UTILITIES: Pacific Gas & Electric begins shutting off power to as many as 51,000 homes to reduce the risk of sparking another fire as the Dixie Fire — possibly ignited by the utility’s equipment — grows beyond 600,000 acres and threatens a city of 15,000 people. (Los Angeles Times, New York Times)

ALSO: New Mexico community advocates agree to drop opposition to El Paso Electric’s construction of a new natural gas unit at an existing power plant in exchange for pollution-cutting concessions from the utility. (news release)  

A San Diego environmental and consumer advocacy group opposes a controversial 600-acre solar plant proposed for a southern California town, saying the facility is too big and power would not go to the nearby community. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Utility-scale solar facilities can damage local environments, including fragile deserts, but researchers are looking for ways that installations can better protect and even improve ecosystems. (Vox) 

STORAGE: A 185 MW/565 MWh battery facility under construction in Hawaii will replace a retiring coal plant’s generation and act as the “ultimate pacemaker for the grid.” (Canary Media)

WIND: A South Korean company takes over operations at the world’s largest wind tower factory and pledges to create more jobs at the Colorado plant. (Pueblo Chieftain)

EQUITY: Indigenous communities in Hawaii and New Mexico strive for energy sovereignty by decentralizing resources, increasing solar-plus-storage and centering community and the land in decision-making. (Yes Magazine)

The Caldor Fire in northern California blows up to 30,000 acres, levelling parts of a town and threatening others. (San Francisco Chronicle)
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California issues a conservation alert to its 19 million customers for the first time in seven years. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon pledges to require Medicaid plans to cover the costs of air conditioner units while visiting a public housing project in Portland where several residents died during June’s Northwest heat wave. (Oregonian)

COAL: Powder River Basin second-quarter coal production jumps 26% compared to last year due to heat-induced demand and high natural gas prices. (S&P Global)

OIL & GAS: A former Salt Lake City mayor and environmental groups accuse the State of Utah of improperly spending $109 million on fossil fuel projects, including a proposed oil-hauling railway. (Deseret News)

HYDROPOWER: The U.S. Navy plans to invest $6 million in wave energy research at a University of Hawaii grid-connected wave-power test facility. (Hawaii Public Radio)

A California editorial board says the state must fund extreme-heat mitigation efforts such as planting trees, creating parks and replacing pavement with green space in the most vulnerable communities. (Los Angeles Times)
A California dairy farmer urges state lawmakers to invest in dairy and landfill methane mitigation projects as a cost-effective way to battle climate change. (CalMatters)

Jonathan hails from southwestern Colorado and has been writing about the land, cultures, and communities of the Western United States for more than two decades. He compiles the Western Energy News digest. He is the author of three books, a contributing editor at High Country News, and the editor of the Land Desk, an e-newsletter that provides coverage and context on issues critical to the West.