SOLAR: Two nonprofits in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley launch a fund to outfit 20 area Habitat for Humanity homes with photovoltaic panels, bringing solar and lowering utility bills for families in need. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Dominion Energy and two partners propose building three 1 MW solar facilities on a capped landfill in central Virginia. (Daily Progress)
• A Norfolk solar energy company seeks to expand its operations to include residences after reaching a goal of more than $1 million worth of solar installations for churches and businesses in low-income areas in coastal Virginia. (Virginian-Pilot)

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POLLUTION: Environmental justice and recognition of the region’s reputation as “Cancer Alley” become prominent issues in a special election race for Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District. (NOLA.com)

TEXAS:
• Some experts say Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s plan to build 10 new natural gas plants would not address the root causes of last month’s Texas outages while ensuring guaranteed profits at the expense of consumers. (Houston Chronicle)
• Texas utility customers experience sticker shock as they receive February bills from companies that collectively incurred billions of dollars in extra costs buying natural gas at the height of last month’s energy crisis. (Houston Chronicle)
• Dozens of Texas power companies try to block the release of documents detailing what went wrong during last month’s storm as “competitively sensitive information” that would reveal “trade secrets” or expose facilities to sabotage. (KHOU)

GRID:
• Dominion Energy officials say a recent spike in power bills in the Richmond area was due to lower temperatures, not the installation of smart meters at homes. (WTVR)
• Appalachian Power seeks approval from Virginia regulators to upgrade a substation and 12 miles of transmission line. (WXFR)

OIL & GAS:
• Families along Texas’ Blanco River sue Kinder Morgan for failing to notify Texas regulators a year ago after drillers hit a rock formation in the river and spilled 36,000 gallons of drilling fluid. (KXAN)
• A West Virginia bill to roll back regulations on oil and gas tanks near water intakes would walk back a state board’s recommendation after a 2014 chemical spill affected drinking water for 300,000 people. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Uncertainty surrounds West Virginia lawmakers’ latest attempt to pass a natural gas pooling bill to determine protocol for when a company wants to drill on a tract where some owners are unwilling or can’t be located. (WV Metro News)

COAL: West Virginia lawmakers are poised to pass a bill to prop up the ailing coal industry by extending the process required to close a coal-fired power plant. (WV Metro News)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• After a ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission, South Korean battery manufacturer SK Innovation considers multiple options that include abandoning its factories in Georgia. (Korea Herald)
• A North Carolina agency awards $496,000 for 29 charging projects across the state to be funded by a settlement with Volkswagen. (WWAY)

COMMENTARY:
• Alabama Power’s plan to cap more than 21 million tons of toxic coal ash at a sensitive site near Mobile Bay must be stopped to protect residents and the environment, writes an editorial board. (AL.com)
• The city of Charleston’s revisions to the process of requesting and paying for power lines to be buried underground mark an improvement and could become a model for South Carolina, writes an editorial board. (Post and Courier)

Mason Adams

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.