Western Energy News

California revives hydropower/clean energy debate

HYDROPOWER: California lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow hydropower to count toward the state’s clean energy goals, a move advocates say would stall the development of new wind and solar resources. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO: Federal regulators have approved a 393 MW pumped hydropower storage project in Oregon, the first facility of its kind to be built in decades in the Pacific Northwest. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

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NUCLEAR:
• A U.S. Senator from Nevada says the Department of Energy has agreed to remove a metric ton of plutonium that it secretly shipped to a site north of Las Vegas by 2026. (KOLO)
• Nevada’s governor reaffirmed his opposition to restarting the licensing process to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in a letter to the chairman of a Senate committee scheduled to take up the issue. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

STORAGE: A Southern California utility announces it’s signed contracts for 195 MW of demand response resources and energy storage, including what will become one of the largest lithium-ion battery systems in North America. (Utility Dive)

COAL: A Virginia businessman rescinds his offer to buy a troubled Wyoming coal mine after failing to secure the necessary bonds. (Casper Star-Tribune)

EFFICIENCY:
• The developer of a proposed affordable housing complex for artists in Santa Fe pledges to go net-zero and secures critical funding. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
• A California company that specializes in making buildings more energy efficient is establishing its secondary headquarters in Denver. (Denver Post)

GRID:
• A Washington utility has signed an agreement with California’s grid operator to enter its Western Energy Imbalance Market, a move company officials believe will help inject more clean energy into its mix. (Utility Dive)
• Despite a recent explosion at a major battery facility and problems at a gas plant, officials with Arizona’s biggest utilities say they are prepared to meet summer energy demands. (Arizona Republic)

OIL & GAS:
• New Mexico’s land commissioner issues a moratorium on drilling on 73,000 acres of state trust land near a site considered sacred by several Western tribes. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
• North Dakota is threatening to sue Washington over recently passed legislation requiring oil shipped by train to have its volatility reduced. (Associated Press)
• Federal land managers have canceled all future meetings of a royalty advisory panel created by the Trump administration to expedite drilling on public lands. (Associated Press)

PUBLIC LANDS: Officials with the U.S. Interior Department say they will choose a Western city for its new headquarters by September. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: California regulators have issued proposed guidelines for utilities considering shutting off power due to wildfire threats. (Utility Dive)

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SOLAR:
• Students from Navajo Technical University are working with a Colorado nonprofit to install solar panels in New Mexico. (Navajo-Hopi Observer)
• Officials in Boulder County, Colorado are encouraging residents to invest in solar power before a federal tax credit decreases next year. (Longmont Times-Call)

COMMENTARY:
• The editorial board of the Billings Gazette says the defeat of a bill seeking to save a troubled coal plant is “a victory for open government.”
• A recently announced $32 million project to improve the energy efficiency of government buildings in New Mexico is a “great first step” toward achieving the state’s carbon reduction goals, say two state government officials. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

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