SOLAR:
• FirstEnergy Corp. seeks approval from West Virginia regulators to build five utility-scale solar generation projects throughout the state. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A county zoning board turns down two proposals for solar projects in southern Virginia over concerns about views and land use. (Martinsville Bulletin)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Texas will use $408 million in federal infrastructure funding to install charging stations around the state. (Dallas Morning News)
• Tennessee prepares for the shift to electric vehicles with Ford and Volkswagen factories on either side of the state and a $2.4 billion transportation budget for fiscal year 2021-2022. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• Florida lawmakers propose requiring state regulators to develop rules for deploying electric-vehicle charging stations that result in affordable electric rates for investor-owned electric utilities. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)
• Four of eleven members have been named to a Tennessee board to oversee an industrial “megasite” where Ford will build a $5.6 billion electric vehicle and battery factory. (Commercial Appeal)

GRID:
• Texas Gov. Greg Abbott promises “the lights will stay on” over the coming winter because of reforms implemented after a near-collapse of the state power grid during February’s winter storm — but experts, including the CEO of the state’s largest power generator, aren’t so sure. (KXAN, Texas Tribune)
• Appalachian Power plans to build a new 15-mile, 69kv transmission line in West Virginia. (WV Metro News)

RENEWABLES: A new report of renewable energy growth since 2011 finds that North Carolina ranks third nationally in solar power, 10th in energy efficiency, 17th in electric vehicle sales, 20th in battery storage of renewable energy and 26th in wind power. (Charlotte Observer)

COAL: West Virginia environmental groups worry that language in federal legislation will restrict states’ ability to restore streams damaged by acid mine drainage even with $11.3 billion for abandoned mine cleanup. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

OIL & GAS:
• Texas utilities largely deal with paying exorbitant natural gas prices incurred during February’s winter storm and price spike by passing the cost to ratepayers. (San Antonio Report)
• A CEO discusses plans for a renewable gasoline plant on a 53-acre industrial park property in Texas that should be complete by 2023. (Beaumont Enterprise)
• Oil’s recent higher prices aren’t likely to restart Arkansas’ fracking industry as Entergy drops plans to build a gas-fired power plant in lieu of a new emphasis on wind and solar. (Arkansas Business)

EMISSIONS: A data reporting project identifies two hotspots with higher cancer risk levels in industrial parts of Memphis, Tennessee, that edge up to largely Black residential communities. (ProPublica, Commercial Appeal)

CLIMATE: Virginia officials urge the creation of a state flood board to regulate and fund state projects. (Virginia Mercury)

UTILITIES: Dominion Energy urges customers who have fallen more than 60 days behind on bills to get on a payment plan as Virginia’s moratorium on disconnections expires. (WAVY)

COMMENTARY: A North Carolina editorial board tempers enthusiasm about a possible Toyota battery plant by recalling when a planned Toyota-Mazda electric car plant seemed like a lock in 2017 but then went to Alabama instead. (Greensboro News & Record)

Questions or comments about this article? Contact us at editor@energynews.us.

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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.