Duke Energy

Mary Ellis Stevens

Ninth-grader Greta Thunberg sat outside the Swedish legislature in 2018 and declared her commitment to strike each Friday to demand that her government undertake a radical response to climate change. At that moment she became the face and voice of a generation of youth anxious and motivated to do something about climate change.

Tom Augspurger (l), USFWS, taking core sample during February 8th reconnaissance of Dan River coal ash spill.
Steve Alexander / USFWS

The federal, North Carolina and Virginia governments asked a court Thursday to declare the country's largest electricity company liable for environmental damage from a leak five years ago that left miles of a river shared by the two states coated in hazardous coal ash.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Republicans in the House are moving forward with their version of the state budget. Teachers and supporters who took to the streets in protest over funding were disappointed that the proposal did not meet their demands. Gov. Roy Cooper was also left wanting; now questions have arisen over whether he would veto a budget that does not provide for Medicaid expansion. 

A Duke Energy power plant and coal ash ponds outside Asheville.
Zen Sutherland / Flickr / www.flickr.com/photos/zen/1796555301/

North Carolina's environmental agency exceeded its authority by ordering Duke Energy Corp. to dig up all of its coal ash and move it from unlined storage sites where toxic chemicals have seeped into water supplies, the country's largest electric company said Friday.

A thin film of coal ash coats trees and vegetation in an inactive ash basin at the HF Lee plant. As expected, the area was flooded by Hurricane Florence.
c/o Duke Energy

The country's largest electric company says it's challenging an order by North Carolina's environmental agency to excavate coal ash from all of its power plant sites in the state.

Coal fired power plant
eutrophication&hypoxia via Flickr, Creative Commons

The state Department of Environmental Quality ordered Duke Energy to excavate six coal ash ponds last week. Duke wanted to leave the ash in place and cover it, which is a much cheaper solution. The energy company estimates it will cost an additional $4 to $5 billion to clean up these six sites.

A Duke Energy power plant and coal ash ponds outside Asheville.
Zen Sutherland / Flickr / www.flickr.com/photos/zen/1796555301/

Updated at 4:50 p.m.

Duke Energy Corp. has been ordered to excavate coal ash from all of its North Carolina power plant sites, slashing the risk of toxic chemicals leaking into water supplies but potentially adding billions of dollars to the costs consumers pay.

The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline run through eight counties in Eastern North Carolina.
Roy Luck / Flickr/ Creative Commons

Gov. Roy Cooper’s handing of the permit process for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is under scrutiny.

New information from public records requests raises questions about the role he played in the dispute between Duke Energy and Strata Solar, a solar energy company that Cooper was once in business with and his brother continues to make money from. NC Insider Reporter Lauren Horsch combed through public records including Cooper’s schedule and e-mails and texts with his staff, which revealed a 2017 correspondence from the CEO of Strata Solar requesting that the governor make “a call to Duke leadership.”

Duke Energy provides electricity for most of North Carolina since the 2012 merger.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy is a finalist for a partnership with the Puerto Rican government to modernize the territory's energy grid.  

But lawmakers in Puerto Rico can't agree on how to privatize the electric utility.

A picture of a coal ash pond.
Waterkeeper Alliance

How does coal ash impact human health? A new review of existing research shows a link between living close to a coal power plant or coal ash pond and higher risks of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as higher risks of premature mortality, lung cancer, infant mortality, and poor child health. The research does not draw a direct link between these conditions and coal ash. 

Jason DeBruyn / WUNC

 The historic flooding from Florence has eased, but communities and environmentalists are just beginning to take stock of the damage it caused.

Power bills are going up slightly for Duke Energy households in central and western North Carolina this week.

Just two weeks after Duke Energy began taking applications for new solar energy rebates, the program has run out of money for homeowners and businesses for this year. 

Duke Energy provides electricity for most of North Carolina since the 2012 merger.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy has committed $500,000 to help replace inefficient wood-burning stoves in Western North Carolina.

A map of Duke Energy's 14 coal ash sites and their operational status in 14 energy plants across the state.
Duke Energy

The North Carolina Utilities Commission will begin hearings on a rate hike request for one subsidiary of Duke Energy after recently approving a 6 percent increase for another.

A chart showing the electricity generation capacity in North Carolina in 2016.
Courtesy of NCSU

The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline promises to bring huge quantities of cheap natural gas to North Carolina, which could slow growth for solar power.

North Carolina is technically the second largest producer of solar energy in America. N.C. State University Energy Economist Harrison Fell explained the state is capable of running seven percent of the energy grid on solar. But, of course, it's not always sunny.

Photo of two women holding signs
Anne Meador / Flickr Creative Commons

After months of deliberation, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has granted an important permit for the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The 401 water quality permit will allow developers Dominion Energy and Duke Energy to construct the pipeline along the I-95 corridor as long as they adhere to certain water quality standards. More permits are required for construction to begin, but opponents were hoping the state would withhold the water permit, which could have stopped construction of the pipeline even with its federal approval.

screen shot of code
Joffi / Pixabay Creative Commons

Two major data breaches in North Carolina have come to light in the past week. 

Duke Energy provides electricity for most of North Carolina since the 2012 merger.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy says 374,000 customers may have had their personal information exposed.

The Dan River bank with residual dark grey coal ash.
Steven Alexander / USFWS

Duke Energy argued this week in hearings before the North Carolina Utilities Commission that the cost of cleaning up coal ash spills should be passed on to consumers. 

Duke Energy's coal-burning plant and the adjacent coal ash ponds by the Dan River.
Riverkeeper Foundation

Hearings continue this week in Duke Energy's request for a rate hike, and among the costs that the utility is trying to recover is nearly $2 million for bottled water it provides to homeowners near coal ash pits. 

Duke Energy's coal-burning plant and the adjacent coal ash ponds by the Dan River.
Riverkeeper Foundation

Updated 3:55 p.m. | Nov. 27, 2017

The country's largest electric company says charging North Carolina consumers the full, multi-billion-dollar cost of cleaning up coal ash dumps is comparable to tire stores charging customers an extra fee to dispose of an old set of radials.

What if a dam holding back coal ash burst at one of Duke Energy's coal plants in the Carolinas or Midwest? Newly released maps from Duke show many properties would be inundated, including some homes and docks. The maps are now public, after environmentalists threatened to sue. 

UNC Chapel Hill Basketball game
Hanging Curve / Wikimedia Commons -2017

The NCAA infractions committee issued a verdict today and concluded it could not find evidence the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill violated academic rules with the use of fake classes. 

Duke Energy's coal-burning plant and the adjacent coal ash ponds by the Dan River.
Riverkeeper Foundation

Updated 10:28 a.m., Sept. 25

The country's largest electric company says it will publish federally mandated maps that it previously refused to publish, showing what could happen to neighboring properties if a coal-ash pit burst.

Helen Chickering / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted to provide Hurricane Harvey disaster relief, raise the government’s borrowing limit and fund the government for three months. 

coal ash
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will reconsider safeguards the Obama Administration put in place to regulate coal ash disposal.

Duke Energy provides electricity for most of North Carolina since the 2012 merger.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy is asking regulators to let its western North Carolina subsidiary raise household electricity bills by nearly 17 percent and charge consumers billions of dollars for a nuclear plant it will not build and also to clean up coal ash pits.

Duke Energy's coal-burning plant and the adjacent coal ash ponds by the Dan River.
Riverkeeper Foundation

Duke Energy Corp. is giving notice it plans to seek electricity rate increases for another 2 million North Carolina customers.

Duke Energy's coal-burning plant and the adjacent coal ash ponds by the Dan River.
Riverkeeper Foundation

The nation's largest electric company wants regulators in North Carolina to force consumers to pay nearly $200 million a year to clean up the toxic byproducts of burning coal to generate power. That doesn't sit well with neighbors of the power plants who have been living on bottled water since toxic chemicals appeared in some of their wells.

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