Energy & Environment

News and information about energy, environment or both from Charlotte and the Carolinas. 

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Pipeline developers hope to begin installing pipe like this later this year along the 600 mile route.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Duke Energy says the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline is on track to open in late 2019, even though it's still awaiting final state and federal approvals. But CEO Lynn Good said delays and more stringent conditions from regulators have pushed the project's price tag up - to between $6 billion and $6.5 billion.

Valdese has bought 302 acres along Lake Rhodhiss for a new park.
Foothills Conservancy

The town of Valdese in Burke County has acquired 302 acres along Lake Rhodhiss and McGalliard Creek for a new public park. The $1.3 million purchase was funded by private donations and a grant from the state’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund. It came came after 2½ years of planning and fundraising by the Foothills Conservancy.

A grappler tears into bricks and metal at Duke Energy's retired Riverbend Steam Station in Mount Holly.
David Boraks / WFAE

A big transformation is happening at Duke Energy's retired Riverbend Steam Station on Mountain Island Lake northwest of Charlotte. The 1920s powerhouse is being demolished, wall-by-wall. And trains are hauling away coal ash that had been dumped behind the plant for about 90 years. 

Duke Energy headquarters in Charlotte.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy says it will pass along to customers some of the savings from new federal tax cuts that took effect Jan. 1.  In filings with utilities regulators in the Carolinas, Florida and Kentucky, the company says federal tax windfalls will go to reducing bills and offsetting future rate increases.

Opponents of Duke Energy's rate hike waved green paper to show support for a speaker at Tuesday's hearing in Charlotte.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy's request to raise electricity rates by 13.6 percent in western North Carolina got a chilly response from customers at a public hearing Tuesday night in Charlotte. Some worry about the monthly bill increases, while others say the company needs to share the blame and cost of what they see as past mistakes.

Duke Energy has settled a class-action lawsuit filed by homeowners who live near the company’s coal ash sites, and the suit has been dismissed. 

A deep freeze in January, which included a mid-month snow storm, pushed electricity use in North Carolina to record highs, says Duke Energy.
David Boraks / WFAE

Thanks to unusually low temperatures, January is turning out to be a record month for electricity use in North Carolina.  It also could mean higher bills for customers, according to Duke Energy. 

Map shows the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's proposed route through eastern North Carolina. It will orginate in West Virginia and run through Virginia as well.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Updated 6:35 p.m.
North Carolina environmental regulators have issued a key water permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It's one of the last permits needed before construction begins in the state.

Deborah Graham of Salisbury waits her turn to address the NC Utilities Commisssion. She lived near a Duke Energy storage pit and opposes the company's rate hike request to pay for coal ash cleanup.
Keri Brownn / WFDD

State regulators got an earful from residents who say they don’t want to pay for costs associated with coal ash cleanup across the state. The North Carolina Utilities Commission held a public hearing in Greensboro Wednesday night at the Guilford County Courthouse. The agency is considering a 16.7 percent rate hike request from Duke Energy. That’s around $18 more a month.

Rebates would help pay for solar panels on a rooftop
Elliot Brown / Flickr

Duke Energy has proposed a new solar rebate program for homeowners and small businesses in North Carolina - something required as part of the state's new renewable energy law that took effect Jan. 1. 

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