SOLAR: Facebook plans to power a new, $800-million data center in Mesa, Arizona, using 450 MW of capacity from three new solar installations. (Arizona Republic)

STORAGE: Crews break ground in Oahu, Hawaii, on a 185 MW lithium-ion battery installation to replace generation from a retiring coal-fired power plant. (Hawaii News Now)

GRID: A California natural gas-fired power plant that was the site of a May explosion for still-undetermined reasons reopens to help supply power to a heat-strained grid. (KTVU)

In the wake of a dire United Nations climate report, Whitefish, Montana, officials double down on efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and consider creating a full-time sustainability coordinator position. (Flathead Beacon)
A new study finds that the wildfire smoke blanketing much of the drought-wracked Western U.S. could result in less rain by affecting the way droplets form in clouds. (
Three times more people died during the June heat wave in the Northwest than official estimates, according to a media analysis of mortality data. (New York Times)

New Mexico regulators will begin using stratospheric airships next year to pinpoint emissions sources on the ground. (NM Political Report)
Wyoming’s drilling activity on public lands has tripled during the Interior Department’s oil and gas leasing pause. (WyoFile)
The Biden administration’s approach to drilling in New Mexico’s Greater Chaco Region provides a critical test of its energy policy as it weighs competing tribal, economic and environmental interests. (E&E News)

The developers of an advanced nuclear reactor proposed for Wyoming ask lawmakers to tweak regulations and waive a $5 per megawatt generation tax to make nuclear projects more economically feasible. (Casper Star-Tribune)
A Montana referendum measure will give voters an opportunity to reinstate a law that requires a statewide election to approve or reject nuclear power facilities proposed for the state. (KPVI) 

INFRASTRUCTURE: New Mexico projects standing to benefit from the infrastructure package passed by the Senate this week include a pumped hydro-storage facility proposed for the Navajo Nation and a bid to retrofit a soon-to-retire coal plant with carbon capture technology. (NM Political Report)

GEOTHERMAL: Construction is underway on a 10 MW geothermal facility that will provide power to community energy choice aggregators on California’s Central Coast. (Monterey Herald)

WIND: A Texas-based company opens a 56,000-square-foot wind power training facility in Broomfield, Colorado. (Denver Post)

UTILITIES: A California city considers extending its moratorium on utility shutoffs due to non-payment into next year. (Long Beach Press-Telegram)

COMMENTARY: A climate activist argues big tech companies could fight climate change and save money by using video meetings “rather than shuttle employees around the planet on airlines that … burned 7 million to 8 million barrels of oil per day.” (Los Angeles Times)

Jonathan hails from southwestern Colorado and has been writing about the land, cultures, and communities of the Western United States for more than two decades. He compiles the Western Energy News digest. He is the author of three books, a contributing editor at High Country News, and the editor of the Land Desk, an e-newsletter that provides coverage and context on issues critical to the West.