Former four-term South Carolina Congressman Gresham Barrett is joining with Sunrun to launch the Palmetto Conservative Solar Coalition. Their over-arching goal is to build on the momentum generated by the industry’s rapid growth spawned by unanimous passage in 2014 of “Act 236” by the South Carolina legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Nicki Haley. That law allows for solar sales by third parties and enables net metering.
Thanks to weak or non-existent policies, inconsistent incentives, and a myriad of other excuses, the Southeast, as a whole, has yet to live up to its high solar potential. The last several months have brought some interesting developments though, some good and some challenging. Here’s a quick overview of the key takeaways, from North to South.
A report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists evaluated the risks of flood surge on associated power plant infrastructure in southern Florida. UCS’s report states, “Although Turkey Point, a large nuclear facility along the coast, is unlikely to be flooded by a Category 3 storm, everything around it is likely to be, and damage to nearby major substations could still prompt widespread outages in the region.” Similar impacts may be expected of other power plants in the path of Hurricane Matthew.
The sun is rising on the Palmetto State, as scores of customers are rushing to take advantage of the 2014 solar-enabling legislation, Act 236. Recently, Duke Energy announced that its South Carolina customers have received $5 million in solar rebates since the start of its incentive program roughly a year ago. This is great news [...]
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. [...]
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.”