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Power Outages Reignite Debate Over Buried Power Lines

After nearly every major storm event resulting in major power outages, utilities, public officials, and customers reexamine the existing electrical distribution infrastructure. And no exception, the most recent hurricanes, Harvey in Houston, Irma in Florida, and Maria in Puerto Rico, have reignited the debate over buried lines and whether the risks are worth the investment.

When Harvey hit Texas, Houston had almost 24,000 circuit miles of underground distribution lines

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NC Utilities Commission to Issue Rules for Competitive Procurement of Renewable Energy

The NC Utilities Commission is working in Docket E-100, Sub 150 on rules to implement House Bill 589 – An Act to Reform North Carolina’s Approach to Integration of Renewable Electricity Generation through Amendment of Laws Related to Energy Policy and to Enact the Distributed Resources Act.

One of the main components of the new law requires electric public utilities to create a competitive procurement program for 2,660 megawatts

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International Trade Commission finds harm to U.S. Manufacturers from Solar Panel Imports

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) voted unanimously last week that domestic producers of solar panels have been significantly harmed by unfair competition from imported solar panels. They have until November to determine if they will recommend a specific remedy to the Trump administration, which could include a tariff on solar panel imports.

Suniva, Inc., a U.S. solar panel producer based in Georgia, which declared bankruptcy in April, filed a

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In State of NC ex rel. Utils. Comm’n v. N.C. Waste Awareness Reduction, a Divided NC Court of Appeals Ruled that NC WARN is a Public Utility

On September 19, 2017, a divided panel of the NC Court of Appeals ruled that N.C. Waste Awareness Reduction (NC WARN) is a public utility for installing and maintaining solar panels on a Greensboro church and entering into a contract to charge the church for the energy generated. NC WARN had asked the NC Utilities Commission (NCUC) for a declaratory ruling that it was not a regulated public utility.

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Hurricane Season Demonstrates Need for Smart Stormwater Management Practices

The devastating effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the past month have highlighted the challenges of responsible stormwater management that local governments around the country are facing.  Here in the Southeast, Smith Moore Leatherwood has helped facilitate several recent events where stormwater management practices were discussed and innovative ideas were exchanged.

On August 24, we co-sponsored “How to be Water Smart in the Triangle,” where attendees saw local

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High Point Seeks Economic Development with Baseball

The City of High Point, North Carolina seeks to make a significant public investment in construction of a downtown baseball stadium which would be home to an Atlantic League (Independent) baseball team.

The city wants to use the ballpark as a lynchpin for a broader downtown economic development plan. High Point seeks to take a page from the economic development playbook of quite a few other North Carolina municipalities

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