HYDROPOWER: Lake Powell, the nation’s second-largest reservoir and a producer of hydroelectricity, reaches its lowest level since it was being filled in the 1960s amid historic drought. (KUNC)

Drought has decreased hydropower generation on the California grid by almost 50% from last year, forcing operators to rely on natural gas-fired generation and imported power. (S&P Global)
A small Washington utility kept the lights on during the June heat wave by storing extra water for hydropower in the days leading up to the event. (Everett Herald)

Another heat dome is expected to bring grid-straining high temperatures to California and the Northwest this week. (Guardian)
The Dixie Fire in northern California, thought to be sparked by Pacific Gas & Electric equipment, grows to 192,000 acres and forces hundreds of residents to evacuate. (Los Angeles Times)
The U.S. Drought Monitor puts Spokane, Washington, under the highest level of drought classification for the first time on record. (Spokesman Review)

COAL: Local firefighters give up fighting a blaze burning 23,000 tons of coal at a Colorado power plant as the fire “surpasses traditional suppression efforts.” (Fort Morgan Times)

Colorado consumer advocates and regulators oppose Xcel Energy’s request for a $344 million rate hike to pay for a smarter, cleaner grid. (Colorado Sun)
• Montana’s attorney general takes the unprecedented step of intervening to support NorthWestern Energy’s application with state regulators to build a natural gas power plant. (Daily Montanan)

MICROGRIDS: A California county’s water department will replace its diesel generator with a microgrid to keep the power on during public safety power shutoffs and other outages. (Microgrid Knowledge)

GRID: An intense monsoon thunderstorm knocks out power to thousands of southern Arizona residents. (KOLD)

HYDROGEN: California allocates $35 million to Scripps Institute of Oceanography to develop a hydrogen-powered research vessel. (gCaptain)

OIL & GAS: The oil and gas industry received more of New Mexico’s federal pandemic relief funds than any other industry. (KRQE)

Private electric companies and environmental group seek  to reform California’s net metering policies for rooftop solar, claiming non-solar customers unfairly pay for the incentives. (OC Register)
A New Mexico lawmaker seeks an investigation into the state attorney general’s handling of a case that involved complaints against a solar-installation firm. (Associated Press)

Better forest management and updating energy infrastructure are necessary to combat megafires, says a natural resources advocate who lives near the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon. (Los Angeles Times)
A Colorado business executive says the state can grow its economy while fighting climate change, but only with the help of strong federal policies. (Colorado Sun)
A California editorial board applauds Rep. Mike Levin’s efforts to establish a federal depository for spent nuclear reactor fuel. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
An Alaska mayor urges state and national leaders to upgrade electrical infrastructure and develop renewable energy to fight climate change and grow the economy. (Anchorage Daily News)

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.