SOLAR: Virginia solar installers celebrate after state regulators block Dominion Energy’s attempt to impose astronomical interconnection fees for non-residential, net-metered solar projects to connect to the grid. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: A Virginia winery receives a federal grant to install a 16 kW rooftop solar array to power its tasting room. (Culpeper Star-Exponent)

• Texas’ grid manager calls for another conservation notice as it gets closer to the possibility of rolling blackouts than any time since the 2021 winter storm that nearly took down the power grid. (Austin American-Statesman, KUT)
• Kentucky regulators reveal coal-fired power failures were largely to blame for rolling blackouts across the state in December. (Kentucky Lantern)
• Dominion Energy projects 214% growth in Northern Virginia power demand over the next four years because of its booming data centers, for which the utility is building out more transmission lines and electric substations. (Culpeper Star-Exponent)

• The U.S. EPA’s inspector general finds the agency doesn’t enforce federal pollution limits on benzene emissions from oil refineries, including nine in Texas. (Texas Tribune)
• Documents reveal a Louisiana refinery began emitting carcinogens from burning petroleum 15 hours before nearby residents were evacuated. (DeSmog)
• A new report calls out a powerful private equity firm for investing heavily in liquified natural gas projects in Louisiana, Texas and Canada that actively harm low-income, Black, brown and Indigenous people. (Inside Climate News)

• A lithium mining company announces plans to build a $365 million battery-grade lithium plant in Arkansas after its feasibility study goes well. (Arkansas Business)
• A study finds electric vehicle sales grew 50% over the last year in a six-state region including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. (WFAE)

STORAGE: Memphis, Tennessee’s municipal utility begins planning to build up to 100 MW of battery storage. (American Public Power Association)

HYDROGEN: Florida Power & Light nears completion of a green hydrogen plant in Florida. (WPTV)

WORKFORCE: Hyundai signs an agreement with a Georgia university and a technical college to train workers as it builds a massive electric vehicle and battery factory. (Savannah Morning News)

CRYPTOCURRENCY: A Texas nonprofit expresses outrage over a cryptocurrency company that was paid $31.7 million — more than what it mined in a month — to reduce energy consumption during August’s heat wave. (KTVT, CNBC)

• An Alabama farmer’s challenges in understanding and paying a $700 January power bill exemplifies the difficulties in federal aid programs intended to help low-income residents pay skyrocketing electric bills. (WBHM)
• West Virginia regulators expect to complete an audit of FirstEnergy subsidiaries by the end of the year. (West Virginia Watch)
• A Florida municipal utility draws nearer to securing a franchise agreement with a natural gas company. (Vero News)

• Virginia’s rural counties are well-positioned to host solar farms and encourage the clean energy transition, writes an environmental lawyer. (Cardinal News)
Oklahoma’s planned participation in a hydrogen hub with Arkansas and Louisiana would fit the state’s profile as an “all of the above” energy producer, writes an editorial board. (Enid News & Eagle)
• A newspaper publisher compares Georgia Power’s delays in cleaning up millions of tons of toxic coal ash to Muhammad Ali’s “rope-a-dope” strategy to wear down George Foreman in a 1974 boxing match. (Georgia Recorder)

Correction: Yesterday’s digest included an incorrect link. The item with the corrected link is below:

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A clean energy group’s report finds the Southeast lags the rest of the country in electric vehicle sales, charging station deployment, and utility and public funding despite capturing a disproportionate amount of EV investment. (news release)

More from the Energy News Network: Midwest | Southeast | Northeast | West

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.