Western Energy News

Major Western coal supplier files for bankruptcy

COAL: A Colorado company that supplies coal to several major Western coal plants files for bankruptcy protection as it faces mounting debt and declining demand. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• The largest electricity provider in Hawaii is seeking to develop seven solar plus storage projects, which would represent the largest ever infusion of clean energy into the state’s grid. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
• Clif Bar plans to build a 2 MW solar project to power its Twin Falls, Idaho bakery, a project that will supply 30 percent of the facility’s electricity.
(Twin Falls Times-News)

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TRANSMISSION: Arizona regulators will soon consider a $7 million transmission line project that will connect to a local utility’s 100 MW solar farm planned for construction in 2020. (Arizona Daily Star)

CARBON: Bill Gates says he’ll be voting for a Washington proposal to establish a carbon fee. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

OIL AND GAS:
• Questions arise in New Mexico over a Republican Congressman’s ownership of a company that rents oilfield equipment as he campaigns for governor with plans to regulate the booming industry. (Associated Press)
• A major oil company announces that it’s producing oil in what is now the farthest west site on Alaska’s North Slope. (Reuters)
• A Colorado city will oppose the BLM’s plans to lease land near a new shooting range because local leaders worry drilling there might impede tourism. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

UTILITIES:
• Investigators determine that sagging power lines sparked a fire in northern California last year that killed four people, adding to the financial liability the state’s largest utility faces from wildfire damages. (Associated Press)
• California regulators will this week consider changing a formula that determines how much utilities can charge ratepayers who opt into community choice programs. (San Francisco Examiner)

PIPELINES: A Texas company is planning to build a 110-mile pipeline in southeastern Montana to deliver carbon dioxide to help boost oilfield production. (Great Falls Tribune)

POLITICS:
• Public health advocates in Arizona urge voters to support a clean energy initiative, saying it will help reduce air pollution. (Arizona Capitol Times)
•  All four candidates running for seats on the Arizona commission that regulates utilities say they want to revisit a recent rate hike by the state’s largest utility and investigate its recent campaign contributions. (Arizona Republic)

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RESEARCH: California researchers discover that a color developed by ancient Egyptians can boost energy efficiency by cooling rooftops and walls and could also spur the generation of solar energy from windows. (Berkeley Lab)

COMMENTARY: An Arizona newspaper columnist says one of the best way to support clean energy is to change the current political makeup of the commission that regulates utilities. (Arizona Republic)

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