GRID: A draft Department of Energy study finds U.S. transmission capacity will need to increase by more than 50% by 2035 to accommodate clean energy growth. (Utility Dive) 

ALSO: A Hawaii startup develops a smart control module allowing hot water heaters to function as a virtual power plant by turning on and off to match solar and wind generation and power demand fluctuations. (Canary Media)

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WORKFORCE: While President Biden has pledged that the clean energy transition will benefit union workers, the majority of Inflation Reduction Act investments so far have been in states with laws restricting unionization. (Reuters)

SOLAR: An Illinois entrepreneur describes the challenge of bringing community solar to low-income communities, where many people are deeply skeptical of outsiders offering a deal. (Energy News Network)

HYDROGEN: In Massachusetts, a clean energy coalition’s new report finds heat pumps would be a more efficient use of resources than trying to replace 20% of fossil gas with green hydrogen. (Inside Climate News)

ELECTRIFICATION: Advocates accuse a utility of “astroturfing” by falsely creating an illusion of grassroots support for its effort to overturn an Oregon city’s gas hookup ban. (Grist)

• Tesla again cuts prices on its most expensive models, in an effort to boost sales. (CNN)
• Automakers are buying stakes in lithium producers in order to secure stable supplies of materials needed for electric vehicle batteries. (Bloomberg)

• Environmental groups sue the federal government to stop plans to open up more than 73 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico to oil drilling. (WUSF)
• House Republicans hope to pass a sweeping energy package in the coming weeks that includes revamping debate over President Biden’s denial of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Politico)

WIND: New Jersey’s utility board opens a third offshore wind capacity solicitation, seeking between 1.2 and 4 GW worth of projects. (news release)

GEOTHERMAL: A developer hopes a Texas subdivision with a networked geothermal system can be replicated nationally. (The Hill)

• While culture wars dominated the annual Conservative Political Action Conference last week, young attendees urged party leaders to come up with a plan to deal with climate change and stop overusing the word “woke.” (Rolling Stone)
• Conservative climate advocates will meet in Washington D.C. later this month to push congressional Republicans on solutions. (news release)

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UTILITIES: Closing arguments are set for today in the trial of former House Speaker Larry Householder and a GOP lobbyist charged with participating in a $60 million bribery scheme involving a power plant bailout law. (Associated Press)

• An energy analyst says policymakers need to do more to ensure people with disabilities have access to energy storage, which can save lives in the event of a power outage. (Utility Dive)
• An automotive writer and “former admirer of Elon Musk and Tesla” explains his growing skepticism of the company and why 120-year-old Ford may actually be the wave of the future. (New York Times)

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Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.