Western Energy News

Sprawl complicates California’s climate ambitions

CLIMATE: Despite having ambitious climate goals, many Californians still resist zoning changes that could allow denser housing, which advocates say will be key to reducing emissions. (NPR)

GRID:
• A new “virtual power plant” project by three Bay Area electricity providers aims to improve grid reliability and reduce dependence on big utilities. (InsideClimate News)
• California’s power grid operator gets a new CEO, the former head of the Bonneville Power Administration. (Seattle Times)

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RENEWABLES: Facebook signs contracts for an additional 806 MW of wind and solar power. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR:
• A 240 MW behind-the-meter solar project, the largest in the U.S., moves forward at a Pueblo, Colorado steel mill. (Mountain Town News)
• An international owner and operator of power generation and energy storage projects closes on funding for two Oregon solar projects totalling 100 MW. (reNEWS)

OIL & GAS:
Navajo Nation leaders continue to push the EPA to address a high concentration of methane emissions in northwestern New Mexico. (E&E News)
More than 200 employees at Marathon Petroleum’s New Mexico refinery will lose their jobs as the facility is shut down indefinitely. (Albuquerque Business First)
A Colorado startup that monitors real-time oil and gas emissions merges with a Texas company that certifies environmental best practices to focus on “responsibly sourced gas.”. (Denver Business Journal, subscription required)

UTILITIES:
A new analysis explores how California energy providers are tackling energy resilience in the face of another year of public safety power shutoffs. (GreenBiz)
The City of Boulder, Colorado and Xcel Energy release additional documents related to their settlement talks announced last week. (news release)
Nevada regulators release a second concept paper on alternative rate-making mechanisms for electric utilities. (Pahrump Valley Times)

TRANSPORTATION:
The Department of Energy awards a $2.5 million grant to a team led by Washington State University for a project that will lower auto manufacturing costs while reducing air pollution. (WSU Insider)
Utah State University is set to establish an international research center to advance sustainable, electrified transportation thanks to a five-year $26 million grant. (Deseret News)

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HYDROPOWER: Federal officials release an updated environmental review about a proposed $1.4 billion project to raise a Northern California dam. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
An official with a Pacific Northwest non-profit representing community-owned utilities says hydropower doesn’t deserve a tarnished reputation like coal and natural gas. (Utility Dive)
Three conservationists say Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines’ support for the Great American Outdoor Act is “a blip in an abysmal public lands record.” (Helena Independent Record)

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