulators and Duke Energy officials poured cold water on proposals by environmental groups about what to do with more than 100 millions of tons of coal ash, describing total removal of the ash as lengthy and costly.


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Local News
12:37 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

McCrory Announces Plan To Address Coal Ash; Judge Says 'Now'

Duke Energy's Riverbend steam station sits on the bank of Mountain Island Lake near Charlotte.
Credit Mark Rumsey / WFAE

Two big developments occurred Wednesday in an ongoing fight over how North Carolina utilities store the leftover byproduct of coal. Governor Pat McCrory released a plan of action to stop the current storage in unlined ponds from leaking into state waterways. Then, a judge decreed clean-up efforts to stop those leaks must begin immediately, even as Duke Energy and a state committee appeal.


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Local News
3:02 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Factory-Built Nuclear Reactor Development Slows

The exterior of the Lynchburg, Virginia lab where Babcock and Wilcox is testing its prototype small modular reactor.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Charlotte-based Babcock and Wilcox received a big boost when the Energy Department agreed to be a partner in the company’s development of a new, small nuclear reactor. But the project has since hit some roadblocks.


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Local News
5:57 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Duke Energy Stops Tree Treatments After Customers Complain Of Poor Communication

A Rainbow Treecare worker injects Cambistat into the soil around a tree in Charlotte.
Credit Charlotte Observer

Duke Energy has been the subject of a lot of criticism lately, and it’s not all about coal ash.

For the past month, Duke had workers apply a chemical to the roots of trees near power lines in Charlotte’s Myers Park, Dilworth and Sedgefield neighborhoods. Needless to say, many residents were quite upset.

This week, Duke responded to those concerns by suspending the program. But Duke plans to restart the program after the company retools its outreach efforts.


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Environment
4:36 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Tega Cay City Council Votes To Purchase Troubled Utility Company

A photo of a sewer system overflow on January 11, 2014 from one of Tega Cay Water Service's manholes into Lake Wylie. On March 7, 48,500 gallons of sewage burst from two manholes and a wasterwater treatment plant into Lake Wylie.
Credit Courtesy of the Tega Cay Water Citizens Advisory Council

On Tuesday night, the Tega Cay city council voted to purchase private sewage-treatment plants that have been regularly polluting Lake Wylie in York County, South Carolina with raw sewage – and the price tag is nearly $6 million.


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Local News
6:52 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Regulators, Duke, Environmentalists In 3-Way Fight Over Coal Ash

Coal ash separates from sediment scooped from the bed of the Dan River days after the spill.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

The failure of a Duke Energy coal ash pond two months ago not only spilled at least 30,000 tons of the waste into the Dan River, it spurred new scrutiny of how Duke handles the waste, what chemicals are flowing into North Carolina waters, and how the state oversees all of it. It has led to numerous revelations about leaks or cracks in other ponds, wastewater pumped into rivers, lawsuits, and federal investigations. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt to discuss the latest.


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