Western Energy News

How Hoover Dam could become a giant battery for the grid

GRID: The city of Los Angeles wants to use Hoover Dam into a pumped-hydro facility to store excess solar and wind energy. (New York Times)

ALSO: California may soon achieve its dream of expanding its grid but many barriers remain to the controversial plan. (Utility Dive)

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PUBLIC LANDS: The Trump administration announces it will no longer require oil and gas companies, miner and other industries to pay for damages they cause on public lands. (Reuters)

COAL:
• A controversial coal plant in Montana has been shut down for almost a month due to air pollution problems, a leaked email to a local newspaper reveals. (Billings Gazette)
• Supporters of Wyoming’s coal industry are seeking funds to study alternative uses of the fossil fuel. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• The owner and operator of an Arizona coal mine and the state’s largest utility put on a workshop to teach middle and high school teachers educators about coal. (Farmington Daily Times)
• A Wyoming coal company is seeking federal approval to explore 22,000 acres of public lands in the southern part of the state for potential coal deposits. (Kallanish Energy)

SOLAR:
• More than 4,200 solar panels will be installed at Honolulu’s main airport as part of the state’s efforts to get all of its power from renewable sources by 2045. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
• A California county teams up with a major solar installer to fight a utility’s decision to end its net metering program. (Utility Dive)
• A residential solar company returns to Arizona with expanded storage offerings. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES:
• California’s governor proposes allowing the state’s electric utilities to avoid automatic liability from wildfires, a potential victory for several companies facing billions of dollars in damages from last year’s catastrophic blazes. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• A Colorado city contemplating a split for its current electricity provider finds an investment firm willing to finance its own municipal utility. (Pueblo Chieftain)
• Washington state regulators order a local gas provider to cut its rates and return savings from recent federal tax cuts to its customers. (Daily Energy Insider)

HYDROPOWER: President Trump signs a bill into law expanding two hydroelectric projects in Alaska. (Juneau Empire)  

RENEWABLES:
• States that adopt aggressive renewable energy standards ultimately pass on savings to ratepayers, according to new research from the University of Utah and the University of Indiana. (Deseret News)
• An advocacy group gives Oregon a D+ for its clean energy policies despite the state having one of the most aggressive renewable energy standards in the country. (The Oregonian)

OIL AND GAS: A Colorado town that sits on the second largest shale gas reserve in the country is divided over plans to open most of a surrounding valley to drilling. (Colorado Public Radio)

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NUCLEAR: A New Mexico city adopts a resolution opposing the storage of high level nuclear waste at a proposed site in the southeastern part of the state. (Las Cruces Sun News)

COMMENTARY:
• David Roberts say President Trump’s plan to revoke California’s vehicle emissions standards makes a mockery of the conservative principles of federalism and regulatory certainty. (Vox)

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