Western Energy News

Colorado residents sparring with utility over solar charges

SOLAR: Fed up with high electricity bills, residents of a Colorado city push back against their utility, arguing it penalizes customers who use solar energy. (Public Radio International)

ALSO:
• A San Antonio utility will contribute $15 million to extend the life of its solar rebate program. (Rivard Report)
• Tesla starts construction on what is being billed as the world’s largest solar rooftop array at its Gigafactory in Nevada. (Electrek)
• A Colorado utility is seeking proposals for 20 MW of solar backed by 5 MW of battery storage. (PV Tech)

RENEWABLES:
• Aspen is among 100 cities worldwide getting at least 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.  (Bloomberg)
• Opposition is gathering around a clean energy ballot initiative in Arizona while an alternative plan by a state regulator there has fewer critics. (PV Magazine)

ELECTRIC CARS:
• As the debate over what to do with the Volkswagen settlement heats up, a new study shows that Dallas will need 3,000 charging stations for electric cars by 2030. (Dallas Morning News)
• A new report says Houston could have as many as 65,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030. (KHOU)
• Utilities and environmental organizations are finding common ground on electric vehicle policy. (Utility Dive)

OIL AND GAS:
• It will cost $6.1 billion to reclaim more than 94,000 oil and gas wells on federal lands when they stop producing, and taxpayers may have to foot some of the bill, according to a recent analysis. (Reuters)
• An Oklahoma energy company is selling off its assets in the Four Corners region of New Mexico to the tune of $700 million to focus on the state’s red-hot Permian Basin. (Farmington News)
• The U.S. Interior Department is now reviewing a proposal to reduce the federal government’s take on royalties from deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. (Houston Chronicle)
• Colorado regulators concede that abandoned oil and gas wells are a growing problem in the state. (Fox 31 Denver)
Layoffs are announced at the Oklahoma City energy company in the midst of a corporate upheaval being forced by activist investor Carl Icahn. (Daily Oklahoman)

UTILITIES: A U.S. bankruptcy court approves the acquisition of Texas’s largest utility. (Houston Chronicle)

WIND: New Mexico regulators will soon decide the fate of Xcel Energy’s wind farm project which is currently in jeopardy due to a previous ruling from a state commission. (Eastern New Mexico News)

EFFICIENCY: An Oklahoma utility finds its smart grid program has helped reduce peak electricity demand. (Electric Light & Power)

COMMENTARY: The Environmental Defense Fund says tougher controls on oil and gas activity are needed to fight air pollution in Utah.

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