Energy & Environment
12:51 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Year-End Decision Holds Big Impact For NC Solar In 2015

A solar farm in Cleveland County.
Credit Strata Solar

North Carolina energy regulators quietly released one of their most significant, long-awaited decisions of 2014, just as the year was ending. The state Utilities Commission had spent nearly the entire year re-evaluating the rules for solar energy. On Wednesday, the commission decided to leave substantially intact the rules which have underlied a solar energy boom in North Carolina.

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Energy & Environment
6:41 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Power Companies Reach Rooftop Solar Agreement In SC

Credit Elliot Brown / Flickr

Electric utilities and solar energy developers across the U.S. have clashed over how much the utilities should have to pay for the energy supplied to them by homeowners with solar panels. In South Carolina, the sides reached an agreement Friday and both are claiming a win.

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Energy & Environment
8:43 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Duke Sees Challenges From Slow Energy Growth, Carbon Rules

A chart submitted to the North Carolina Utility Commission shows the mix of fuel Duke Energy Progress expects to add in the Carolinas over the next 15 years.
Credit Duke Energy

Slow energy demand and carbon emission cuts are putting major pressure on the power industry, a top Duke Energy executive said today. Chief Financial Officer Steve Young spoke at a Wells Fargo energy conference about challenges facing coal, solar, wind, and nuclear energy.

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Energy & Environment
4:13 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Duke Energy Mulling Fracking Investment

A natural gas unit at Duke Energy's Sutton Plant near Wilmington came online at the end of 2013.
Credit Duke Energy

Duke Energy is exploring the option of entering the fracking business. While the company says it has not made any decisions, it would mark a departure from Duke’s usual operations.

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Energy & Environment
9:38 am
Mon November 24, 2014

NC Drastically Cuts Enforcement Of Top Water Pollutant

Sediment lost into a stream from a construction site.
Credit North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources

North Carolina has taken measures since the 1970s to control the top water contaminant in the state, the dirt that pours into rivers and lakes from human activity. But a review of state records reveals a sharp drop-off in enforcement over the past five years and a series of warnings to lawmakers that have gone unheeded.

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Energy & Environment
9:56 am
Mon November 17, 2014

EPA Could Force Rethink Of NC Coal Ash Work

In Tennessee, work to remove ash from storage ponds at the Kingston Fossil Plant took years. The failure of the Kingston ponds spurred the EPA to begin writing rules for coal ash handling.
Credit Appalachian Voices

North Carolina lawmakers, regulators, and media have spent nine months considering what to do about coal ash, but an upcoming federal rule could nullify much of the planned clean-up.

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Energy & Environment
6:24 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Fracking Clears Penultimate Hurdle In North Carolina

A drilling rig in Colorado
Credit Jeff Foster / Flickr

North Carolina is now one step away from legalizing fracking. A state commission has spent the past two years writing a broad set of rules to cover how fracking will work in the state. The commission passed those rules Friday evening. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined Duncan McFadyen to discuss.

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Energy & Environment
9:09 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Rules For Fracking In NC Up For Vote

A well for fracking
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The controversial oil and gas extraction process known as fracking could take its second-to-last step toward legalization in North Carolina on Friday. A state body meets at 9 a.m. to finalize the rules that will govern fracking.

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Energy & Environment
8:59 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Duke Plans To Use Coal Ash To Fill Old Mines

Duke Energy has five years to remove the four million tons of coal ash at the Riverbend Steam Station, which lies next to Mountain Island Lake.
Credit Mark Rumsey / WFAE

Duke Energy has proposed moving millions of tons of coal ash from waste ponds and using it to fill in old mines. So far, the plan has drawn support from frequent adversaries of the utility.

Duke says it has the perfect place to put about three million tons of ash: in old clay mines in Moncure and Sanford, a few dozen miles southwest of Raleigh. Right now, they are just open pits says Duke Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Jabon.

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Energy & Environment
6:36 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Charlotte Developers Win Extra 3-Year Opt-Out Of Stormwater Pollution Requirements

Stormwater flows from a pipe directly into a river.
Credit City of Charlotte

Most construction in Charlotte for the next three years will not have to include environmental protections against one of the state’s biggest sources of water pollution—stormwater.

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