SOLAR: Texas’ surge in solar power — from 2,600 MW in 2019 to 16,800 MW last month — is helping the state power grid avoid widespread outages or rolling blackouts through this month’s heat wave and record-setting power demand. (Texas Tribune, Guardian)

• A power company builds a 74.5 MW solar farm on 600 acres in Florida. (The Ledger)
• A Virginia city council approves a solar farm at a former landfill that will be part of a community solar program. (WAVY)
• Charlottesville, Virginia, and the surrounding county work through questions of how to balance preservation of rural land with solar development. (C-Ville)

• The White House clashes with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp over his claims that Republican state policies — and not federal incentives — have resulted in a surge of electric vehicle-related investment within the state. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, subscription; Associated Press)
• A Korean electric vehicle battery parts supplier announces it will build out a manufacturing plant in Tennessee near Ford’s planned EV factory. (Commercial Appeal)

• An analysis of data finds this week’s record-breaking in Texas could become the new standard as climate change pushes temperatures higher. (Texas Tribune)
• Experts suggest rapid warming in the Arctic could be fueling hotter temperatures around the world, including the ongoing Texas heat wave. (E&E News, Inside Climate News)
• Thousands of Arkansas residents are without power from storm-related outages as a heat wave punishes the region. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

GRID: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to spend up to $5 billion to repair Puerto Rico’s existing fossil fuel power plants and infrastructure, helping shore up the island’s power grid but potentially delaying its clean energy transition. (E&E News)

PIPELINES: Environmental groups that have been fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline for years file lawsuits arguing Congress overstepped its authority when it approved legislation that limited judicial review of pipeline permits. (Cardinal News)

OIL & GAS: The wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito owns a plot of land in Oklahoma that’s being leased for oil and gas production, but Alito hasn’t recused himself from recent cases with major implications for drillers. (Intercept)

• Private companies continue to pursue environmental and climate goals in South Carolina and other majority Republican states, even as state lawmakers there consider policies to punish investment firms that reward green corporate initiatives. (NPR)
• As major insurers make high-profile exits from Florida and California, reinsurance companies are also pulling away from Louisiana and other areas at risk of flooding, wildfires and hurricanes. (The Hill)

UTILITIES: An activist investment group calls for a new CEO and renewed focus on producing energy at Texas utility NRG. (Reuters)

• Texas culture is based in part on shrugging off high temperatures, but this summer’s heat wave marks a new era of extremes, writes a columnist. (Texas Monthly)
• The inclusion of a provision to force completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline is a questionable victory for its developers because “the folly of building new gas infrastructure should be obvious to anyone who hasn’t already committed billions of dollars,” writes a columnist. (Virginia Mercury)

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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.