SOLAR: The fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is threatening project schedules, supply chain and demand in the fast-growing solar industry. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• San Francisco’s solar industry is preparing for no business due to the COVID-19 “shelter in place” order issued for all Bay Area residents yesterday. (E&E News, subscription)
• The industry had momentum heading into the crisis, building over 13 GW of new capacity last year, more than any other generating source. (Greentech Media)
• A New York City nonprofit works to bring community solar to low-income residents for financial and environmental justice reasons. (Yale Climate Connections)

STORAGE: Sen. Angus King of Maine introduces a bill to provide $150 million over five years for battery recycling research to keep lithium-ion batteries out of landfills. (Grist)

GEOTHERMAL: A California lithium startup is partnering with an Australian firm to develop a lithium-extraction facility at the Salton Sea as part of the area’s first new geothermal power plant in a decade. (Los Angeles Times)

WIND:
• A Louisiana utility reaches a deal with regulators, Walmart and an advocacy group to add 810 MW of wind energy in Oklahoma. (Arkansas Business)
• A clean energy company buys a 300 MW wind farm in Oklahoma and plans to sell the power to three Fortune 500 customers. (Daily Energy Insider)

EFFICIENCY: Efficiency Maine leads an incentive program in March for schools to convert to LED lighting beyond what it already offers to commercial and industrial customers. (Energy News Network)

RESEARCH:
• More than 50 industry trade associations, environmental groups, and think tanks urge Congress to appropriate more money for energy research. (E&E News)
The U.S. Department of Energy begins restricting access and ramping down activities at its national laboratories in response to coronavirus. (Science)

CLIMATE: A U.S. House climate committee indefinitely postpones the release of its long-awaited policy report amid the coronavirus pandemic. (E&E News)

GRID:
U.S. grid operators say no substantial effect on electricity demand has occurred yet as the coronavirus has spread, but that could change. (E&E News)
A study commissioned by environmental groups says PJM overcharges customers by up to $4 billion annually with faulty energy use projections that cause it to buy too much capacity. (NJ Spotlight)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Tesla reportedly plans to keep operating its San Francisco Bay area factory despite a three-week regional lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus. (Reuters)
• Florida lawmakers pass a bill directing the state transportation department to develop a long-term plan for electric vehicle infrastructure expansion. (Utility Dive)
A Chicago City Council committee approves an ordinance requiring certain new commercial and residential buildings to have at least 20% of parking spaces ready for EV equipment. (Chicago Sun-Times)

OIL & GAS:
• ExxonMobil is proposing new federal regulations on methane emissions that would require the rest of the industry to largely adopt its approach. (DeSmog)
• Exxon says it will make “significant” cuts to spending as oil prices and its shares take an unprecedented slide due to coronavirus. (Reuters)
• Celebrity drag queen RuPaul reveals in an interview that he and his husband own fracking sites in Wyoming, and the internet reacts. (Paper)

FRACKING: A plan by U.S. Steel to frack natural gas at its historic mill site outside Pittsburgh complicates Democratic Party politics at the federal, state and local levels. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

ELECTRIFICATION: A new poll suggests 70% of Californians prefer efficient electric appliances powered by clean electricity instead of gas. (Earthjustice)

NUCLEAR: A third worker at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle nuclear plant is tested for COVID-19, which could throw off the project’s timeline. (E&E News, subscription)

PIPELINES:
• Property rights advocates and environmentalists are working together to push Congress and the courts to overhaul the federal permitting process for natural gas pipelines. (Virginia Mercury)
• Pipeline company Enbridge issues a work from home order due to COVID-19 concerns that affects 1,100 employees in the Houston area. (Houston Chronicle)

COAL: The future of water rights owned by energy companies in the wake of Western coal-fired power plant closures may decide the economic future of many rural communities. (Daily Yonder)

UTILITIES: Virginia’s Clean Economy Act could be part of a bigger wave of change from lawmakers challenging Dominion Energy, experts say. (E&E News, subscription)

BIOFUELS: A federal government-backed startup is looking at the viability of giant, drone-managed seaweed farms for fuel, despite concerns about unexpected effects on marine ecosystems. (Scientific American)

OVERSIGHT: The Supreme Court and D.C. Circuit close to the public, though the latter is expected to hear a case March 31 about federal regulators blocking landowners from challenging pipelines. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY: It’s increasingly cheaper to build wind and solar than run coal plants and risk stranded assets, a Forbes writer says.

Dan Haugen

Dan has two decades' experience working in print, digital and broadcast media. Prior to joining the Energy News Network as managing editor in December 2017, he oversaw watchdog reporting at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, part of the USA Today Network, and before that spent several years as a freelance journalist covering energy, business and technology. Dan is a former Midwest Energy News journalism fellow and a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.