SMALL YET MIGHTY: The power line serving an emergency radio tower atop Mount Sterling near Cataloochee experienced frequent outages related to bad weather and downed trees, so Duke Energy decided last year to replace it with a self-contained microgrid consisting of a solar array and battery system. Photo courtesy of Duke Energy

Storing power key to expanding use of renewable energy

The success of the county’s and city’s goals to increase their use of renewable energy, say local experts, hinges on the availability of battery storage — and lots of it. With one very small local battery installation under its utility belt, Duke Energy Progress is developing two storage projects in Western North Carolina — but will those and future projects be large enough to make a meaningful difference?

LETTER OF THE LAW: The N.C. Police Benevolent Association's communication to Asheville City Council asks for members to rescind their recent motions on consent search and traffic stop policy. "We certainly prefer the opportunity to resolve these matters with you rather than exploring other measures available to us," the letter reads. Image from letter by N.C. Police Benevolent Association

Police group threatens legal action against Asheville City Council on recent policy changes

The words City Council adopted on May 22 could land the five members who supported them in hot water, according to lawyers from the N.C. Police Benevolent Association. Language in the city’s charter suggests that the consequences could be serious, possibly even including loss of office if convicted of giving an order to a city […]

BUYING TIME: While some requested data about the Asheville Police Department will be released soon, city staffer Scott Barnwell, right, told City Council, other records requested by activists and Council members will take longer to be made public. Photo by Daniel Walton

Police accountabi­lity and transparen­cy focus of City Council meeting

Amid calls for increased public access to policing data, Asheville City Council left the city’s volunteer board dedicated to hearing residents’ concerns about law enforcement in place for now. At the same time, the elected officials noted many vacancies on the Citizens Police Advisory Committee and signaled their longterm intent to dissolve the body once the newly forming Human Relations Commission has gotten up and running.