Energy & Environment

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

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Coal ash is being excavated from Duke Energy's closed Riverbend coal plant on Mountain Island Lake.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has removed about 13 million tons of coal ash at five plants in North Carolina as it complies with federal and state cleanup requirements. But ten times that amount remains in the ground across the state, and not all that will be removed.

Duke Energy

What if a dam holding back coal ash burst at one of Duke Energy's coal plants in the Carolinas or Midwest? Newly released maps from Duke show many properties would be inundated, including some homes and docks. The maps are now public, after environmentalists threatened to sue. 

Sheep from a local farm are grazing to keep grass down beneath the panels at Duke Energy's Monroe solar farm.
David Boraks / WFAE

On a country road south of Monroe in Union County, near a golf course and soybean fields, is a new kind of farm - a solar farm.  This spring, Duke Energy began generating electricity from 684,000 solar panels here, the largest solar farm in the Charlotte region and one of the largest in the state.

NC WARN owns the solar panels it installed on Faith Community Church in Greensboro, and had been selling electricity to the church. But it has stopped the sales, after an order by regulators.
NC WARN

Updated 7:10 p.m.
A North Carolina environmental group is asking the NC Supreme Court to decide whether it's legal for it to install solar panels on a church rooftop, then sell electricity to the church.  NC WARN is appealing a 2-1 ruling against it last month by the NC Court of Appeals.

In February, workers used a giant crane to lower a containment vessel ring into place at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in Fairfield County, S.C.
SCANA

Federal securities regulators are investigating a scuttled nuclear reactor construction project in South Carolina, according to a release Tuesday from one of the plant's co-owners. 

Map shows the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

A divided panel of federal regulators granted approvals Friday evening for two major East Coast projects, the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley natural gas pipelines.

Duke already has installed large battery systems elsewhere, like this one at a wind farm in Texas.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy plans to install its first two large-scale battery storage units in 2019 in western North Carolina.  A nine-megawatt battery system will be installed in Asheville and a four-megawatt system is planned in Hot Springs, in Madison County.

The 10-year plan includes upgrading power lines and systems across Duke's North Carolina grid.
David Boraks / WFAE

Electric utilities are preparing for the possibility of widespread power outages if Hurricane Irma blows into the Carolinas next week.  Forecasters say the mostly likely problem will be wind.

Drawing shows design for the W.S. Lee Nuclear Plant in Cherokee County, S.C.
Westinghouse Electric Co./Duke Energy

Duke Energy announced last week it's pulling the plug on two proposed nuclear power projects.  But executives say Duke isn't shutting the door on the idea of building more nuclear plants someday.

AP 1000 westinghouse
Westinghouse Electric

For the second time in a week, Duke Energy has canceled a planned nuclear project. Duke said Tuesday it's dropping plans to build the proposed Levy Nuclear Plant on Florida's Gulf Coast. That's after it canceled plans for the W.S. Lee nuclear plant in South Carolina last Friday.

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