Western Energy News

Labor dispute could prevent rebates for California Tesla buyers

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Proposed labor rules could prevent Tesla buyers in California from getting a $2,500 electric vehicle rebate, the result of a dispute over efforts by auto workers to unionize a plant in the Bay Area. (Electrek)

NUCLEAR: Nevada asks a federal regulator to recuse himself from making any decisions about the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project because of his public support for the plan. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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UTILITIES:
• A California electric utility’s stock sinks 4 percent after state investigators blame it for an outbreak of wildfires last year. (CNBC)
• A casino chain and a California company constructing a biorefinery have asked Nevada utility regulators for permission to purchase power on the open market, the latest in a string of high-profile departures from Nevada’s largest utility. (Nevada independent)
• Activist investors are trying to shake up the board of San Diego’s Sempra Energy, the largest natural gas utility in the nation in terms of coverage area. (Reuters)
•  Public hearings are scheduled this week in Idaho about the proposed $5.3 billion acquisition of an electric utility that serves about 600,000 customers in the Northwest. (The Spokesman-Review)

SOLAR:
• An Oregon conservation group is appealing a decision to permit a solar project that will include 100 honey bee colonies, arguing the facility doesn’t meet a state law requiring solar projects of a certain size to preserve farmland. (Capital Press)
• After years of wrangling, Arizona regulators are expected today to set new rates for Tucson-area rooftop solar customers. (Arizona Daily Star)
• More than a dozen renewable energy companies have expressed interest in converting grazing lands in central Washington into utility-scale solar farms, state officials say.  (KUOW)
• A Salt Lake City-based clean energy company building a solar plant near Lancaster, California has signed a 22-year, 100 MW power purchase agreement. (PV Magazine)

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RENEWABLES: A handful of counties and cities in California are encouraging all-electric buildings given the ample supply of renewable energy now on the grid. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY:
• An effort to increase drilling setbacks is another attack on Colorado property owners and the oil and gas industry, says the editorial board of the Colorado Springs Gazette.
• Instead of imposing a solar mandate on new homes, California should be focused on streamlining the permitting process for solar installations, which would drive down clean energy costs even further, says two officials with a Libertarian think tank in Los Angeles. (Orange County Register)

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