The Southeast Energy News digest will not be published tomorrow, June 18, for the Juneteenth holiday. We’ll be back on Monday.

GRID: A Texas city that unsuccessfully sued the state grid operator for exorbitant prices during February’s winter storm sees a 1,000% bump in revenue from selling electricity back to it during June’s heat wave. (Denton Record-Chronicle)

ALSO:
• Texas Gov. Greg Abbott proclaims the grid “is better today than it’s ever been” as state residents are asked to conserve energy and grid officials can’t explain why power plants totalling 9,000 MW are still offline. (Texas Tribune)
• New Orleans announces a deal to move its sewer and water utility onto Entergy’s grid instead of relying on outdated, in-house equipment. (NOLA.com)

STORAGE: Texas has nearly a dozen energy storage projects between 50 MW and 200 MW scheduled to begin this summer, which could leave the state with eight times more capacity than one year before and improve the grid’s reliability. (S&P Global, Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC CARS:
• Volvo Cars will invest $118 million to boost production of electric cars at its South Carolina plant. (Associated Press)
• Louisiana electric car buyers scramble after state lawmakers accelerate sunset of a $2,500 tax credit from 2022 to next month. (Louisiana Radio Network)

UTILITIES:
• Environmental groups criticize Mississippi Power’s plan with state regulators to reduce surplus generation capacity, calling for quicker retirement of fossil fuel plants and leaning more on efficiency and renewables. (Northside Sun)
• South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signs legislation to reform Santee Cooper but says the “seemingly endless” debate over the troubled state-owned utility demonstrates lawmakers should sell it instead. (Associated Press)
• More than 200 Virginia localities are part of a renegotiated electricity contract with Appalachian Power that includes more favorable rates for energy-efficient street lights and more access to renewable energy. (Roanoke Times)

COAL:
• Democrats pledge to prioritize Appalachia and other fossil-fuel producing areas in climate policies. (E&E News, subscription)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority considers options to replace 1,450 MW from a coal-fired plant it may demolish. (Oak Ridger)
• North Carolina environmental groups say a bill that includes transition of five coal-fired power plants essentially mandates a shift to natural gas and ties the hands of state regulators. (WUNC)

OIL & GAS: The country’s largest dredging company agrees to pay $3 million after pleading guilty to causing a 2016 oil spill while rebuilding one of Louisiana’s barrier islands. (NOLA.com)

SOLAR: A Virginia city council denies a permit for a 3 MW solar farm after members decide they’re not ready to handle a growing number of solar requests without better city guidelines. (Suffolk News Herald)

POLITICS:
• Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs legislation to ban state investment in businesses that cut ties with the oil and gas industry. (Bloomberg)
• U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana co-sponsors a bipartisan bill to divert offshore wind revenues to a new fund for coastal protection and resiliency. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• Businesses and governments make changes to reduce climate change, but substantial reductions in greenhouse gases will require more action by Florida state and local governments, writes a climate activist. (Gainesville Sun)
• A former Oklahoma lawmaker complains that President Biden’s clean-energy initiatives hurt state residents who receive oil and gas royalties. (The Oklahoman)

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.