Western Energy News

California tribe’s microgrid kept lights on during PG&E outage

MICROGRIDS: Northern California’s Blue Lake Rancheria tribe helped more than 10,000 people during a PG&E power outage in October thanks to its state-of-the-art microgrid. (Washington Post)

ALSO: Utah company CleanSpark is set to do a feasibility study exploring how a microgrid could power critical systems in Tomales, California during planned power outages. (Point Reyes Light)

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EFFICIENCY: A federal judge allows new minimum efficiency standards for light bulbs that the California Energy Commission adopted in November to proceed. (Associated Press)

CALIFORNIA:
• PG&E engineers urged the utility to inspect transmission towers in high wind areas for corrosion months before 2018’s deadly Camp Fire. (NBC Bay Area)
• PG&E’s interest burden is expected to drop by roughly $550 million after a bankruptcy judge ruled against bondholders. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
• Government agencies are pushing for more than half of a $13.5 billion settlement for California wildfire victims to go toward covering costs of disaster response. (Associated Press)

COAL:
Arizona’s Navajo Generating Station and Kenyatta Mine face several years of decommissioning and cleanup as well as the possibility of decades of environmental monitoring. (Cronkite News)
Jobs and CO2 emissions are declining for the Navajo Nation after the closure of the Navajo Generating Station in November. (E&E News, subscription)

OIL & GAS:
• A Colorado aviation company will provide data on methane reduction opportunities for oil and gas operations in the Permian Basin. (Denver Post)
• U.S. shale producers are exercising restraint as years of rapid growth slows down in 2020. (Reuters)
• A new Wyoming rule seeks to reduce a record number of applications for permits to drill oil and gas wells. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
Colorado regulators approve a $41.5 million annual rate increase for Xcel Energy-Colorado, far below the $158 million originally requested. (Denver Post)
San Francisco’s municipal electricity program is reaping considerable environmental and economic benefits since launching in April 2016. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Several utilities in 2019 announced plans to test blockchain software in grid applications, and the number will likely grow in 2020. (Energy News Network)

NUCLEAR: Pro-nuclear power groups argue that the industry doesn’t really have a waste problem, but the claims overlook waste that precedes electricity generation. (High Country News)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A federal judge rules that Tesla must face a lawsuit by two former workers alleging “severe and pervasive racial harassment” at its California factory. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY: An Alaska conservationist warns about the disconnect between oil interests and climate action in the state. (Anchorage Daily News)

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