Thursday, December 29, 2011

SCE&G reports sale of 1 million bulbs

"CAYCE - S.C. Electric & Gas' Energy Star Lighting Program continues to provide energy-efficient savings as more than 1 million compact fluorescent light bulbs have been purchased in 2011. The program is currently offering consumers instant discounts of up to $3 per bulb at participating retailers throughout SCE&G's service territory.

'via Blog this'

Thursday, December 22, 2011

N.R.C. Clears Way for Nuclear Plant Construction

 Matthew Wald
The commission took the unusual step of waiving the usual 30-day waiting period to approve the reactor design, the Westinghouse AP1000, so its decision will be effective in about a week. That moves the utilities closer to the point where they can start ouring concrete for safety-related parts of the plant.

Friday, December 16, 2011

New Utility Chief Learned Customer Relations in Grandfather's Auto-Repair Shop

By Roddie Burris
Marsh, who chose to stay put in the office that he had as president of the Fortune 500 company and turn the former CEO’s corner office into a conference room, sometimes can be found down the street from SCANA’s headquarters in the call center for the company’s principal subsidiary, S.C. Electric & Gas. There, he will plug in a headset to hear calls from customers as they roll in.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Duke-Progress deal facing competition worries - Business -

The Associated Press
"The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had scheduled a Thursday hearing on changes to the merger plans in Washington, but regulators surprised the utilities late Wednesday by rejecting the companies' solution to protect competition.

'via Blog this'

Loud commercials not pardoned

"FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said the agency's latest rule will put an end to the "frightening decibel levels that resulted in considerable alarm, anger and spilt popcorn".

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

SCE&G provides local families with food baskets - Charleston, SC | News, Sports, Weather

"Mitchell is just one of dozens of employees and retirees pitching in for this Christmas project. It's part of the company's employee funded Good Neighbor Fund.

"The purpose is to help people who are less fortunate or might need a little assistance and to provide a good couple of meals and toys for those who have children," President of SCANA Good Neighbor Fund, John Willis said."

'via Blog this'

Monday, December 12, 2011

Westinghouse Nuclear Design Endorsed By Two US NRC Members

Ryan Tracy of Down Jones Newswires
"Two of the five members of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, including the chairman, voted to approve the AP-1000 reactor design Friday. Southern Co. ( SO) and Scana Corp. (SCG) have contracts to use the reactors at sites they are building in Georgia and South Carolina and both need approval of the design before they can secure licenses to operate the plants.


'via Blog this'

Out of work mother gets power back - Local / Metro -

Roddie Burris
Ultimately, it was the Salvation Army’s Woodyard Fund that came to the single mother’s rescue, paying $400 of her bill to get power restored for her and her two sons, ages 18 and 6.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Progress-Duke merger could get federal OK Thursday - Local/State -

John Murawski

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has placed the matter on its monthly meeting calendar for Dec. 15, the date the two companies requested for a decision so they can finalize the merger this year. The federal commission set its calendar late Thursday, raising anticipation within the executive suites of both utilities that the key decision they've been awaiting is finally at hand.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

NRC: Oconee backup safety system no good - Local / Metro -

Megan Kinard
NRC officials inspected the plant, notifying Duke in September of problems with the heater breakers and meeting with company officials last month to discuss safety issues. On Wednesday, the agency said the issue merited a “yellow” rating, its second-most severe safety level.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

SCE&G completes Boeing’s solar rooftop project

"The 2.6 megawatt system is made up of more than 18,000 thin-film photovoltaic solar laminates that cover 10 acres on the roof of the 14-acre building.


'via Blog this'

Monday, December 5, 2011

Marsh promoted to Scana CEO | The Post and Courier, Charleston SC - News, Sports, Entertainment

John McDermott
"Kevin Marsh has been promoted to chairman and chief executive officer of Scana Corp., owner of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. and the only Fortune 500 business based in the state. The change took effect Dec. 1. He succeeds William Timmerman, who retired Nov. 30.
In other changes, Steve Byrne has been named president of SCE&G's generation business, and Keller Kissam has been named president of SCE&G's retail operations, also effective Dec. 1.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Woodyard Fund keeps winter at bay - Local / Metro -

Bertram Rantin
"The fund helps pay energy bills for Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Newberry County residents who are in crisis situations. Those needs are certain to be significant again this year as many continue to struggle to secure basic needs because of a job loss or other financial strain.

'via Blog this'

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Electric cooperatives support honor flight - The Item: AP News

Susanne M. Schafer
"COLUMBIA (AP) - South Carolina's electric cooperatives are donating $60,000 to send more than 100 aging veterans to Washington to see the monument to their service in World War II.
The 20 cooperatives announced Friday they were paying the entire bill for the 12th flight set up by the organization Honor Flights South Carolina, founded by Columbia restaurant owner Bill Dukes."

'via Blog this'

In twist, blocking AT&T deal could hurt rivals | Reuters

Nicola Leske
"T-Mobile USA would emerge as a stronger, scrappier competitor thanks in large part to the hefty breakup fee it is entitled under the AT&T deal. And on its own, it is likely to fight harder for the low end of the market that is currently the playing ground for the likes of Sprint Nextel Corp, MetroPCS Communications Inc and Leap Wireless International, analysts said.


'via Blog this'

Monday, November 21, 2011

David Wright Elected NARUC President

"At the conclusion of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ 123rd Annual Meeting here, the more than 130 State commissioners in attendance elected Commissioner Wright as President of the Association. Commissioner Wright succeeds NARUC President Tony Clark of North Dakota, whose term expired today. Under NARUC bylaws, Association presidents serve one year terms"

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

S.C. customer advocate: Slash Duke Energy rate hike 60% - Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
"The $90.7 million increase in revenue from the rates proposed by the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff would reduce Duke’s overall rate increase to 5.8% from the utility’s proposed 14.6%.

'via Blog this'

Saturday, November 12, 2011

SCE&G continues tree trimming in Columbia - Local / Metro -

"SCE&G said the trimming will increase the reliability of electric service and improve safety. The guidelines include removing vegetation within eight to 12 feet below and beside the power lines and up to 20 feet above the power lines. The work, which has been criticized by many as too aggressive, will be monitored by the city’s forest and beautification division.

'via Blog this'

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Columbia Regional Business Report | Columbia, SC

"Cayce-based SCANA Corp. today named Steve Byrne president of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. Generation and Keller Kissam to be president of SCE&G Retail Operations, effective Dec. 1.

Byrne and Kissam assume their roles simultaneously with SCE&G President and SCANA President and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Marsh beginning his tenure as SCANA chairman and CEO."

'via Blog this'

Apple plans N.C. solar farm | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

Apple plans N.C. solar farm | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper:
Dianne Straley
"Permits issued by Catawba County show that the computer titan has been approved to reshape the slope of some of the 171 acres of vacant land it owns on Startown Road, opposite the data center, to prepare for building a solar farm.


'via Blog this'

Rate hike boosts SCANA’s earnings - Business -

Kristy Eppley Rupon
"South Carolina’s only Fortune 500 company raised its electric rates 2.5 percent in July 2010 and 1.2 percent last July. The company is prohibited from raising rates again until after next July, according to its agreement with the S.C. Public Service Commission.

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 17, 2011

N.C. officials waive rules to allow Duke, Progress to amend merger proposal | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

John Murawski
"The utilities are going to propose what is known as a "virtual divestiture" -- that is, selling off wholesale power at guaranteed prices. The companies told the N.C. commission on Oct. 7 their modification will entail selling 800 megawatts of wholesale power in the winter and 225 megawatts in the summer at a price with a fixed 10 percent profit margin, rather than a negotiated profit margin. The feds are expected to rule this year if those measures are adequate.


'via Blog this'

F.C.C. and Wireless Carriers Agree to Alerts to Fight ‘Bill Shock’ -

Edward Wyatt
"WASHINGTON — Users of cellphones and other wireless devices who are nearing their monthly limit for voice, text or data services will receive alerts when they are in danger of being charged extra, under an agreement reached by carriers and the Federal Communications Commission."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Water rate increase denied | Lake Wylie Pilot - Lake Wylie, SC

John Marks
"Today, the South Carolina Public Service Commission voted 5-2 to deny the company’s request to raise rates for its South Carolina customers. The regularly scheduled commission meeting in Columbia Thursday lasted about an hour.


'via Blog this'

FCC to Vote on Reform Proposal For USF, ICC at October Meeting | BNA

Paul Barbagallo
"The Federal Communications Commission will vote on a proposal for reforming the Universal Service Fund and intercarrier compensation systems at the agency's next monthly meeting, slated for Oct. 27, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski formally announced Oct. 6.


'via Blog this'

South Carolina Public Service Commission seeks higher profile | The Augusta Chronicle

Sarita Chourey
“You obviously provide a very valuable service to the citizens,” he said. “I know you have primary duties, having the hearings and doing the work. But to the extent there’s public relations work to be done by the commission, I think it’s important to get out in the community and talk to various groups.”

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

F.C.C. Expanding Efforts to Connect More Americans to Broadband -

Katharine Q. Seelye
"“It’s one important stop of the train,” Julius Genachowski, chairman of the F.C.C., said in an interview Tuesday, referring to the many things that need to be done to connect more Americans to the Internet. He plans to announce Wednesday that these companies and others have made a commitment through a new group called Connect to Compete to help more people learn to use computers."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

City sued for using utility money for other purposes - Breaking News -

Sammy Fretwell
"Joseph Azar’s lawsuit, filed Monday, seeks to force Columbia to use its utility fund exclusively for maintaining and improving the city’s water and sewer system, which has been plagued by a series of leaks to area rivers.

'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Duke-Progress offer cheaper peak power for fed OK - BusinessWeek

Emery P. Dalesio
"The companies said rather than selling off any assets, they would limit profits on wholesale electricity by selling into its Carolinas markets at cost plus 10 percent for eight years. The companies said they would limit the electricity sold at that price the excess not needed by customers up to 800 megawatt-hours in the summer and 225 megawatt-hours in the winter.


'via Blog this'

Friday, October 7, 2011

F.C.C. Plans to Direct More Support to Broadband -

"The plan would transform the largest component of the fund, which provides $4.5 billion annually to subsidize residential phone service in rural areas that would otherwise be uneconomical for companies to serve.

The money would instead go to a new Connect America Fund, providing both wired and wireless Internet access to homes, businesses and “anchor institutions” like libraries and public service organizations."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Progress CEO: Power rates could rise for 20 years - Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
"He noted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling, which will require additional conditions on the merger because of harm it will do to wholesale power markets in the Carolinas. He said Progress and Duke will file steps it proposes to take to address those issues in two weeks. And he says the companies still hope to close the deal before the end of the year.

'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Duke-Progress merger troubles regulators - Local/State -

John Murawski
"As a result, the commission conditionally approved the merger but said the two electric utilities had 60 days to propose solutions if they wished to proceed with the merger. The agency's suggested remedies are to sell off power plants, build new transmission lines, or join a regional transmission authority.


'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Faulty gauge leads SC nuke plant to shut down - State & Regional - Wire -

"HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Progress Energy officials say a faulty electrical relay has caused a reactor to shut down at the Robinson Nuclear Plant near Hartsville.

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 23, 2011 » First in US Co-op Loan Program

Michale W. Kahn, ECT Staff Writer
"Central Electric Power Cooperative has received a $740,000 Department of Agriculture loan. Columbia, S.C.-based Central will use the funds to underwrite 100 residential loans for an energy efficiency research pilot over the next year.

The zero-percent interest money comes from the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program, or REDLG. State co-op officials said this is the first time a REDLG loan has been used strictly for energy efficiency.


'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How Government Can Stimulate Green Technology - Room for Debate -

Lisa Morganelli
"How the U.S. Can Be Effective"
Lisa Margonelli, is the director of the Energy Policy Initiative at New America Foundation. She is the author of "Oil on the Brain: Petroleum's Long Strange Trip to Your Tank" and published the Energy Trap.


G.M. Plans to Develop Electric Cars With Chinese Automaker -

Keith Bradsher
"Tuesday’s announcement was being made as the Chinese government was putting heavy pressure on foreign automakers to transfer electric car technology to joint ventures in China. But G.M. took pains to say that its joint-venture agreement was not connected to its plans to begin importing its new American-made Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric hybrid to China this year"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

S.C. group fighting biomass pollution - Local / Metro -

Sammy Fretwell
"The S.C. Coastal Conservation League, one of the state’s largest environmental groups, says the federal government should not exempt biomass plants from pending carbon dioxide rules. The league on Monday joined an Aug.15 lawsuit challenging the federal exemption.

Duke Energy, Progress Energy to cut 2,000 jobs - Business Courier

John Downey
"Duke Energy and Progress Energy will tell North Carolina regulators this week that they expect to eliminate 2,000 positions after the companies merge.
That is 500 more than a rough estimate of 1,500 – about 5 percent of their combined work force – that a witness provided to the N.C. Utilities Commission in pre-filed testimony for next week’s hearings on the merger."

'via Blog this'

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tax Plan to Turn Old Buildings ‘Green’ Finds Favor -

"In the past three years, half the states have passed legislation permitting energy retrofits financed by property-tax surcharges, and hundreds of cities and counties are considering such programs. While the situation poses some risks, and programs aimed specifically at homeowners have run into a snag, many jurisdictions are moving forward with plans to focus on commercial properties."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Progress on hook for $24M - Local/State -

John Murawski
"The Public Staff blamed the costs on substandard performance at the plant near Hartsville. As a result of the forced shutdowns, Progress had to spend extra to generate electricity using less efficient power plants, and to buy power from other utilities.


'via Blog this'

Friday, September 16, 2011

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 78, Escapes Smoky Plane by Sliding Down Exit Chute - News - ABA Journal

"Although she is the U.S. Supreme Court's oldest member, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg still keeps up an active travel schedule.

It was unusually active today, however, because Ginsburg, 78, had to exit a smoky plane at Dulles International Airport by sliding down an emergency exit chute, along with other passengers, reports the Associated Press.

Ginsburg wasn't injured. But a couple of other passengers were, apparently none of them seriously."

[This post has nothing to do with utilities, but I just could not pass it up]

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

SCANA chief says nuclear plant safe - Business -

Jeff Wilkinson
"Marsh said a 90-day assessment conducted by the industry has shown that existing and planned reactors in the United States are safe from a Fukushima-like disaster and V.C. Summer in particular is designed beyond the specifications of the largest earthquakes experienced or expected in the area.

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 9, 2011

Critics of Duke-Progress deal beat deadlilne | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

John Murawski

"The N.C. Sustainable Energy Association, a Raleigh trade group that represents solar and other renewable developers, wants the commission to require the power companies to pay $75 million into a public benefit fund to pay for home weatherization and other programs. The utilities have committed to contributing $15 million, one-fifth that amount.

The group also wants the commission to allow solar power developers that build rooftop solar panels to be able to sell electricity directly to homes and business that host the rooftop panels. Currently homeowners can use their own solar electricity or sell it back to their electric utility, but state law only allows regulated utilities, municipal power agencies and rural electric cooperatives to sell power to retail customers."

'via Blog this'

Shocker: Power demand is falling - Business -

- The Associated Press
"From 1980 to 2000, residential power demand grew by about 2.5 percent a year. From 2000 to 2010, the growth rate slowed to 2 percent. Over the next 10 years, demand is expected to decline by about 0.5 percent a year, according to the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit group funded by the utility industry.

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

SC, NC regulators OK Duke-Progress merger accord - Business -

Jim Davenport
"On Tuesday, the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff approved a settlement agreement that requires at $650 million in retail electric customer savings during the first five years of the merger. That money would be used to offset fuel cost increases, a key component of electricity bills, said Dukes Scott, the agency's executive director.

'via Blog this'

Saturday, September 3, 2011

NC consumer advocate settles with Duke over proposed merger with Progress Energy - The Washington Post

Associated Press
"North Carolina’s chief consumer advocate for utility matters agreed not to oppose the merger in exchange for customer protections. A hearing in front of the state’s utility commission is scheduled for Sept. 20.


'via Blog this'

Friday, September 2, 2011

4 S.C. reactors may need upgrades to better withstand quakes - Local / Metro -

Diana Capiello and Jeff Down
"The two North Anna reactors are among 27 in the eastern and central U.S. that a preliminary Nuclear Regulatory Commission review has said may need upgrades. That’s because those plants are more likely to get hit with an earthquake larger than the one their design was based on.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Solyndra, Solar Firm Aided by Federal Loans, Shuts Doors -

Matthew Wald
"The Energy Department, which approved the funding, said China’s subsidies to its solar industry were threatening the ability of Solyndra and other American manufacturers to compete. The price of a solar array, measured by cost per watt of capacity, has fallen 42 percent since December 2010, the agency said.

Two other American solar companies, Evergreen Solar and SpectraWatt, also sought bankruptcy protection in August, and both said competition from Chinese companies had contributed to their financial problems."

'via Blog this'

Route for huge, new power lines draws fire

  " Local leaders are questioning the six-mile path SCE&G has identified for huge new power lines it wants to run through Northeast Richland.
   The state Public Service Commission holds a hearing Oct. 20 on the proposed route, which runs from Blythewood 
to near the intersection of Hard Scrabble Road and Farrow Road.
   Jerry Lindler, SCE&G’s manager of electric transmission and construction, said Tuesday the company plans to start replacing major transmission 
lines in January as it prepares for two nuclear reactors it wants to build in Fair-field County. Most of the 37 miles of power lines extending from the reactors will run 
along existing rights-of-way.
   But the six miles of new lines have caught the attention of both the Richland County Conservation Commission, which says the overhead lines would run too near homes planned at Killian Road and the new tournament park being developed along Hard Scrabble Road; and Blythewood Town Council, which has concerns about the effect of unsightly, 95-foot power lines on planned beautification projects. Current lines are 80 feet tall.
   The conservation commission is asking County Council to intervene in the case, meaning it could submit testimony. The deadline to sign up is Sept. 19."

Justice Dept sues to block AT&T, T-Mobile merger as likely to raise prices, reduce competition - The Washington Post

Associated Press
"The government contends that the acquisition of the No. 4 wireless carrier in the country by No. 2 AT&T would reduce competition and that would lead to price increases.


'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tree trimming to resume soon - Local / Metro -

Dawn Hinshaw
"Smith said as he was hearing from residents last month about trees being “butchered,” legislators from around the state contacted him to say their constituents had the same complaints. The only alternative, Smith said, could be a new state law on utility tree-trimming.

'via Blog this'

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Verizon outage affects cell phones in SC - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

"The company said Wednesday it is experiencing what it called connectivity issues that have caused cell phone outages in areas along Interstate 85.


'via Blog this'

Friday, August 26, 2011

NRC welcomes changes at Robinson plant | SCNOW

Jim Faile
"Agency officials said, based on actions taken by Robinson officials, the NRC has closed the three white inspection findings. One deficiency finding will remain in effect until Sept. 30, when it, too, will be closed unless additional findings occur before then, Randy Musser, branch chief for the NRC’s Region II office in Atlanta, said. Musser said if additional deficiency findings occur after Sept. 30, those will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


'via Blog this'

FERC request could delay Duke-Progress merger - Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
"The commission is generally required to rule on applications within six months of filing of a properly completed application. Steve Rodgers, a director of FERC’s Division of Power Regulation, wrote the utilities Aug. 22 and asked them to file additional information on price sensitivity and other issues."

'via Blog this'

Alpine wastewater sold - Business -

Joey Holleman
"Palmetto Wastewater Reclamation acquired Alpine on Aug. 12 and notified customers by letter this week. Palmetto is an affiliate of Palmetto Utilities, which has provided sewage service in Northeast Richland for more than 25 years.

'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 25, 2011

[GA] - State utility commissioner's pursuit of Masters tickets improper, critics say  |

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For the Masters, Echols said he was concerned about limo companies from South Carolina trying to take business away from Georgia-based companies. He was not acting on any complaints from Augusta National about unauthorized limos.


'via Blog this'

S.C. hearings on Duke/Progress merger start Oct. 26 - Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
"The commission has no statutory authority over the merger of the parent companies, according to Duke and Progress. But it does have authority over the eventual merger of the operating utilities, Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) and Progress Energy Carolinas (PEC).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

S.C. settlement would ease Duke Energy fuel hike — a little - Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
With fuel costs rising overall, Duke had sought to increase its rates by 5.6% for residential customers, 7% for commercial customers and 10.2% for industrial customers. The S.C. Office of Regulator Staff reviewed Duke's calculations and argued that the company was seeking about $1.3 million in additional charges that were not justified.
That was out of a total of more than $29 million in additional charges. Duke agreed late last week to accept the regulatory staff's calculations. If the S.C. Public Service Commission accepts the settlement, Duke's rate will increase 5.5% for residential customers, 7% for commercial customers and 10% for industrial customers.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Coastal business | Santee Cooper studies rate increase - Business -

South Carolina’s state-owned electric utility’s board of directors decided Monday to tell its management to study whether current rates will support future expenses. Those expenses include the costs of complying with environmental rules on power generation and the construction of new nuclear reactors at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Columbia.
Management is expected to report back to the board in May.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rare fish found in upper Wateree River - Local / Metro -

Sammy Fretwell
Duke Energy Inc. is locked in a dispute with environmentalists and federal fisheries managers over how to protect shortnose sturgeon below the company’s hydroelectric dam at Lake Wateree.
The power company previously has said because shortnose sturgeon do not live in the upper Wateree River, it should not be forced to release water from the dam to levels sought by federal biologists and environmentalists. The extra water is supposed to improve habitat for sturgeon, but could cost the power company millions of dollars to accommodate the fish.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Duke Energy embraces cellular for smart grid — Cleantech News and Analysis

In the white paper, Duke Energy’s Manager of Technology Development David Masters wrote that Duke plans to invest $1 billion into digital grid technologies, and the utility decided to rely heavily on already available networks like cellular connections for a variety of reasons.

Verizon workers to end walkout; no agreement on new contract - The Washington Post

Brady Dennis
Union leaders announced Saturday that 45,000 striking workers would end a walkout that began Aug. 7, even though there has been no agreement on the terms for a new contract.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Columbia Regional Business Report | Columbia, SC

“We are aware of the unusually high trading activity in SCANA common stock yesterday. We are also aware of the internet-based rumor that SCANA is considering a sale of the company,” said Bill Timmerman, SCANA’s chairman and CEO. “These rumors are false, and we know of no corporate developments to account for the unusual market activity in SCANA’s stock.”

Japan Finds First Case of Radioactive Contamination in Rice -

Martin Fackler
Inspectors in Ibaraki Prefecture, just north of Tokyo, found radioactive cesium in a sample of rice from the city of Hokota, about 90 miles south of the radiation-spewing nuclear plant. The prefecture said the radiation was well within safe levels: It measured 52 becquerels per kilogram, about one-tenth of the government-set limit for grains.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Aiken Tech to grant nuclear certification | The Augusta Chronicle

Students in Aiken Technical College's radiation protection program are now eligible to receive certification from the National Academy for Nuclear Training through a partnership between the college and South Carolina Electric and Gas Company's V.C. Summer Nuclear Station, according to a news release.

‘Less volatile’ electric bills saved consumers $25 a month during heat wave - Business -

Kristy Eppley Rupon
Here is how it works: When temperatures vary greatly from 15-year averages, SCE&G adjusts the cost of a kilowatt hour. That adjustment means electricity will cost less during extremely hot summers and cold winters, and will cost more when summers are cooler than normal and winters are milder.
Customers’ bills still will be higher than normal during extreme weather but not as high as they would have been without the adjustment. And bills will still be lower in milder weather, just not as low as they would have been without the adjustment.

Report: S.C. among nation’s worst at regulating coal ponds - Local / Metro -

Six of 22 coal ash dams in South Carolina are rated as high hazards, but the state’s program overseeing the dams is deficient, the report says. The dams are not inspected enough, the report says.

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Rules and Old Plants May Strain Summer Energy Supplies -

The E.P.A. estimates that a rule on air toxins and mercury that it expects to complete in November will result in a loss of 10,000 megawatts — or almost 1 percent of the generating capacity in the United States. Electricity experts, however, say that rule, combined with forthcoming ones on coal ash and cooling water, will have a much greater effect — from 48,000 megawatts to 80,000 megawatts, or 3.5 to 7 percent.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sagging Verizon Landline Division Is at the Heart of Strike -

Steven Greenhouse
"In defending the company’s push for concessions — including a pension freeze, fewer sick days and far higher employee health contributions — Verizon’s chief executive, Lowell McAdam, said in a letter to employees, “The existing contract provisions, negotiated initially when Verizon was under far less competitive pressure, are not in line with the economic realities of business today.”

Officials with the striking unions — the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — insist that the landline division is doing just fine. They note that its profit margins have increased over the last five quarters and that its FiOS TV and Internet service is growing strongly."

Panel Seeks Stiffer Rules for Drilling of Gas Wells -

Robbie Brown and Ian Urbina
"In a report on the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that is used currently in most oil and gas wells, the seven-member Natural Gas Subcommittee called for better tracking and more careful disposal of the waste that comes up from wells, stricter standards on air pollution and greenhouse gases associated with drilling, and the creation of a federal database so the public can better monitor drilling operations."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Westinghouse: Reactor passes last safety step - Business -

The Associated Press
"CRANBERRY, Pa. — Westinghouse Electric Co. says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined its new AP1000 nuclear reactor design is safe enough to withstand the impact of a plane crashing into it."

Monday, August 8, 2011

N.C. lets Duke Energy spend $120M on Lee plant planning - Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
"North Carolina regulators have joined their South Carolina counterparts in authorizing Duke Energy to spend up to $120 million on planning for the proposed $11 billion Lee Nuclear Station in Gaffney, S.C.
Duke had once sought authorization to spend up to $229 million through the end of 2013 on planning for the project. The company scaled down the request after the March earthquake and tsunami that crippled four nuclear reactors in Japan.
Duke had spent $230 million on planning for Lee before the start of this year."

Duke Energy wants 15% rate hike in S.C. | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

Bruce Henderson
"Duke Energy filed a request Friday to raise rates 15 percent for its 600,000 S.C. customers, about a year and a half after winning approval for a 5.2 percent overall hike.

Residential rates would go up 17 percent, adding $15 to typical monthly bills. Including fuel-cost adjustments expected to be made this fall, S.C. residents now pay an average of $99 a month."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Costs for energy improvements can be wrapped into mortgage - Business -

Eve Mitchell - Contra Costa Times
"Under the FHA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage program, a borrower can add up to $8,000 — or 5 percent of the home’s value, whichever is more — to the loan amount to pay for qualified improvements, and up to $2,000 for weatherization improvements."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How to Beat the High Costs of Dialing Abroad — Practical Traveler -

Michelle Higgins
"First, ask your carrier if your phone can be unlocked. Customers of AT&T and T-Mobile will have the best luck with this because their signals are compatible with more foreign carriers. Most cellphones that operate on Verizon and Sprint aren’t compatible with networks outside the United States, making unlocking beside the point. If you use one of those carriers, decide whether it’s better to pay the carrier’s roaming rates and simply limit calls or buy a basic, unlocked phone for calls and texts (which can usually be found for $40 or so) in the country you’re visiting."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Progress Energy customers could soon pay much more for Levy County nuclear plant - St. Petersburg Times

Ivan Penn
"In December 2006, Progress Energy announced plans to build the nuclear plant in Levy County on a 3,000-acre site about 8 miles north of the utility's Crystal River nuclear and coal energy complex. The utility has been charging ratepayers for the new nuclear plant since 2009.

Early estimates indicated the new nuclear plant would cost $4 to $6 billion with the first of two reactors scheduled to go online in 2016 and the second in 2018. The estimates now range from $17 billion to $22 billion and the projected start date is 2021 for the first reactor and 2023 for the second."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Nuclear permits on the way - Business -

Krsty Eppley Rupon
"The Cayce-based utility received a letter Wednesday from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission saying its application is complete and a final safety report should be issued next month, spokesman Eric Boomhower said. Once that report is issued, the commission has four months to schedule a final public hearing and issue licenses for the $9.8 billion project."

Tainted Water Well Challenges Claim of Fracking’s Safety -

Ian Urbina
" The report is not recent — it was published in 1987, and the contamination was discovered in 1984. Drilling technology and safeguards in well design have improved significantly since then. Nevertheless, the report does contradict what has emerged as a kind of mantra in the industry and in the government."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

NewsFactor Business | FCC Imposes Standstill Rule on Cable Providers

By Mark Long
"The Federal Communications Commission has introduced a new rule to prevent cable-TV providers from suddenly removing video content produced by independent program vendors as a way to gain leverage in contract disputes. The goal is to ultimately benefit consumers by promoting competition and diversity in the video-programming and video-distribution market, the FCC said."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Duke making request for rate hike in SC this week - State & Regional - Wire -

"Duke wants to raise rates to offset the nearly $5 billion it has spent on its electricity generating and transmission system in the Carolinas since 2009."

Man trying to steal copper shocked by 7,000 volts - Crime & Courts -

"LADSON, S.C. — Authorities say a man trying to steel copper from a utility substation in Ladson was shocked by 7,000 volts and knocked out power to 3,500 homes."

Rising cost of Florida’s new nuclear power getting scrutiny - Florida -

Mary Ellek Klas
"The Legislature gave the PSC the authority to decide how much to charge customers for new nuclear power as part of its 2008 energy bill. It was a trade-off to the utility companies in exchange for strict new rules intended to encourage the development of renewable energy, energy conservation, and wean the state off its dependence on fossil fuels.

Although legislators have never followed through on the renewable energy standards, and the PSC last week all but ignored the energy conservation improvements, the nuclear power provision remains."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Some Scientists Fear Computer Chips Will Soon Hit a Wall -

John Markoff
"Now, however, researchers fear that this extraordinary acceleration is about to meet its limits. The problem is not that they cannot squeeze more transistors onto the chips — they surely can — but instead, like a city that cannot provide electricity for its entire streetlight system, that all those transistors could require too much power to run economically. They could overheat, too."

Data Centers Using Less Power Than Forecast, Report Says -

John Markoff
"In the new study, prepared at the request of The New York Times, Mr. Koomey found that electricity used by data centers worldwide grew significantly, but it was an increase of only about 56 percent from 2005 to 2010. In the United States, power consumption increased by 36 percent, according to Mr. Koomey’s report, titled “Growth in Data Center Power Use 2005 to 2010.”"

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Washington Religious Groups Unite to Find Reduced-Rate Energy Deals -

Mireya Navarro

"The windfall arose after 11 churches and a nonprofit youth group got together to solicit reduced-rate bids for electricity — most of it from renewable energy sources — from local suppliers. In the first year of its contract, which ends in May, the group expects combined savings of nearly $100,000."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Berkeley Electric plans big expansion | The Post and Courier, Charleston SC - News, Sports, Entertainment

Warren Wise
"But by this time next year, the Moncks Corner-based utility will serve its 5,000 or so customers in the growing Awendaw and McClellanville markets from a 30,000-square-foot district office with an additional 50,000 square feet of warehouse space on U.S. Highway 17."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

[FLA] PSC reverses electric conservation goals for FPL and Progress Energy | Naked Politics

"The Public Service Commission agreed with the utilities' projections that the cost of implementing the program for the state's two largest electric monopolies would raise bills for customers so they voted to ignore a 2008 law and not require utilities to expand their existing conservation programs."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

SCE&G to go to dry storage | The Post and Courier, Charleston SC - News, Sports, Entertainment

Sammy Fretwell
"Toxic radioactive waste now will be stored in steel and concrete containers at a Fairfield County nuclear plant that for nearly three decades has submerged the atomic refuse in a pool of water to keep the material from overheating."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Utility Shelves Ambitious Plan to Limit Carbon -

Matthew L. Wald and John M. Broder
"American Electric Power has decided to table plans to build a full-scale carbon-capture plant at Mountaineer, a 31-year-old coal-fired plant in West Virginia, where the company has successfully captured and buried carbon dioxide in a small pilot program for two years."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Republicans fail to block new light bulb standards - Business -

- The Associated Press
"Under existing rules, new bulbs will have to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient than traditional incandescent models. As of Jan. 1, 2012, inefficient 100-watt bulbs will no longer be available at most stores. Also on the way out are traditional 75-watt bulbs in 2013 and 40-watt and 60-watt versions in 2014.
The National Resources Defense Council said that when the law is fully implemented in 2020, energy costs will be reduced by 7 percent or about $85 a household every year. It said the more efficient bulbs will eliminate the need for 33 large power plants."

Water rate hike challenged - Local / Metro -

'Its requests would increase the typical monthly residential bill to $65 from $35 for water and to $44 from $39 for sewer, state officials estimate."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nuclear plant troubles waning - Local / Metro -

Sammy Fretwell
"In a letter released Friday by the NRC, the agency told Progress Energy it has taken the proper steps to fix problems at the H.B. Robinson nuclear plant in Darlington County."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

E.P.A. Chief Stands Firm as Tough Rules Loom -

John Broder
"The first of these new rules is expected to be announced Thursday, imposing tighter restrictions on soot and smog emissions from coal-burning power plants in 31 states east of the Rockies. The regulation is expected to lead to the closing of several older plants and will require the installation of scrubbers at many of those that remain in operation. One former E.P.A. administrator, William K. Reilly, who served under the first President George Bush, is a sometime adviser to Ms. Jackson. He said she was taking fire from all sides."

Monday, July 4, 2011

Howard University considers microgrid as a power source - The Washington Post

Lori Aratani
"Howard plans to be among the first universities in the area to install a microgrid, a system that would allow it to generate and manage power and save the university millions of dollars. The campus will still remain connected to Pepco’s grid but will have the ability to sever the connection and maintain power even in the event of an outage."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

SCE&G wants rate increase - Local / Metro -

Warren Wise
"South Carolina Electric & Gas is requesting another rate increase to help pay for construction of two new nuclear units north of Columbia.
The Cayce-based utility has asked the S.C. Public Service Commission to approve an overall 2.7 percent increase that would take effect in October.
Rates for residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month would rise $3.58, or 2.83 percent, to $130.32.
Rates for small and medium commercial users would go up 2.67 percent, and for large commercial and industrial customers, 2.49 percent."

City nets $5 million in power plant deal - Local / Metro -

Adam Beam
"Lockhart Power, one of four investor-owned utilities in the state, pledged to spend $3.5 million upgrading the plant at the mouth of the Columbia Canal behind EdVenture and the State Museum. The renovations should be complete within 18 months, according to Bryan Stone, Lockhart’s chief operating officer.
Lockhart will operate the plant while Columbia sells the power back to SCE&G. Lockhart keeps 81 percent of the money while the city keeps 19 percent.
“The more (power) they make, the more they get and the more we keep,” Gantt said.
Columbia has owned the plant since 2002, when SCE&G passed it to Columbia as part of a deal that also transferred ownership of the metro Columbia bus system to the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority. SCE&G continued to operate the plant, giving Columbia a $1 million credit yearly on its power bill, which the city then used to help pay for the bus system."

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Germany to Close All Nuclear Plants by 2022 -

Judy Dempsey and Jack Ewing
"BERLIN — The German government on Monday announced plans to shut all of the nation’s nuclear power plants within the next 11 years, a sharp reversal for Chancellor Angela Merkel after the Japanese disaster at Fukushima caused an electoral backlash by voters opposed to reliance on nuclear energy."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Duke Energy talks on S.C. nuke are slow but ongoing | Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
"Santee Cooper has sold the Orlando, Fla., municipal utility an option to buy up to 10% of the plant. Duke has been negotiating to buy another piece, with Santee Cooper perhaps buying into Duke’s proposed Lee Nuclear Station near Gaffney, S.C.
Rogers has declined to discuss details of the negotiations. But sources familiar with the talks say Duke and Santee Cooper remain fairly far apart on the agreement.
“I’m trying to work something out. But the challenge is working something out,” is all Rogers will say about the status of the discussions."

SCE&G Files For Rate Adjustment Under Base Load Review Act - TheStreet

"South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG), today filed with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina and the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff for an overall 2.7 percent increase to its approved electric rates under provisions of a state law known as the Base Load Review Act. The BLRA effectively reduces the cost of building nuclear power plants in South Carolina by allowing the state’s regulated utilities to adjust rates annually during construction of such plants to recover related financing costs."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Nuke plant issues aired - Local / Metro -

By Sammy Fretwell
"But the findings at the Summer plant are among a host of issues nationally that could lead to tighter restrictions on U.S. nuclear power plants studied in response to the Japan earthquake. Many federal reviews of the nation’s 104 nuclear plants wound up with findings similar to those at the Summer plant. That included reviews at Duke Energy’s Oconee nuclear station near Seneca."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Customer Satisfaction Key to Ramping up Home Energy Efficiency | Environmental and Energy Study Institute

: "That was the take-home message of last Friday’s presentation by EESI and the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina (ECSC). The presentation was part of a conference on innovative approaches to promoting home energy efficiency hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Program."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spent Reactor Fuel Risk Greater in U.S. Than in Japan, Study Says -

Matthew Wald
"The report, from the Institute for Policy Studies, recommends that the United States transfer most of the nation’s spent nuclear fuel from pools filled with cooling water to dry sealed steel casks to limit the risk of an accident resulting from an earthquake, terrorism or other event."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Santee Cooper to buy energy from two renewable power firms | The Post and Courier, Charleston SC - News, Sports, Entertainment

Warren Wise

Santee Cooper’s board of directors approved 20-year contracts Monday with W2E-Organic Power of Columbia and BioEnergy Technologies of Sumter to supply a total of 3.2 megawatts of power.

W2E-Organic Power plans to build a 1.6-megawatt generating station in Columbia that will use biogas from food waste, grease and yard waste. The company will transmit its power to Santee Cooper.

BioEnergy Technologies will use pre-consumer food waste, grease, food processing waste and wastewater sludge to generate another 1.6 megawatts at a facility planned for Berkeley County. The electricity will delivered to Santee Cooper through Berkeley Electric Cooperative’s distribution system.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Westinghouse Nuclear Reactor Design Flaw Is Found -

"Mr. Jaczko said the commission was asking Westinghouse not only to fix its calculations but also to explain why it submitted flawed information in the first place. Earlier this year the commission staff said it needed additional calculations from Westinghouse to confirm the strength of the AP1000’s shield building. The building has not been built; the analysis of its strength and safety is all computer based."

Friday, May 20, 2011

Half-Moon hitches its power to the sun - Business -

Kristy Eppley Rupon
A tree unlike any you’ve seen in South Carolina – and probably most of North America – sits in the parking lot of the new Half-Moon Outfitters on Devine Street.
Its trunk and limbs are steel, its roots are concrete and its leaves are large solar panels that will track the sun to help power the retailer’s new store at 2912 Devine St. when it opens in early June.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Water and Sewer Rates Could Nearly Double for Some Aiken County Residents | WJBF–TV

"That means a $36 bill for full-service water will turn into a more than $65 bill and a $39 bill for full service sewer customers will turn into a $44 bill.

“A far as the service, we’re pleased with it. I just don't know how their going to justify the increase,’ Bogovich said.

Carolina Water Service's Executive Director of Regulatory Accounting & Affairs, Steven Lubertozzi, says the company wants to increase the rates because the current rates are not sufficient to cover the company's operating costs as well as provide a 'fair return.'

Lubertozzi says, over the past 5 years, CWS has invested more than $10 million to upgrade waste water and water treatment facilities throughout South Carolina."

Duke Energy settles lawsuit for $30M | The Business Journal

"The $30 million will be used to pay additional benefits to about 20,000 current and former Duke employees and to pay legal fees. The fees cannot amount to more than $9 million for lawyers fees and $462,000 for other litigation expenses. The judge will make the final ruling on how much of the settlement goes to those fees."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Miffed S.C. regulators delay hearing on Duke Energy spending for Lee plant | Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
"Commission Chairman Butch Howard allowed the attorneys in the hearing to make opening statements, and then read them the riot act. He said it was “totally inappropriate to present a settlement like this to the commission on the day of a hearing.” Commission rules generally require seven days' notice of any agreement."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pollution suit: SCE&G to pay feds $3.8 million - Local / Metro -

Sammy Fretwell
"Contamination at the aquarium and visitors’ center sites came from land SCE&G or its predecessor companies have owned since before the Civil War. First used for a manufactured gas plant between 1855 and 1910, the property today houses a 32-year-old electrical substation.
Through the years, the power company and its predecessors produced a mix of hazardous substances that were piped, dumped and released to what today is occupied by the visitor’s center and aquarium, according to legal documents filed in federal court. Volatile organic compounds, cyanide and arsenic are among the toxins that washed off the SCE&G property, a federal lawsuit against SCE&G said."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

SC lawmaker: Utility execs don't deserve a raise - State & Regional - Wire -

- Associated Press
"Rep. Jim Merrill said he will seek to rescind raises approved for Santee Cooper executives and bar them from getting a raise in any year that state employees don't get a cost-of-living increase."

Downside to Duke Energy From Increasing Environmental Regulations -

With a view on reducing pollution, regulators are planning to tighten many of the clean air and clean water regulations. As a result of these initiatives, the costs for utilities are expected to increase as they will have to make a lot of changes to their operations in order to produce and deliver cleaner power. In addition, utility revenues have been slow to recover as power prices have remained low with people and businesses using less electricity, a continuation of tends seen during the recent downturn."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Progress Energy customers turn down the heat - Consumer -

John Murawski
"The company blames the ailing economy for sluggish electricity sales as customers dial back thermostats, buy energy-efficient appliances and budget conservatively. The unexpected duration of the trend suggests that many in the nation are shedding a freewheeling mindset that had been ingrained in the bygone era of cheap and abundant energy."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Nation’s Electric Co-ops Honor U.S. Rep. James Clyburn for Distinguished Service | The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)

"WASHINGTON, DC; May 2, 2011— The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today awarded U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), Assistant Democratic Leader, with its Distinguished Service Award. Rep. Clyburn, the first African American to receive the award, was recognized for his many contributions to electric cooperatives throughout his more than 18 years of service in Congress. Clyburn counts more than 270,000 electric cooperative consumer-members as constituents."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Briefs: S.C. represented in Duke-Progress merger talks - Business -

"The South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff has filed to intervene and become a party of record in the proposed merger of North Carolina’s Duke Energy Corp. and Progress Energy Inc. The office took the step to ensure the South Carolina’s interests are represented and protected during merger proceedings."

Saturday, April 30, 2011

TEGA CAY | Tega Cay Water Service to continue service | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC

John Marks
"Catawba Riverkeeper David Merryman had appealed two state Department of Health and Environmental Control permits last November.
'The petitioner withdrew the appeal,' said Adam Myrick, DHEC spokesman. 'We have plans to issue the permits on May 1.'
For Tega Cay residents, the permit and appeal process shouldn't result in service interruptions, Myrick said.
'We wouldn't anticipate any type of service being impacted,' he said.
Despite a rash of wastewater spills since his initial appeal, Merryman said the utility has made progress."

V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in South Carolina answers meltdown questions | WCBD-TV 2

Fukushima is a boiling water reactor and in South Carolina we have pressure water reactors,” says Byrne.

In the invent of a reactor leak, he says the pressure system reduces the risk of a meltdown or releasing radioactive steam into the environment.

By CLEVE BRYAN some video courtesy SCE&G

“This pressurizer which is something that boiling water reactors don't have, just maintains the pressure in the reacting cooling system,” Byrne explained during an animation of a breach scenario.

Even though the summer site has strategically- placed backup generators, the next reactors set to open in 2016 and 2019 don't rely on electricity to pump the large amounts of water necessary to prevent a meltdown.

“So it will flow by gravity from here, down into the vessel,” says Byrne.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Despite Bipartisan Support, Nuclear Reactor Projects Falter -

Matthew Wald
"WASHINGTON — In an effort to encourage nuclear power, Congress voted in 2005 to authorize $17.5 billion in loan guarantees for new reactors. Now, six years later, with the industry stalled by poor market conditions and the Fukushima disaster, nearly half of the fund remains unclaimed. And yet Congress, at the request of the Obama administration, is preparing to add $36 billion in nuclear loan guarantees to next year’s budget."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

First phase of VPSA rehab almost done | Local | Aiken Standard | Aiken, SC

 By HALEY HUGHES Staff writer
Those same customers continue to pay for water and sewer under those rates to service the debt taken on for the system repairs, but VPSA may be able to lower them eventually. A former Avondale customer pays, on average, $33 month, according to Smith. An average VPSA customers pays $29.75.

"We told everyone up front the only way we could take it is by using the rates Avondale had approved by the Public Service Commission," Smith said. "We told them we can't pass on the expense to our existing customers."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Columbia Regional Business Report | Columbia, SC

"Friends of the Earth and the S.C. Chapter of the Sierra Club have filed a formal petition with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to halt the licensing review of the V.C. Summer project of S.C. Electric and Gas Co."

Monday, April 25, 2011

SCE&G to donate to renewable energy program - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

"South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. said in a news release Monday that it will contribute up to $2,500 to the nonprofit group that is a collaborative effort among Duke Energy Carolinas, Progress Energy Carolinas and SCE&G. The power companies' customers can donate to the organization as well."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chernobyl studies put USC scientist in demand - Education -

"National media have come calling — The Washington Post, CNN and The Wall Street Journal, among others — and he is in demand to speak at prestigious conferences. Last winter, Mousseau was picked to be on a national commission studying whether radiation from U.S. nuclear power plants is causing cancer among people who live near the reactors."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

SCE&G nuclear expansion wins key approval - Business -

Sammy Fretwell
"Two federal agencies -- Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Army Corps of Engineers -- issued their final environmental impact statement Tuesday for the expansion of SCE&G’s V.C. Summer nuclear power station in Fairfield County.
'It doesn’t say there are no impacts, but in the overall analysis, there no impacts so large they would preclude the NRC from approving the project,' NRC spokesman Scott Burnell said.
The NRC could issue licenses for the plant expansion as early as next year."

Utility seeks big rate hike - Local / Metro -

Tim Flach
"Carolina Water Service is seeking to nearly double homeowner bills for water and raise the cost of sewer service significantly."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Columbia Regional Business Report | Columbia, SC

"NuHub’s executive committee comprises broad, collaborative leadership representing the region’s nuclear assets and supporters. They include: co-chairman Byrne, chief operating officer and executive vice president for generation and transmission at SCE&G; co-chairman Sonny White, president of Midlands Technical College; Don Herriott, director of Innovista Partnerships for the University of South Carolina; and Donald Goldbach, director of manufacturing strategy of Westinghouse Electric Co."

Boeing going solar - Business -

Bruce Smith
"Cayce-based South Carolina Electric & Gas will install and maintain the thin panels that will cover the space of about eight football fields atop the massive assembly building.
The panels will provide up to 2.6 megawatts of electrical power for the site – enough to power about 250 homes.
It will be the largest solar installation by generating capacity in the Southeast and the sixth-largest in the nation, the company said.
“This will be a 100 percent renewable energy site and it’s the first site we have in the world that is making that commitment,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sunny future: Solar power station dedicated in SC - State & Regional - Wire -

"The 311-kilowatt facility in Myrtle Beach was dedicated Monday by officials of Santee Cooper and the South Carolina Energy Office. The power is generated by more than 1,300 solar panels located on the roofs of Santee Cooper buildings and an adjacent field."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Will Big Solar Bulldoze Sacred Tribal Sites? | Mother Jones

"Alfredo Figueroa, an elder in the Chemehuevi tribe, has spent all of his 77 years in the Sonoran Desert town of Blythe, next to the Colorado River in southeastern California. But now, he's worried burial grounds and giant etchings in the earth that are sacred to his people could soon be replaced by giant solar panels."

E.U. to Review Mobile Operators' Policies on Web Access -

Kevin J. O'Brien
"Advocates of network neutrality criticized the inquiry as insufficient, saying that the fact-finding mission was superfluous and ignored obvious, continuing problems with the mobile Internet. Operators, for example, do not connect Skype calls over their networks because the Internet calling company’s services would siphon revenue from their own businesses.

“The European Union appears to be alone in the developed world in tolerating on such a wide scale these types of arbitrary restrictions on Internet use,” said Jean-Jacques Sahel, the director of government and regulatory affairs for Skype in London. “It has to cease and we look to European authorities to unambiguously protect consumers.”"

Duke Energy Announces Plans for Big 36 Megawatt Battery System | News

"It now seems that the energy company based in North Carolina, Duke Energy, has just announced its plans to come up with the world’s biggest battery system. Duke Energy Renewables is going to spend close to $44 million to install a 36 megawatt battery system at the Notrees Wind Project located in Texas."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

WLOS ABC13 :: Newsroom - Local News

Progress Energy said more than 79,000 customers were without power Sunday, down from a peak of more than 220,000 during Saturday's storms. Duke Energy reported about 2,400 without power down from 38,000 and North Carolina's electric cooperatives reported 32,000 still without power, down from 100,000. Duke and Progress have customers in both Carolinas."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

'Nothing to hide' tour of Jenkinsville nuclear plant - Local / Metro -

“Jenkinsville is not a tsunami zone,” he told the media Tuesday. He said the tour was arranged to counter the public’s “fear of the unknown.”
“We have nothing to hide,” he said. “The plants are safe.”
Byrne added the two most powerful earthquakes in the state occurred in 1886, centered in Charleston, and 1913, centered in Union County. The intensity of the quakes was well within the plant’s safety parameters, he said."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Studies Say Natural Gas Has Its Own Problems -

"The problem, the studies suggest, is that planet-warming methane, the chief component of natural gas, is escaping into the atmosphere in far larger quantities than previously thought, with as much as 7.9 percent of it puffing out from shale gas wells, intentionally vented or flared, or seeping from loose pipe fittings along gas distribution lines. This offsets natural gas’s most important advantage as an energy source: it burns cleaner than other fossil fuels and releases lower carbon dioxide emissions."

Japan Nuclear Disaster Put on Par With Chernobyl -

"The decision to raise the alert level to 7 from 5 on the scale amounts to an admission that the accident at the nuclear facility, brought on by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, is likely to have substantial and long-lasting consequences for health and for the environment. Some in the nuclear industry have been saying for weeks that the accident released large amounts of radiation, but Japanese officials had played down this possibility."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Duke Energy says no health threat from tritium released by Oconee reactors into SC waterways

"Duke Energy spokeswoman Sandra Magee says the releases are safe, well below federally mandated limits and are reported to nuclear regulators. Duke monitors and tests waterways around its nuclear plants as well as groundwater.

But Columbia environmental attorney Bob Guild says there are so many different ways to get radiation exposure and no additional doses are good for anyone. Although naturally occurring, tritium is also a byproduct of nuclear power operations. Long-term exposure to high amounts can increase a person's cancer risk."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ore. city offers incentives for solar energy installation - The Washington Post

"The city borrowed from the sewer account to offer no-interest loans of $9,000 each. The repayment schedule, over four years, is tied to residents’ tax returns each spring, when they receive refunds of state and federal renewable energy tax credits.">

Duke Energy says no health threat from tritium released by Oconee reactors into SC waterways

"Duke Energy spokeswoman Sandra Magee says the releases are safe, well below federally mandated limits and are reported to nuclear regulators. Duke monitors and tests waterways around its nuclear plants as well as groundwater.

But Columbia environmental attorney Bob Guild says there are so many different ways to get radiation exposure and no additional doses are good for anyone. Although naturally occurring, tritium is also a byproduct of nuclear power operations. Long-term exposure to high amounts can increase a person's cancer risk."

Commissioner Clyburn pledges vigilance of wireless industry - The Hill's Hillicon Valley

By Sara Jerome - 04/10/11 09:19 AM ET/
"'In considering all of the factors relating to America’s minority and lower-income citizens, and realizing how hard people work to claw past their monthly bills only to immediately start fretting about next month, we must be vigilant – super-vigilant – about the direction the wireless industry is heading,' she said.

She cited some of the wireless issues the commission is already handling. She said the White Spaces decision lowers the cost to serve communities; the data roaming order will help spread rural broadband; and the effort to prevent 'bill shock' will help consumers avoid overage fees."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Survivors of Calif explosion address regulators - Nation & World - The Olympian - Olympia, Washington

"Tuesday evening, members of the California Public Utilities Commission vowed to use residents' and local officials' testimony as they craft new pipeline safety regulations. Tuesday's meeting was the first of three statewide field hearings, with additional hearings in Los Angeles and Santa Rosa to be held this spring.

'I am personally and professionally committed to making sure that the horrible tragedy that occurred on Sept. 9 last year never happens again,' Commissioner Mike Florio said. 'We came here to San Bruno because there is no other place to start the effort that we're undertaking to thoroughly review pipeline safety."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

NRC panel OKs arguments on SC nuclear fuel plant - State & Regional - Wire -

Ray Henry
Associated Press
"Judges on the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board voted 2-1 to allow the groups to raise arguments about the security plan of the Shaw Areva MOX Services plant being built near Aiken, S.C. The facility would take weapons-grade plutonium left over from the Cold War and turn it into a specially blended fuel consisting of uranium and plutonium that can be used to power civilian nuclear reactors that generate electricity."

Friday, April 1, 2011

NRC: Hartsville nuke plant needs move oversight - Local / Metro -

Matthew Daly
"Jaczko did not identify the plants, but an agency spokesman said they are the H.B. Robinson nuclear plant in Hartsville, S.C., Fort Calhoun in Nebraska and Wolf Creek in Kansas.
The NRC said three reactors at the Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina had been on the watch list, but were removed two weeks ago after improved performance reviews.
The NRC stressed that all 104 U.S. nuclear reactors operate safely, and that the heightened review of the three plants was routine."

Adding jobs and growing a green economy in South Carolina : News :

"Michael Couick with The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina said, 'if we were to retrofit 225,000 homes of South Carolina Cooperative members which is our goal under a bill Senator Graham has sponsored we would create 3500 jobs in South Carolina just within the first two years.'"

Thursday, March 31, 2011

South Carolina Homes Receive Energy Efficiency Retrofits | Environmental and Energy Study Institute

"The next step in the development of the rural energy savings program will be to apply an “on-bill” financing program, where residents receive a low-interest loan to pay for their own retrofit costs. Loans would be paid back through installments on monthly utility bills. “We expect the energy savings to drive down bills for these families substantially during peak energy seasons,” said Mueller. “Two-thirds of that savings will be used to pay back the loan, and after the payback period, all of the energy savings will just be cash in the pocket.”"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Obama to Set Goal of Reducing Oil Imports by One-Third in Decade -

"He will call for a consistent long-term fuel-savings strategy of producing more electric cars, converting trucks to run on natural gas, building new refineries to brew billions of gallons of biofuels and setting new fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles. Congress has been debating these measures for years.

The president will also repeat his assertion that despite the frightening situation at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex in Japan, nuclear power will remain an important source of electricity in the United States for decades to come, aides said."

US group wants no new N-plants, end to relicensing - State & Regional - Wire -

- Associated Press
"Earlier this month, just after the Japanese crisis erupted, the NRC decided to conduct short- and long-term safety reviews of all U.S. nuclear plants 'to check on whether the Japanese reactor events hold any implications for them,' he said.
A quick-look review should be completed within 30 days.
'Subsequent to that, the NRC will continue to look for lessons learned from the events involving the Japanese plants,' Sheehan said, adding a task force has been appointed to carry out a long-term review."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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