Western Energy News

Solar developers win lawsuit against Montana utility, regulators

SOLAR: Solar developers prevail in a lawsuit against a Montana utility and state regulators, with a judge finding both entities set unfair terms that made solar projects uneconomical. (Billings Gazette)

GRID: The Southwest Power Pool has taken a formal step toward expanding its energy market to the western U.S. (RTO Insider)

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UTILITIES: California Gov. Gavin Newsom criticizes PG&E’s new CEO and board picks, saying they lean too heavily toward “Wall Street interests” and not safety. (Greentech Media)

COAL: A conservation group says holding a Montana power plant to a high standard for coal ash cleanup could employ more than 200 people for a decade. (Billings Gazette)

OIL AND GAS:
• Despite a landmark shift to clean energy in New Mexico, the oil and gas industry emerged largely unscathed from a recent legislative session. (New Mexico Political Report)
• Prices for natural gas in the Permian Basin have fallen so low that some producers are having to pay companies to take it away. (The Oklahoman)
The kitchen stove will be a key battleground as California seeks to transition away from natural gas. (Los Angeles Times)
• Documents show that Oregon regulators were unaware that tar sands shipments were moving through their state. (Jefferson Public Radio)
• A new initiative aims to bring processed wastewater from oil fields to western states for agricultural use. (Wyoming Tribune Eagle, subscription)
• Alaska college students remain optimistic about the future of the state’s oil industry. (Alaska Public Media)

RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• Members of a Colorado energy cooperative approve new changes to subscription agreements, a move that could expand renewable energy in rural parts of the state. (Colorado Public Radio)
• Missoula County, Montana approves new requirements for cryptocurrency companies to offset electricity use with new clean energy. (Missoula Current)
• Missoula becomes the first city in Montana to commit to 100 percent renewable energy. (KTMF)

WIND: An Arizona utility begins construction on a nearly 250 MW wind farm in New Mexico. (Arizona Public Media)

BIOMASS: Advocates say a biomass requirement for Arizona utilities is critical for restoring the state’s forests. (Payson Roundup)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A utility serving southeast Alaska is extending its employee electric vehicle incentives to its customers. (KRBD)

CLEAN ECONOMY: A new report finds clean energy employs five times more people in Nevada than fossil fuels. (Windpower Engineering & Development)

NUCLEAR: Documents show that costs for a new type of reactor under development in Idaho will be 40 percent higher than initially estimated. (Reuters)

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TECHNOLOGY: Utah scientists have developed a new technique to extract biofuel from algae. (Utah Public Radio)

COMMENTARY:
An editorial board urges Colorado Gov. Jay Polis to “prove yourself a maverick” and veto new regulations on oil and gas. (Colorado Springs Gazette)
A Colorado environmental advocate says the federal EPA should follow his state’s lead in establishing tougher rules for the oil and gas industry. (The Hill)
An Oregon lawmaker says coastal communities receive a dual benefit from clean energy — mitigating climate change and creating economic opportunity. (Daily Astorian)

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