Monday, December 31, 2012

Source: Still Optimistic Clyburn Could Be Confirmed This Congress - 2012-12-30 21:41:29 | Broadcasting & Cable

John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/30/2012 4:41:29 PM

At press time on Sunday, a Senate commerce Committee source said they were still hopeful they could get the nomination of FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn voted before Jan. 2. If so, she will almost certainly be confirmed given her bipartisan support and positive reception in her confirmation hearing.
Otherwise, she would have to be renominated by the President and have to go through a second confirmation hearing, as would with Federal Trade Commission nominee Dr. Joshua Wright, who shared a nomination hearing the first time around with Clyburn.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Duke’s Rogers to Resign Next Year in North Carolina Deal - Businessweek

By Mark Chediak and Jim Polson on November 30, 2012
Duke will create a special committee of the board comprised equally of pre-merger Duke and Progress directors to choose a successor for Rogers, according to a filing yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The committee “will make its best effort” to have a new chairman, president and CEO of Duke in place by July 1, and no later than Dec. 31, 2013, according to the settlement.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Duke Energy's Rogers: Efficiency, shale gas will drive dramatic change in energy industry | Duke Today

November 28, 2012 |
He called shale gas a "bridge fuel" between existing technologies and energy sources that have yet to be refined or created, and predicted a continued struggle between regulators and providers, given the increasingly cheap cost of natural gas generation.
These changes and other innovations will lead to a "virtual white sheet of paper" for the utility industry in the second half of the 21st century, he said, with all existing power plants likely to be retired by 2050.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mignon Clyburn up for reupping

Dave Seyler
Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has been nominated to a second term on the Commission, and her Senate confirmation hearing has now been put on the calendar.
The Senate Commerce Committee will consider a slate of six nominees for various posts on Tuesday 12/4/12 at 2:30 PM. Clyburn is among them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Public has power in SCE&G hike - Business -

The publicity campaign, dubbed “Pull the Plug on Higher Utility Costs,” included robocalls and was centered in 23 S.C. counties where the SCE&G rate increase would apply, and AARP members would be affected, Cobb said.

Read more here:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Columbia council faces tough choices on utility rates - Local / Metro -

Clif LeBlanc

Council is searching for a way to placate customers angered by rate hikes that took effect in July and still try to satisfy federal environmental regulators who are about to come down with tough sanctions for years of neglecting to maintain pipes and plants, in violation of national pollution standards.

Read more here:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Duke Energy’s Lee nuclear project hit with another delay - Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
Date: Friday, November 23, 2012, 6:00am EST - Last Modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 2:03pm EST

Duke’s long-range plan, submitted recently to regulators in the Carolinas, pushes the earliest projected date for the first Lee unit to 2022 from the 2021 target included in last year’s plan.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

SCE&G gives ground on rate hike - Business -

Four of the six parties named in the rate hike request as “intervenors” agreed to the 10.25 percent return on equity late Monday, the company said. In addition to the Office of Regulatory Staff, the other parties include Wal-Mart Stores East LP and Sam’s East Inc.; the Department of the Navy; AARP; and Frank Knapp Jr.

Read more here:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Clyburn, families rally at FCC on cost of prison phone calls - FierceTelecom

November 15, 2012 | By 
Supporters of the Wright Petition say that fees charged by providers for prison phone calls are "predatory" and have an impact both on families of inmates and on state criminal justice budgets. A 15-minute interstate phone call, says the Center for Media Justice, can cost families almost $20.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Clyburn Could Head FCC

Politico is reporting that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is ready to move on to the next stage of his career and that Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel are contenders for the top spot. Both are Democrats and the President Obama's re-election, a Democrat is guaranteed to occupy the chair for the next 4 years.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Students test security of utility's Automatic Meter Reading - - Columbia, South Carolina |

 Jennifer Emert
"So we actually did set up an eavesdropper, or a sniffer, tried to find out how many meters we can receive," said Xu.  "So at one single spot we were able to receive almost 500 meter readings."
They gathered information from several homes over a week, randomly picked one house, and easily had the owners lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

City water, sewer officials in Columbia SC are directed to stop talking about investments in upgrading sewer system - Local / Metro -


Sources told the newspaper last month the consent decree could expose the city to fines as well as millions of dollars in improvements because of wastewater infractions that have resulted from years of insufficient spending on the sewer treatment plant, deteriorating sewer lines and other problems that have violated environmental standards. The settlement is likely to become public early next year.

Read more here:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Duke Energy ponders more nuclear vs. natural gas - Tampa Bay Times

 By Ivan Penn, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Duke acknowledged as much at a nuclear industry conference last week.
"Nuclear development is facing the perfect storm," said Duke vice president Chris Fallon, speaking to a gathering of nuclear industry leaders. Natural gas prices are at historic lows, federal regulators have put a moratorium on new nuclear projects for at least two years and power demand is down.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

ROWLAND, N.C. - Sun farms boom across South Carolina state line - Local / Metro -

The scene near Rowland is found increasingly across North Carolina. Solar farms dot the landscape from the Blue Ridge mountains to the sandy coastal plain – the result of an emerging renewable energy industry.

Read more here:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pee Dee towns receive electric car charging stations | WBTW

These are the first public-access charging stations Duke Energy has installed in the state. The host sites will cover the cost of electricity during the research project. The new stations are ready for use and two each are located at:
  • City of Hartsville’s Fifth Street parking lot 
  • City of Florence’s parking lot, corner of Irby and Cheves Streets
  • Hilton Garden Inn, 2671 Hospitality Blvd., Florence 
“The adoption of plug-in electric vehicles continues to grow in our communities and we’re committed to helping ensure our infrastructure is ready for their eventual widespread use,” said Clark Gillespy, Duke Energy state president – South Carolina. “This research project gives us insight into the electric system’s state of readiness to accommodate charging equipment, which will help us as we transform into the transportation fuel providers of the future.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Foxboro Glen residents asked to boil drinking water - Local / Metro -
Columbia Water Works issued the advisory early Wednesday morning because an 8-inch water main broke that could result in contamination of the water supply for the 600 and 700 blocks of Beech Branch Drive and Keyspur Court.

Read more here:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

AT&T executive says S.C. school system needs transformation

 By Matt Tomsic
Published Oct. 23, 2012
Lackey said roughly one-quarter of South Carolina high school students aren’t graduating, and the state needs to revamp its education system and promote innovation.
Businesses, Lackey said, need to partner with schools by hosting job shadowing or helping fund needed school supplies; schools, meanwhile, need to follow up with businesses that express interest in helping educate children or partnering with them. Lackey said she hears about businesses that meet with schools, but never hear back from the school about its needs after the meeting.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Charleston firm lands NASA solar contract

A Charleston company won a $471,000 contract to design and build a solar power system at a NASA facility in Alabama, the company announced Wednesday.
Hannah Solar Government Services will provide 122,000 watts of solar power at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and the company will use American-manufactured components.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In a Natural Gas Glut, Big Winners and Losers -

For most of the country, the result has been cheaper energy. The nation is awash in so much natural gas that electric utilities, which burn the fuel in many generating plants, have curbed rate increases and switched more capacity to gas from coal, a dirtier fossil fuel.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Santee Cooper to shutter two coal-fired plants - Business -


South Carolina’s state-owned power company will shut down coal-fired power plants permanently in Georgetown and Moncks Corner, rather than pay the cost of upgrading the facilities to meet tougher environmental rules.
Santee Cooper’s decision was expected, but formally commits the agency to shutter aging generating units at the Grainger station in Conway and the Jefferies station at Moncks Corner. The agency’s board voted Friday to authorize “retirement” of the plants, the company said in a news release.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Columbia Regional Business Report | Columbia, SC

Progress Energy Carolinas asked North Carolina regulators on Friday to increase electric rates there by an average 12% and said it also will seek a rate increase in South Carolina next year.

LONG CREEK - Solar frees Upstate family from power grid - Local / Metro -

Solar panels in their backyard feed into a bank of 16 batteries that store the energy day and night. Electricity travels through an underground wire to the batteries, which send power into their Oconee County home.

Read more here:

Monday, October 15, 2012

On The Campaign Trail, Regulations Dominate The Environmental Debate : It's All Politics : NPR

In previous elections, candidates from both parties have campaigned on pledges to be environmental presidents. This time, neither candidate is talking much about cleaning up the air or protecting scenic lands.
Instead, the debate has focused on whether and how much environmental regulations hurt businesses, especially the energy industry.

Feds place Lake Wylie nuke plant under closer watch - Business - Gaston Gazette

  By Ragan Robinson
A special 40-hour inspection will result from an incident in April in which the plant lost power. Having off-site power is important to keep water circulating and nuclear reactors cool.

SC power companies defend solar practices - Business -

Customers on solar
Estimated number of customers who use solar energy through South Carolina’s major power companies:
SCE&G: 149
Duke Energy: 93
SanteeCooper: 10
 SOURCE: The utilities

Read more here:

BEAUFORT - Study: Offshore wind farms could generate cash for SC - Business -

A big reason why wind farms haven’t caught on is their exorbitant cost: Building one would cost $2.1 million per megawatt, or a total of $21 billion over 10 years, according to the Clemson report.

Read more here:

Retired Columbia minister crusades for solar power - Business -

At issue is a state law that grants power companies exclusive rights to sell energy in their territories. Power companies say any firm wanting to sell solar energy, no matter how small, must be licensed as a utility – an expensive and involved process.

Read more here:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Columbia facing EPA fine on sewer system; utility customers upset by rate hikes - Local / Metro -

 Still, despite ongoing improvements to the sewer system – costing hundreds of millions of dollars – negotiations with the EPA have led the federal agency to proposed civil fines of between $1 million and $1.5 million, three sources told The State. They said they could not speak publicly because of a confidentiality agreement with the EPA.

Read more here:

Why solar power rarely shines in SC - Local / Metro -

South Carolina’s interest in solar energy is so faint that national studies rank the state at, or near, the bottom in the use and promotion of sun power.

Read more here:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Regulators warn of flood risk at SC nuclear plant |

The report says estimates of flooding have increased substantially if the 385-foot high Jocassee Dam failed upstream from the three reactors near Seneca, S.C.

Read more here:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Clemson study measures impact, potential of wind energy in S.C.

By Matt Tomsic
 The study expects installing the offshore wind farm will take 10 years and will create 3,300 jobs each year, $163.1 million in wages each year and will inject $270.7 million into the economy each year. Maintaining the wind farm is expected to create 678 jobs each year for the four years after it’s installed and $41.8 million in wages. The study estimates the wind farm will pump $115.2 million into the state each year.

SCE&G, critics wrangle over who pays for 2 new reactors at Jenkinsville - Business -

Challengers to a $283 million cost increase request by SCE&G said Wednesday the utility provider rushed into the $10 billion construction of two new reactors for its Jenkinsville plant amid ample cautionary signs to slow down or stop altogether.
SCE&G, the state’s largest utility, rejected those claims, declaring that nuclear energy production remains the long-term, most cost effective technology available to fulfill the state’s existing and future energy needs, especially given the utility’s recent coal plant phase-out and what SCANA chief Kevin Marsh said is the likelihood the price of natural gas won’t remain so low.

Read more here:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Honor flight gives SC WWII vet ‘most wonderful day of my life’ - SC military news -

On Wednesday, Drummond, who spent 40 years in the South Carolina Senate and 16 years as its president pro tem, was one of 85 World War II vets returning to Columbia from a daylong trip to Washington, DC, to see their memorial, courtesy of the Honor Flight program.
The 93-year-old was met at the gate by one of his proteges, Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell of Charleston. Neither man knew their old friend was going to be there.

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Duke Energy wants neighbors to compare bills | energy, duke, expects - Gaston Gazette

Ragan Robinson

The comparison will show what amounts to an average of power consumption by your neighbors, people in similarly sized homes with the same type of heating and air conditioning. It won’t pinpoint which neighbors are using how much power.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

City pledges to cut utility fee hike - Local / Metro -

Clif LeBlanc
Council had adopted an increase from 3 percent to 5 percent to the fee on utility bills to stabilize funding for buses after voters narrowly rejected the penny sales tax increase in November 2010. SCE&G pays the city the fee for access to public rights of way for its power lines. The utility company, in turn, passes the fee to its customers.

Read more here:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Duke Energy to roll out new logo next year - PR Newswire - The Sacramento Bee

"The logo represents a new beginning for a unified and stronger Duke Energy," said Jim Rogers, chairman, president and CEO. "It also recognizes the rich histories of both Duke Energy and Progress Energy, reflecting the image of a world-class energy company."

Read more here:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Climate change challenges power plant operations - The Washington Post

Climate change challenges power plant operations

By , Published: September 9

Drought and rising temperatures are forcing water managers across the country to scramble for ways to produce the same amount of power from the hydroelectric grid with less water, including from behemoths such as the Hoover Dam.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

South Carolina Electric Crews Head To Louisiana | WSAV TV

Personnel from Aiken Electric Cooperative in Aiken, Newberry Electric Cooperative in Newberry and Fairfield Electric Cooperative in Blythewood will be assisting Washington-St. Tammany Electric Cooperative based in Franklinton, Louisiana. Because of the slow-moving nature of the storm,  restoration efforts likely will not begin until Thursday morning, officials tell WSAV.

Monday, August 20, 2012

SLADE COLUMN: Here’s why you’re paying SCE&G more this year | The Post and Courier | Charleston SC, News, Sports, Entertainment

David Slade
But here’s the kicker: While our electricity usage this year has decreased by 17 percent compared to the same January-July period in 2011, our SCE&G bills slightly increased.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Verizon Wireless Fined $1.25 Million for Blocking Tethering Apps | Benzinga

The cellular carrier got into trouble after asking Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) to remove select apps from Google Play, which was known as the Android Market at the time. Verizon wanted Google to stop Android users from downloading the so-called "tethering" apps, which allow them to use their 4G LTE smartphone connection to bring laptops, tablets and other devices online.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Progress Energy to Close SC Coal Plant

Progress Energy said Friday that the 316-megawatt Cape Fear coal-fired plant, near Moncure, N.C., and the 177-megawatt H.B. Robinson Unit 1 coal-fired plant in Darlington County will be retired Oct. 1.

Protesting Coup at Duke Energy, 2 Board Members Step Down -

Ken Otterbourg
C. Dukes Scott, Mr. Gruber’s counterpart in South Carolina, said in an interview that the company’s problems could no longer be confined to one state. “As they talk settlement in North Carolina, that becomes of interest to us, because we want to make sure that whatever settlement they work out is not of adverse interest to us,” he said.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Duke Energy replaces Progress execs who resigned - Greensboro - The Business Journal

Chris Bagley
Duke Energy Corporation has replaced two of the three senior executives who resigned earlier this month, and eliminated the third open position.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - NRC warns of problems at Catawba Nuclear Station - Business -

The Charlotte Observer reported ( the problems could lead to more inspections of the plant on Lake Wylie on the South Carolina-North Carolina state line.
The plant lost incoming power April 4. Backup generators kicked in and the one operating reactor shut down safely. The other reactor already was shut down for refueling.

Read more here:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In Energy Conservation, a Focus on Bragging Rights -

Diane Cardwell
But utilities hope to tap into the same dynamic that works for video games and applications like Foursquare, where users compete against one another to earn bragging rights, like becoming “mayor” of a favorite restaurant.

Initial Findings on South Carolina's "Help My House" Pilot Released | Environmental and Energy Study Institute

Washington, DC - South Carolina rural electric cooperatives (co-ops) have released promising preliminary findings from their "Help My House" pilot, part of the co-ops' Rural Energy Savings Program. The pilot allows co-op members to borrow money for energy efficiency improvements to their homes, which is repaid as part of their electric bills. This process is referred to as "on-bill financing." The 125 participating households are projected to save an average of more than $400 per year (after loan payments) by reducing their electricity use an average of 35 percent.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lake landmark to come down - Local / Metro -

Tim Flach
The smokestack on the north edge of the dam will be demolished in a few years once the coal-fired electrical power plant underneath is mothballed.

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wright and Mitchell Take Helm at PSC

Commissioner David Wright took the Oath of Office as the new Chairman of the Public Service Commission of South Carolina today, and Commissioner Randy Mitchell was sworn in as Vice-Chairman.  Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell administered the Oath to Chairman Wright, and Sen. Brad Hutto administered the Oath to Vice-Chairman Mitchell.  Sen. Thomas Alexander, Chairman of the Public Utilities Review Committee also delivered remarks at the ceremony.

Energy efficiency effort goes national - Local / Metro -

Meg Kinnard
During a teleconference with reporters on Tuesday, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that he was putting $250 million into the national adoption of the program, which allows rural electric cooperative customers to take out USDA-funded loans to make energy upgrades and pay back the loans through their monthly utility savings.

Read more here:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

NC utilities regulators want testimony from would-be Duke Energy CEO on surprise sacking - The Washington Post

Former Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson was called to testify under oath next Thursday along with two members of Progress Energy’s former board of directors, E. Marie McKee and James B. Hyler Jr. The state regulatory body wants to hear from Duke Energy board members Ann Gray and Michael Browning.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ex-Rep. Inglis working on climate change - Business -

George Mason University said Tuesday that the Republican would lead its Energy and Enterprise Initiative at the school's Center for Climate Change Communication near Washington. The program plans to hold forums around the country that bring together economists, national security experts and climate scientists to explore ways to use free enterprise to solve the nation's energy and climate challenges.

Read more here:

Duke Energy Announces Executive Departures - PR Newswire - The Sacramento Bee

/PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy Corporation today announced that John McArthur, executive vice president of Regulated Utilities, Mark Mulhern, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, and Paula Sims, chief integration and innovation officer, have resigned, effective immediately.

Read more here:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Scammers sell customers feds will pay utility bills

To receive the money, scammers claim they need the customers’ Social Security and bank routing numbers. In return, customers are given a phony bank routing number that will supposedly pay their utility bills. In reality, there is no money, and customers believe they have paid their bills when in fact they have not.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Duke Energy closes merger with a surprise at CEO | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

Bruce Henderson
The new, 18-member board of directors voted to name Duke CEO Jim Rogers, 64, as president and chief executive of the new Duke, which will be the nation’s largest electric utility. He’ll also be chairman.

Read more here:

Monday, July 2, 2012

SC approves Duke Energy merger; deal set to close - Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
Duke Energy Corp. and Progress Energy Inc. cleared the last hurdle to their proposed $26 billion merger with a vote by S.C. regulators at a brief meeting Monday morning.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

SCE&G wants rate hike for electricity - Business -

Kristy Eppley Rupon
Paired with a fuel-cost reduction, the rate hike would come out to an extra $6.67 a month – or about $80 a year – for a customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours a month, the utility estimated.

Read more here:

NC regulators clear hurdle to Duke-Progress merger - Businessweek

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina utilities regulators on Friday approved the long-planned takeover of Progress Energy by Duke Energy, clearing the last major hurdle to creating the largest American electric company.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NC regulators hear arguments in energy merger - Businessweek

A spokesman for the North Carolina Utilities Commission said the final verdict will not likely be handed down the day of the hearing, but could come this week.

Duke Energy and Progress agree to FERC conditions on merger | Financial News

The pair made a compliance filing with FERC, after saying earlier in June that the conditional orders by the regulator were a positive development which would allow them to wrap up the merger by the planned deadline on 1 July.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

NC regulators to hear opposition to utility merger - State & Regional -

 Allen Reed
NC WARN is trying to put the brakes on the $23.4 billion merger that would span six states, employ nearly 30,000 workers, serve more than 7 million accounts and have more than $100 billion in assets. The nonprofit argues the marriage between the energy giants will increase prices that customers pay. They say the companies have hid millions of dollars in costs that will raise utility rates.

Read more here:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Duke Energy names S.C. president - Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
Gillespy takes over in South Carolina as parent company Duke Energy Corp. prepares to merge with Progress Energy Inc. The operations of the two utility subsidiaries will remain separate for several years after the merger. But Gillespy will be in charge of regulatory issues, government relations and community affairs for both the Duke and Progress utilities in the state.

Friday, June 22, 2012

AT&T fighting FCC over special access - Eliza Krigman -

Eliza Krigman
Special access isn’t as high-profile as fights between AT&T and the Federal Communications Commission over other issues, such as net neutrality regulations or the telecom company’s failed bid to acquire T-Mobile USA. But it makes for another bitter dispute between AT&T and the FCC, one that could wind up in court.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Support for mini-nuclear reactors gaining steam in SC - Business -

Jeff Wilkinson
The U.S. Department of Energy has given the green light for three companies to partner with SRS to potentially develop the nation’s first mini-reactors there. The three companies are competing with other plant design companies across the nation – and each other – for federal matching grants totaling up to $452 million to support engineering, certification and licensing for up to two mini-reactor designs. Winners are expected to be announced later this summer.

Read more here:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Duke Energy, Progress Call FERC Decision 'Positive' for Merger | Fox Business

"We are pleased that the FERC has conditionally approved the merger, our Joint Dispatch Agreement and Joint Open Access Transmission Tariff," Jim Rogers, Duke's chairman, president and chief executive said in a statement. "We will quickly complete the evaluation of the conditions in the orders while working to obtain the remaining regulatory approvals to close the merger on July 1."

Allison Macfarlane N.R.C. Hearing May Focus on Waste -

 Matthew L. Wald
But for the first time, the president has chosen a geologist for the post, Allison M. Macfarlane of George Mason University, and her expertise aligns with the pressing concerns facing Congress and the nuclear industry. She is a longtime critic of the idea of burying waste at Yucca Mountain, a volcanic structure about 100 miles from Las Vegas chosen by Congress in the late 1980s, considering its geology too unpredictable.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Duke merger wins fed approval | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

By Bruce Henderson and Ely Portillo
Duke Energy and Progress Energy won conditional federal approval Friday night for a $26 billion merger that would create the country’s largest utility, with 7.1 million customers in six states, based in Charlotte.

Read more here:

New South Carolina law goes into effect on digging | SCNOW

The 2012 South Carolina Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act requires that diggers give three full working days notice (not including the day of the call and excluding weekends and holidays) for the locators to get out to mark the area. Failure to notify SC811 prior to beginning an excavation project can result in fines of up to $1,000.
“By calling 811, you can register your project so that SCE&G and other utilities can send a representative out to mark the location of utility lines so that you or your contractor can stay safe and easily avoid them while working on your outdoor project, said Gus Chapman, SCE&G operations manager.   “Line marking is free of charge and is good for 15 working days after it has been processed by SC811,” he said.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wind turbine test facility most advanced globally, says project manager

In November 2009, Clemson University was awarded a $45 million grant by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop the testing facility. That was matched by $53 million in public and private funds.
The $98 million facility will be capable of testing next-generation drivetrains up to 15 megawatts. The facility’s 7.5-megawatt test rig is scheduled to begin commissioning this fall, with the 15-megawatt rig to follow early in 2013.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Coal pollution suit filed against Santee Cooper - Local / Metro -

Sammy Fretwell
Specifically, the law center says it wants a court to order Santee Cooper to remove coal ash from the lagoons and put it in a lined landfill, rather than leave it there as the company plans. Coal ash contains arsenic that can wash into groundwater and waterways. Santee Cooper’s coal ash lagoons sit on the banks of the Waccamaw River in a low-lying area susceptible to leakage, the center says. The lagoon walls also might break, the center says.

Read more here:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bear Spotted In Tree at Blue Ridge Electric Office - Easley, SC Patch

By Carolyn Farr Smith and Jason Evans
"She told me that she saw a bear on Neely Street and then pointed and said it was in the tree in front of our office," Roper said.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

How to Make Renewable Energy Competitive -

Published: June 1, 2012
But current law makes using both of these investment vehicles for renewable energy difficult if not impossible. Washington could help in two ways. First, the Internal Revenue Service needs to clarify the eligibility of renewable power generation for REIT financing. Second, Congress needs to fix a bizarre distinction in the tax code that bars master limited partnerships from investing in “inexhaustible” natural resources like the sun and wind, while allowing investments in exhaustible resources like coal and natural gas. In 2008, as surging gasoline prices were infuriating American voters, Congress amended the tax code to enable master limited partnerships to invest in alternative transportation fuels like ethanol. We should treat power sources, like wind and solar farms, similarly.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Musical Chairs at the FCC - Tech Daily Dose

By Juliana Gruenwald, May 30, 2012
The Federal Communications Commission announced Wednesday that Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Chief Rick Kaplan would be leaving the agency in mid-June. But he'll be replaced by a familiar face -- Ruth Milkman, currently special counsel for innovation in government.

SCE&G plans to shutter Lake Murray coal plant, others - Business -

Tim Flach, May 30, 2012
Under the plan, the coal-fired plant downstream of the dam will switch to power generation with natural gas in 2015 before shutting down three years later.

Read more here:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is sewage the next energy source?

The researchers from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology claimed that they have significantly improved the capacity of microbial fuel cells by modulizing them.

The device converts the chemical energy from organisms into electricity using bacterial metabolism as the catalyst. It is regarded as one of the most promising technologies for producing renewable energy as well as treating polluted waste water.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Brooklyn Apartments to Generate Their Own Power -

Ronda Kaysen, May 24, 2012
When the developer, Voltaic Solaire, finishes a $1 million rehabilitation of a 19th-century brownstone at 367 Fifth Avenue in Park Slope next year, the facade will be covered with a solar skin and a solar awning will sit on the roof. The panels will generate 18,000 watts of energy a year, enough to power all six units in the 7,000-square-foot building. Voltaic Solaire is so confident in its ability to create a “net-zero” building that utilities will be bundled into the rent.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Green Roofs in Big Cities Bring Relief From Above -

Tina Rosenberg
It’s spring — time to plant your roof. Roofs, like coffee, used to be black tar. Now both have gone gourmet:  for roofs, the choices are white, green, blue and solar-panel black.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

NRC chairman inspects Midlands nuclear plant - Local / Metro -

Sammy Fretwell, May 23, 2012

“A construction site like this will always have a lot of challenges,” Jaczko told reporters, noting that it “is still pretty early in the process as we look at it. At this point, there were no major issues that we’ve identified.”

Read more here:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Head of nuclear safety agency to step down - Business -

Matthew Daly
WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, under fire for what fellow commissioners called an intimidating, even bullying style, announced his resignation Monday.

Read more here:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ATC Names Catherine Heigel General Counsel - MarketWatch

PEWAUKEE, Wis., May 15, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Catherine E. Heigel has been named vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of American Transmission Co., effective June 25, 2012. She will have responsibility for legal and state regulatory staffs at ATC.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Trading the pump for a plug is catching on - Business -

Kristy Eppley Rupon
May 13, 2012
Plug-in Carolina received a $480,000 federal grant from the Department of Energy to install 65 charging stations. It was able to stretch that money to open 93 charging stations in nine cities throughout the state, Poch said. That includes two charging stations in each of Columbia’s city-owned parking garages.

Read more here:

Earthquake threat prompts questions at nuclear plant - Local / Metro -

Sammy Fretwell
May 13, 2012
While the Westinghouse Electric Co. plant meets current safety standards, federal inspectors say the company didn’t follow through on recommendations made nine years ago to further reduce chances that radiation would leak during a big quake.

Read more here:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Solar Installers Offer Homeowners Deals, Gaining Converts -

Diane Cardwell
May 9, 2012

The structure of the deals varies by company and state, but the overall approach is generally the same: Customers agree to pay a fixed monthly charge or rate for all the solar power produced, and the companies that finance the systems pay for the installation and take the value of any tax breaks or renewable energy credits for which the customer would ordinarily be eligible. Some companies concentrate on financing and use local contractors for sales and installation, while others do everything themselves.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

SCANA Falls From Fortune 500

Staff Report, May 9, 2012
"Energy provider SCANA Corp., headquartered in Cayce, has fallen from the Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. companies based on last year’s revenue.

It was the first time that SCANA, which last year was ranked No. 483, had failed to make the list since 2001."

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Duke Energy earnings fall on construction costs - Business -

 Jonathan Fahey, Associated Press
NEW YORK — Duke Energy Corp. says its net income fell 42 percent in the first quarter because of cost overruns at a coal plant under construction in Indiana.
The company said its underlying earnings grew slightly, though, despite a warm winter that reduced electric power demand and earnings at electric utilities nationwide. Duke’s earnings were boosted by higher electric rates in the Carolinas, reduced costs, and higher power sales and rates in Brazil.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Progress and Duke dismiss critics as merger ruling looms -

John Murawsky
The News & Observer
The two electric companies urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject objections to the proposed merger and quickly approve the deal in a regulatory filing this week.
Raleigh-based Progress and Charlotte-based Duke are anticipating a decision from the federal commission as early as next month. The commission has twice before rebuffed the merger, but each time gave the power companies an opportunity to revise their application.

SCE&G likely to seek another rate hike - Business -

Kristy Eppley Rupon

S.C. Electric & Gas customers can expect to pay more for their power in the coming months as planned rate increases go into effect. The company also likely will ask for another rate increase that would go into effect next year, officials said during a SCANA earnings call with investment analysts Thursday.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

SCE&G releasing water into rivers - Local / Metro -

SCE&G is releasing a high volume of water from the Lake Murray dam, enough to make playing on the water downstream, especially on the rocks and islands, dangerous. The water level was near 10,000 cubic feet per second at 3:30 p.m., a volume which can push water over many of the islands and even into a few low-lying sections of the Cayce-West Columbia Riverwalks.

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Santee Cooper Signs Letter of Intent with American Municipal for V.C. Summer Reactors - Nuclear Power Industry News - Nuclear Power Industry News - Nuclear Street - Nuclear Power Portal

After beginning negotiations to sell a 2-7 percent stake to South Mississippi Electric Power last week, Santee Cooper has signed a letter of intent with Ohio-based American Municipal Power (AMP) to possibly sell another 2-5 percent of its stake in the V.C. Summer expansion.

New Bern, Rocky Mount criticize Progress, Duke merger proposal - Local/State -

John Murawski, 04/26/12

In filings Wednesday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the towns characterized the companies’ March proposal as “legal legerdemain” that would do little to address concerns raised by creating the nation’s largest electric utility. The legal fight waged by the two eastern North Carolina towns was largely dismissed as quixotic until the federal commission stunned Duke and Progress executives last year by soundly rejecting the merger.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

SC positioning itself at vanguard of mini-nuclear age - Business -

Jeff Wilkinson

The U.S. Department of Energy has given the green light for three companies to partner with the Savannah River Site in Aiken to potentially locate mini-nuclear reactors there. They are competing with other plant design companies across the nation – and each other – for federal matching grants totaling up to $452 million to support engineering, certification and licensing for up to two mini-reactor designs.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lake City veterans take trip to World War II Memorial | SCNOW

 "Nineteen electric cooperatives joined Honor Flight of South Carolina to fly 100 veterans, including Lake City’s Paul D. Poston and Zola Brooke Godwin, to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorial built in their honor and other historic sites.


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Greenville County authorities seize 678 marijuana plants estimated at $350K |

Duke Energy called the sheriff's office at 11 a.m. Tuesday in reference to unauthorized electrical lines running from a power transformer to a building at 208 Old Piedmont Highway, according to a news release from Deputy Laura Campbell.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

FERC may be working toward June ruling on Duke Energy-Progress Energy deal - Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
"The companies filed their latest proposal on March 26 — after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission    rejected two earlier plans. Last week, FERC responded with a few dozen highly specific, and generally technical, questions about the proposal. Some observers saw that as a sign that the federal proceedings could be slowed further as Duke and Progress press to beat a July 8 expiration date on their merger agreement."

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Santee Cooper, Mississippi power agency sign letter of intent

Santee Cooper and South Mississippi Electric Power Association signed a letter of intent, which begins negotiations for South Mississippi Electric to secure 2-7% of the capacity and energy output from two new nuclear units being built at V.C. Summer.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How Green Are Electric Cars? Depends on Where You Plug In -

Paul Stenquist, April 13, 2012
The U.C.S. report, which takes into account the full cycle of energy production, often called a well-to-wheels analysis, demonstrates that in areas where the electric utility relies on natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric or renewable sources to power its generators, the potential for electric cars and plug-in hybrids to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is great. But where generators are powered by burning a high percentage of coal, electric cars may not be even as good as the latest gasoline models — and far short of the thriftiest hybrids.

Duke, Progress respond to regulators’ latest request - Economy -

David Bracken
Progress and Duke said FERC’s requests were common and “were technical and focused on the transmission-related models that Duke and Progress submitted as an exhibit to the March 26 revised mitigation plan. Many of our responses involved re-formatting data previously submitted to FERC as part of that filing.”

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Landline rules frustrate telecoms - The Washington Post

By , Published: April 12

More than 130 years after the first residential phone line was installed, telecom companies are pressing to be freed from the obligation of providing low-cost fixed-line telephone service to homes, a move critics say will leave Americans with less reliable or more expensive options.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

NRC approves first new nuclear plant in 3 decades - Business -

Matthew Daly, Associated Press

Atlanta-based Southern Co. hopes to begin operating the $14 billion reactors at its Vogtle site south of Augusta as soon as 2016. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the company's plans on a 4-1 vote.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Charlotte company prepares to build nation's first nuclear plants in 3 decades | McClatchy

Bruce Henderson

Headquartered one block off the Square in Charlotte, N.C., Shaw's Power Group shares contracts with Westinghouse to build two additional reactors at both the Summer nuclear plant northwest of Columbia and at the Vogtle plant in eastern Georgia.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Free Times: Get Ahead - Going Nuclear

Katie Alice Walker
"Midlands Tech has a two-year nuclear systems technology program, the University of South Carolina offers master’s and doctoral degrees in nuclear engineering program, and companies like Westinghouse and SCANA have jobs to fill in the nuclear field. All of these organizations are members of NuHub (part of the knowledge-economy group EngenuitySC) and are looking to promote the Midlands as a leader in clean technology and innovation in nuclear energy.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Progress Energy and Duke Energy plan new merger filing this month - Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey

Duke and Progress are looking at ways to offer firm sales — power sold in advance, with long-term contracts — that would ensure that the merged company could not manipulate the wholesale markets in the Carolinas.

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