UTILITIES: South Carolina regulators approve a revamped plan by Dominion Energy to shut down two coal plants by 2028, shift a third to natural gas by 2030, and rely more on renewable sources of power. (Utility Dive)

PIPELINES:
• A federal agency grants a six-month extension to Virginia regulators to decide whether the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s waterway crossings pose an unacceptable risk to streams and wetlands. (Roanoke Times)
• Louisville Gas and Electric wants to build a 12-mile natural gas pipeline to support infrastructure redundancy and population growth. (Spectrum News 1)
• Federal regulators release a draft review of an eight-mile Louisiana pipeline, but staff say they can’t assess the project’s climate impact. (S&P Global)

WIND: Texas regulators’ decision not to approve a utility’s wind farm means in-state customers won’t benefit from lower rates that accompany the project, while Arkansas and Louisiana customers will because their regulators signed off. (Texarkana Gazette)

OIL & GAS:
• Texas ranchers and regulators contend with uncontrolled wastewater leaks from thousands of abandoned oil and gas sites that date back decades. (Bloomberg)
• Texas sees increased demand for natural gas as California imports more fossil fuels to replace hydropower reduced by ongoing drought. (Texas Standard)
• A Texas gas line explodes and kills two people while it is being serviced. (WFAA)

SOLAR:
• A renewable energy company begins construction on a 317 MW solar farm in Texas. (Fort Bend Star)
• Duke Energy begins construction on a 74.9 MW solar plant in Florida. (Citrus County Chronicle)
• Arkansas officials open a 2.7 MW solar facility with 7 MW of battery storage to serve a city, its schools and a telecommunications utility. (Arkansas Business)
• North Carolina sees investment in clean energy development grow from $56.5 million in 2007 to $19.8 billion in 2020, with most going toward solar. (Triangle Business Journal)
• A Mississippi high school breaks ground on a new solar power facility. (WDAM)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Arkansas’ largest transit agency will use a $4.9 million federal grant to buy up to five electric buses and charging infrastructure. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

GRID:
• San Antonio’s municipal utility begins following local recommendations from a report on February’s winter outages, including winterizing its power plants and improving emergency communication. (San Antonio Express-News)
• Dominion Energy files a plan with Virginia regulators to pay for $669 million in transmission improvements. (WYDaily)

POLITICS:
• President Joe Biden’s push to shift from fossil fuels puts Texas Democrats who represent oil and natural gas-dependent districts in a pinch. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
• North Carolina textile executives come out against proposed legislation to require Duke Energy to retire five coal plants while allowing multiyear rate increases over financial concerns. (Associated Press)

BIOFUEL: A company plans a 16-acre facility to make renewable energy from sugar cane waste, and Louisiana offers multiple incentives to sweeten the deal. (Louisiana Illuminator)

CRYPTOCURRENCY: Texas makes regulatory changes to entice blockchain currency companies, leaning on solar and wind to take some of the sting out of the environmental criticism that accompanies cryptocurrency mining. (Dallas Morning News)

COMMENTARY:
• Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick argues that the state should build more natural gas plants to produce electricity during times of high demand such as February’s winter storm. (Dallas Morning News)
• Cryptocurrency’s propensity for crashes and boom and bust cycles should make Texas and other states looking to attract the industry more careful, write two journalists. (Slate)

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.