Western Energy News

Hawaii becomes the testing ground for a clean energy future

GRID: Hawaii is becoming a proving ground for integrating solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources into the grid. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: A coalition of Utah cities are sending crews to help update the grid that serves the Navajo Nation, where thousands of tribal members have never had power. (Salt Lake Tribune)

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COAL:
• A North Dakota utility plans to close its coal-fired power plant in Montana next year and replace it with a natural gas plant. (Billings Gazette)
• A Virginia businessman buys a Wyoming coal mine for $215 million from its bankrupt owner. (Casper Star Tribune)
• County officials in northern Colorado say a bill aimed at easing he economic impact of closing coal plants actually incentivizes the facilities to cease operations. (Steamboat Pilot)

TRANSPORTATION: The Trump administration threatens to make California pay back $2.5 billion in federal funds that it has already spent developing the state’s high-speed rail network. (CNN)

CLIMATE: Renewable energy advocates in New Mexico are buoyed by the new governor’s commitment to clean energy and fighting climate change. (New Mexico In Depth)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An environment reporter discusses the future of electric long-haul trucks in California. (KPBS)

UTILITIES:
• California lawmakers are seeking input from leading credit rating agencies as they try to find a legislative fix to the legal problems that led the state’s largest utility on a path to bankruptcy. (Bloomberg)
• Federal energy regulators and PG&E continue their jurisdictional tussle in bankruptcy court over who has authority over the utility’s power contracts. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS: U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska says she’s concerned by the governor’s plan to repeal local taxes on pipelines and other oil and gas infrastructure. (Alaska Public Media)

COMMENTARY:
• A Wyoming bill that seeks to force owners of coal-fired power plants to sell the facilities rather than close them will not reverse the decline of the coal industry, says a University of Wyoming economist. (Casper Star Tribune)
• As PG&E moves through bankruptcy, renewable energy providers should brace themselves for collateral damage, says a managing director at an investment bank for clean energy projects. (Utility Dive)

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