ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Duke Energy asks North Carolina regulators to approve a pilot program that would draw energy to the power grid during peak demand times from electric vehicle batteries owned by customers with Ford F-150 Lightning pickup trucks. (WFAE)

ALSO:
• President Biden signs into law a climate spending package that includes tens of billions of dollars in subsidies for high-tech electric vehicle plants being built across the Southeast and Midwest in an emerging region some are calling “the Battery Belt.” (Axios)
• Georgia officials race to prepare a 3,000-acre megasite with water, sewer and other infrastructure for Hyundai’s impending construction of an electric vehicle factory. (Savannah Morning News)

SOLAR:
• A pilot project installs solar panels on 12 schools in two southwestern Virginia counties, with local high school students and recent graduates among the workers. (Cardinal News)
• A renewables company secures financing to build a 208 MW solar farm with battery storage in Texas. (Renewables Now)
• An Alabama solar company hopes major tax incentives for clean energy systems in the recently passed climate spending package will incentivize more people to buy solar systems. (WAAY)
• A Tennessee solar company reports a 718% increase in its workforce from 2020 to 2022 as it tries to keep up with increased demand. (news release)

OVERSIGHT:
• An Ohio utility executive is named the new CEO of Texas’ grid management agency; the previous CEO was fired after last year’s winter storm nearly took down the grid. (Texas Tribune)
• Oklahoma’s governor replaces the state secretary of energy and environment with another former U.S. EPA official who has extensive experience in the oil and gas industry. (Journal Record)

UTILITIES:
• Florida regulators order Duke Energy to return $16.1 million to customers who were previously charged “replacement power” costs because of a 2017 outage at a power plant. (News Service of Florida)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority announces a pending decrease in its bills due to milder temperatures and a 33% drop in fuel costs from August to September. (WBIR, WTVF)

GRID:
• A Texas city approves a permit for a new electrical substation, spurring concerns from neighbors about its effects on their property values. (Waco Tribune-Herald)
• Florida Power & Light begins using a drone to monitor its grid infrastructure for problems before and after storms. (Northwest Florida Daily News)

COAL: The Virginia Department of Energy declares two abandoned mine land emergencies after heavy rainfall creates problems at historic coal mining operations. (Scott County Virginia Star, subscription)

TRANSPORTATION:
• Jacksonville, Florida, uses $15.4 million in federal funds to purchase compressed natural gas buses to replace older diesel models. (Florida Times-Union)
• A Texas city’s transit agency announces it will receive $7.4 million toward the purchase of 14 new compressed natural gas buses. (KGNS)

COMMENTARY: The benefits that come with a municipal-owned utility far outweigh the “high” power bills that come with it, writes a resident of Gainesville, Florida. (Gainesville Sun)

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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.