On Oct. 21, 1886, downtown Asheville was aglow.
“Smart meters are a necessary step if our electricity grid is going to accommodate distributed storage (residential batteries like the Tesla power wall). They also offer endless opportunities for apps and other data-driven efficiency strategies that we haven’t dreamed of yet. There’s also a reduction in fossil fuel use when meter readers don’t have to drive to homes anymore.”
To meet growing power demand, Duke Energy says it will need to build three new electrical substations close to downtown over the next ten years. The city is rushing to put an ordinance establishing requirements for substation screening in place while residents are banding together to oppose substations in their neighborhoods.
When the fight began, no one knew whether public opposition could kill Duke Energy’s proposed 40-mile transmission line from a new substation in Campobello, South Carolina to a massive new gas-fired power generation plant at Lake Julian in Skyland. Now that Duke has changed course, energy activists celebrate and refocus.
Responding to a major public outcry against all of the routes proposed for the transmission lines, Duke has reconfigured its plans for upgrading the coal-fired power plan in Skyland. The revised plans eliminate the need for a Campobello, S.C. substation and a high-voltage transmission line connecting that plant with the Asheville facility.
Of the 30 utility-scale solar projects built in the Southeast last year, 21 were in North Carolina. That’s the kind of good news business leaders heard when they gathered June 19 in Asheville to celebrate the successes and discuss the challenges facing the rapidly growing renewable energy industry. (pictured: Ivan Urlaub of the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association; photo by Max Cooper)
The North Carolina Utilities Commission wants to hear from you: On Tuesday, March 5, the commission will hold a local public hearing on Progress Energy Carolinas’ request to raise residential, commercial and industrial electricity rates by an average of 12 percent.
A new video produced by Buncombe County aims to answer the question, “what happens to your garbage once it leaves your back door or driveway?”
Progress Energy, the biggest electric company serving homes in Buncombe County recently merged with Duke Energy, making it the largest utility company in the U.S. And it’s coming under fire from a variety of groups including the AARP, which is urging residents to fight against rate hikes.
At its May 3 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners is set to hear a pair of reports that deal with different aspects of county health care: One on Western North Carolina Community Health Services (WNCCHS) and another on the state of local Adult Care homes.