UTILITIES: The historically coal-reliant Tennessee Valley Authority considers phasing out the last of its aging coal power plants by 2035 — possibly to begin new lives as sites for small nuclear reactors. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, Reuters)

ALSO:
• NextEra Energy withdraws its offer to buy Santee Cooper, effectively ending a years-long debate among South Carolina officials over whether to sell the troubled, stated-owned utility. (Post and Courier)
• Louisville Gas and Electric’s parent company made $900 million in 2020 but paid nothing in federal corporate income taxes, according to a new report. (WFPL)
• Duke Energy says it will triple its renewable power output to 23% by 2030 from about 7% now, which, with its six nuclear power plants in the Carolinas, will bring its carbon-free energy to 53%. (Reuters)
• Entergy’s quarterly revenue and profit surge from a spike in demand for heating during February’s winter storm. (NOLA.com)

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SOLAR:
• South Carolina regulators unanimously vote against a Dominion Energy plan to incorporate a suite of new fees that opponents say would have discouraged rooftop solar installations. (Post and Courier, The State)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority hires a contractor to develop a 200 MW solar farm with 50 MW of battery storage in Mississippi for the city of Knoxville, Tennessee. (PV Magazine)
• A Swiss company announces it has secured financing to build a 140 MW solar farm in Texas. (Renewables Now)
• Texas solar power surges as the state is poised to add another 10 gigawatts of utility-scale capacity in the next two years. (Grist)

GRID:
• A new analysis of the February winter storm by Texas’ grid operator finds that lost wind power generation played a smaller role in the state’s outages than first thought, contradicting Republicans who’ve loudly blamed wind and solar. (Texas Tribune)
• The pilot of a Duke Energy helicopter is killed in North Carolina after a crash while surveying power lines. (Greensboro News & Record)

NUCLEAR: A company that wants to buy an unfinished nuclear plant from the Tennessee Valley Authority ties its long-running efforts to President Joe Biden’s agenda to decarbonize the nation’s electric grid. (Commercial Appeal)

OIL & GAS: An Arkansas company pays a nearly $240,000 gas bill that stemmed from February’s winter storm, but files a complaint against its natural gas supplier accusing it of “price gouging.” (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

BIOFUELS: A company repurposes an idled Kentucky oil refinery into a biofuels facility that will crush and process soybeans. (S&P Global)

POLITICS: A bill to declare Louisiana a “fossil fuel sanctuary state” and resist federal laws or regulations negatively affecting the industry stalls in the state legislature. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia introduces bills to extend a reclamation fee paid by coal companies and to accelerate spending for projects on abandoned mine land to stimulate economic activity. (E&E News, subscription)
• A 73-year-old is killed while demolishing a silo at a former West Virginia surface mine. (Coal Valley News)

PIPELINES:
• Virginia’s clean air board prepares for a contentious hearing on a permit for a compressor station on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Virginia Mercury)
• Three women raise money to fight the Mountain Valley Pipeline with a relay run along roads following the pipeline’s route through Virginia and West Virginia. (WVTF)

COMMENTARY:
• President Biden’s clean-energy plan could provide “an economic shot in the arm” across America and particularly in North Carolina, write a conservationist and union official. (Fayetteville Observer)
• The emerging electric vehicles market and a growing network of charging stations across Virginia provides an opportunity to cut the state’s transportation-related carbon emissions, writes a college student. (Culpeper Star-Exponent)

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.