Western Energy News

Feds fast-track Nevada solar plant despite wildlife concerns

SOLAR: The Trump administration plans to fast-track a massive solar-thermal power plant in Nevada over concerns from environmentalists about potential impacts on birds. (Bloomberg)

MORE:
• Smoke from California’s wildfires are impacting the state’s solar farms but company officials aren’t overly worried. (Bloomberg)
• Crews begin work on the installation of a solar panel canopy at a University of Hawaii campus, just one step toward its goal of becoming a net-zero emissions school by 2035. (Hawaii News Now)

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UTILITIES:
• While one Colorado co-op has left its wholesale power provider over its slow adoption of clean energy, others are taking a wait-and-see approach. (Colorado Springs Gazette)
• Xcel Energy asks a southern Colorado city to support its plan to retire two units at a local coal-fired power plant and increase its use of clean energy. (Pueblo Chieftain)
• Heeding to clean energy advocates’ demands, a New Mexico regulator recuses herself from a case involving the state’ largest utility. (Farmington Daily-Times)

WIND: A growing number of rural Alaska communities are turning to wind to help heat their homes because of the increasing cost of diesel. (KTOO)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A new study suggests California’s grid could handle a dramatic increase of electric vehicles. (KQED)
• The Oregon Supreme Court approves the use of a tax to fund state rebates for electric vehicles. (Utility Dive)

GRID: A proposal to expand California’s grid contains a provision that stipulates transmission owners should be paid for past grid investments, giving critics a new line of attack on the controversial plan. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

CARBON: Facing a cash crunch and serious threats from climate change, Alaska might seriously consider imposing a carbon tax. (Grist)

RENEWABLES: Two renewable energy proposals in Arizona highlight a fundamental disagreement in that state about how fast a clean energy transition should happen and who should control it. (Greentech Media)

MICROGRIDS: A Colorado renewable energy investment firm is seeking $500 million to build out microgrids in 21 countries. (Greentech Media)

COAL: The son of a U.S. coal magnate is trying to open a mine in Wyoming to produce high-tech products like carbon fiber and 3D printing material. (Axios)

POLITICS: None of the Republican gubernatorial candidates in Wyoming have become the clear favorite of the powerful oil and gas industry, which is currently split between several candidates. (Casper Star-Tribune)

BUILDINGS: An Oregon company is building Portland’s first net-zero multi-family project with units to rent. (Daily Journal of Commerce)

FOSSIL FUELS: A California bank’s plan to stop investing in fossil fuels sets off a firestorm of opposition from Western coal states. (Denver Post)

COMMENTARY:
• A leader of a Colorado taxpayers’ group says some residents are creating a hostile environment for the state’s oil and gas industry. (Denver Post)
• A Utah senator’s proposal is a thinly veiled attempt to block protections for cultural and natural resources in favor of mining and drilling on public lands, says the board chairman of a Native American group working to restore the Bear Ears National Monument. (Salt Lake Tribune)

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