Western Energy News

Oregon utility reveals the secret it’s been keeping about its coal plants

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COAL: After fighting to keep the analysis secret, an Oregon utility reveals that 13 of its 22 coal units are more expensive to operate than alternative options, including clean energy. (Utility Dive)

ALSO: A South Dakota utility plans to buy a coal-fired power plant in Wyoming. (Wyoming Tribune Eagle)

SOLAR:
• California officially becomes the first state in the nation to require new homes to include solar panels. (Greentech Media)
• Officials in a southern Colorado county will make a permitting decision for a contested 100 MW solar farm next week. (Pueblo Chieftain)

UTILITIES:
• Washington regulators reject the $5.3 billion sale of a Spokane utility to a Canadian company citing concerns about the province of Ontario influencing decision-making. (The Spokesman-Review)
• Meanwhile, the nixed merger could threaten Avista Corp.’s $4.5 million pledge to help a Montana town transition to a post-coal economy. (Billings Gazette)
• California fire investigators zero in on a PG&E transmission tower that malfunctioned 15 minutes before the deadly Camp Fire started. (The Mercury News)

OIL & GAS:
• Colorado oil and gas regulators are considering extending the buffer zones between new wells and school property. (Associated Press)
• Environmentalists hope California’s governor-elect Gavin Newsom will be tougher on the oil and gas industry than Jerry Brown was during his tenure. (Capital & Main, Newsweek)

POLITICS: A former New Mexico land commissioner candidate settles a defamation suit by apologizing to the outgoing land commissioner he accused of seeking financial gain from a transmission line deal. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: California’s first 350-kW electric vehicle charging station is installed outside of a San Francisco shopping center. (CNET)

WIND: A proposed wind production tax credit increase will likely hamper development in Wyoming, an economist tells county leaders in the heart of wind country. (Rawlins Times)

COMMENTARY:
• David Roberts looks at why Xcel Energy’s decision to go carbon-free by 2050 is industry-shaking news. (Vox)
• A former Tacoma lawmaker says Washington is ready is ready to take on a goal of adopting a 100 percent clean energy goal. (The News Tribune)

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