Western Energy News

Massive energy storage project planned in Utah

STORAGE: Plans are announced for what’s being hailed as the world’s largest energy storage project, a 1,000 MW venture that will utilize compressed air in salt caverns in Utah, large flow batteries and solid-oxide fuel cells. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR:
• A developer announces plans to build a 122 MW solar project to support Facebook’s new data center in Utah. (Solar Power World)
• The city of Albuquerque agrees to buy half the power produced by a 50 MW solar project proposed for New Mexico tribal lands. (Albuquerque Journal)
• A Washington plant that makes the raw materials used in solar panels is being “strangled” by the trade war with China, company officials say. (Los Angeles Times)
• A Sacramento utility district signs a 30-year power purchase agreement to build a 160 MW solar array. (Sacramento Business Journal)

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CLIMATE:
• Colorado’s governor signs a suite of energy and climate bills into law, including legislation committing the state to a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. (Westword)
• Federal land managers in Wyoming will conduct an analysis of how a proposed drilling project will impact climate change. (Casper Star-Tribune)

OIL & GAS:
• The U.S. Interior Department is vowing to sell oil and gas leases this year for a national wildlife refuge in Alaska which has been off limits to drilling. (Reuters)
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry told oil and gas industry officials at a conference in Utah that the Trump administration is committed to making fossil fuels cleaner rather than imposing “draconian” regulations. (Associated Press)
• Two major oil companies will invest $20 million in Alaska’s $43 billion gas line project. (Anchorage Daily News)
• Utah officials sign an agreement with a handful of Colorado counties and the Wyoming Pipeline Authority they say may aid the export of Western natural gas. (Deseret News)

UTILITIES:
• California’s top utility regulator announces plans to retire. (The Press Democrat)
• A Nevada bill has been amended to allow large companies that have severed ties with the state’s largest utility to avoid paying surcharges to help fund a variety of programs including low-income energy assistance, net metering for rooftop solar and energy efficiency. (The Nevada Independent)
• An Arizona regulator accused of having a cozy relationship with the state’s largest utility has resigned to lead a state agency. (Arizona Republic)

COMMENTARY: David Roberts of Vox questions the “middle ground” political position that natural gas is a bridge to cleaner energy system.

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