SOLAR: Fifteen North Carolina solar installers push back on Duke Energy’s proposal to pay less for rooftop solar power, vary rates by time of day and energy demand, and charge solar owners an extra $10 monthly fee. (WFAE)

ALSO: A Texas company teams up with a nonprofit to develop a model to remove technical and financing obstacles keeping historically underserved communities from installing residential solar. (Solar Builder)

OIL & GAS:
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin calls on President Biden to use the Defense Production Act to accelerate completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline after banning Russian oil imports. (The Hill)
• Experts explain why increased oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is unlikely to do much to reduce gas prices, which are set by global factors. (WBHM, Time)
• Oil companies are sitting on thousands of unused federal drilling permits for the Permian Basin, even as the industry calls on the Biden administration to expedite public land oil and gas development. (Bloomberg)
• A Georgia environmental group pushes back against state legislation to prohibit local governments from regulating gas-powered leaf blowers. (Brunswick News)

STORAGE: Duke Energy completes three Florida battery projects totalling nearly 34 MW that complement the utility’s solar farms. (WCJB, ReNews)

UTILITIES:
• Memphis, Tennessee’s municipal utility won’t identify the more than 20 companies that bid to supply its electricity, although a public records expert says there’s nothing preventing it from doing so. (Commercial Appeal)
• A Florida utility breaks ground on a net-zero emissions operations and maintenance center that will include rooftop solar panels, floating solar, rainwater harvesting tanks and electric vehicle charging stations. (WESH)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Tennessee board approves construction at Ford’s planned $5.6 billion electric vehicle manufacturing plant, though it has yet to approve the site plan for a related battery factory. (WMC-TV)

HYDROGEN:
Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas band together to pursue federal funding to become one of four national “hydrogen hubs.” (KATC, Associated Press)
• The Southeast is home to five announced hydrogen pilot projects that gas utilities are increasingly eyeing for decarbonization. (S&P Global)

EFFICIENCY: An Arkansas hospital system launches a $70 million upgrade of its facilities to conserve energy and upgrade mechanical and electronic equipment. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

BIOFUELS: A Texas company terminates its agreement to purchase two biodiesel facilities over debt and profitability concerns. (news release)

COMMENTARY:
• A columnist touts green hydrogen stored in salt caverns as an additional way to store renewable energy, saying it’s better for Texas than relying on natural gas. (Houston Chronicle)
• The rapidly developing electric vehicle industry offers benefits for customers, the environment, and businesses moving to install charging stations, writes an editorial board. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• An official at a sustainability nonprofit lauds the Virginia Senate for killing efforts to repeal landmark climate legislation. (Virginia Mercury)

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.