SOLAR: Duke Energy announces plans to build four new solar facilities in northern Florida as part of a $1 billion, 10-site solar infrastructure plan that will produce 750 MW once it is completed. (The Capitolist, WMBB)

ALSO:
• A Florida retirement community launches construction of a solar array after years of lobbying by its residents. (Gainesville Sun)
• An Alabama city announces plans to install a small solar farm at a wastewater treatment facility. (Dothan Eagle)

UTILITIES: Tampa Electric Co. and Duke Energy customers in Florida will likely see power bill increases starting in September due to a rise in natural gas costs. (Tampa Bay Times)

COAL:
• Environmentalists and Tennessee residents express concern about the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plan to move coal ash to a Memphis landfill. (WATN)
• U.S. senators from West Virginia and Wyoming strike a deal to renew the fee that coal companies pay to clean up abandoned mines and infuse the Interior Department’s reclamation fund with an additional $11.3 billion. (E&E News)

OIL & GAS:
• A new report by an environmental group calls for stricter standards around radioactive waste from oil and gas production that states, including Texas, often ignore. (news release; E&E News, subscription)
• An Ohio Valley think tank argues small town and rural communities produce more economic prosperity by focusing on quality of life instead of low taxes and minimal regulation for the natural gas industry. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• An oil and gas association releases a report showing the industry provides a little more than an eighth of Louisiana’s jobs and nearly a quarter of the state’s gross domestic product. (Greater Baton Rouge Business Report)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tennessee partners with electric vehicle maker Rivian to install chargers at state parks. (Chattanooga Pulse)

GRID: Duke Energy prepares for hurricane season by installing multi-layered flood barriers around electric substations in South Carolina. (WBTW)

RENEWABLES: Clean energy jobs are on the rise in Texas, but a reporter covering workplace issues says they don’t pay as well as traditional energy jobs in coal or natural gas, largely because they’re not unionized. (Texas Standard)

COMMENTARY:
• Florida Power & Light is transitioning to clean energy, but its request for a rate increase ignores the economic effects of the pandemic in favor of investors’ interests, writes an editorial board. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)
• The most effective way of combating climate change is to institute a carbon tax paired with a cash-back dividend returned to taxpayers, writes a Texas climate activist. (San Antonio Express-News)
• West Virginia’s former coal miners face a daunting challenge in adapting to new technology and job configurations, but there may be opportunities in newly emerging training programs, writes a columnist and director of the Southern Appalachia Labor School. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

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.