Western Energy News

New Mexico jail completes $13.9 million efficiency overhaul

RENEWABLES: A startup company hopes to transform Colorado’s energy supply by financing the early retirement of coal plants and replacing them with lower-cost renewables. (Energy News Network)

EFFICIENCY: An Albuquerque-area jail has completed a $13.9 million energy efficiency project expected to cut its annual utility costs in half. (Associated Press)

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SOLAR: Shares of a California solar company soared after it announced it has signed a $2.3 million contract to build a solar parking canopy for a local school district. (Sacramento Business Journal)

HYDROPOWER: California Democrats are divided over a bill that would allow two irrigation districts to count electricity produced by their dams as part of their renewable energy targets. (The Mercury News)

UTILITIES: As California utilities prepare for the upcoming wildfire season, regulators and emergency officials still have questions about whether the state is truly ready. (RTO Insider)

COAL: A coal company says it has a “sense of urgency” about capturing methane leaking from a Colorado mine. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

GEOTHERMAL: A conservative clean energy think tanks estimates that geothermal energy could supply as much as 20 percent of the nation’s electricity, but there are challenges to tapping underground resources currently only being produced in the West. (Grist)

OIL & GAS:
Colorado environmental regulators are considering a request from a Denver refinery to raise its limits for emissions of hydrogen cyanide, a colorless gas that can be deadly at certain levels. (Denver Post)
A Papua New Guinea-based oil company has been granted a key permit by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a project on Alaska’s North Slope. (Alaska’s Energy Desk)

NUCLEAR: U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-Tennessee) said he will seek an up or down vote on a plan to permanently store nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain before moving legislation to fund the licensing process. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

BIOFUELS: Since launching in February, Utah’s first anaerobic food digester has processed almost 100,000 gallons of waste each week, converting the scraps into both methane gas and fertilizer. (Salt Lake Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
The evidence of safety of a Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository “comes across as a fantastical Rube Goldberg machine,” says the director of a Nevada nuclear waste task force. (Las Vegas Sun)
As Colorado officials look to decarbonize the state’s economy, they could do worse than pause and look at Germany’s transition to clean energy, says a Denver Post columnist.
Pocatello, Idaho must commit to 100% clean energy, says a local state representative. (Idaho State Journal)
The CEO of a Washington utility says natural gas helps keeps electric bills affordable and allows the company to use more renewable energy. (Seattle Times)

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