Western Energy News

California regulators OK world’s largest battery system

STORAGE: California regulators approve a plan by the state’s largest utility to build the two biggest battery systems in the world to replace power produced by an aging natural gas plant. (Greentech Media)

PIPELINES: A federal judge in Montana halts the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline after determining the federal government did not complete a thorough environmental review. (Reuters)

CLIMATE: A federal appeals court grants the Trump administration a temporary stay in a lawsuit brought by 21 young plaintiffs who claim the federal government’s lax response to climate change has harmed them. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• Washington’s largest solar farm is set to begin production next month. (The Spokesman-Review)
• Two oil and gas-rich counties in western Colorado will soon be home to several new solar garden projects. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

HYDROGEN:
• Construction begins on the first commercial hydrogen fuel cell ferry, which is expected to begin hauling people around the San Francisco Bay next year. (Ars Technica)
• California regulators approve an $8 million grant for construction of a high-capacity hydrogen fueling station in Long Beach. (CNBC)

GRID:
• Heat waves will cause widespread power outages in Los Angeles by mid-century unless improvements are made to the grid, according to a new study. (UCLA News)
• The leader of a $20 million effort to update New Mexico’s grid discusses the project. (U.S News & World Report)

OIL & GAS:
• After a public outcry, an oil and gas company withdraws its application to drill 14 wells that extend under a Denver-area reservoir that provides drinking water to 300,000 people. (Denver Post)
• The BLM will offer fewer tracts of land than it did last year from the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska at its annual oil and gas and lease sale. (Alaska Public Media)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators suggest penalties may be in store for the operator of a shuttered nuclear plant in California over an incident involving a canister filled with nuclear waste. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

POLITICS:
• Climate change was largely left out of the conversation in Colorado about a recently failed ballot measure to increase oil and gas drilling setbacks. (Westword, Capital & Main)
• The failure of an Arizona clean energy initiative doesn’t spell doom for renewable energy in the state, experts say. (Cronkite News)

REGULATION: Oregon’s Department of Justice is asked to decide if a county overstepped its authority with an ordinance that promised to mitigate smart meter opt out fees. (KDRV)

TRANSPORTATION: California air quality regulators and their federal counterparts will hold talks next week over the Trump administration’s plan to thwart the state’s efforts to adopt strict tailpipe emission limits. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
• Arizona’s attorney general says he won’t tolerate proponents of a clean energy initiative blaming him for its loss on election day. (Arizona Capitol Times)
• Economists should not give up analytical arguments for a carbon tax, but maybe it’s time to find new tactics, says an economics professor at George Mason University. (Bloomberg)

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