Energy & Environment

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

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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.

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

Updated Aug. 26, 2017

Duke Energy wants to increase electricity rates by an average of 17 percent for residential customers in western North Carolina, including Charlotte. The higher rates would pay for new facilities, cleaning up coal ash - and for a South Carolina nuclear plant the company has decided not to build.

Amy Brown of Belmont is among the well owners who filed the suit Wednesday. In 2016 she posed in her living room with bottled water supplied by Duke Energy.
David Boraks / WFAE

Neighbors with contaminated wells near Duke Energy's North Carolina coal ash ponds are suing to halt Duke's demand that they sign away future legal claims in exchange for compensation. 

A controversial former environmental official from Alabama is President Trump's pick to oversee the EPA in the Southeast.  Trey Glenn was named administrator for EPA Region 4, which includes the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama.

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

A decade ago, nuclear power’s future looked bright. It offered a carbon-free energy alternative amid worries about greenhouse gases and climate change. But a lot has happened since then, like the 2011 meltdown at Fukushima and skyrocketing nuclear construction costs. Last month, two South Carolina utilities scrapped a multi-billion dollar nuclear project. Now, the future of nuclear is even cloudier. 

Aerial view of the Shoreham Solar Commons project under construction in Brookhaven, N.Y.
Duke Energy Renewables

Duke Energy's commercial renewable energy division is expanding into New York State by buying one of that state's largest solar energy farms.  

Santee Cooper and SCE&G had been adding two reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in Fairfield County.
Santee Cooper

Updated 2:58 p.m.
Environmental groups are asking South Carolina regulators to let them comment as two utilities seek to recover billions of dollars in costs for a scuttled nuclear project. Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club said in a filing with the Public Service Commission that the utilities shouldn’t be allowed to charge customers for a project that will never produce electricity.  

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

Updated at 3:47 p.m. 

Some South Carolina Lawmakers have called for a special session to deal with the abandonment of two nuclear reactors announced earlier this week. $9 billion has already been spent building the V.C. Summer plant about 30 miles north of Columbia.

Profits were up 35 percent at Duke Energy during the second quarter compared with a year ago, helped by higher prices and strong sales of electricity. The company saw higher profits in all three of its main businesses: gas, commercial renewable energy, and the largest - electricity.

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