SOLAR: Coal communities increasingly consider installing solar arrays as the Appalachian Regional Commission funds a major regional solar financing program and a company plans a 200 MW solar farm in eastern Kentucky. (Ohio Valley ReSource)

ALSO:
• A South Carolina real estate firm plans to build a 75 MW solar farm that’s part of state utility Santee Cooper’s goal of adding 425 MW of solar power to its grid by the end of 2023. (Post and Courier)
• Duke Energy builds a 22.6 MW solar farm in a rural North Carolina community. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• A solar technology company announces it will invest more than $36 million in a manufacturing and distribution facility in Georgia. (Rome News-Tribune)

UTILITIES:
• A document reveals new details about Dominion Energy’s use of media influencers, lobbyists and political consultants to achieve legislative success in Virginia. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Public approval of San Antonio’s city-owned electrical utility falls amid its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the near-collapse of the Texas grid during a February storm and criticism for its communications during the freeze. (San Antonio Report)

EMISSIONS:
• A Louisiana task force developing a plan to get to “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050 considers how to get the state’s industrial sector to remove carbon dioxide and gases like methane and nitrogen oxide from its emissions. (NOLA.com)
• Analysts consider whether carbon-capture technology or green hydrogen might replace coal to significantly decarbonize steel-making. (Yale Environment 360)

ENERGY JUSTICE: Atlanta nonprofits and historically Black colleges and universities partner on an initiative to build community resilience centers powered by solar generation and battery storage in one of the city’s most energy-burdened neighborhoods. (GreenBiz)

OIL & GAS:
• A failing flange results in an oil spill at Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas. (Galveston County Daily News)
• A Houston company aims to replace the harmful chemicals used in treatment of wastewater generated by petrochemical production with renewable substitutes. (Houston Chronicle)

PIPELINES: Residents in central Virginia begin to rally against a proposed gas pipeline as more details emerge about the scope of the project. (WRIC)

POLITICS:
• Neither major party candidate in Virginia’s hotly contested race for governor responds to questions about the Mountain Valley Pipeline even as they spar over a state law requiring two major utilities to be carbon-free by 2050. (Roanoke Times)
• Democratic Florida lawmakers announce energy-efficiency legislation to reward farmers for conserving energy, create “floating solar” systems and fund other initiatives, but face a Republican majority that has long rejected clean energy proposals. (Florida Phoenix)
• West Virginia climate advocates fear the fingerprints of energy committee chairperson U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, who has made millions of dollars from stock holdings in coal, on key climate priorities in Democrats’ budget bill. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, E&E News)

NUCLEAR: A judge considers a two-year sentence in a plea deal for the former CEO of a defunct South Carolina utility who lied to ratepayers and regulators after learning that construction of two nuclear reactors was hopelessly behind schedule. (Associated Press)

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.