SOLAR: After nearly a year of debate, a Virginia county grants a permit for an 800 MW solar farm that would be the largest in the state. (South Boston News & Record)

• A Virginia county planning commission recommends approval of two community solar projects of less than 5 MW each. (Chatham Star-Tribune)
• An eastern Tennessee mobility supplier announces it will use energy from four solar power plants to power its operations. (news release)

• The U.S. EPA presses the Tennessee Valley Authority to consider renewables instead of natural gas to replace power when it closes a large coal-fired power plant near the Tennessee-Kentucky border. (E&E News)
• A northern Virginia city approves rezoning and designs for turning a shuttered power plant site into a mixed-use residential and commercial district. (Patch, news release)

• A steady stream of job-seekers attend a Tennessee job fair as Volkswagen Chattanooga staffs up to begin making an electric SUV this summer. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• Florida Power & Light releases a map of roughly 200 public charging stations that are part of its charging network. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
• Kentucky submits a plan to the federal government for placing charging stations every 50 miles on its interstates and parkways as an initial step to build out its EV infrastructure. (WUKY)

OVERSIGHT: West Virginia’s understaffed environmental agency will hire contractors to plug and reclaim orphaned gas and oil wells using federal funding, triggering fears its shortage of state inspectors will compromise the state’s oversight. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

• A gas trade group spotlights planned carbon capture and liquified natural gas projects in Louisiana as evidence that North America’s gas industry will increasingly figure into global energy markets. (S&P Global)
• Atmos Energy announces it will expand its natural gas network in Mississippi by adding more than 20,000 feet of line. (WJTV)

COAL: An energy think tank questions claims by a Texas city’s municipal utility that it can’t close a coal-fired power plant without a rate shock to its customers. (San Antonio Express-News)

CLIMATE: The Southeast’s third heat wave so far this summer prompted heat alerts Thursday for 65 million people across 16 states, and experts say it’ll only get hotter this weekend. (CNN)

• An Arkansas municipal utility saw record-setting peak power demand amid high temperatures Wednesday but expects that record to be broken again soon. (Jonesboro Sun)
• The head of a Texas municipal utility says high temperatures are putting a strain on the grid but unlikely to cause “rolling outages” like those during last year’s winter storm. (KBTX)

UTILITIES: Texas launches a state program using federal funding to help eligible low-income homeowners and renters pay their utility bills. (KXAN)

MINERALS: A Tennessee company will expand its zinc plant to process gallium and germanium, which are used in solar panels, electric vehicles, wind turbines and more. (Clarksville Now)

CRYPTOCURRENCY: A crypto infrastructure firm signs a deal with a Texas 25 MW battery-storage facility that will allow it to shift from grid to battery power during times of high power demand. (Bloomberg)

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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.