Energy/Environment

Science & Environment
5:00 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Factory Delays Push Back Construction At SC Nuclear Plant

The construction site at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in Jenkinsville, S.C. in August, 2013.
Credit South Carolina Office of Regulatory Service

Construction on some of the first nuclear plants in decades has suffered delays but is recovering ground, regulators of the project say.  The two new reactors at the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, South Carolina will take more than six months longer than projected, at a potential cost of $200 million. The regulators blame a new building process for the delays, but do not rule out ratepayers covering the cost.

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Local News
2:53 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

North Carolina Ranks Second In New Solar Capacity In 2013

A new report shows North Carolina becoming a bigger player in the solar energy market. The firm NPD Solarbuzz says North Carolina created 400MW (megawatts) of new solar capacity. That’s enough to account for 10 percent of all new solar in the U.S. and Canada. Analyst Michael Barker says it’s a ramp up from previous years.

"One of the big findings was just how quickly the North Carolina market has grown in 2013," Barker says. "Climbing from the 5th largest U.S. market to the 2nd largest U.S. market."

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Local News
9:24 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Piedmont Deer To Be Relocated On Cherokee Reservation

A pair of white-tailed deer grazing from a tree.
Credit Raul654 / Wikimedia.org

Several dozen deer are about to swap the Piedmont for Cherokee reservation lands in western North Carolina.  At the request of the tribe, the state and federal government are helping to relocate the deer to grow that area’s deer population. 

               


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Local News
10:07 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Duke Asks Customers To Conserve During Chill

Credit Bryan Mills / Flickr

Duke Energy is urging customers to conserve energy during the cold because it’s worried that customers could cause blackouts or brownouts by using too much energy.

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Local News
3:56 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Utilities Commission Mulls Rate Dip To Offset Consumer Tax Hike

Duke Energy building in Charlotte.
Credit Duke Energy/Flickr

A utility sales tax hike in North Carolina is set to take effect in July.  That means your bill will go up.  But first the utilities commission must decide whether to help offset that increase by decreasing rates.  The state’s consumer advocate wants the commission to do that because taxes are going down for Duke Energy. 


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Science & Environment
1:05 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Duke Renewables President Talks Solar Prospects

Credit Duke Energy Renewables

Duke Energy is not known for embracing renewable energy in North Carolina. About one percent of the Duke Energy Progress’ and Duke Energy Carolinas’ electric capacities in the state come from renewables—mostly solar, as well as a small amount of wind and biomass. Duke’s favored plan projects that number to rise to just 3 percent, 15 years from now. At the same time, Duke has a subsidiary business solely focused on developing and selling renewable energy across the country. WFAE’s Ben Bradford spoke to the president of Duke Energy Renewables for a businessman’s perspective on the green revolution.


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Local News
9:56 am
Fri December 6, 2013

State Numbers Call Report Of Fish Deaths Into Question

Environmental groups released a report earlier this week that suggests a shuttered Duke Coal plant is seeping the chemical selenium into Sutton Lake, killing nearly a million blue gill per year. State numbers are not as clear cut about the fish’s health.


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Local News
10:13 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Study Claims Coal Ash Kills Almost 1M Fish In Sutton Lake

A picture of bluegill in Lemly's report. The report says the top bluegill's curved tail is abnormal, and indicative of deformities caused by selenium.
Credit Biological Assessment To Determine Impacts of Selenium Pollution From Coal Ash Wastewater Discharges on Fish Populations in Lake Sutton, NC / Southern Environmental Law Center

A new report funded by environmental organizations finds the chemical selenium kills nearly a million fish a year in a popular sport-fishing lake near Wilmington. The organizations blame a nearby Duke Energy coal plant. Duke says it is just another attack from groups with an anti-coal agenda.


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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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