Western Energy News

California microgrids showing promising results

GRID: California energy officials say the first generation of state-funded microgrids are proving to be resilient and delivering utility bill savings of 20% to 60%, mostly in avoided demand charges. (Greentech Media)

HYDROPOWER: A Southern California company is proposing to build a massive new hydroelectric facility east of the Sierra Nevadas, sparking opposition from some residents and environmentalists who say the project will spoil the local wilderness. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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TRANSPORTATION: The U.S. Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit by the oil and gas industry challenging an Oregon policy aimed at reducing transportation fuel pollution. (Willamette Week)

OIL & GAS: Arizona and California are among a growing number of states where regulators are saying no to new natural gas-fired power plants. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES:
• A proposed $97 million rate increase by Arizona’s largest utility has drawn the opposition of Tom Steyer, the California billionaire who squared off against the company last year over a clean energy initiative. (Arizona Republic)
• A Las Vegas casino and resort company that funded an effort to break up the monopoly held by Nevada’s largest utility has signed a long-term agreement with the power provider, putting an end to the fight between the two over exit fees. (Nevada Independent)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Several Western states are among those attempting to recoup lost gas tax revenues by imposing fees on electric vehicles. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR: Nevada lawmakers are considering a bill aimed at expanding solar access for the state’s low-income residents. (Nevada Independent)

TRANSMISSION: New Mexico regulators are slated to discuss Thursday whether they should reconsider their decision to charge Facebook for nearly half of an $85 million transmission line. (Albuquerque Journal)

POLITICS: With more than a dozen clean energy and climate-related bills headed to the governor to sign, Colorado could be entering a new regulatory era. (Colorado Public Radio)

EFFICIENCY: A bill setting efficiency standards for appliances heads to Hawaii’s governor to sign. (Big Island Now)

BIOMASS: The operator of an Oregon trash incinerator says the facility might close unless lawmakers pass a bill allowing it to receive renewable energy certificates. (Salem Reporter)

COMMENTARY:
• California should require its investor-owned utilities to divest of their transmission assets, says the executive director of a local clean energy group. (Utility Dive)
• Ezra Klein says that even if Washington Gov. Jay Inslee doesn’t become the next president he has the potential to “force an overdue reckoning” between Democrats and their rhetoric on climate change. (Vox)
• The director of Colorado’s oil and gas industry group says he hopes facts and logic guide the implementation of the state’s new drilling rules. (Colorado Politics)

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