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COAL ASH: Workers and their families suing over exposure to toxic coal ash during cleanup of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s 2008 Kingston coal ash spill have faced one obstacle after another, including a state cap on money that might be awarded. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

STORAGE: Federal officials estimate nearly 8 GW of new battery capacity will come online in Texas by 2026. (San Antonio Express-News)

SOLAR:
• McDonald’s agrees to buy 190 MW from a solar farm under construction in Texas. (Bloomberg)
• A Virginia planning commission prepares to vote on a permit for a planned 80 MW solar farm. (Gazette Virginian)
• A company completes construction of a 260 MW solar farm in Texas. (news release)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Tesla reports its Texas factory is making 3,000 electric SUVs per week. (Bloomberg)
• Republican state lawmakers will push legislation to repeal a Virginia law that ties the state to California’s tailpipe emissions standards, which are stricter than federal rules. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• Electric vehicles account for just 4.3% of auto sales in Texas, compared to 7% nationally and 19% in California. (Houston Chronicle)

GRID:
• Texas’ top two elected officials diverge on fixing the state’s power grid, with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick calling for changes and Gov. Greg Abbott declaring the problem resolved. (San Antonio Express-News)
• A Puerto Rican bakery’s 51 rooftop solar panels effectively turn it into a community center during power outages that can happen several times a week. (Independent)

UTILITIES:
Coal and renewable energy advocates criticize a Kentucky utility’s plan to retire and replace coal plants with two new natural gas plants and new solar installations. (Kentucky Lantern)
• A municipal utility board in San Antonio, Texas, will vote on a plan to close its coal plant and replace it primarily with natural gas and solar, worrying some critics who say it threatens the city’s decarbonization goals. (San Antonio Express-News)

NUCLEAR: Virginia Tech researchers use a $500,000 federal grant to improve computer models that simulate conditions in nuclear reactors and evaluate power plant safety in various scenarios. (Roanoke Times)

POLITICS:
• The election of a progressive challenger to Louisiana’s regulatory commission prompts hope he can help boost the state’s renewable energy production. (Grist)
• Renewable energy companies push West Virginia state lawmakers to pass a measure allowing non-utility electric generating facilities. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Sen. Joe Manchin will continue his push for a bill to expedite environmental reviews and force completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline into 2023. (E&E News)

CLIMATE:
• Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs a sweeping bill to shore up Florida’s insurance market, which has been rocked by numerous hurricanes since the ‘90s, but critics say the new law will restrict the ability of plaintiffs to pursue damages. (Associated Press, The Lever)
• Investigators report how much worse Hurricane Ian could have been had it hit the heavily populated Tampa Bay area, pointing to the area’s broad vulnerability to climate-exacerbated storms. (Tampa Bay Times)

COMMENTARY: The inadequacy of power lines to transport solar power from the sunny east-central Carolinas to cities and factories exemplifies the larger challenge of connecting renewables to the grid, write a solar developer and former environmental reporter. (New York Times)

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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.