EFFICIENCY: A central Virginia climate advocacy group awards minority-owned small businesses grants to pay for energy-efficient appliances and lighting. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: A Southeast clean energy group says regional utilities and regulators are underinvesting in energy efficiency, with the Tennessee Valley Authority, Florida Power & Light and Alabama Power among the worst offenders. (Utility Dive, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

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UTILITIES: The Tennessee Valley Authority acknowledges it holds remains of nearly 5,000 mostly Native people removed from places where it operates and pledges to return them to their families and tribes. (Knoxville News Sentinel, AL.com)

PIPELINES: A federal court upholds a key permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, although the long-delayed project still requires other approvals to resume construction. (Roanoke Times)

STORAGE: Officials begin operation of an 11 MW battery storage system paired with a 13 MW solar array at Marine Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. (Winston-Salem Journal)

• Florida’s largest and one of its few remaining home insurers will seek a 14% rate increase and warns it’s strongly considering a “hurricane tax” applied to all property insurance holders in the state. (Miami Herald)
• A west Texas city manager warns that a local ballot initiative to prioritize climate change and reduce emissions could increase local property taxes. (El Paso Matters)
• A Tennessee city council adopts a climate action plan that aims to grow clean energy and sustainability. (Chattanooga Pulse)
• The Virginia agency that oversees flood resiliency funding delays updates to its grant guidelines while it pursues a new source of federal money. (Virginia Mercury)

• A solar company completes construction of a nearly 7 MW solar facility in Tennessee that was funded in part by electric vehicle maker Rivian. (Renewables Now)
• Virginia residents express mixed opinions about plans for a 5 MW solar farm that needs a special use permit. (Roanoke Times)
• Duke Energy begins operating a 250 MW solar farm in Texas — the utility’s largest solar project so far. (news release)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Georgia recycling facility begins operation, taking spent electric vehicle batteries and grinding them down to salvage minerals for reuse in new EV power sources. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

• Oil companies bid a combined $264 million to drill in the Gulf of Mexico on leases expected to produce more than 1 billion barrels of oil and 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas over 50 years. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• Proposed Texas legislation would bar state officials from enforcing any federal oil and gas law that contradicts the state’s own laws, potentially hamstringing the U.S. EPA’s efforts to regulate pollution there. (The Hill)

GRID: The FBI reports that a North Carolina electrical substation was damaged by gunfire last fall, three weeks before a similar incident caused a massive outage at another location. (Raleigh News & Observer)

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RENEWABLE GAS: Florida lawmakers advance legislation to allow utilities to raise power rates to build facilities to capture methane from solid waste and turn it into natural gas. (Tampa Bay Times)

COAL: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says he only just learned about a defaulted bank loan to one of his coal companies that resulted in a company seeking to garnish his wages. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

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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.