SOLAR: Construction of a 484 MW solar farm in Virginia is halfway complete, and the first phases already are producing 259 MW of power despite community opposition during its planning a couple of years ago. (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

ALSO: West Virginia becomes home to a growing number of solar farms as demand for renewables increases amid coal’s decline. (WOWK)

WIND: North Carolina beach towns that rely on tourism are passing resolutions opposing the installation of wind turbines that can be seen from shore, asking for them to instead be put at least 24 nautical miles away. (Star News Online)

TRANSITION:
• The Sierra Club buys television ads in Atlanta attacking Southern Co.’s commitment to fighting climate change because it continues to rely on coal to generate electricity while building new plants fired by natural gas. (Capitol Beat News Service/Albany Herald)
• A congressional bill recently advanced by the U.S. Senate’s energy committee includes significant funding to clean up abandoned energy infrastructure and mine lands, which could boost West Virginia’s economy. (WV News)

PIPELINES: Central Virginia residents prepare to fight a recently announced pipeline that would serve a yet-to-be-built natural gas plant outside Richmond. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

GRID:
• A former energy regulator says the deregulated Texas electricity market favors low-cost renewables like wind and solar but needs incentives to get investors to build backup plants. (Dallas Morning News)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority launches a program to recruit and train new electrical line workers in Memphis, Tennessee. (Memphis Business Journal)

CLIMATE: None of Alabama’s Republican congressional leaders have joined the newly formed “Conservative Climate Caucus” despite the state’s vulnerability to climate change. (AL.com)

CARBON CAPTURE: A private partnership proposes building a national pipeline network to capture carbon emissions and would focus on existing carbon hot spots such as coal-fired power plants in Appalachia’s Ohio River Valley. (DeSmog Blog)

COAL ASH: Environmental groups criticize the EPA’s decision to retain Trump-era coal ash rules as too accommodating and likely to leave communities vulnerable to spills like those that occurred at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant and Duke Energy Corp.’s Dan River plant. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• Even as Florida becomes the top Southeastern state for solar, the state’s utilities can still do more to ensure the transition to clean energy, writes a clean energy advocate. (Palm Beach Post)
• Texas should not replace its open power market with a capacity market that shifts power from consumers to politicians and regulators, writes the director of an energy group backed by Texas businesses. (Dallas Morning News)
• The spill of up to 5,000 tons of coal ash off Jacksonville’s coast is a wake-up call for Florida regulators to monitor the toxic coal byproduct and for local officials to insist the local utility close its coal plants, writes a state environmentalist. (Florida Times-Union)

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.