SOLAR: Virginia school and government solar installations stalled last year due to the pandemic and a state solar program hitting a cap that’s since been lifted by the legislature. (Virginia Mercury)

ALSO: Duke Energy officials discuss a proposed 720-acre solar farm at a public meeting last night in Florida. (WCJB)

HYDROGEN: One of the world’s largest producers of liquid hydrogen for vehicles and electric generation announces it will build a hydrogen refinery in southeast Georgia. (Associated Press)

• Florida Gas Transmission Co. and a Louisiana transportation agency negotiate the relocation of a pipeline that runs through the path of a 12-mile canal under construction. (Greater Baton Rouge Business Report)
• Duke Energy conducts maintenance work on a North Carolina pipeline involving an open-flame flare stack that creates noise and a gas smell for nearby neighborhoods. (Fayetteville Observer)

• Louisiana lawmakers approve legislation to offer a tax exemption on oil produced from reclaimed “orphan” wells, although critics say the program gives the industry taxpayer money to clean up its own mess. (Louisiana Illuminator)
• A federal judge prepares to rule on a suit by 13 largely Southeastern states challenging President Joe Biden’s moratorium on new oil leases on federal land. (Lafayette Daily Advertiser, subscription)

POLITICS: President Joe Biden leans on Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and her history as a fellow former governor to get pivotal U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on board with the administration’s energy agenda. (E&E News, subscription)

• After three staff attorneys resign, San Antonio’s municipal utility says it will hire outside lawyers to represent it in suits against 17 natural gas companies and the Texas power grid operator in an effort to avoid $1 billion in debt stemming from February’s winter storm. (San Antonio Express-News)
• A Texas food bank gets a $58,000 energy bill, about six times its usual, stemming from the February storm. (KXAS)

WIND: Texas landowners push to be added to a reinvestment zone around a planned 600 MW wind farm. (KFDX)

• An Alabama strike against Warrior Met Coal has stretched to more than two months with no sign of relenting. (The Nation)
• The body of a missing Nebraska man is found in a load of coal delivered from Wyoming to a Texas power plant. (KWTX)

NUCLEAR: The project director for the lead contractor to build two new reactors at South Carolina’s failed V.C. Summer plant pleads guilty to making a false statement to federal authorities. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: West Virginia residents speak out against a proposed Appalachian Power rate increase. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Alabama’s governor announces $4 million to build electric vehicle charging stations across the state. (WBRC)

CRYPTOCURRENCY: A Bitcoin-mining company expanding in Kentucky plans to invest $12.7 million in utility upgrades to accommodate 100 MW of power. (Kentucky Today) 

• With Texas looking to overtake California by 2030 as the top solar state, leaders should remove oil and gas subsidies, invest in research and prepare transmission lines, writes an energy consultant. (Real Clear Energy)
• The formation of a work group to address struggling West Virginia coal communities is a positive sign that lawmakers recognize the need to plan for transition, writes an editorial board. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

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.