Western Energy News

Colorado utilities to explore forming regional market

UTILITIES: Four Colorado utilities have teamed up to study joining a regional trading market, a step that could make it easier to bring more renewable energy to the grid. (Denver Post)

ALSO:
• A bankruptcy judge denied PG&E’s proposal to pay up to $16 million in bonuses to a select group of top executives, saying they shouldn’t need extra incentives to improve the utility’s performance on safety and other issues. (The Sacramento Bee)
• A new Las Vegas resort is withdrawing its application with Nevada regulators to purchase power independently of NV Energy, marking the end of an unusual two-year period that saw dozens of big business file to leave the utility and the state making leaving more difficult. (The Nevada Independent)
• California’s investor-owned utilities in a hearing today are expected to urge state regulators to authorize bigger profits for shareholders in a hearing today, spooked by the utilities’ liabilities from sparking recent wildfires. (KQED)

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SOLAR:
A floating solar array in rural Colorado is helping to cut energy costs for the town’s wastewater plant. (Denver Post)
• A newly-published paper suggests co-location of agriculture and solar photovoltaic arrays isare proven to be  mutually beneficial across energy, food and water. (University of Arizona)

COAL:
• A five-part series examines how the decline of a Wyoming coal plant represents the fate of the industry more broadly. (WyoFile)
Coal industry representatives and economists agree the market is down for coal; but where the floor is, and how to ensure Wyoming and other coal producing states land softly, is a major concern. (Wyoming Tribune Eagle)

OIL AND GAS:
An environmental impact study says a proposed methanol production facility in Washington state will lead to a net decrease in emissions by offsetting coal use in China, a claim opponents say is “dramatically misleading.” (Longview Daily News)
• Conservationists continue to clash with Interior Department and Colorado state officials over leasing public lands for oil and gas development and protecting sage grouse. (Denver Post)
• Producers seek certainty as New Mexico pursues tougher rules on methane emissions and the EPA seeks to lower standards. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
• Wyoming officials say a proposed EPA rollback of methane rules would have little impact in the state, which has its own regulations. (Casper Star-Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: New Mexico has decided against green-bond financing, finding few prospects for savings on borrowing costs as it moves forward with energy efficiency improvements to a fleet of state buildings in Santa Fe. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: A San Diego nonprofit asked a federal judge to bar Southern California Edison from storing nuclear waste from the decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)

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ACTIVISM: A Montana climate activist says there are reasons to be hopeful on climate change despite “going backwards” at the federal level. (Missouian)

COMMENTARY:
• Nevada Sen. Harry Reid says “we can, and must, do better” on climate change. (Las Vegas Sun)
• A veteran Wyoming journalist says efforts by conservative politicians to rescue the coal industry look a lot like socialism. (WyoFile)
• A California news organization asks and answers the question “is it possible that PG&E has learned nothing?” (San Francisco Chronicle)
• An editorial notes that “the Utah Legislature, a bastion of real estate and construction interests,” will likely be an obstacle to cutting building emissions. (Salt Lake Tribune)

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