UTILITIES: The oldest and largest power cooperative in Texas files for bankruptcy after receiving a nearly $2 billion bill from the state grid operator. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• Customers of another Texas utility are moved to other providers after the state grid operator revokes its right to operate over missed payments. (Texas Tribune)
• San Antonio’s city-owned power company says it will likely slow its transition to renewables and maybe even build a new natural gas-fired power plant after last month’s outages and price spikes. (San Antonio Express-News)
• Several Oklahoma utilities file plans with state regulators to spread costs from last month’s historic weather and related price spikes over several years. (The Frontier)

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GRID:
• Two days of state legislative hearings over last month’s grid collapse leads to finger-pointing, blame shifting and lingering questions over power generators’ ability to winterize their equipment. (Houston Chronicle, KUT)
• Texas electric customers paid $28 billion more for power from a deregulated grid since 2004 than they would have paid at rates charged by the state’s traditional utilities — even before last month’s outages and price spikes. (Wall Street Journal)
• Dozens of protestors call for Texas’ grid operator to be put under public control and to pay for the cost of last month’s electric crisis. (Austin American-Statesman)
• Power outages in West Virginia have grown longer and more frequent since 2013, outpacing growth in the national average. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

PIPELINES: A federal judge rules that construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline can continue after environmental groups argue that new natural gas capacity is no longer needed. (Bloomberg)

OIL & GAS: West Virginia conservationists, lawmakers and residents express concerns about a legislative effort to roll back regulation on oil and gas tanks near waterways. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

WIND: As Dominion Energy plans for the construction of 188 wind turbines off Virginia’s coast, the utility still faces a significant challenge in determining how to move that energy into the electric grid. (Virginian-Pilot)

SOLAR:
• Duke Energy’s plan to build 10 solar plants across Florida faces a challenge in the state supreme court that argues costs will unfairly fall on lower-income customers. (Florida Politics/News Service of Florida)
• Nashville-based Silicon Ranch plans a new solar farm for northeastern Tennessee. (Johnson City Press)
• A solar installer reflects on the industry’s growth in Arkansas. (Arkansas Business)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Volkswagen will offer its first-ever electric SUV for sale in the U.S. beginning this spring, and production of the vehicle will expand to the company’s Chattanooga plant in 2022. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• Volkswagen partners with local high schools and a community college in the Chattanooga area to train workers as it prepares to expand electric-vehicle manufacturing in the area. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• Virginia lawmakers commit to stricter auto emissions standards to encourage more use of electric vehicles but decline to include a rebate program for vehicle purchases in the state budget. (Virginia Mercury) 

GENERATION: Louisiana State University agrees to an $810 million contract with two companies to build, operate and maintain campus power systems for the next 30 years. (The Advocate)

NUCLEAR: A Kentucky man pleads guilty to two lesser charges after he’s accused of illegally dumping low-level nuclear waste in a state landfill. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• A Texas editorial board defends the wind industry as a growing source of inexpensive power that’s helping to diversify the state’s energy mix. (Houston Chronicle)
• Oil and gas companies that ignored climate change and doubled down on fossil fuels now are playing catch up as the clean energy transition moves forward without them, writes a Texas columnist. (Houston Chronicle)
• Selling South Carolina’s troubled Santee Cooper to a private buyer won’t fix the utility’s accountability and transparency problems, but only remove the state’s ability to enforce those qualities, a columnist writes. (Post and Courier)

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.