UTILITIES: In its pursuit of a North Carolina rate hike, Duke Energy strikes a side deal with clean energy advocates to give a $42 monthly discount to tens of thousands of lower-income ratepayers while funding efficiency investments with shareholder dollars. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: The Tennessee Valley Authority identifies problems in the finances, service practices and electric distribution system of a Mississippi utility. (WMC)

CLEAN ENERGY: Two Berkshire Hathaway companies build a West Virginia manufacturing hub to be powered by solar panels and rechargeable batteries, boosted by federal subsidies. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)

• Texas’ grid manager escalates its warnings about the grid because of declining reserves, but the emergency alert ends before it needs to implement any outages. (Texas Tribune)
• Board members of Texas’ grid management agency learn numerous close calls in recent weeks stem from dips in wind power and outages at gas-fired power plants. (S&P Global)
• Texas records show dozens of unplanned generation outages are causing power shortages and driving up prices, with more than 11,000 MW of natural gas plants and 7,000 MW of wind and solar going down in mid-August. (KVUE)

OVERSIGHT: A Virginia commission to oversee utility regulation meets for the first time in six years after passage of a state law requiring it to meet twice a year. (Virginia Mercury)

• Midsize Virginia solar developers aren’t sure how to move forward after state regulators suspended Dominion Energy’s rules for connecting certain solar projects to the grid. (VPM)
• A Virginia county considers three solar projects, including 3 MW and 4 MW community solar farms and a 10 MW “distribution farm.” (Farmville Herald)
• A Virginia county board votes down two proposed small-scale agrisolar projects to blend solar power with soybean and sheep operations. (Mecklenburg Sun)
• A nonprofit solar advocacy group launches a co-operative in Florida to negotiate a group rate with an established provider. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

• A federal court rejects environmentalists’ attempt to block a liquified natural gas terminal and pipeline in Louisiana. (Associated Press)
• The U.S. Coast Guard reports it’s cleaned up about 19,000 gallons from an oil spill in Florida. (WTSP)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A clean energy group’s report finds the Southeast lags the rest of the country in electric vehicle sales, charging station deployment, and utility and public funding despite capturing a disproportionate amount of EV investment. (news release)

CARBON CAPTURE: A company announces it will build a carbon capture facility on 106,000 subsurface acres beneath a Texas ranch. (KIII)

HYDROPOWER: Georgia companies receive U.S. Energy Department grants for a pumped storage demonstration and other hydropower projects. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

CLIMATE: This summer’s record heat and severe drought have caused millions of dollars in damage to Texas’ municipal water systems. (Inside Climate News)

• Texas officials squabble over how to teach climate change in public schools even as the state grapples with record-breaking temperatures straining its power grid, writes an editorial board. (Washington Post)
• West Virginia lawmakers should change state rules to permit community solar, writes a clean energy advocate. (West Virginia Watch)

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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.