Western Energy News

Can California convince residents to move beyond cars?

TRANSPORTATION: Policymakers are ramping up efforts to encourage people to use ride-sharing and public transit in California, where transportation is responsible for about 40% of the state’s greenhouse-gas emissions. (Cal Matters)

ALSO:
• House Democrats urge leading automakers to join four car manufacturers that signed a deal recognizing California’s authority to set its own vehicle emissions standards. (The Hill)
• California regulators approve a San Diego utility’s plan to build at least 3,000 plug-in chargers for vehicles such as buses, delivery trucks and forklifts. (City News Service)

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GRID: Renewable industry stakeholders say Cal-ISO should fix rules that block it from using capacity from hybrid energy projects that combine technologies like wind, solar and storage. (S&P Global)

SOLAR:
• Developers complete a 58 MW solar installation in northeastern Utah that is expected to go online next month. (Utah Public Radio)
• A residential solar provider will team up with a roofing installer to offer solar-plus-storage leases and power purchase agreements in California. (Greentech Media)
• Tesla defends its customer service record after a Colorado homeowner told local media the company was dragging its feet on re-installing solar panels following roof repair. (Denver7)

WIND:
• A Monterey, California, utility signs an agreement with wind developers for 1,000 MW of energy from a floating offshore wind project being planned off the Central California coast. (Windpower Engineering & Development)
• County commissioners delay a vote on whether to give a tax break to a $500 million wind farm being built in central Montana. (Billings Gazette)

RENEWABLES: Maui Electric Co. will seek bids to develop solar and wind projects paired with energy storage on the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Lanai. (The Maui News)

EFFICIENCY: Per person energy use is down by 38% at Montana State University, which has installed geothermal wells, solar panels and LED bulbs on campus. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

UTILITIES:
• A municipal utility in northwest Colorado is piloting household-scale virtual power plant technology that could help integrate more rooftop solar and storage. (PV Magazine)
• A U.S. bankruptcy judge could rule today on a creditor request to terminate PG&E’s exclusivity period, allowing other parties to propose financial recovery strategies for the embattled utility. (Utility Dive)
• A central issue in PG&E’s bankruptcy has become a 2017 California wildfire that the state says was not started by the utility’s power lines. (San Francisco Chronicle)

OIL & GAS: Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska releases draft legislation requiring the Treasury Department to formally oppose efforts at multilateral development banks to move away from fossil fuel investments. (E&E News)

EMISSIONS: If the Trump administration weakens federal methane standards for the oil and gas industry, it could put the spotlight on a handful of western states with methane regulations, such as Colorado, California and Wyoming. (E&E News)

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POLITICS: An environmental lawyer known for a number of court cases challenging fossil fuel development on public lands is running for Congress in New Mexico and making climate change a key issue in his campaign. (E&E News)

COMMENTARY:
• It’s time for Colorado’s drilling permits to reflect the full cost of the known risks of oil and gas production, says the owner of a state legislature tracking platform. (Colorado Politics)
• Former Vice President Joe Biden “sent a chill down the spine of every energy worker” by declaring he would eliminate energy production from coal and hydraulic fracturing, says the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. (Fort Morgan Times)

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