BIOMASS: A $30 million collaboration between Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy is billed as the largest swine waste-to-energy project in North Carolina, but its details have been kept secret, even from state regulators. (NC Policy Watch)

UTILITIES: Spurred by a state law, Appalachian Power expects to add 210 MW of solar and 200 MW of wind by 2025, and thousands more megawatts of renewables and storage by 2050. (Roanoke Times)

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SOLAR:
• A Virginia county’s planning commission recommends that supervisors deny a permit for a 1,000-acre, 149 MW solar farm because it’s too large, even as the county considers adding another layer of permitting for solar projects. (Culpeper Times, Culpeper Star-Exponent)
• Texas county commissioners approve a tax abatement for a 200 MW solar farm. (Corsicana Daily Sun)
• A southwestern Virginia county obtains a state-recognized certification for removing unnecessary permitting and zoning barriers to solar projects. (Roanoke Times)

WIND: Texas and Oklahoma drive what looks to be a record-breaking year nationally for growth in wind generating capacity. (Renewables Now)

COAL:
• American Electric Power says it will retire one Texas coal-fired plant and shift another from coal. (Westside Eagle Observer)
• Xcel Energy announces it will convert a Texas coal-fired power plant to natural gas by 2025. (Amarillo Globe-News)

OIL & GAS:
• The American Petroleum Institute’s executive director tells a Texas energy symposium that the 2020 congressional elections represent “an overwhelming victory” for the oil and gas industry. (Beaumont Enterprise)
• An Oklahoma-based natural gas company files for reorganizational bankruptcy after struggling to remain afloat even before the pandemic. (Bloomberg)
• A decommissioned oil rig is being converted into the tallest artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico. (New Orleans Advocate)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators fine the Tennessee Valley Authority $900,000 and cite three staffers for violating procedures at a Tennessee nuclear plant and then misleading investigators. (Associated Press)

COAL ASH: Georgia lawmakers will reintroduce a bill to require coal ash to be stored in lined landfills as residents allege that a Georgia Power pond is polluting their drinking water. (Capitol Beat News Service/Albany Herald)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The Tennessee Valley Authority’s board passes initiatives to support electric vehicle charging stations after General Motors and Volkswagen announce major electric vehicles manufacturing investments. (WBIR)
• Georgia Power installs two new electric vehicle charging stations, bringing its total to 46 across the state. (Tifton Gazette)

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CLIMATE:  A Virginia Tech climate task force calls for the university to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and eliminate fossil fuels and carbon offsets by 2050. (Roanoke Times)

COMMENTARY:
• A Louisiana environmental journalist details the underlying factors beneath the governor’s shift to focus on wind energy over the long-dominant oil and gas industry. (New Orleans Advocate)
• The energy sector’s shift from coal should serve as a warning to West Virginia leaders, writes a Huntington newspaper. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)
• The former speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates calls on the state not to join an interstate transportation compact that would impose a regional carbon fuels tax. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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.