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S.C. nuke failure should lead to more solar, not less

With the $9 billion failure of a nuclear plant construction still consuming the South Carolina legislature, backers of carbon-free energy are bracing for another setback: a possible restriction on expansion of solar power. A 2014 South Carolina law...

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Federal attacks on clean energy market disproportionately impact the South

Following energy policy decisions favoring fossil fuel industry interests and attempts to prop up aging, uneconomic coal plants, the Trump administration and some members of Congress continue to take aim at the burgeoning clean energy market.  ...

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SELC fights back against Dominion limits on clean energy access in VA

As Dominion Energy continues to try reducing access to renewable energy from other providers, SELC weighed in against their latest attempt to expand their monopoly. The question before the Virginia Supreme Court concerns the very narrow...

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Central Georgia EMC removes punitive charge against solar customers

Following months of advocacy by SELC, the Georgia Solar Energy Association and Vote Solar, the Central Georgia Electric Membership Cooperative recently decided to remove a punitive charge it had imposed on customers with solar installations. Solar...

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Corporate demand for clean renewable energy stymied by TVA policies

As Tennessee’s renewable energy economy experiences great growth, the roadblocks to continuing that growth trajectory are looming large, especially as manufacturing and other industries increasingly demand more access to clean renewable energy. In...

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Utilities ask Congress to weaken longstanding energy competition law

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee heard from a variety of energy industry stakeholders last week about whether to make changes to a longstanding energy law, which serves as the most important federal protection for independent solar...

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S.C. must fix flawed utility process and pursue solar to meet state’s power demands

The financial meltdown rippling from the failed V.C. Summer nuclear power station must spark changes in the way regulators consider new utility projects, according to SELC attorneys. At the same time, the attorneys say, South Carolina should make a...

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DOE report pushes coal despite finding no grid issues with renewable energy

After months of anticipation, and following a leaked draft, today the Department of Energy released its report on the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid. Debunking Secretary Rick Perry’s controversial memo requesting the analysis in...

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SELC op-ed: Utility roadblocks are the South’s real solar eclipse

As our region and country experience today's solar eclipse, Senior Attorney Katie Ottenweller weighs in with a reminder of the key role the sun's power plays in securing a clean energy future for the Southeast. An excerpt from her op-ed in Southeast...

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S.C. nuke plant failure highlights need for energy competition, solar

Today South Carolina utilities Santee Cooper and SCE&G announced they are abandoning nuclear reactors at the VC Summer power plant after years of blown budgets and schedules. The customers of SCE&G face some of the highest utility bills in the...

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Fact-checking DOE Secretary Rick Perry’s renewable energy inquiry

At the request of Secretary Rick Perry, the Department of Energy is slated to release an analysis this month looking at the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid. But, rather than acknowledging changing market forces, the role of clean energy...

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Leaders across the region step up on climate action

A growing list of hundreds of localities, states, businesses, and universities across the country are responding to President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris climate accord by recommitting to the international agreement to reduce the...

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Atlanta commits to using 100 percent clean energy

With a recent city council vote, Atlanta became the first major city in the Southeast to start the conversion to all renewable energy sources. The vote falls in line with a nationwide trend where cities are leading the clean energy transition....

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New report shows solar, energy efficiency outcompete nuclear in meeting Georgia’s energy needs

A recent report shows that replacing the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion with new investments in solar power and energy efficiency would be less risky, more affordable, and more than up to the job of powering Georgia’s economy. Once deemed the most...

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Dominion Virginia Energy’s “green tariff” another monopoly move

The solar industry is booming across the country and gaining momentum both in job creation and popularity among customers. This week Dominion Virginia Energy sought approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission to provide customers with a...

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Georgia utility should treat solar customers fairly

Georgia’s solar industry has seen impressive growth in recent years, providing benefits to Georgians statewide in the form of jobs, reduced energy costs, and energy independence. But despite the success of large-scale solar development, there are...

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New report shines light on sustainable solar farm development in the Southeast

A new report released by SELC highlights how communities across the Southeast are harnessing the many benefits of solar power while ensuring that energy demands are balanced with smart, sustainable development of solar farms. “The Environmental...

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Carolina utility looking to keep customers by offering community solar

Worried about market share as more people turn to ever-cheaper solar energy, some utilities are planning “community solar” projects to retain customers looking for clean energy alternatives. A recent Associated Press article noted the trend that...

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Solar jobs booming

The solar industry was a leader in job creation across the country in 2016, with four states SELC works in listed among the nation’s top 20, according to a newly published report from The Solar Foundation. The National Solar Jobs Census shows that...

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Corporate commitment to renewables brings more solar to Virginia

Amazon’s data centers and Dominion Power just announced a partnership that will dramatically expand solar capacity in the Commonwealth. The deal will include construction of 180 megawatts of solar spread across five counties and scheduled to be...

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Georgia utilities, solar advocates weigh in on third party financing law impacts

Georgia legislators heard from a variety of speakers late last week about how the state’s rooftop solar industry has fared since the Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act passed last summer, and the barriers that rooftop customers and solar...

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The baa-ounty of solar:  When solar and agriculture go hand-in-hand

At nearly 2 gigawatts of solar power, North Carolina recently surpassed Arizona to rank second in the nation for installed solar capacity. This week, a video from SELC’s Stories of Solar series features one of the many North Carolina solar success...

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SELC, faith groups keep pushing for solar access in N.C.

As the North Carolina Court of Appeals considers a Greensboro church’s use of a popular solar financing method, SELC and faith groups from across the state continue to support the call for greater access to affordable clean energy. This week, SELC...

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South Carolina solar on the rise

South Carolina solar is on the rise. This week, the South Carolina Public Service Commission approved the Southeast’s first shared solar programs specifically aimed at low-income customers. Settlement agreements reached by stakeholders and utilities...

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Ruling could open the door for Virginia’s solar market

A Virginia State Corporation Commission hearing examiner has turned aside a utility’s claims that customers in its area were forbidden from entering into contracts with third parties to provide solar energy for their homes. The ruling rejected...

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New “Stories of Solar” campaign features families and businesses spreading solar across the South

Too often, solar power gets caught up in detailed policy debates and it can be easy to lose sight of the real people who could benefit from more solar in our region: families, farmers, businesses, schools, faith congregations, non-profit...

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Tennessee homeowners notch solar win as Kingsport Power drops proposed charge

Today the Tennessee Regulatory Authority approved a settlement in which Kingsport Power Company dropped its plan to enact a burdensome demand charge for solar customers. The charge had attracted strong opposition over concerns that the excessively...

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Georgia Power adopts renewable energy increase advanced by SELC, partners

Georgia will continue to build on the success of its burgeoning clean energy economy through the state Public Service Commission’s final vote today approving Georgia Power Company’s long-term energy plan. The decision adds new solar to the state’s...

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rules in favor of clean energy growth

On June 16, SELC helped score a significant victory that will bolster the growth of clean energy in the Southeast, and across the nation. In 2015, the Delta-Montrose Electric Association—a rural, member-owned electric cooperative in Colorado—filed...

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It’s time for solar for all, says new report from SELC, partners

Southern utilities have done little to bring the proven economic advantages of solar power to lower income families and communities that could most use the benefits of this cost-saving energy. A report released today outlines how the utilities can...

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As utilities attempt to co-opt “community solar”, SELC pushes back

As some utilities wage battles to enact policies that make solar power more expensive for their customers, it’s no surprise that they are getting pushback from customers who are fighting for the right to go solar. Now, utilities have launched a...

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Santee Cooper sweetens solar pot, but not enough to make a difference, says SELC

South Carolina’s state-owned Santee Cooper this week rolled out new solar incentives, but SELC attorneys say the utility’s plans aren’t enough to boost its lagging solar engagement. In fact, according to SELC attorneys Blan Holman and Lauren Bowen,...

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Sun block: Utilities use punitive fees to discourage residential solar

A state-owned utility in South Carolina is penalizing solar customers with standby charges and unfair rate structures that make it harder for customers to justify switching to the sun to gain more energy independence. The regressive solar policies...

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N.C. unwisely looking to fit dirty fuels into clean energy standards

On Wednesday, the North Carolina Energy Policy Council will consider what can only be described as a “dirty energy portfolio standard.” The North Carolina Energy Policy Council falls under the purview of the Department of Environmental Quality...

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Strengthening solar in the Southeast, despite obstacles

2015 was a big year for solar in the South, with significant commitments by nearly every utility in the region to expand solar investments. At the same time, customers’ individual rights to go solar are increasingly under threat. Nonetheless, with...

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N.C. Utilities Commission issues order on payments to independent renewable power producers

The North Carolina Utilities Commission issued an order late yesterday in a case about the rates state monopoly electric utilities must pay when they buy power from independent power producers, such as solar companies. The commission had already...

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Southeast poised to gain from Paris talks on climate change

As world leaders meet in Paris to reach far-reaching agreements on how to halt greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting climate change, the impact of the global negotiations here in the Southeast is hard to ignore. Consider that, when viewed as a...

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Third party financing law leads to Atlanta’s first city solar program

Atlanta became the first city in Georgia to commit to installing solar panels on public buildings with this week’s launch of Solar Atlanta, the city’s inaugural solar program. The program will put solar panels on 28 municipal buildings, which are...

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TVA planning changes that would crush the Valley’s homegrown solar industry

TVA recently made it known that it intends to suddenly slash its solar programs in 2016, a decision that threatens to halt new solar installations at local homes, farms, and businesses while crippling Tennessee's burgeoning solar industry, which is...

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Alabama Power approved for first major military solar projects

The Alabama Public Service Commission has given Alabama Power the green light to move forward with two large-scale military solar projects at the Anniston Army Depot and Fort Rucker, the first projects announced under the utility’s plan to develop...

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Southern Exposure film highlights Alabama’s untapped solar potential

Alabama’s abundance of hot, sunny days would presumably make the decision to go solar a no-brainer for homeowners and small businesses across the state. But most of Alabama remains in the dark, largely due to political impediments and policy...

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Let there be light: North Carolina faith group arguing for greater access to solar

As the North Carolina Utilities Commission considers how one church in the state is financing its new solar array, SELC is representing North Carolina Interfaith Power and Light in their effort to expand the scope of the ruling beyond a single...

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New TVA analysis takes first step toward recognizing the value of solar

Today the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) released its “Distributed Generation- Integrated Value” report, intended to calculate the economic value that solar power provides to the TVA grid. The report confirms that, by encouraging distributed...

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Santee Cooper floats solar-stunting fees

While South Carolina’s investor-owned utilities are making affordable solar power more accessible for families and businesses, state-owned Santee Cooper is going in the opposite direction by proposing stiff charges that would penalize customers for...

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Growth in solar will fuel jobs in the sunny south

The explosive growth of solar power across the country has provided more than new sources of energy; it has fueled thousands of high-paying jobs. Rank the states in the Southeast by any number of solar benchmarks, however, and you see a striking...

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PSC approves Alabama Power’s request for 500 MW of alternative energy

Yesterday the Alabama Public Service Commission approved Alabama Power’s request to pursue 500 MW of renewable energy capacity, and provided recommendations for the utility to follow when vetting projects. “This decision represents a very positive...

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Clean Power Plan provides path for safer climate, catalyst for clean energy jobs in the Southeast

This afternoon the Obama Administration will release the final version of the Clean Power Plan, the country’s strongest action ever to reduce carbon pollution and pave the way for cleaner and more affordable energy choices. Over the next fifteen...

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Greater access to solar for more South Carolinians as PSC signs off on utility solar programs

The Public Service Commission has officially approved solar incentive programs offered by South Carolina utilities, a major step in bringing affordable solar power to families and businesses across the Palmetto State.  SELC, the South Carolina...

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Access to solar power increased through new White House programs

This week the White House announced multiple programs to expand Americans’ access to solar power, particularly for low-income communities and renters. Central to the federal solar plans is formation of the new National Community Solar Partnership....

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SELC op-ed: Alabama Power falls behind as other Southern utilities invest in solar

More and more utilities across the Southeast are getting on board with solar, and Southern Company utilities are no exception in wanting to reap the significant cost savings this fuel-free resource provides when energy demand is at its highest. Yet...

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Georgia’s third party solar financing law goes into effect today

Today marks the official launch of a new Georgia law allowing for third party participation in solar financing--possibly a game-changer for rooftop solar growth in the state. The Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015 will make it easier for...

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Bills to slow renewables in N.C. face increased opposition

Hundreds of solar industry employees streamed into the North Carolina capitol building Tuesday. They were there to add their voices to the many objecting to H332 and H760, two bills under consideration that would stall the state’s clean energy...

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South Carolina solar gets another boost after settlement with SCE&G

South Carolina will see more solar installations thanks to a settlement reached between SCE&G and conservation groups. After negotiations concerning the utility’s state-authorized Distributed Energy Resource programs, several agreements were...

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Settlement spurs investment in South Carolina solar

South Carolina’s solar industry will see a major boost thanks to a settlement reached by Duke Energy and conservation groups represented by SELC this week. The settlement agreement is the latest step in carrying out Act 236, landmark legislation...

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SELC op-ed: It’s time to shine light on Alabama Power’s decision-making process

In Alabama, there is a crucial need for an open, transparent process around how Alabama Power, the state’s largest utility, makes long-term energy planning decisions. Along with some of our partners, Keith Johnston, Managing Attorney for SELC’s...

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Moving towards a clean energy economy in Virginia

On Earth Day 2015, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a package of six clean-energy jobs bills carried by a bipartisan group of legislators (six Republicans and six Democrats).  SELC, League of Conservation Voters, Virginia Conservation Network and...

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Study finds when utilities add renewables consumer costs drop

U.S. News & World Report recently shared an analysis that shows states with the highest share of electricity generation from renewable energy sources pay less for power. These findings confirm what many believe: increasing renewables will bring down...

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Listen in: Solar poised for major leap forward in South Carolina

South Carolina boasts the tenth-best solar power potential in the U.S., but until now, there has not been robust solar development in the state. That, however, is changing quickly. Last year SELC helped to draft and pass compromise legislation to...

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Net metering settlement gives SC solar customers full credit for power generated

Today the South Carolina Public Service Commission approved a settlement agreement reached by utilities and conservation groups, confirming that solar customers in the Palmetto State will receive full credit on their utility bills for the solar...

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Utilities’ behind-the-scenes campaign against solar comes to light

The Washington Post ran a hard-hitting investigative story this weekend on how utilities are waging a campaign against rooftop solar. The article noted how solar is more affordable and accessible than ever before – with solar prices down 60% over...

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Georgia purchase power agreements: another step forward for solar

The Georgia Public Service Commission has unanimously approved 10 Purchase Power Agreements for independent solar companies to provide 515 Megawatts of solar power to Georgia Power. SELC pushed for the original requirements and for the final...

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Solar power will work in Alabama, just ask Georgia

Despite similar climates, both political and meteorological, Georgia and Alabama could not be more different in their approach to solar power. SELC attorneys Kurt Ebersbach and Keith Johnston discuss the stark policy differences between Georgia and...

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South Carolina solar settlement generates buzz in energy field

What’s the talk of the energy world right now? It’s a deal SELC sealed with South Carolina utilities on December 11 to ensure that customers who invest in solar power will receive full retail credit for any electricity that flows back onto the grid....

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Public Hearing Highlights Solar Energy Opportunities for South Carolina

While South Carolina has lagged behind most states in utilizing solar energy, in recent months state policymakers have begun to investigate ways to close the gap. To that end, the State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee Energy Advisory...

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Statement from SELC, SACE on Georgia Power’s Withdrawal of Solar Tax

The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) applaud Georgia Power’s decision to withdraw its proposed solar tariff as part of a settlement agreement filed Monday with the Georgia Public Service...

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TVA’s Release of Solar Capacity Highlights Unmet Demand for Tennessee Valley Solar Projects

The Tennessee Valley Authority is making 2.5 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity available under its Green Power Providers program for small renewable energy projects. This capacity is expected to be filled within a few hours, highlighting the unmet...

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Victory for Future of Clean Energy in Georgia

In a breakthrough decision, the Georgia Public Service Commission has required Georgia Power to increase its investment in solar energy by 525 megawatts—enough to power about 50,000 homes. At the same time, the commission approved the retirement of...

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North Carolina legislature keeps renewable and energy efficiency standards in place

SELC is applauding the North Carolina legislature’s rejection of an attempt to eliminate the state’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard. The bill, which requires investor-owned utilities to source certain percentage of retail...

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