Western Energy News

Arizona regulators freeze new gas plants in a surprise move

UTILITIES: In a surprise move that has the potential to reshape Arizona’s energy landscape, state regulators institute a nine-month moratorium on new natural gas plants. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• A rural Colorado electric co-op offers to buy the city of Pueblo’s power provider for $1.1 billion, but the company insists it’s not for sale. (Pueblo Chieftain)
• An Arizona utility sends cease-and-desist letters to solar advocates running for its board over the use of its name on a campaign website. (Arizona Republic)

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SOLAR:
• The Arizona Supreme Court is expected to decide today whether rooftop solar systems leased to homeowners are subject to state property taxes. (Associated Press)
• A Utah-based solar company leaves a string of complaints across several Western states where some customers have accused it of operating a Ponzi scheme. (Oregon Public Broadcasting/EarthFix)

WIND:
• The BLM is reviewing a proposal by a Swedish developer to build as many as 220 wind turbines near the Nevada-California border. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• Oklahoma regulators ask for more settlement talks over a utility’s plan to collect construction costs from its ratepayers for what could be the largest wind farm in the nation. (Daily Oklahoman)

COAL: Officials from Arizona copper mining companies say they would be interested in hiring coal miners displaced from the pending closure of a coal-fired power plant near the Arizona-Utah border. (Arizona Republic)

OIL AND GAS:
• Nearly a third of the 70 oil and gas wells located near the Denver International Airport are losing money, according to a new city audit. (Denver Post)
• A third wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in connection with a deadly explosion of a natural gas rig in Oklahoma in January. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• A French multi-national corporation and a Dallas-based company have formed a joint venture to revive plans to build a nuclear waste dump in West Texas. (Associated Press)
• The city of Los Alamos is contemplating buying nuclear power from a small modular reactor being developed in Idaho. (Los Alamos Daily Post)

GEOTHERMAL: The expansion of a geothermal facility in Nevada will make it the third largest in the state, capable of producing 134 megawatts of power. (Elko Daily Free Press)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• An Arizona community with high asthma rates wants Volkswagen settlement funds used toward replacing its diesel school buses with electric. (Cronkite News)
• Industry data shows that Oklahoma had the second fastest growing number of electric cars on the road in the nation in 2017, though their numbers are still minuscule compared to gas-powered vehicles. (The Oklahoman)

COMMENTARY: Whether it builds its new headquarters in Austin or Denver, Amazon has the opportunity to advance city and state clean energy goals, writes a University of Texas assistant professor and an Austin-based energy consultant. (Austin American-Statesman)

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