SOLAR: Dominion Energy files a plan with Virginia to build or buy 23 new solar and energy storage projects, including the purchase of a 167 MW solar farm from a Michigan developer. (Virginia Business, Richmond Times-Dispatch)

ALSO:
• A California-based renewables company proposes six North Carolina solar projects to produce a combined 480 MW of power. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• A Texas county commission delays a decision on a solar farm after residents question whether it could leak toxic substances if panels are broken. (Hood County News)
• A Georgia nonprofit partners with a mapping company to develop a tool to place small solar farms at roadside exits, although those kinds of solar installations are still spreading slowly. (WABE/Grist)

COAL: An investigation reveals how coal companies use bankruptcy to spin off their obligation to reclaim spent mines to shaky new owners who don’t complete the work and eventually dump reclamation on taxpayers. (NPR/Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A North Carolina city council approves the purchase of 45 gas-powered vehicles for its police department despite a push to get electric or hybrid vehicles instead. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• A Texas chemical company develops a flame-retardant material to reduce the chance of electric vehicles fires. (The Driven)
• North Carolina researchers use game theory to develop a computational model to help electric vehicle drivers find charging stations and determine how long they should stay there. (news release)

GRID: Experts say Texas’ grid operator is misrepresenting how much reforms implemented after last year’s winter storm are costing customers. (Spectrum News) 

OIL & GAS:
• Federal officials project oil production will rise in the South and Appalachia, with the Permian and Haynesville basins in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas reaching record output. (Reuters)
• Louisiana parish officials tout their local port and court the oil and gas industry as it considers expanding drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. (WVUE)
• Cold weather forecast for Tennessee and the Southeast this week will combine with high natural gas prices to force many residents to pay more to stay warm. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

CLIMATE:
• The Mississippi River’s water levels reach an all-time low, forcing barges to reduce their loads and causing supply chain kink-ups. (CNBC)
• While some parts of the Mississippi River experience drought, others deal with extreme rain and flooding. (NPR)

TRANSITION: The Appalachian Regional Commission grants $47 million to 52 projects intended to economically diversify communities affected by the coal industry’s job losses. (Associated Press)

BIOMASS: Federal officials award University of Georgia researchers $15.8 million to reengineer poplar trees into biofuels and other products. (news release)

COMMENTARY:
• An editorial board celebrates a Louisiana ammonia company’s announcement it will capture a large portion of its carbon dioxide emissions. (NOLA.com)
• Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s recently released energy plan ignores climate change and the state’s clean energy law in favor of random ideas, writes an energy columnist. (Virginia Mercury)

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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.