Western Energy News

Trump administration set to approve major Nevada solar project

SOLAR: The Trump administration is set to approve what would be the nation’s largest solar project, a 690 MW facility on federal land near Las Vegas; the final protest period for the project is open until January 27. (Utility Dive, Associated Press)

ALSO: Netflix’s new headquarters is in Los Angeles’ first commercial building to implement solar-generated technology into a building’s façade. (Buildings)

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PUBLIC LANDS:
U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans for 2020 include major renewable energy projects in California, New Mexico, and Nevada. (E&E News)
William Perry Pendley’s tenure as acting director of the BLM is extended despite the lack of a presidential nomination to the position. (Washington Post)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Utah implements a program that lets electric and hybrid vehicle drivers pay for the miles they drive instead of a flat annual charge. (Deseret News)
Questions are being raised about Tesla’s autopilot driving system in the wake of three crashes involving Teslas that killed three people. (Associated Press)

CALIFORNIA:
The 2010s brought unprecedented death and destruction blamed on PG&E equipment failures, with at least 117 people dying in disasters. (KXTV)
• The Nevada County Airport prepares for PG&E power outages with the purchase of an emergency generator. (The Union of Grass Valley)

COAL:
Montana’s Colstrip Units 1 and 2, one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the western U.S., will close by Jan. 5 or as soon as they run out of coal to burn. (Associated Press)
New Mexico’s ambitious law to shut down coal plants has consequences for workers that are likely not addressed. (E&E News, subscription)

BIOFUELS: A company begins operating a 2.8 -megawatt biogas project at a wastewater treatment facility in California. (Daily Energy Insider)

CLEAN ENERGY: Gustine, California’s city council is reconsidering a nearly $3.2 million energy program approved in November due to cost and budgeting concerns. (West Side Index and Gustine Press-Standard)

PIPELINES: Several legal battles over pipelines are likely to play out in court this year, including the Keystone XL project. (InsideClimate News)

OIL & GAS:
Colorado oil and gas companies face financial challenges in 2020 with the success of big U.S. shale field gambles potentially on the wane. (Denver Business Journal, subscription)
New Mexico is looking to other regions of the U.S. for solutions to its fracking waste water problem. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
The Permian Basin oil boom brings new challenges to Carlsbad, New Mexico, from a surge of workers lured to the area. (Las Cruces Sun-News)

BIOMASS: Construction on a $15 million biomass plant in North Fork, California is set to begin in April. (Sierra News)

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EFFICIENCY: Hawaii Energy selects seven participants for a program aimed at helping nonprofits implement energy efficiency projects. (Pacific Business News)

COMMENTARY:
• A California publisher says PG&E’s public safety power shutoffs make rural life in the state even more challenging. (Comstock’s Magazine)
A former Nevada City, California mayor says having a reliable power grid is essential to the safety and continued viability of the town. (The Union of Grass Valley)
The president of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System says it is a reliable asset always operating for the state. (Anchorage Daily News)

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