WIND:
Federal wildlife officials approve conservationists’ plan to protect the endangered lesser prairie chicken while also allowing wind power development in eastern New Mexico. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)  
Pattern Energy and a New Mexico agency bring online a high-voltage transmission line to carry power from the 1,050 MW Western Spirit Wind project in the central part of the state to the grid. (Renewables Now)

SOLAR:
A solar development set to go online next year will power 80% of Salt Lake City’s municipal buildings and facilities and send electricity to surrounding towns and ski areas. (Salt Lake Tribune)
California regulators are set to decide this week on how much utilities should pay solar-equipped homes for power exported to the grid and how much solar-owning residents should pay to support the utility system. (Canary Media)
Laramie, Wyoming, installs solar arrays and electric vehicle charging stations at a fire station and its airport. (Laramie Boomerang) 

PUBLIC LANDS: On a visit to Palm Springs, California, U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland says her agency is currently processing 36 solar, four wind and four geothermal projects proposed for Western public lands. (Desert Sun)

COAL: New Mexico regulators begin hearings this week on Public Service Company of New Mexico’s proposal to transfer its 13% share of the Four Corners coal power plant to a Navajo Nation-owned energy company. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
Los Angeles officials seek funding from the federal infrastructure bill to clean up and plug about 1,400 orphaned oil wells in the county. (Daily Breeze)
Rising oil prices spur a company to bring idled wells in Alaska’s Cook Inlet back online. (KTOO)

GRID: California’s electricity use declined overall during the pandemic, but residential use increased in almost every county, according to state energy officials. (San Francisco Chronicle)

TRANSPORTATION:
Rocky Mountain Power joins a national coalition to build an electric vehicle fast-charging network. (Casper Star-Tribune)
California transit officials say money from the federal infrastructure bill will fund Caltrain electrification, development of high speed rail and construction of “blended rail service” into downtown San Francisco. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Colorado’s Buena Vista school district adds an electric bus to its fleet that will discharge back into the grid during times of high demand. (news release)
Southeastern New Mexico electric vehicle advocates launch a crowdfunding campaign to expand the area’s charging network. (CleanTechnica)

BIOFUELS: The U.S. Department of Agriculture loans two Arizona dairies $50 million to construct anaerobic digesters to convert manure into marketable methane. (KTAR)

CLIMATE:
A California editorial board says the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant should close as planned in 2025, but the state must expedite renewable energy deployment to ensure closure does not result in an emissions increase. (Los Angeles Times)
Arizona’s proposed goal to achieve carbon-free energy by 2070 will help the state compete for economic development projects while giving industry flexibility and time to design energy portfolios, a free-market advocate says. (Arizona Capitol Times)
A California advocate says Los Angeles could remove thousands of cars — and their emissions — from city streets by building car-alternative infrastructure. (Los Angeles Times) 

Jonathan P. Thompson

Jonathan hails from southwestern Colorado and has been writing about the land, cultures, and communities of the Western United States for more than two decades. He compiles the Western Energy News digest. He is the author of three books, a contributing editor at High Country News, and the editor of the Land Desk, an e-newsletter that provides coverage and context on issues critical to the West.