UTILITIES: NextEra Energy reports a quarterly loss after writing off $1.2 billion from the value of its stake in the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and signals that it will invest even more in renewables. (Pittsburgh Business Times, Reuters)

ALSO:
• Dominion Energy wins some praise from Virginia solar boosters for a new peak-shaving pilot program designed to incentivize customers to use more electricity during off-peak hours, when energy is more likely to come from renewable sources. (Energy News Network)
• South Carolina lawmakers vote to continue to receive offers for troubled state-owned electric utility Santee Cooper while also pushing forward with agency reforms. (The State)

***SPONSORED LINK: North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association is offering a virtual clean energy continuing legal education (CLE) course on Feb. 2, with a specific focus on the Southeast region. Register today! ***

PIPELINES: With a nationwide blanket stream-crossing permit on hold, Mountain Valley Pipeline announces it will instead seek individual permits that will require more intensive, stream-by-stream analysis. (Roanoke Times)

SOLAR:
• A western Virginia county approves a permit for the largest solar farm in the region, despite opposition over views and loss of farmland. (Roanoke Times)
• A San Francisco firm begins construction on two solar facilities south of Dallas that will total 316 MW. (Renewables Now)
• Emory University installs 6,530 solar panels on its Atlanta campus, with plans to more than double that by 2025. (The Emory Wheel)
• Nashville-based energy developer Silicon Ranch searches for property to build a solar facility after it reaches a tentative deal to provide power to an eastern Tennessee city. (The Daily Times)

OIL & GAS:
• Plans by a subsidiary of Elon Musk’s SpaceX to drill for natural gas in Texas leads to a dispute with another company that claims rights to the same gas reserves. (Vice)
• Texas regulators criticize BP for filing 121 flaring requests at a time when the practice has drawn growing scrutiny from investors, and months after BP itself had called for the practice to be reduced. (Bloomberg)
Louisiana’s oil and gas industry pushes back against a legislative plan to cut the severance tax on oil while raising it for natural gas and eliminating tax breaks for drilling certain types of wells. (The Center Square)

TRANSITION:
• A Texas city becomes the fourth and final owner of a retired coal plant to approve a plan to sell the 6,200-acre property for redevelopment. (Denton Record-Chronicle)
• Chemical manufacturer BASF pays $14 million for the 1,875-acre site of a former Texas power plant, which includes water rights to the Brazos River. (Waco Tribune-Herald)

CARBON CAPTURE: Southern Company takes a step toward activating an Alabama facility that will test carbon capture technology. (Power Engineering)

RENEWABLES: A German company that makes carbon and glass fiber-reinforced products for the automotive, aerospace, solar and wind energy sectors announces an expansion of its Arkansas factory. (Arkansas Business)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: A Georgia school district has reduced its power use by nearly a third over the past two years after partnering with an energy conservation company. (WMGT)

COMMENTARY:
• Florida must modernize its energy efficiency rules, which haven’t been significantly updated in three decades, writes a solar energy advocate. (Energy News Network)
• A retired U.S. Labor Department employee calls for Virginia lawmakers to update the state’s building code to boost energy efficiency. (Virginia Mercury)
• A settlement between North Carolina and Duke Energy to shift $1.1 billion of the cost for coal-ash cleanup to investors still leaves its customers to pay the remaining nearly $3 billion, attracting criticism from a state newspaper’s editorial board and from a national magazine. (Greensboro News & Record, New Republic)

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.