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Coal Huge Solar & Wind Power Spills (+ Videos From NC Coal Ash Spill)

Published on February 5th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan

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Huge Solar & Wind Power Spills (+ Videos From NC Coal Ash Spill)



BREAKING: There’s currently a huge solar power spill going on in much of the world, and there are also wind power spills going on in various other parts of the world. It’s insanity. The result seems to be tons of clean electricity and falling wholesale electricity prices (sometimes even below $0). Again, these solar and wind power spills are rocking the planet! Be careful out there!

(In other news: some coal ash seems to have gotten loose and found its way into a river in North Carolina. Nothing to see here, move along now.)

In all seriousness, the Global Coal Campaign Coordinator from Waterkeeper Alliance, Donna Lisenby, has been at the spill site all week on the Dan River. Above are videos her crew just sent along. And here’s some commentary:

As you can clearly see, Duke Energy still has not contained the spill. It started on Sundayand has not stopped. Duke continues to dump decades of accumulated coal ash waste into the Dan River. Their waste turned the Dan River completely gray and the plume continues to move into Virginia where downstream public drinking water providers are attempting to filter out the coal ash waste before finished, treated water is sent to families and businesses. 

It started raining here in Eden, NC last night and we expect the spill to get worse because our aerial and on the water inspections yesterday revealed that Duke HAS NOT constructed any containment systems to stop more ash from entering the river. Duke initially reported the spill volumes of 50,000 to 82,000 tons and up to 27 million gallons. In reality, the amount of coal ash entering the Dan River is increasing daily and will likely get much higher due to the rains.

Here is a blog post I wrote about the spill showing pictures of the poorly maintained coal ash dam.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Larry

    That section of the river will be sterile for a long time. Coal ash slurry has a pH in the 12-14 range. It would take trillions of gallons of clean water to dilute it to the range where living organisms could survive [pH 4-9]. This could have been totally avoided if the regulators had done their job and required the containment system to be properly constructed and located out of the floodplain. The stormwater should NEVER have been routed through the site, but AROUND it

  • Matt

    Let me yes you run a 50 inch pipe under you unlined retention pond and then you are surprised when years later the pipe and pond connect to drain the pond.

    • Rick Kargaard

      People are often blind to obvious dangers until after the accident.

      • Bob_Wallace

        That’s a fact….

  • dynamo.joe

    2 million Americans diagnosed annually with skin cancer. Solar “spills” not necessarily a joke.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Pretty lame….

    • Doug Cutler

      That would actually be an excellent point . . . but in a health blog.

      • S.Nkm

        No it isn’t a good point, because the sun can’t be switched off.

        • Doug Cutler

          I was just sayin’ its a good idea to let the all solar panels soak up the sun, not your skin. Not quit sure of your angle there . . .

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      i was referring to electricity production (power) not personal exposure to the sun (which is still highly recommended — as a Florida boy living in Poland can very eagerly tell you).

      but yes, people should be careful about that.

  • Doug Cutler

    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

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