WIND: The Interior Department will gauge interest in offshore wind power in the Gulf Coast, but high upfront infrastructure costs and tepid demand from regional utilities present challenges. (Reuters, NOLA.com)

ALSO: Opponents of a proposed western Virginia wind farm say it should be cancelled for missing a late May deadline for site plan approval, while the company argues state lawmakers extended the deadline. (Roanoke Times)

COAL:
• American Electric Power representatives say closing a coal-fired West Virginia power plant 12 years ahead of schedule could save ratepayers $300 million, but remain neutral on its fate despite pressure to keep the plant open. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, WV Metro News)
• A West Virginia coal company files notice to close an underground mine and prep plant on the West Virginia/Pennsylvania border, permanently laying off 180 workers. (WV Metro News)
• Florida Power & Light sets a June 16 date to demolish its last coal-fired power plant. (Palm Beach Post)
• A workgroup of Virginia agencies and organizations considers what to do with revenue earned from phasing out coal industry tax credits. (Kingsport Times News)

GRID: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs new reforms he says “fix all of the flaws” that contributed to February’s deadly winter blackout, despite criticism from experts who say much more needs to be done. (Associated Press, KXAN)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: South Carolina lawmakers consider increasing fees for electric vehicles to make up for a gas tax revenue shortfall. (Post and Courier)

SOLAR:
• Silicon Ranch breaks ground on an 8 MW solar farm in eastern Tennessee. (Johnson City Press)
• A West Virginia redevelopment authority tilts toward solar in the heart of coal country with plans to bring a solar farm to the area and install a rooftop array for an aquaponics facility. (Williamson Daily News)
• Virginia officials celebrate the launch of 511 KW and 450 KW solar arrays at middle and elementary schools. (Augusta Free Press)

PIPELINES: A series of recently completed pipeline projects in Texas and Mexico build out natural gas transportation infrastructure to link the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

NUCLEAR: Georgia regulators and independent state monitors report Georgia Power’s long-delayed nuclear expansion of Plant Vogtle is even further behind schedule than the utility acknowledges, and could cost $2 billion more than expected. (Associated Press; Wall Street Journal, subscription)

OIL & GAS: Tennessee lawmakers approve rule changes that shift the financial burden of cleaning up gas station spills from business owners to taxpayers for the next five years. (Tennessee Lookout)

UTILITIES: A Kentucky city delays a plan to sell its municipal electric utility to a private buyer after realizing a consultant’s report included a $20 million error. (Gleaner)

COMMENTARY:
• President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan would invest in clean energy, transportation electrification and pollution-reduction technology, as well as safeguard vulnerable flood-prone regions such as Virginia’s Hampton Roads, write a union official and conservationist. (Virginian Pilot)
• The lack of national coverage of striking coal miners in Alabama demonstrates the decline of influence of America’s labor unions, writes an author and journalist. (Esquire)

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.