UTILITIES: Appalachian Power tells Virginia regulators it seeks to acquire or contract 294 MW of solar and 204 MW of wind power over the next three years. (Roanoke Times, ReNews)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Volkswagen and Toyota, which both maintain factories in the Southeast, set their sights on toppling Tesla as the top maker of electric vehicles. (Bloomberg)

GRID:
• Dominion Energy and electric cooperatives struggle to restore power to residents of central Virginia after rain and snowfall create hazardous conditions across much of Virginia, while Duke Energy makes faster progress in western North Carolina. (Daily Progress, WRIC, Blue Ridge Public Radio)
• More than 100 insurance companies sue Texas’ grid operator and 37 different power generating entities over losses and property damage during last February’s winter storm and resulting outages. (KXAN)
• South Carolina regulators complete a review of the electrical grid that shows the state energy system and utility providers are prepared to prevent and respond to weather-related outages. (WSPA)

EMISSIONS: A council in the Tennessee county that includes Nashville votes to end vehicle emission testing requirements as early as next month. (Tennessean)

SOLAR:
• A company seeks a Kentucky county’s approval to build a 100 MW solar farm and related transmission line. (News-Enterprise)
• A Northern Virginia planning commission again delays a vote on a permit for the fourth phase of a 656-acre solar development. (Northern Virginia Daily)

HYDROPOWER: A hydropower company seeks federal approval for a closed-loop pumped storage project on a former coal mine in Kentucky. (Renewable Energy Magazine)

OIL & GAS:
• A Texas city council votes down a permit for an oil and gas company to drill new wells near a daycare center. (KTVT)
• A gas company co-founded by Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens opens Florida’s first filling station for vehicles running on liquid natural gas. (Florida Times-Union)

POLITICS: Democrats pause action on their roughly $2 trillion package of social and environmental initiatives until at least later this month as U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin remains opposed, although some still seek to preserve funding for climate initiatives. (Associated Press, States Newsroom)

COMMENTARY:
• A southwestern Virginia activist writes that the state should remain part of a regional carbon market because it helps fund flood mitigation projects and energy efficiency improvements for low-income families. (Roanoke Times)
• West Virginia lags the rest of the country in developing wind and solar power largely because its mountains get in the way, writes an editorial board. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)
• The director of a Virginia coal research center lauds the inclusion of funding for carbon capture and hydrogen technology in last year’s federal infrastructure package. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• Louisiana has potential to shift from fossil fuels to solar power, but in the meantime desperately needs a fix for its vulnerable grid, writes an editorial board. (The Advocate)

Mason Adams

Mason has worked as a journalist since 2001, covering Appalachian communities and the issues that affect them. He compiles the Southeast Energy News digest. Mason previously worked as a wildlife biologist before moving into journalism by freelancing at Coast Weekly in Monterey, California, before taking an internship in 2001 at High Country News. He wrote for the Enterprise Mountaineer in western North Carolina and the Roanoke Times in western Virginia before going freelance in 2012. His work has appeared in Southerly, Daily Yonder, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, WVPB’s Inside Appalachia and elsewhere. Mason was born and raised in Clifton Forge, Virginia, and now lives with his family and a small herd of goats in Floyd County, Virginia.