Southeast Energy News

Texas sun: Solar industry continues rapid growth

SOLAR: Texas generated 75% more solar power in January than it did in all of 2015, as the industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds. (San Antonio Express-News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Volkswagen says a trade panel’s ruling against a Korean battery supplier won’t affect its Tennessee production of electric vehicles, set to launch in 2022. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• Mayors and municipal leaders across Virginia call for state lawmakers to pass legislation making low and zero-emission vehicles more available. (WXFR)
• An Alabama city prepares its first electric car charging station to begin operating next month. (WTVY)

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HYDROGEN: Florida Power & Light Co. plans to bring a 350 MW green hydrogen plant online in 2023, using gas-fired combustion turbines as a first step toward eventually linking the technology with renewables. (S&P Global)

UTILITIES:
• The Tennessee Valley Authority awards a raise to its CEO, who former President Donald Trump criticized as “ridiculously overpaid” last summer. (Forbes, Associated Press)
• A small Tennessee electric utility looks set to renew its 20-year contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority after the local chamber of commerce presses it to resolve the dispute and resulting uncertainty. (Bowling Green Daily News)
• After the last two American presidents toyed with the idea of selling some or all of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the utility commissions a study that praises its performance and government ownership. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

PIPELINES: With construction delayed amid regulatory and legal blockades, the Mountain Valley Pipeline is using helicopters to drop grass seed and mulch to address erosion along the unfinished project’s rugged, 303-mile route. (Roanoke Times)

POLITICS:
• President Joe Biden courts Republican backing for a transportation infrastructure package that includes not just road and bridge maintenance but also measures to boost electric cars. (Associated Press)
• Louisiana U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy alternates between criticizing the Biden administration’s oil and gas policies while encouraging its plans to create regional clean-energy jobs. (WVUE)
• Texas lawmakers prepare to introduce a bill to prohibit the state from doing business with any firm that boycotts oil and gas companies. (Austin American-Statesman)

OIL & GAS: Dominion Energy prepares to install a new natural gas line along a highway in the Charleston, South Carolina, metro area. (Post and Courier) 

WIND: Chemical maker BASF signs an agreement to buy electricity from a Texas wind facility. (Renewables Now)

COMMENTARY:
• Dominion Energy’s plans to charge new fees on solar customers in South Carolina will negatively affect the region’s solar industry, writes a conservationist who was instrumental in passage of the state’s net metering law. (Post and Courier)
• Charlotte, North Carolina, provides a model for addressing carbon emissions in a way that energizes the local economy, writes a city policy analyst. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• Virginia’s current debate over utilities and electric rates has historical roots in a 120-year-old fight to regulate railroads that led to the creation of the State Corporation Commission as an independent regulatory board, writes a longtime state regulator. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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