CLIMATE: Kentucky residents affected by last year’s historic flooding are frustrated by what they describe as an intrusive and incomplete recovery process by state and federal officials. (Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting)

SOLAR:
• A solar company announces it will build a $65.9 million operations center in South Carolina that’s expected to create 300 new jobs. (WIS)
• A North Carolina city, county and school system partner to build a 35 MW solar farm to provide offsets for their use of Duke Energy’s fossil fuel-fired power. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• A Virginia county board rejects a solar farm’s proposed 93-acre expansion amid concerns it could exceed limits in a local ordinance. (Martinsville Bulletin)
• Students help install solar panels on a Virginia county school system’s office building. (WVIR)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Vietnamese electric vehicle maker announces $2.5 billion in new capital to accelerate its expansion in Europe and North America, including a factory under construction in North Carolina. (Forbes)

STORAGE:
• An iron-air battery company planning to build a West Virginia plant sets open-house meetings about workforce and timeline as Republicans challenge funding for clean energy projects. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• An energy storage startup builds facilities in Texas and China to test the idea of using giant bricks to store energy using gravity. (CNET)

OIL & GAS:
• Oklahoma lawmakers advance legislation to exempt natural gas from the state’s price gouging laws, just two years after Winter Storm Uri led to price spikes that ratepayers will be paying for the next three decades. (CNHI Oklahoma)
• An environmental investigator says an oil spill from a Texas refinery was likely made worse by new development in the area. (San Antonio Report)

COAL:
• West Virginia regulators’ order opening the door for potential buyers to extend the life of a coal-fired power plant leaves still unresolved questions. (Weirton Daily Times)
• Tampa Electric begins the long and intricate process to dismantle two chimneys at a coal-fired power plant in Florida. (Spectrum News)

COAL ASH: Dominion Energy moves forward on plans to build a 70-acre lined landfill to store coal ash by a power plant near the Potomac River. (Chesapeake Bay Journal)

UTILITIES: Kentucky Power files a 15-year plan with state regulators that includes adding 800 MW of solar and 700 MW of wind, with most of that complete by 2028. (Daily Independent)

OVERSIGHT:
• A Virginia lawmaker resigns after the governor offers him a job as director of the Virginia Department of Energy. (Virginian-Pilot)
• South Carolina lawmakers begin interviewing candidates for five of the 14 seats on the board of state-owned utility Santee Cooper. (Post and Courier)
• A West Virginia energy authority anticipates a new role under a recently passed state law requiring it sign off on the closure of any fossil fuel plants, but still hasn’t worked out the details of regulations yet. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

POLITICS: Coal magnate and West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is expected to announce plans today to challenge U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin for his U.S. Senate seat next year. (WV Metro News)

COMMENTARY:
• Texas’ lawmakers plan to boost the state grid by incentivizing more natural gas plants and slowing renewables is “a disaster,” writes a business and tech reporter. (Slate)
• A West Virginia talk radio host expects new power plant emissions standards proposed by the Biden administration will prompt a challenge from the state’s attorney general and a new round of legal battles. (WV Metro News)

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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.