Energy/Environment

Science & Environment
7:33 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

City Aims To Make Charlotte Airport A Big Player In Solar Energy Production

The city's largest solar project to date, 250 kW, rests on top of the CLT Center.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

When you look out the airplane window as you fly into Charlotte, the trees thin, the Uptown skyline rises into view, and the buildings of West Charlotte grow larger, as your plane drops altitude. The City of Charlotte hopes to add solar panels glinting across the airport’s parking lots and in-between the runways to that view. The city is soliciting bids for an ambitious solar project at the airport.

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Science & Environment
4:02 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Environmental Groups Join Coal Ash Lawsuit Against Duke Energy

A judge has allowed environmental groups to join a state lawsuit against Duke Energy over water pollution from coal plants.  The judge granted the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, which will be represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, the ability to intervene in the case today, essentially making the organization a second plaintiff. In the lawsuit, the state accuses Duke of allowing coal ash ponds to leak contamination into groundwater, including at the G.G. Allen and Marshall Steam Stations in the Charlotte region.

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Science & Environment
12:45 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Shuffle Continues For State Water Trust Fund

Grants from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund helped fund cleaning of the polluted Little Sugar Creek in Charlotte.
Credit Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

A state trust fund for protecting and cleaning up waterways has found itself with a slashed budget, merged with another fund, put under new management, and transferred to a new department. Now it’s undergone one more shuffle.


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Science & Environment
3:56 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Court Orders EPA To Review Coal Ash Regulations

A federal judge has ordered the EPA to decide whether the byproduct from burning coal is a hazardous material that must be regulated. That decision will have big implications for North Carolina.


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Science & Environment
3:45 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Contaminated Asheville Well Fuels Coal Ash Debate

Satellite view of the Asheville Plant and the French Broad River (left).
Credit Google Earth

State water regulators have identified a well near Asheville with contaminated drinking water and have indicated it likely comes from waste leaking from a Duke Energy coal plant. At the same time, the state and environmental organizations are caught up in a lawsuit with Duke over exactly this issue—coal plants contaminating groundwater and rivers, including in the Asheville and Charlotte regions. 

WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt to unpack what the one contaminated well signifies for Duke, the state, environmentalists, and water drinkers around North Carolina.

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Local News
9:44 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Duke Plans Minimal Increase To Renewable Energy Over 15 Years

Duke's projected breakdown of energy capacity by fuel type in 2014 and 2028. This is the company's "base case," without changes in existing regulations.
Credit North Carolina Utilities Commission

Over the next 15 years, Duke Energy plans to increase how much it relies on renewable energy only modestly—from 1 percent next year to just 2 percent in 2028. The utility is concentrating on natural gas.

This is part of Duke’s annual filing with state regulators, where the utility maps out how it plans to provide energy to North Carolina customers.

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Science & Environment
10:42 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

State Releases Final Proposed Coal Ash Settlement With Duke

The Riverbend Steam Station
Credit Duke Energy

State water regulators and Duke Energy want to wrap up a lawsuit over possible contamination to rivers that feed water supplies for Asheville and Charlotte. The state released a final proposed settlement Tuesday, but environmental groups say it lacks teeth.

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Local News
5:06 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Utilities Help Ready Sites For Industry

The speculative building in Rock Hill being bought by German automotive adhesive tape manufacturer Coroplast.
Credit Rock Hill Economic Development

The German automotive adhesive manufacturer Coroplast announced Tuesday that Rock Hill will be the site of its first U. S. plant. Over the next five years, the company plans to invest $12 million and create 150 jobs in York County, S. C. Economic development leaders say it takes a lot of work to recruit companies like Coroplast. And sometimes, utility companies step up to help. 


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Local News
5:07 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Duke's Most Efficient Plant Not Efficient Enough For EPA Rule

An infographic of the Edwardsport plant's coal gasification process. Duke calls the Edwardsport plant one of the most efficient in the world, but it still emits carbon at a level that exceeds the new EPA rule.
Credit Duke Energy

Duke’s Edwardsport plant in Indiana is a “coal gasification” plant, meaning the coal gets turned into a gas and some of the pollutants get filtered out, before moving into the turbine.  Company spokesman Chad Eaton says it is the most efficient coal plant in the country, since opening this summer. But, even it would surpass the limit the EPA announced today on the amount of emissions new coal power plants will be able to release.

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Business
9:34 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Duke Energy Cancels Planned Florida Nuclear Site

Duke Energy has announced it will cancel plans for a new nuclear power plant in Levy County, Florida. With no new energy to show, ratepayers are on the hook for the cost, while Duke’s turned a profit.


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