WIND: President Biden will announce the first offshore wind power development rights sale in the Gulf of Mexico for three areas totaling more than 300,000 acres off the Louisiana and Texas coasts. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• El Paso, Texas, moves to close some of its aging natural gas power plants and rely more on solar power, including a new 120 MW solar farm and plans for four more totaling 580 MW by 2025. (El Paso Matters)
• A Florida municipal power group announces it will build two new solar farms by 2024 and another four by 2026. (Levy Citizen)
• Solar advocates in Austin, Texas, press the municipal utility to build more local solar farms as it prepares to update its 2030 net zero plan. (Austin Chronicle)
• A report shows Texas added 900 new solar jobs in 2022, marking a 9% increase in the last year and 27% in the last five years. (KEYE)
• A renewable energy company with seven solar farms in Virginia totaling more than 300 MW signs a power purchase agreement with Dominion Energy. (news release)

EMISSIONS: An analysis finds a surge in new data centers and the coming electric vehicle transition will increase Dominion Energy’s carbon emissions by 65% — meaning the utility is unlikely to reach Virginia’s net-zero by 2045 goal. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

CLIMATE:
Extreme weather plays out across the Southeast as torrential rain floods parts of Kentucky, a tornado damages a North Carolina pharmaceutical plant and a heat wave scorches the South. (Associated Press)
• An Arkansas homeless shelter that offers a cooling area requests the public’s help to accommodate a surge in need as temperatures soar. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• The Appalachian Regional Commission announces two grants to help eastern Kentucky communities affected by flooding. (WCHS)

GRID: The Texas state power grid saw record-breaking demand of more than 82,500 MW on Wednesday, but generation by wind and solar facilities have kept the grid stable. (KENS)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Vietnamese automaker VinFast announces it will break ground on an electric vehicle factory in North Carolina next week. (Axios)

COAL: Kentucky’s coal-based economy dwindles compared to past production, but a historic amount of federal funding could offer a path forward in the clean energy transition. (Louisville Public Media)

COAL ASH: Gaps in the U.S. EPA’s 2015 coal ash rules leave oversight of its reuse largely to states, leading to uses such as a Tennessee playground and a Virginia golf club. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

PIPELINES: All four of West Virginia’s U.S. senators and representatives file amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the embattled Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Dominion Post)

TRANSPORTATION: Bus riders in Austin, Texas, complain the first batch of 562 new bus shelters ordered by the city’s transit agency don’t provide enough shade in the summer heat. (Austin Monitor)

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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.