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)

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.