Western Energy News

Trump administration approves massive Nevada solar project

SOLAR: The $1 billion Gemini Project in Nevada, which at 690 MW will be the largest solar energy project in the U.S., gets its final federal approval with a decision by the Interior Department. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

PIPELINES: A federal judge revises an order halting an Army Corps of Engineers fast-track permit, saying it can be used for repairs and maintenance, but new pipelines still need further review. (Associated Press)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Elon Musk resumed operations at his California Tesla plant yesterday, defying a county shelter-in-place order. (Associated Press)
A Southern California waste management firm announces it will begin testing a battery-electric automated collection truck in the City of El Cajon later this month. (Patch)

CALIFORNIA:
The attorney representing the largest group of PG&E’s wildfire victims in the utility’s bankruptcy continues to face intense scrutiny over being partly funded by some of the Wall Street firms he’s negotiating against. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
A California Public Utilities Commissioner says “an extremely rare set of circumstances” justifies his decision to back down over a $200 million fine PG&E was meant to pay to the state’s general fund. (Utility Dive)

GRID: California Sen. Dianne Feinstein wants the state’s utilities regulator to speed up the deployment of electric grid resilience projects to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season. (Daily Energy Insider)

WIND: Analysts see a bright future for wind projects in Wyoming after the coronavirus pandemic passes. (Casper Star-Tribune)

OIL & GAS:
• Colorado oil and gas regulators say the potential risk of an increase of abandoned wells in the state because of the economic downturn is minimal. (Colorado Sun)
• The Trump administration moves to block a Washington state law that imposed safety restrictions on oil transported by rail from the Bakken region. (Associated Press)

STORAGE: A solar provider selects Tesla to build its 100 MW battery storage facility in Ventura County, California. (Renewables Now)

UTILITIES: A grid advocate says a new program designed to bring California in compliance with the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act will “get the utilities back in the business of procuring.” (Greentech Media)

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COAL: A Montana coal company lays off more than half of its workforce until May 26 due to weak market conditions for coal. (Casper Star-Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
A New Mexico conservationist calls for the comment period on the BLM’s resource management plan to be postponed. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
A former deputy superintendent at Rocky Mountain National Park says BLM oil and gas lease sales in Colorado should be temporarily stopped during the coronavirus pandemic. (Colorado Sun)
A former Alaska state official details what he believes is the realignment of oil and gas tax policy the state needs to survive the economic downturn of the oil and gas industry and coronavirus pandemic. (Anchorage Daily News)

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