Western Energy News

A New Mexico utility charts a future without coal 

NOTE TO READERS: Western Energy News is taking a break July 3-5 for Independence Day. We will resume on Monday, July 8.

COAL: New Mexico’s largest utility files its plan with state regulators to close a coal plant and replace its power with a mix of natural gas, solar and wind energy. (Associated Press)

• The owner of two Wyoming coal mines files for bankruptcy in West Virginia. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• A new study commissioned by a national environmental group finds that continuing to operate two units at a Colorado Springs coal plant is far more expensive than switching to solar and wind energy. (Colorado Springs Independent)

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POLITICS: Oregon’s governor says she’s prepared to use her executive power to lower the state’s carbon emissions in lieu of passing cap-and-trade legislation. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: As California’s energy market remains in flux, Florida surges past it on utility-scale solar deployment. (Greentech Media)

• Arizona’s newest utility regulator is calling for an outside investigation into the heat-related death of a woman who had her power shut off after she couldn’t pay her bill. (Arizona Capitol Times)
• A former federal prosecutor and Texas utility executive is set to become the next president of Puget Sound Energy, where she must lead the Bellevue, Washington company into a carbon-free future. (Seattle Times)

PIPELINES: Environmentalists filed a lawsuit in Montana challenging the U.S Army Corps of Engineers’ approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, accusing the federal agency of not considering the potential for oil spills and other environmental problems. (Associated Press)

• As California looks to replace some of its gas peaker plants with storage, power providers are contemplating longer-duration batteries. (Greentech Media)
• A California-based commercial energy storage startup lays off some of its staff as the company refocuses on providing its storage management software to installation partners. (Greentech Media)

• California’s new budget includes $1.5 million for a  study to look at how the state can reduce its supply and demand for oil. (Bakersfield Californian)
• Colorado environmental regulators have signaled they might toughen enforcement for a local refinery emitting hydrogen cyanide. (Denver Post)

EFFICIENCY: The city council in Moscow, Idaho is considering building a new energy efficient police department that’s “solar ready.” (Moscow-Pullman Daily News)

TRANSMISSION: A Bellevue, Washington hearing examiner has approved a permit for the first phase of a 16-mile power line project. (Seattle Times)

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RESEARCH: An international carbon capture competition underway in Wyoming has extended its deadline by four months to June 2020. (Wyoming Public Media)

COMMENTARY: Increasing accessibility to affordable financing tools as provided by a new state law will help California residents build more fire-resistant homes, says a member of the Sonoma County board of supervisors. (CALmatters)

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