Energy & Environment

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

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Duke Energy's Marshall Plant on Lake Norman has about 32 million tons of coal ash stored on site.
David Boraks / WFAE

New data from federally mandated testing has found elevated levels of radiation in groundwater at 11 of 18 Duke Energy coal plants. Environmentalists and Duke disagree over what the numbers mean.

Duke Energy headquarters in Charlotte.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy and the state utility customer advocate have reached a partial settlement that would trim the size of the company's pending rate hike request for western North Carolina, including Charlotte.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission will begin hearings on a rate hike request for one subsidiary of Duke Energy after recently approving a 6 percent increase for another.

The federal government's only scheduled public meeting in North Carolina today to discuss expanding oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast and in other waters is expected to attract busloads of people opposing the idea.

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. 

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