Energy/Environment

Science & Environment
10:22 am
Mon January 27, 2014

How Duke Will Sell Renewable Energy To Large Customers

Solar panels, Google Headquarters
Credit elwetritsche / Flickr

Duke Energy is in discussion with large companies, including Google and Facebook, to use renewable energy to power new electricity needs in North Carolina. Companies can pay a premium and Duke will pour energy of the companies’ choice—solar or wind, for instance—into the grid to match the amount of power used. The new program sailed through the state utilities commission last month, but some environmental organizations question its potential. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt to explain.


Read more
Science & Environment
12:19 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

NC Sues EPA Over Air Quality Standards

The EPA regulates particle pollution, which can be chemicals, acids, metals, soil and dust particles. Cars, refineries, factories and power plants all emit particulate matter.
Credit NCDOT

The state of North Carolina is suing the EPA. State environmental regulators are arguing that federal air quality standards are too stringent and should be loosened.


Read more
Local News
9:29 am
Fri January 17, 2014

New Rule Allows Fracking Companies To Keep Certain Trade Secrets

A shale gas well in Pennsylvania.
Credit wcn247/flickr

North Carolina is clearing the way for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking - the method of drilling that's created a natural gas boom in the United States. State lawmakers have tasked the state Mining and Energy Commission with developing rules to govern the process. Earlier this week the commission voted on what's often considered the "first rule" of fracking - it's called chemical disclosure and it determines what drilling companies have to tell the government about the fluids that get pumped into the ground during the process.

John Murawski is the Raleigh News and Observer's energy reporter. He's been following the commission's work, and he joined us by telephone.


Read more
Science & Environment
5:00 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Factory Delays Push Back Construction At SC Nuclear Plant

The construction site at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in Jenkinsville, S.C. in August, 2013.
Credit South Carolina Office of Regulatory Service

Construction on some of the first nuclear plants in decades has suffered delays but is recovering ground, regulators of the project say.  The two new reactors at the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, South Carolina will take more than six months longer than projected, at a potential cost of $200 million. The regulators blame a new building process for the delays, but do not rule out ratepayers covering the cost.

Read more
Local News
2:53 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

North Carolina Ranks Second In New Solar Capacity In 2013

A new report shows North Carolina becoming a bigger player in the solar energy market. The firm NPD Solarbuzz says North Carolina created 400MW (megawatts) of new solar capacity. That’s enough to account for 10 percent of all new solar in the U.S. and Canada. Analyst Michael Barker says it’s a ramp up from previous years.

"One of the big findings was just how quickly the North Carolina market has grown in 2013," Barker says. "Climbing from the 5th largest U.S. market to the 2nd largest U.S. market."

Read more
Local News
9:24 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Piedmont Deer To Be Relocated On Cherokee Reservation

A pair of white-tailed deer grazing from a tree.
Credit Raul654 / Wikimedia.org

Several dozen deer are about to swap the Piedmont for Cherokee reservation lands in western North Carolina.  At the request of the tribe, the state and federal government are helping to relocate the deer to grow that area’s deer population. 

               


Read more
Local News
10:07 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Duke Asks Customers To Conserve During Chill

Credit Bryan Mills / Flickr

Duke Energy is urging customers to conserve energy during the cold because it’s worried that customers could cause blackouts or brownouts by using too much energy.

Read more
Local News
3:56 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Utilities Commission Mulls Rate Dip To Offset Consumer Tax Hike

Duke Energy building in Charlotte.
Credit Duke Energy/Flickr

A utility sales tax hike in North Carolina is set to take effect in July.  That means your bill will go up.  But first the utilities commission must decide whether to help offset that increase by decreasing rates.  The state’s consumer advocate wants the commission to do that because taxes are going down for Duke Energy. 


Read more
Science & Environment
1:05 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Duke Renewables President Talks Solar Prospects

Credit Duke Energy Renewables

Duke Energy is not known for embracing renewable energy in North Carolina. About one percent of the Duke Energy Progress’ and Duke Energy Carolinas’ electric capacities in the state come from renewables—mostly solar, as well as a small amount of wind and biomass. Duke’s favored plan projects that number to rise to just 3 percent, 15 years from now. At the same time, Duke has a subsidiary business solely focused on developing and selling renewable energy across the country. WFAE’s Ben Bradford spoke to the president of Duke Energy Renewables for a businessman’s perspective on the green revolution.


Read more
Local News
9:56 am
Fri December 6, 2013

State Numbers Call Report Of Fish Deaths Into Question

Environmental groups released a report earlier this week that suggests a shuttered Duke Coal plant is seeping the chemical selenium into Sutton Lake, killing nearly a million blue gill per year. State numbers are not as clear cut about the fish’s health.


Read more

Pages