SOLAR: A Florida real estate developer plans to build a 300 MW solar facility — one of the largest in the state — to complement a 10,000-house development already under way. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

• Houston’s city council votes unanimously to lease a closed landfill in a historically Black neighborhood for a solar farm. (Houston Chronicle)
• A southwestern Virginia planning commission voted to recommend approval of a 280 MW solar project, the largest in the region. (Roanoke Times)
• A county planning board in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley narrowly votes to deny a permit for a solar farm. (Staunton News Leader)

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• Five coal miners died last year, marking a record low amid the pandemic and a shift by utilities away from coal. (Associated Press)
• Three of four Texas cities have approved the sale of a shuttered power plant to a Kentucky company for decommissioning; the fourth is scheduled to vote in late January. (WTAW)

GRID: Appalachian Power seeks approval from regulators to upgrade a 1940s-era transmission line across five central Virginia counties. (WFXR)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A northern Virginia county receives the first of eight electric school buses through a Dominion Energy program. (Patch)

• A state agency and a leadership center at the University of Virginia jointly launch a dashboard measuring the state’s progress toward clean energy goals set by last year’s sweeping Virginia Clean Economy Act. (WCAV)
• Florida Power & Light closes its last coal-fired power plant in Florida, while Gulf Power prepares to convert a coal plant to natural gas. (Power Engineering,

• Consumer and environmental groups push back on Georgia Power’s rate plan for some new customers, which raises rates at peak times and includes a new fee. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Florida advocacy and faith groups are among the more than 630 entities who have called for a national moratorium on utility disconnections for non-payment during the pandemic. (Tampa Bay Times)

POLITICS: Central Texas state lawmakers plan to fight climate change with legislation on infrastructure, renewable energy and electric vehicles. (Austin Chronicle)

COMMENTARY: Independent oil and gas producers support regulation of methane as a meaningful way to combat climate change, writes the CEO of a national trade organization representing exploration and production companies. (Houston Chronicle)

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.