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.
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.
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.
The southeast has more coal ash per capita than any other region of the country, so we hope Rep. Johnson’s southern colleagues will co-sponsor and publicly support H.R. 4827.
Holy City Brewing Company in North Charleston, South Carolina released a beer this month dedicated to the paradise that is our Southeast coast: Paradise Session Ale. The ale is light, sessionable (meaning very drinkable for many rounds), and would be enjoyed by a variety of people, even if each had different palates. Paradise, therefore, is crafted to be a perfect beer for enjoying while hanging out for hours with friends on the beach and enjoying the coast we are blessed with. It is this picture of quintessential coastal life that motivated Holy City to make a statement with Paradise Ale: “Help save paradise. No drill, no spill. It’s not worth the risk.”
Legal Remedy Brewing Company in Rock Hill, SC is turning sun into beer. The brewery makes tasty beverages with alliterative law-themed names such as Alibi Ale, Motion to Strike Milk Stout, Pro Bono Porter, and Retainer Red Rye IPA, which are sold in its brewpub and in restaurants and bars around the state.
Today is a a day to celebrate. The Obama Administration has chosen to side with the interests of citizens, small businesses, and coastal communities over the influence of Big Oil and has announced the cancellation of plans to offer leases for offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic.
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.
Adger Solar’s two new solar power projects in South Carolina have made it into the public eye as they undergo local government review. We anticipate that these projects will deliver roughly 80 MW of solar power to South Carolina, which is roughly equivalent to the peak output of a small coal plant. SACE is very pleased that news of this project is now public – we have been working with allies to crack open the South Carolina market to utility-scale solar development for several years.
Today is Hands 2016 launch day, which means that we are actively soliciting sign ups for folks to facilitate Hands Across the Sand events in their community on May 21, when communities all over the world will stand hand-in-hand in solidarity and demand protection for our treasured places from risky offshore drilling. If you would like to host an event, but have questions about it before signing up, please contact me at chris[at]cleanenergy.org. See you on the beach on May 21!