Western Energy News

Colorado regulators approve massive clean energy shift

RENEWABLES: Colorado regulators approve a plan by Xcel Energy to retire a third of its coal generation and boost solar and wind energy, a move company officials say will save customers about $213 million. (Denver Post)

POLITICS:
• A judge in Arizona blocks an attempt by the state’s largest utility to keep a clean energy initiative from appearing on the November ballot. (Capitol Media Services)
• Nevada’s largest teachers’ union announced its support of a ballot measure seeking to break up the state’s electricity monopoly, arguing schools are currently being overcharged. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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SOLAR:
• Solar industry officials in Hawaii say Hurricane Lane was a “wake up call” that will likely trigger an explosion in storage installations in the future. (Greentech Media)
• California, Hawaii and Nevada are among five states where solar energy makes up at least 10 percent of in-state electricity generation. (PV Magazine)

CLIMATE: Thousands of electrical substations, power lines and transformers in the San Diego area could be inundated by rising seas in the future, according to a new assessment of climate change risks in California. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: A San Francisco company is fighting climate change by tapping wasted energy from buildings using sophisticated data analytics. (Greentech Media)

GRID:
• A bill to expand California’s grid receives a flurry of last-minute amendments including one that scraps a provision that would have required additional renewable energy sources be constructed in the state. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Federal regulators are asked to establish a mandatory capacity market for California’s grid operator by independent generators worried the state’s ambitious renewable energy policies will drive them out of business. (Utility Dive)

FUEL CELLS: A California company’s recent initial public offering suggests a larger market for fuel cell technology might be emerging than in years past. (Greentech Media)

PUBLIC LANDS: A top Interior Department official who oversaw efforts to shrink two national monuments in Utah has been hired by a major oil company. (Washington Post)

WIND: A 320 MW wind farm proposed for south-central Montana is on hold as the developer hits an impasse in negotiations with a North Dakota utility over rates. (KPAX)

TRANSMISSION: Some history buffs are fighting plans to build a transmission line near some of the last remnants of the Oregon Trail in the eastern part of the state. (Longview Daily News)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Wyoming town gets a $2.2 million grant to help deploy electric buses. (Wyoming Business Report)

COMMENTARY: The uneventful summer shutdown of a Montana coal plant is proof the state doesn’t need the facility to keep the lights on, says a Helena, Montana columnist. (Missoulian)

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