Southeast Energy News

Cold, snow and ice strain Southeast electric grid, gas supplies

GRID: Texas grid operators initiate rolling blackouts overnight amid a surge in demand during a record-breaking cold snap affecting the Southeast. (KSAT)

ALSO:
• Tens of thousands of customers in Virginia and North Carolina were without power after ice storms snapped tree limbs and power lines, with utilities saying it could take several days to restore service. (Roanoke Times, CBS17, WAVY)
• Nearly half of Texas’ wind power capacity was offline after freezing rain and frigid temperatures froze turbines in their place. (Austin American-Statesman)
Natural gas wells were also frozen in Texas and Oklahoma and customers across the region were urged to conserve energy. (KRCG, Oklahoman) 

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HYDROGEN: Houston is already a hub for hydrogen plants, pipelines and storage facilities and could become a leader in hydrogen energy, experts say. (Houston Chronicle)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp calls on President Biden to intervene in an international patent dispute that jeopardizes a planned $2.6 billion electric vehicle battery plant in the state. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Some Democrats and environmental groups in Virginia object to an electric school bus bill because of the costs proposed by Dominion Energy. (WVTF) 
• Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicts Austin, Texas, will become “the biggest boomtown that America has seen in 50 years.” (Austin American-Statesman)
• An Arkansas city board is expected to vote tomorrow on whether to spend $12,000 to install an electric vehicle charging station. (Herald Leader)

BIOMASS: Burning wood for energy is on the rise in Georgia, where the industry says it is boosting local economies as rural residents and public health groups raise concerns about pollution. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

RENEWABLES: A German chemical company signs power purchase agreements for 90 megawatts of wind and solar power in Texas. (Renewable Energy World) 

UTILITIES: Suburban Memphis leaders say they want a say in whether Memphis’ city-owned utility leaves the Tennessee Valley Authority. (Commercial Appeal) 

OIL & GAS:
• The Biden administration cancels an oil lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico that had been scheduled for March. (Houma Today)
• A contractor blames his employer for a 2016 oil spill along Louisiana’s coast, saying the company told him to cover up evidence and keep quiet. (NOLA.com)

COMMENTARY:
• A Kentucky community economic development group applauds President Biden’s commitment to a just transition in coal country. (Courier Journal)
• Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam should reject a bill abolishing the state’s coal tax credit and insist on amendments, including that money be reallocated to support economic development in coal counties, an editorial board says. (Roanoke Times)
• A Florida pediatrician and climate activist says the state needs stronger energy efficiency programs to save money and reduce pollution. (Tampa Bay Times)

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