Saturday, December 18, 2010

Developer says solar competes on price | Charlotte Business Journal

  • John Downey
  • Senior staff writer
  • Email:
  • His project will be profitable at a price well below 18 cents per kilowatt-hour. But natural gas often costs utilities more than 30 cents per kilowatt-hour.

    Utilities are required to buy power from independent producers at their “avoided-cost” rate for plants other than hydro facilities. But that calculation includes a utility’s low-cost base-load power. He says regulators should consider setting a rate for avoided costs for solar that gives greater weight to peak pricing.

    “Utilities would save money on peak power buying solar at 20 cents a kilowatt-hour,” Olsen says. And setting solar rates in that range would encourage more local jobs, he says — particularly if the state also gave utilities incentives to use locally produced renewable power sources.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rockefeller concedes defeat in bid to block EPA climate rules - The Hill's E2-Wire

By Ben Geman - 12/17/10 04:00 PM ET
“I have been reliably informed that long-time Republican proponents of my bill to suspend EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions have pulled their support for this year — so that they can gain some political advantage trying to take over this issue in 2011,” he said in a statement Friday."

TV's future: FCC decisions on Internet access, Comcast-NBC merger approaching

Cecilia Kang,
"Those deliberations would create first-time rules affecting how television series and movies reach consumers with Internet connections and how much companies can charge for the service. It's the government's strongest effort yet to lay out some boundaries in the headlong rush for online video."

Post Tech - Sen. Hutchison moves to block funds for FCC on net neutrality rules

Cecilia Kang
"Hutchison's amendment, co-signed by John Ensign (R-Nev.) and six other Republican lawmakers, would 'prohibit the FCC from using any appropriated funds to adopt, implement or otherwise litigate any network neutrality based rules, protocols or standards.'"

Solar power gets boost in S.C. - Business -

"The 1,300 solar panels will be installed on top of buildings and on the ground next to the Myrtle Beach Service Center, Warehouse and Technical Services Office off Mr. Joe White Avenue, and will have a capacity of about 311 kilowatts in optimal conditions. The Grand Strand Solar Station should generate enough electricity for about 30 typical homes a year and will increase the amount of solar power generated in the state by 50 percent, according to Santee Cooper."

District 17 gets $96,076 check from Progress Energy program - The Item: News

"The seven schools that received upgrades to their heating, ventilation and air condition controls were Bates Middle, Lemira Elementary, Crosswell Drive Elementary, Wilder Elementary, Alice Drive Elementary, Alice Drive Middle school and Sumter High schools. The upgrades allow operators to control temperatures at these facilities from a central location and set systems to adjust automatically at night, on weekends and during holidays. Johnson said the district can also now diagnose and fix certain problems without having to send someone out to the school."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ellen Ruff to Retire from Duke Energy at Year End -- CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

"Ruff joined Duke Energy in 1978 and has held various leadership positions across the company during her tenure. She was named vice president and general counsel of electric operations in 1997, and vice president and general counsel of corporate gas and electric operations in 1999. In 2001, Ruff became vice president of asset management and later served as group vice president of planning and external relations, where she led the company's strategic planning, compliance, environmental health and safety, and external relations efforts."

Head of consumer group takes on FCC's net neutrality plan -

By Sara Jerome - 12/14/10 07:25 PM ET
"Sohn said she will oppose the plan unless it is strengthened — a decision that could help sink the top agenda item of Genachowski’s term and potentially obliterate his legacy as chairman."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

One Republican, Unhappy With His Party's Position on Carbon, Prepares a New Agenda -

"Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, is designing an agenda for next year featuring a clean energy standard for utilities, which rewards increased nuclear and renewable power alike. Similar ideas have failed because they tended to dilute incentives for wind and solar. But under an increasingly conservative Congress, many advocates see that outcome as a potential victory, under reduced expectations."

No rate hike for Santee Cooper | The Post and Courier, Charleston SC - News, Sports, Entertainment

By Warren Wise
"Santee Cooper's 163,000 electric customers and the 20 cooperatives it provides power to will not face a rate hike next year, but the state-owned utility says an increase might be needed in April 2012 to pay for nuclear power plant construction and projected higher fuel costs."

City power bill hike wins key approval - Local / Metro -

By Adam Beam
"The hike will bring in an extra $3.6 million, which the city plans to give to the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority to operate the county’s struggling bus system. The money is half of what the transit authority has requested from local governments, with the other half expected to come from Richland County Council.
Tuesday night, County Council members met in a closed meeting for more than an hour discussing how they could come up with the rest of the money. One option available to County Council members is to extend a countywide tax on registered vehicles. The tax, which is widely despised, is set to expire in June. It was put in place to allow the bus system to operate until the Nov. 2 referendum"

Fighting Climate Change - The Video Game

 "A game created in partnership between the Orlando Science Center and the University of Central Florida’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy took first place in the student game category of the 2010 Serious Games Showcase & Challenge competition."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

SC utility sets record for cold weather usage - State & Regional - Wire -

Santee Cooper said it set a peak record of 5,743 megawatts between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Tuesday."

N.C. council approves energy codes | Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
"The proposed code changes will now be put out for public comment before the council takes a final vote. Then it will go to the state’s Rules Review Commission for approval. Ultimately, the General Assembly also will review the code changes before they become effective in 2012.
Privott says the home builders will attempt to head off the energy-code changes at each of those levels as long as the offsetting code changes are not made part of the 2012 revisions."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Woodyard Fund: ‘We probably would have frozen without this’ - Local / Metro -

"Harper, 50, is among many Midlands-area residents helped by the Woodyard Fund each year. Administered by the Salvation Army, the fund is available to people having trouble paying for heat."

Woodyard Fund
How to give help: Donations can be mailed to the Woodyard Fund, c/o The State, P.O. Box 1333, Columbia, SC 29202. Make checks payable to the Woodyard Fund. All donations are tax-deductible.
How to get help: Area residents who need assistance with heating bills can call for an appointment at (803) 765-0260, ext. 103.

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Hike in city utility bills proposed to help pay for buses - Newsletters -

Dawn Hinshaw
"The city utility fee would add $1.61 a month, or less than $20 a year, to the average city resident's monthly electric bill of $82.79, Benjamin's office said."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Upstate residents should brace for a new round of droughts, Duke hydrologist says � Anderson Independent Mail

"The mechanics of the Duke Energy lake system, however, mean the weather patterns will likely have more effect on Lake Jocassee than any other lake in that system, the hydrologist said."

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