Western Energy News

Report: Solar with batteries cheaper than gas in parts of the Southwest

SOLAR: Solar plus storage projects are now cheaper to build in parts of the Southwest than new gas-fired generation, according to a new report. (Bloomberg)

• A California-based electric car manufacturer and Tesla rival secures $1 billion in Saudi funding to help launch a production facility in Arizona. (Arizona Daily Star)
• In January, some electric vehicle drivers will no longer be able to drive in California’s carpool lanes unless they are willing to buy a newer model. (Los Angeles Times)
• Three Western U.S. senators introduce legislation seeking to extend the federal tax credit for electric cars by 10 years. (KTVZ)

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RENEWABLES: The city of Berkeley, California pledges to get all of its energy from renewable sources by 2035, a decade before a recently approved state mandate. (The Californian)

HYDROPOWER: Federal lawmakers pass a bill that includes a measure to extend the construction deadline for a massive hydroelectric project in California. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)

•  A sweeping federal plan to manage oil and gas resources in New Mexico’s Permian Basin has been revised to increase drilling and weaken protections for wildlife and scenic and cultural resources. (High Country News)
• County officials from a drilling hotspot in Colorado vote to oppose a ballot measure seeking to establish greater buffer zones between populated areas and oil and gas sites. (Greeley Tribune)
• Wyoming regulators aren’t yet sure what to do about flaring, a practice that’s been outlawed at gas wells since the 1950s but is becoming more prevalent. (Casper Star-Tribune)

POLITICS: The Republican candidate for governor in Colorado says his challenger’s plan for the state to get all of its energy from renewable sources by 2040 will result in higher utility bills for ratepayers. (Complete Colorado)

UTILITIES: A county official in Washington is using a little-known part of federal law to try to block the sale of a local utility to a Canadian company. (The Spokesman-Review)

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TRANSMISSION: Increased clean energy use, more electric vehicles and the recent failed attempt to expand California’s grid were among the hot topics at a summit of Western transmission officials. (RTO Insider)

COMMENTARY: We don’t have much time to find a better battery, or an alternative to batteries altogether, to go carbon neutral by 2050 as climate change demands, says a contributor for Wired.

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