Western Energy News

Carbon capture costs exceed alternatives for New Mexico coal plant

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COAL: New Mexico’s largest utility says retrofitting the San Juan Generating Station with carbon capture technology would cost $1.3 billion more than its preferred long-term scenario. (Utility Dive)

ALSO: Montana’s utility regulator has “significant doubt” that the Colstrip Power Plant would burn more than a few more years and warned NorthWestern Energy to prepare to exit. (Billings Gazette)

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OIL & GAS:
New Mexico joins a group of state agencies and tribal nations aiming to increase the market reach of American natural gas. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
A Navajo Nation pilot program will convert methane into hydrogen, reducing emissions from an oil field in San Juan County, New Mexico. (Deseret News)
Colorado officials say a benzene spike measured in the air near a Greeley elementary school likely came from nearby oil and gas operations; further testing will be done. (Colorado Independent, Greeley Tribune)

CALIFORNIA:
PG&E’s latest filing with state regulators suggests its system remains vulnerable to wildfire risk despite ongoing and expensive upgrades. (Utility Dive)
The developer of a 10 MW battery storage project alleges PG&E breached its agreement and wants its 20-year contract cancelled. (S&P Global)
Low-income Californians continue to struggle with hunger and financial difficulties in the aftermath of PG&E’s blackouts last month. (Mercury News)
PG&E confirms its customer credit for the chaotic October 9 shut-off was a one-off; there are no plans to refund customers for the Oct. 23, 26, 29 and Nov. 20 outages. (Mercury News)

HYDROPOWER: Arizona tribes object to proposals to dam a Colorado River tributary in northern Arizona for hydropower. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: Montana utility regulators reject NorthWestern Energy’s plans to increase rates for customers who net meter solar power. (Billings Gazette)

EFFICIENCY: Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak orders state agencies to submit plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions across multiple sectors of the economy by December 2020. (Utility Dive)

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SOLAR: Hawaiian Electric Company’s completed 20-megawatt West Loch solar project is set to go online and will save customers at least $109 million over its expected 25-year lifespan. (Pacific Business News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
A Utah editorial board says the state should drive down air pollution by offering incentives to companies to replace older large diesel trucks with those using “clean diesel.” (Deseret News)
An Alaskan climate advocate says burning fossil fuels does not have a future and more thought about the transition to other sources of energy is necessary. (Anchorage Daily News)
A California assemblyman says state Democrats can speed up improvements to PG&E’s antiquated system by changing government policies. (CALmatters)

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