COAL: A high-tech manufacturing training center built with federal grants near a reclaimed coal mine has trained nearly 200 eastern Kentucky workers — most of them men, many of them laid-off coal miners. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: West Virginia regulators have failed to comply with state and federal law in overseeing its coal mining reclamation program, creating a risk of insolvency, according to a legislative audit. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

PIPELINES: The use of eminent domain by the proposed Byhalia Connection pipeline in Memphis, Tennessee, sparks a debate over property rights. (E&E News, subscription)

OIL & GAS: A judge opens the door for environmentalists to challenge Texas regulators’ approval of a permit for a proposed gas plant in El Paso, Texas. (El Paso Herald-Post)

COAL ASH: A ship runs aground between Puerto Rico and Georgia, spilling up to 8,000 tons of coal ash off the coast of Florida. (WMFE)

NUCLEAR: Georgia Power announces equipment at a new unit under construction at the Plant Vogtle nuclear facility has been energized, allowing testing to begin. (WRDW)

SOLAR:
• Federal regulators express concerns about Alabama’s decision to allow a utility to charge a monthly fee to rooftop solar customers, setting up a bigger fight in federal court. (E&E News, subscription)  
• Duke Energy begins construction on a 250 MW solar plant in Texas. (PV Tech)
• A regional Arkansas bank breaks ground on a 4.8 MW solar plant to power its corporate headquarters and up to 40 locations. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority issues a request for proposals to build utility-scale solar and battery storage projects that need to become operational by the end of 2024. (Renewables Now)

UTILITIES:
• A Florida city pauses its plan to bury utility lines after Florida Power and Light Co.’s cost to complete its portion triples its estimates. (Anna Maria Islander)
• Texas regulators consider whether to end a moratorium on utility shutoffs for nonpayment. (Dallas Morning News)
• A Kentucky city’s utility regulators vote unanimously to recommend the city not sell its municipal utility to a private company. (Henderson Gleaner)

GRID: A South Carolina city council seeks grant funding to upgrade a tie-in with the electric grid to reduce outages. (Index-Journal)

EFFICIENCY: A Virginia county board considers adjusting its tax code to incentivize solar panels, energy efficiency upgrades and other improvements in commercial structures. (Central Virginian)

COMMENTARY:
• Legislation to reform South Carolina’s state-owned Santee Cooper leaves much to be desired but still marks a step toward fixing the troubled utility, writes an editorial board. (Post and Courier)
• North Carolina Republicans’ decision to block the nomination of a new environmental regulator was self-destructive and shows the natural gas industry’s desperation to shore up its investments, writes a reporter. (New Republic)
• A conservative radio and TV commentator argues a hedge fund’s attempt to split Duke Energy into multiple companies could lead to a bad deal for Florida electric customers. (Tampa Bay Times)
• Tennessee’s focus on attracting advanced energy companies has paid off, writes an electric company official and advanced energy advocate. (Commercial Appeal)

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.