Arizona utility plans massive solar, storage expansion

RENEWABLES: Arizona’s largest utility announces it will add almost 850 MW of new battery storage and 100MW of solar power by 2025. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• Clean energy advocates are demanding a role for solar, energy storage and microgrids as California regulators grapple with how to manage the potential for widespread grid shutdowns to minimize fire risks. (Greentech Media)
• Several conservation groups urge Pocatello, Idaho’s mayor to set clean energy goals, pointing to Boise’s plan to get all of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. (Idaho State Journal)

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UTILITIES: The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and a multi-million dollar hydrogen plant become the latest businesses to sever ties with Nevada’s largest utility. (The Nevada Independent)

TRANSPORTATION:
• The Trump administration has broken off talks with California over its authority to establish vehicle fuel efficiency standards and is on track to roll back the Obama-era initiative.

Feds cut off fuel efficiency talks with California

TRANSPORTATION: The Trump administration breaks off talks with California officials over vehicle fuel efficiency standards and is on track to roll back standards put in place by the Obama administration. (Washington Post)

EMISSIONS: Volkswagen is the first automaker to pledge to make its manufacturing operations carbon neutral. (E&E News)

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RENEWABLES:
• Arizona’s largest utility announces it will add almost 850 MW of new battery storage and 100MW of solar power by 2025.

Regulations not keeping pace with fracking boom, advocates warn

OIL & GAS:
• Natural gas pipeline explosions in Ohio highlight concerns over lax pipeline safety regulations as the fracking industry grows. (Rolling Stone)
• The CEO of Consumers Energy details how a fire at a natural gas compressor station caused an emergency for the company during the polar vortex. (Detroit Free Press)

SOLAR:
• Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz proposes $20 million over the next two years for grants that help schools install solar panels. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• A majority of residents speak at a public hearing in favor of a proposed 100 MW solar project in southern Ohio. (Hillsboro Times-Gazette)
• University of Minnesota researchers propose solar financing for low-income households to offset operating costs.

Maine governor signs on to transmission deal

TRANSMISSION: Maine’s governor signs on to a settlement supporting a proposed transmission line to carry hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts. (Portland Press Herald)

ALSO: Some conservation groups that had opposed the Northern Pass project in New Hampshire are willing to back the Maine option. (Boston Globe)

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NUCLEAR:
• Massachusetts officials want the state to intervene in plans to close the Pilgrim nuclear plant.

Alabama Power will close century-old coal plant

COAL: Alabama Power says it will close a 100-year old coal-fired power plant and blames “federally driven environmental mandates.” (AL.com)

ALSO: West Virginia coal miners and supporters rally at the state capitol in support of bills aimed at preventing and treating severe black lung disease. (Ohio Valley Resource)

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SOLAR:
• A solar developer in southwest Virginia is looking for partners for a commercial-scale solar purchase.