Colorado shows path forward on renewable energy

From Colorado to the Southeast? A major settlement on vexing renewable energy issues has just been announced in Colorado that has important implications for the Southeast. On August 15, a major settlement was announced between Xcel Energy, the staff of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, and numerous businesses and associations in Xcel Energy’s rate case. [...]

Seriously, utilities, buy wind NOW (yes, this year)

Really, it is time to buy wind energy. This is very simple. Wind costs less than running natural gas power plants. Keep the power plants. Use them, we’re not saying they aren’t needed. But it is cheaper to buy power from wind projects than to run your power plant full-out. Look at this amazing forecast [...]

As Utilities Embrace Clean Energy, Southeast Needs Smart Policies to Promote Local Renewables Growth

Even utilities in our notoriously coal-dependent Southeast are getting in on the action. Duke Energy, one of the two biggest utilities in our region, in late April announced plans to increase its renewable energy capacity to 8,000 megawatts by 2020, up by one-third over previous targets. “We’re finding that it’s competitive” on a cost basis, Duke Energy company spokesman Randy Wheeless has said of renewables. “It makes good business sense.” The Atlanta-based Southern Company, parent company of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power, intends to exceed its previously announced renewables totals for 2017 and 2018 and just bought a North Carolina company, PowerSecure, that focuses on distributed generation—smaller-scale local power often provided by renewable sources—along with energy efficiency. NextEra Energy, based in Juno, Florida and the parent of that state’s largest utility, Florida Power & Light (FPL), is a national leader in wind power development. “We continue to believe that the fundamentals for the North American renewables business have never been stronger,” NextEra Executive Vice President of Finance and CFO John Ketchum said on an April 28th earnings call.

Honoring Memorial Day With Energy and Climate Security

Memorial Day reminds us that those in the military serve and sacrifice everyday to keep our nation strong. We at SACE believe that the military’s work to address the effects of climate change and to advance energy security is a critical part of that strength and we wish to highlight the important work they are doing in this area.

Guest Post: N.C. DEQ asks for new deadline to finalize coal ash storage classifications

Last week, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released new classifications for Duke Energy’s coal ash storage across the state. In the rankings, all sites are listed as high or intermediate priority, meaning the ash would be excavated by 2019 or 2024. Yet DEQ has asked to be able to revise the plan in 18 months, providing little security to the many North Carolinians whose communities, drinking water, and homes are threatened by this toxic ash.

South Carolina Leads Southeast in Coal Ash Cleanup; NC and TN Taking Action

Cleaning up coal ash works. What are our southeastern states doing to make it happen? This post is part one of a two-part series exploring the state of coal ash regulation and clean up in the Southeast. Part one focuses on North and South Carolina and Tennessee.

Big Errors in Measuring Carbon Emissions from Power Plants

What’s the single largest source of CO2 emissions in the Southeast? A 10 million ton data discrepancy! What? Huh? Why is a data discrepancy a blog? (UPDATE: Please see responses to reader suggestions at at the end, as well as in the comments.) President Obama’s Clean Power Plan will eventually regulate the emission of carbon [...]

Will NC Gov. McCrory’s DEQ Heed Demands for Proper Coal Ash Cleanup?

If you’re paying attention to North Carolina politics, you know Governor Pat McCrory’s administration seems very out of step with North Carolinians statewide. As his ink dries on the controversial HB2 (which the state’s attorney general refused to defend in court), it’s no surprise that so many North Carolinians are wondering whether Gov. McCrory will [...]

Fate of Nearly 100 Million Tons of Coal Ash Could Hinge on NCDEQ Hearings

The fate of coal ash pits rated “low-” and “low-to-intermediate-” risk at seven of Duke’s power plant sites could hinge on public hearings happening through the end of March.

A Tale of Two Utilities: Post-Merger Duke Sees Growth in Carolina Energy Efficiency

Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress have the opportunity to take a leadership role in how energy efficiency programs are implemented in the Southeast. The companies can and should design and implement programs that reach a broad customer market and place additional emphasis on increasing customer participation in its EE/DSM programs to deepen the energy savings results.