Western Energy News

California grid expansion moves to “Plan B”

GRID: After a legislative effort to expand California’s grid fails, Western policy makers start discussing “Plan B,” which will likely involve increasing the state’s energy imbalance market. (Utility Dive)

COAL:
• The city council in Pasadena, California votes to end its 40-year contract with a Utah utility that gets its power from a local coal plant. (Pasadena Now)
• The likely closure of an Arizona coal plant is forcing many members of the Navajo and Hopi tribes to start seeking employment far beyond the reservations. (Navajo Hopi Observer)

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SOLAR:
• A Canadian solar company agrees to buy power from a 150 MW solar plant and storage system to be built in California, the largest project of its kind in the state. (Energy Manager Today)
• A solar-powered microgrid will be installed on the largest cattle ranch in Hawaii. (Solar Power World)
• A Washington state tax incentive program for home solar systems is running out of money due to high demand. (Tri-City Herald)

OIL AND GAS:
• Already grappling with the nation’s highest electricity bills, Hawaii residents could end up paying 20 percent more for their energy in two years because of new regulations on fuel for ocean-going ships. (Bloomberg)
• Despite pleas from industry officials, a Colorado county issues a moratorium on new oil and gas wells through November. (Denver Post)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The co-founder of a struggling California electric car company quits, calling the cash-starved venture “effectively insolvent.” (The Verge)

POLITICS:
• The U.S. oil and gas industry is significantly outspending a coalition of green groups and environmentally-minded billionaires in its quest to defeat a Washington state ballot measure seeking to create a carbon fee. (Reuters)
• Several Western ballot initiatives have the potential to shape the nation’s climate change response. (New York Times)

UTILITIES: Officials with a Southern California utility say their equipment is partly to blame for sparking a deadly wildfire last year, the largest in the state’s modern history. (NPR)

RENEWABLES: Nine Oregon farms and ranches will receive $427,739 in federal dollars to build small-scale solar and hydroelectric projects. (Capital Press)

COMMENTARY: A former Nevada regulator urges residents to vote “yes” on a ballot measure that would double the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

CORRECTION: A commentary criticizing an Arizona regulator in yesterday’s digest contained an incorrect link. The article can be found here.

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