Southeast Energy News

Knoxville signs major power agreement with TVA

SOLAR: A new law in Virginia updates and clarifies a 2013 measure that gave homeowner associations power to impose “reasonable restrictions” on solar, including the size and placement of rooftop solar. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Knoxville, Tennessee, one of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s biggest customers, signs a 20-year power agreement and will build another major solar farm. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• Jackson County, Texas, residents and officials debate permits for solar farms that would be built on private land. (Victoria Advocate)

RENEWABLES: Amazon announces four new renewable energy projects to help power its data centers, including one in Virginia. (ZDNet)

OIL & GAS:
• Amid the coronavirus outbreak, oil companies tell staff to work from home and also plan to perform more frequent health checks for employees on offshore rigs and pipelines. (Reuters)
• Texas’ oil and gas sector was already having problems, but fear and uncertainty around the pandemic could end the state’s fracking boom. (Texas Observer)
• Oil prices bounce back some after President Trump says the Department of Energy will buy crude for the nation’s petroleum reserve. (NPR)
• Houston’s economy added jobs more slowly than estimated last year, state data show, and now the oil and gas industry is cutting jobs. (Houston Chronicle) 

COAL:
• The national miners’ union warns miners about the risks of COVID-19 for those working underground and with black lung disease. (Bloomberg)
• Four years after being introduced, elk populations on former strip mines in West Virginia are growing slower than expected. (WVPB)

COAL ASH: Several coal ash regulation bills make it through the midpoint in the Georgia legislative session and could become law, but not one that would require lined storage to protect groundwater. (GPB)

UTILITIES: Some utilities in the Southeast suspend power disconnections and take additional steps to protect customers and employees from the spread of COVID-19. (Jackson Free Press, SC Now)

COMMENTARY:
• Renewables are better for North Carolina than the expensive, looming crisis that is the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a columnist writes. (Charlotte Observer)
• Growing renewable energy capacity in Texas is helping protect the power grid, an environmental organization writes. (Environmental Defense Fund)
• There are major concerns with how Knoxville’s contract with the TVA will impact customers’ access to renewables, a clean energy group writes. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)

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