SOLAR: Duke Energy awards the final $1.3 million in a five-year, $62 million rebate program to spur North Carolina rooftop solar installations, with another 2,900 people still on the waiting list. (WFAE)

ALSO:
• Duke Energy asks North Carolina regulators for approval to build a 9.5 MW solar plant as part of a deal that included the prior approval of a nearby 560 MW natural gas plant. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• A Virginia county considers installing solar panels at a closed landfill to power a nearby sewage pump station. (RVA Hub)
• A North Carolina furniture company adds solar panels at two of its facilities. (Hickory Daily Record)
• A Virginia county board approves a developer’s request to add 18 acres to its proposed 40 MW solar facility, allowing it to space panels farther apart. (Smithfield Times)

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EMISSIONS: Virginia regulators propose a short-term variance to ease emission rules for roughly 150 data centers in a fast-growing part of the state to allow them to get extra power from generators. (Virginia Mercury)

GRID:
• A winter storm hits Texas but hasn’t yet resulted in widespread blackouts, leading Gov. Greg Abbott to praise the power grid for performing “very effectively.” (San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman)
• Tennessee Valley Authority President Jeff Lyash says the utility lost 8,000 MW of power during December’s cold snap when its biggest coal plant and several natural gas generators failed, but has since made improvements. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority seeks public input on a proposed Alabama transmission line to an electric cooperative’s substation. (WAFF)

CARBON CAPTURE: A North Carolina startup is one of four entities nationally that has signaled it will pursue a portion of the $3.5 billion in federal funding for four direct air capture facilities. (E&E News)

OVERSIGHT: The U.S. EPA confirms it’s investigating claims that Texas regulators aren’t doing enough to enforce clean air and water rules. (Houston Chronicle)

UTILITIES:
• Analysts say departing Florida Power & Light CEO Eric Silagy’s exit agreement includes a provision for a multi-year “claw back on compensation for any legal wrongdoing. (Florida Times-Union)
• Georgia residents sue a city government, claiming its use of utility taxes to fund city operations is illegal and unfairly targets the poor. (LaGrange Daily News)

POLITICS:
• Dominion Energy disputes Virginia regulators’ analysis of how proposed legislation to boost its profit margin would affect ratepayers’ bills. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• A West Virginia Senate committee approves a bill to earmark a portion of severance tax revenue for the state’s short-staffed oil and gas well inspector unit, but its chairman warns it won’t entirely solve the problem. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, subscription)

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HYDROGEN: Florida Power & Light breaks ground on a pilot project to use solar power to generate hydrogen from water. (Space Coast Daily)

COMMENTARY:
• Virginia lawmakers should pass legislation to let regulators lower electricity bills and block utility shutoffs during public health emergencies and extreme weather, write three climate justice advocates. (Cardinal News)
• A Georgia utility regulator argues natural gas complements renewables as a necessary part of the clean energy transition. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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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.