Recent news and panic of a petroleum pipeline leak in Helena, Alabama (south of Birmingham) is making its way up the East Coast. The pipeline, owned by Colonial Pipeline Company, supplies some 40% of fuel to drivers from the Gulf of Mexico to New Jersey. More than 336,000 gallons of fuel have leaked so far and those estimates could still rise as more is learned about the leak. The pipeline has been shut down for repairs and therefore has reduced the supply of gasoline to certain markets in the Southeast.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is ready to move ahead with plans to demolish it’s Widows Creek coal plant located in Stevenson, Alabama. In accordance with environmental regulations, TVA analyzed environmental impacts associated with various demolition and closure options and released it’s Final Environmental Impact Statement in early June.
TVA will use controlled explosions to raze Units 1-8 at the plant and will work to ensure all hazardous materials and potential safety hazards are removed. Demolition will begin in late 2017, making way for the much heralded Google Data Center that will be built at the former coal plant site. Google announced it’s plans to build its 14th data enter back in June 2015 and plans to power the facility with 100% renewable energy. The data center will provide 75-100 new full-time jobs and is a welcome economic development opportunity for Northern Alabama.
Environmental regulators in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama have so far failed to strengthen state policies to at least match EPA’s federal minimum standards for coal ash handling and storage.
In the 2015 Southeast Coal Roundup blog series, we are happy to report that the transition away from coal in the Southeast continues – cleaning up our air, water and atmosphere and leaving room for development of more renewable energy generation resources and more robust implementation of energy efficiency measures. Retiring and removing these old, dirty coal units from service will help to improve Southerners’ way of life by improving the overall public health and saving ratepayers from bearing the burden of expensive coal plant retrofit investments. Our first blog in the series covered the Tennessee Valley Authority’s movement away from coal. Now gather around the campfire to learn about Southern Company’s coal fleet.
As 2015 draws to a close, we wanted to update you on where our major Southeastern utilities are in terms of decreasing their reliance on dirty, coal-fired power. This blog series is following up on a previous series in 2013. (You can view our previous Southeast Coal Roundup blogs here – Tennessee Valley Authority, Southern [...]
This is a guest post written by Union of Concerned Scientist’s staffer John Rogers. The original post can be found here. To read press releases specific to Alabama, Georgia and Florida, visit the SACE news room. Alongside photos of the local apple festival and headlines about the school budget, recently the front page of my small town’s weekly [...]
A recent study by the University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research found that a proposed 80 MW solar farm, to be located in Lauderdale County, Alabama, could create millions of dollars in economic benefits to the area. The solar farm is being developed on a 640-acre tract of land by NextEra Energy Inc. and will sell the power to the Tennessee Valley Authority under a 20-year contract approved by the TVA Board in February 2015.
Recently, Google announced its plans to open its 14th data center – this new one in Northern Alabama. The internet giant will be building the data center inside the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) Widows Creek coal plant, which is set to retire . Google will begin construction in 2016 and is working with TVA to ensure that the data center is powered by renewable energy resources. The data center will take advantage of the existing transmission lines at the plant to bring in renewable energy.
Today, the DC Circuit dismissed the first legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The lawsuit, filed by the coal industry and several coal dependent states, claimed that EPA lacked the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. Ultimately, the DC Circuit found the legal challenge premature, given that EPA has yet to release the final version of the Clean Power Plan – which is expected to arrive in August.
The Southeast is seeing a growing trend towards major utility-scale solar PPAs in the past few years. These deals are great for customers, because the prices are so low that they are helping utilities lock in cost savings over the long term. They are great for the utilities, because solar power is a reliable source [...]