Energy/Environment

Solar Energy In North Carolina

May 13, 2015
Strata Solar

  Solar energy has gone from a pipe dream to a boom industry in North Carolina.  This state put more solar online last year than every state other than California.  That growth came despite major restrictions that the legislature is looking into removing.  If they did, it would change the way solar companies make their money.  Right now, owners of rooftop solar can only sell power to the major utilities.  This bill would change that and we’ll explore both sides.

Mike Linksvayer / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

About forty protesters rallied outside Duke Energy’s headquarters, chanting “Up with solar, down with coal,” as shareholders left the annual meeting. The clash between environmental advocates and Duke Energy about solar energy and fossil fuels also extended inside the meeting, even the demonstrations.


After a battery of tests on private drinking water wells near coal ash ponds around North Carolina, health officials have cautioned many residents against drinking from those wells. But officials are hesitant to draw a link between contaminants in the wells and the nearby coal ash ponds.


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Cold weather helped and drought hurt Duke Energy’s earnings this quarter. The company announced its results today, which included the effects of its settlement with federal prosecutors and a changing customer base.


Ben Bradford / WFAE

Duke Energy has taken about a fifth of the power it can generate off-line in North Carolina, as part of what the energy industry calls “outage season.”


Eighty-seven homes near Duke Energy coal ash ponds around North Carolina have well-water contaminated with heavy metals, according to state environmental regulators. 

naturalresources.house.gov

The debate over what offshore drilling would mean for North Carolina played out before a U.S. House subcommittee Wednesday. In the red corner, North Carolina's governor. In the blue corner, a commissioner from a small beach town.


Elliot Brown / Flickr

North Carolina put more solar power online last year than any state other than California. But companies or homeowners wanting to put solar panels on their roofs face major restrictions. State lawmakers have introduced a bill to change that. It’s drawing opposition from Duke Energy, but also dividing solar advocates.


Megha Punjani / Flickr

A state science panel predicts sea level could rise off the coast by an average of seven inches over the next 30 years. The report is the first from the science panel, since state lawmakers blocked an earlier version that predicted extreme effects.


Henry Reges/ CoCoRaHS

There’s a network in the U.S. of thousands of volunteers who put a rain gauge in their yards and report the readings online every day---rain or shine.

This group’s mission is to provide hyper-local weather data to meteorologists, farmers, emergency managers and other government agencies. It’s called CoCoRaHS (pronounced ko-ko-RAZ). The name may sound more appropriate for a chocolatey breakfast cereal, but it stands for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network. 

WFAE's Duncan McFadyen spoke to the state director of CoCoRaHS, David Glenn. He's a meteriologist for the National Weather Service in Newport, in the eastern part of North Carolina.


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