COAL ASH: An Alabama coal-fired power plant with 21 million cubic yards of wet coal ash in an open pit near wetlands and a spill into North Carolina’s Lake Sutton during 2018’s Hurricane Florence stand as a case studies in the risks posed by the failure to properly dispose of coal ash amid a growing number of floods exacerbated by climate change. (Energy News Network/Chicago Investigative Project)

WIND: Virginia regulators say they’ll hear additional arguments after Dominion Energy warns a performance guarantee on its planned offshore wind farm is “untenable” and would force it to “terminate all development and construction activities.” (Associated Press, Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Panasonic eyes Oklahoma for an additional $4 billion electric vehicle battery plant after last month’s announcement it would build a similar factory in Kansas. (Reuters; Wall Street Journal, subscription)
• A manufacturer of carbon nanomaterials used to make electric vehicle batteries will build a factory in Kentucky near where Ford is building two EV battery plants. (Kentucky Today)
• An Alabama city plans to vote to apply for a Tennessee Valley Authority grant to build an electric vehicle charging station. (WHNT)
• North Carolina lithium mining companies say tax credits in the new federal climate spending package will boost their ability to supply electric vehicle makers. (WUNC)

SOLAR:
• A Kentucky board approves a 173 MW solar project that will power a Facebook data center and a General Motors Corvette factory. (Bowling Green Daily News)
• Developers return to a Virginia county board to request rezoning for a 16.75 MW solar farm nearly a year after they’d asked for a previous proposal to be tabled. (Culpeper Star-Exponent)
• The University of Arkansas signs an agreement to purchase power from an off-campus solar farm to be built by Entergy. (news release)

UTILITIES:
• Six Memphis-area suburbs draft a non-binding resolution urging the city’s municipal utility to stick with the Tennessee Valley Authority instead of purchasing electricity from another company. (Commercial Appeal)
• Records show Florida Power & Light funded a first-time candidate who had spoken against a solar ordinance to mandate rooftop systems in a failed effort to drain votes from a progressive environmentalist who clashed with FPL over a nuclear power plant. (Miami Herald)

GRID: Texas has implemented some changes to prevent widespread blackouts seen during last year’s winter storm, but the local distribution grid, natural gas system and overall energy market haven’t been fixed, an investigation finds. (KUT)

COAL: Federal regulators release a report on a West Virginia coal miner’s death last week, finding the supply car he was sitting in was struck by a locomotive. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, subscription)

CLIMATE: An expert on climate change predicts hotter summers, milder winters, more intense hurricanes and rising seas for North Carolina in coming years. (Salisbury Post)

COMMENTARY: Southeast communities have made strides in the clean up and management of coal ash over the last decade, but the problem of safely removing the toxic substance has created additional challenges, writes a member of an Appalachian advocacy group. (Appalachian Voices)

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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.