• The head of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality says a recently passed coal ash bill “substantially weakens” environmental protections in current law. (Wilmington Star-News)
• A Virginia utility’s plan to store coal ash at a closed power plant site still faces questions from local officials. (Virginian-Pilot)

EFFICIENCY: Rural co-ops in North Carolina make strides on energy efficiency with the help of a federal loan program. (Southeast Energy News)

• Advocates in Virginia see the state’s largest utility as a formidable obstacle to solar power, but pressure from corporations may change that. (Southeast Energy News)
• “Shalom, y’all”: An Israeli company celebrates the opening of its first solar array in the U.S., a 22 MW facility in southern Georgia. (Florida Times-Union) 
• A developer planning to install solar on all new homes faces obstacles in Florida. (Broward-Palm Beach New Times)
• Consumer groups criticize a Florida utility for pursuing a rate increase while spending millions on a ballot measure campaign. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
• Alabama Power breaks ground on a 10 MW solar project at Fort Rucker. (Birmingham Business Journal)
• Work is expected to begin this month on a solar installation at a second Alabama military facility. (Greentech Lead)
Low electricity prices are cited as a barrier to solar development in Alabama. (Decatur Daily)
• A Virginia town offers discounted pricing on solar to residents. (Loudoun Now)

PIPELINES: Bills to restrict eminent domain and to study pipeline oversight go to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk. (Anderson Independent Mail)

OIL AND GAS: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu joins the effort to push the industry to repair damage to coastal wetlands. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

NUCLEAR: The TVA’s Watts Bar 2 reactor generated electricity for the first time on Friday. (Chattanoogan)

COAL: A film explores how the history of South Wales could provide direction for Kentucky’s post-coal economy. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

• Engineers may provide the best advice on what to do with coal ash. (Charlotte Observer)
• “In a state where the main export is sunshine, Florida’s record on solar power is surprisingly terrible.” (Broward-Palm Beach New Times)
• Tech companies can drive clean energy development in Virginia. (Blue Virginia)
• Environmentalists say a Virginia utility’s new natural gas plant is “a textbook case of economic inefficiency.” (Bacon’s Rebellion)

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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