Western Energy News

Arctic blast triggers largest outage in Oregon history

GRID: More than 300,000 customers of Oregon’s two largest utilities are without electricity following last weekend’s extreme winter storms, and it’s unknown when full power will be restored. (The Oregonian)

ALSO: California regulators do not anticipate any reliability issues from the storm, but ask utility customers to voluntarily conserve power to reduce strain on the grid; Xcel Energy makes a similar request in Colorado. (ABC 10, Daily Camera) 

OIL & GAS:
New Mexico’s Senate Judiciary Committee kills a bill that would have made produced water spills illegal. (New Mexico Political Report)
• Experts say there are lessons for New Mexico’s oil and gas industry to learn from coal’s decline in other states, particularly Wyoming. (Capital and Main)  

COAL: Concerns are being raised in Montana about who will be saddled with cleaning up and plugging the Colstrip plant’s coal ash ponds, estimated to cost between $400 million and $700 million. (Montana Free Press)

HYDROPOWER: Republicans and Democrats are on opposing sides over Idaho U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson’s plan for removing four Lower Snake River hydroelectric dams. (Associated Press)

PUBLIC LANDS: New Mexico asks the Interior Department for clarification on issues related to President Biden’s moratorium on federal oil and gas leasing. (Albuquerque Journal)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Hawaiian Electric reaches 50% renewable power on Maui, while the proportion of clean energy in its overall territory increases to 34.5%. (Maui Now)

SOLAR:
Solar manufacturer First Solar agrees to sell three Arizona solar projects totaling 900 MW in capacity with potential for 1-2 GWh of battery storage. (PV Tech)
• Construction begins on a solar project that will power roughly one-third of New Mexico State University’s 900-acre Las Cruces campus. (KRWG) 

STORAGE: The completion of a 400 MWh Southern California battery storage project, one of the world’s largest, is to be celebrated virtually tomorrow. (Grunion Gazette)

COMMENTARY:
A Colorado wood-to-ethanol energy company says the state isn’t considering how the biofuel can help reduce emissions. (Colorado Politics)
An energy technology risk expert says California’s blackouts are an example of the high cost of failing to plan for extreme weather events. (Forbes)

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