Western Energy News

Massive solar array to power new Las Vegas resort

SOLAR: Wynn Resorts’ planned $1.5 billion development in Las Vegas will be powered by its own 20 MW solar array in the Nevada desert. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

• The Navajo Nation is moving forward with plans to build its second utility-scale solar farm in Arizona. (Associated Press)
• A Las Vegas area school district is hearing strong community support for a plan to leave its utility and purchase its own solar power, a move one company estimates could save them $60 to $80 million. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

• Texas regulators embark on a plan to write the state’s first rules for utilities that want to use batteries to store and deliver power, a move that could mean sweeping changes for the electricity market there. (Houston Chronicle)
A German energy firm has commissioned 20 MW of energy storage to support two wind farms. (Renewables Now)

UTILITIES: The Oklahoma attorney general asks federal utility regulators to compel the state’s electricity providers to reduce rates in lieu of recent corporate tax breaks. (The Oklahoman)

• Because of fracking, U.S. oil production is expected to break a record this year. (Houston Chronicle)
• The growth of fracking in Colorado is spurring a wave of disputes between affluent suburban dwellers and the oil and gas industry. (Bloomberg)
• Federal regulators are investigating the rig explosion in Oklahoma that killed five workers, the deadliest accident in the U.S. oil and gas industry since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. (Houston Chronicle)

• The debate over opening public lands to more energy development dominates the opening of a national outdoor retailer show in Colorado. (Washington Post)
• Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke touts the Trump administration’s push to increase energy development on federal lands while speaking at a gun show in Las Vegas. (The Hill)
• Fossil fuel developments on U.S. public lands emit more greenhouse gases than most countries, according to a report released by The Wilderness Society. (Grist)
• A new Colorado poll finds that a majority of Western voters say it’s more important to protect public land than to drill there. (Outside)

TRANSMISSION: An Oklahoma utility plans more public meetings to discuss two alternative routes for a transmission line that will connect a massive wind farm the state’s panhandle to a substation near Tulsa. (The Oklahoman)

PIPELINES: As construction begins on a controversial 163-mile pipeline connecting a crude hub in Texas to refineries in Louisiana, a judge denies environmentalists’ requests that the builder hand over easement documents. (The Advocate)

COMMENTARY: Texas will be among the states hit hardest by solar tariffs, according to an analyst at the Environmental Defense Fund.

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