Southwest Energy News

After leaving utility, Las Vegas casino chain plans major solar array

SOLAR: MGM Resorts plans to use a solar array to provide 90 percent of the daytime power used by its 13 Las Vegas casinos, a project the company says wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t cut ties with its utility. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

ALSO: A Boulder-based solar industry lender raises $112 million in equity amid strong growth in the renewable energy sector. (Greentech Media)

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RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• A report from Nevada regulators predicts higher energy bills for 10 years if a clean energy ballot measure is approved; critics say the report lacks supporting evidence. (Las Vegas Review Journal)
• Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, a clean-energy advocate, is joining a Boulder venture capital firm as a strategy partner. (BizWest)

CLIMATE:
• Legal experts anticipate the two Colorado counties that recently sued the oil industry over climate change damages will try to move the case to federal court. (Boulder Daily Camera)
• The head of a Colorado oil industry group calls the lawsuit “misguided” and “a political stunt.” (Inside Sources)

WIND:
• Oklahoma is among four states where wind energy supplies more than 30 percent of all electricity. (CleanTechnica)
• San Antonio’s city-owned utility ranks 13th in the nation for wind power purchases, but still lags behind Austin. (San Antonio Express-News)

TRANSMISSION: An Oklahoma landowner will benefit from being on both ends of a proposed wind energy transmission project. (The Oklahoman)

UTILITIES:
• In an awkward moment at a board meeting, an outgoing Colorado Springs utility executive is presented with a marijuana plant as a gift from a local clean air advocate. (Colorado Springs Gazette)
• Xcel Energy gets permission from the FAA to fly drones beyond the operator’s line of sight to inspect power lines. (Power Engineering)

OIL AND GAS:
• Dallas city officials say the utility involved in a deadly house explosion is taking too long to replace old gas lines. (NBC DFW)
• A Texas oil and gas regulator says the biggest threat to the industry is millennials’ acceptance of “politically-correct-driven environmental anti-oil and gas science.” (Texas Tribune)
• With the land rush over in the Permian Basin, the oil and gas producers there face a new era of consolidation. (Houston Chronicle)
• Oil and gas production in Colorado is surging as prices hit a three-year high. (Colorado Public Radio)
• Colorado residents live with uncertainty over whether the oil and gas industry is making people sick. (KUNC)
• The chairman of the board of an Oklahoma energy company embroiled in a proxy fight with activist investor Carl Icahn has retired. (The Oklahoman)
Texas regulators tell state lawmakers that oil spills are hard to track during floods like Hurricane Harvey. (Houston Public Media)

COAL: Some Colorado Springs officials are angry the city council approved a $425,000 lawsuit settlement over air quality violations from a municipal coal-fired power plant without a public vote. (Colorado Springs Gazette)

EFFICIENCY:
A 24-story Arizona building undergoes an energy efficiency retrofit and now saves about 160,000 KWH a year. (Energy Manager Today)
A classroom building at Colorado State University-Pueblo gains LEED platinum certification. (American School & University)

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