Western Energy News

Utah copper mine switches to clean energy, closes coal plant

COAL: A copper mining company plans to shut down its last coal-fired generator in Utah and replace it with contracts for clean energy. (Salt Lake Tribune)

ALSO: A struggling Wyoming coal producer gets another extension on a critical debt payment to avoid defaulting and triggering bankruptcy. (Wyoming Public Media)

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TRANSMISSION: New Mexico’s largest utility plans to buy a 165-mile transmission line for $285 million to help move wind energy. (Albuquerque Journal)

WIND: Wind farms could boost output and revenues by positioning turbines to reduce wind wake disturbance, according to researchers from a federal renewable energy lab in Colorado. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES:
• The Colorado Energy Office and some cities have asked state regulators to assume stronger oversight over a local coal-heavy power provider to help reduce carbon emissions. (Clean Cooperative)
• Arizona’s largest utility is not backing off plans to invest in battery storage after a recent explosion at one of its facilities. (Greentech Media)
• The parent company of Arizona Public Service Co. reported first-quarter profits that were five times that of the same period last year. (Arizona Republic)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A car sharing company makes 260 electric vehicles available in Sacramento. (Sacramento Business Journal)
• Washington state lawmakers have revived a lapsed tax break for electric and hybrid vehicles. (Jefferson Public Radio)

STORAGE: California’s three major utilities have asked state regulators to drop automatic demand response incentives for battery storage controls. (Utility Dive)

POLITICS:
• Two oil and gas companies donated $1.7 million to a Republican “dark money” organization while working to defeat Jared Polis during his successful campaign to become Colorado’s governor. (Westword)
• California’s three major utilities spent $1.3 million on lobbying during the first three months of the year as the governor calls for rethinking the state’s energy future. (Associated Press)

HYDROPOWER: Washington state will spearhead an effort to look at how the removal of four dams on the Snake River might impact farmers, utilities and shippers. (Lewiston Morning Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: As marijuana prices drop, pot growers in states like Colorado are focusing on energy efficiency. (Utility Dive)

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NUCLEAR: Nevada lawmakers tell members of a Senate committee that renewed efforts to create a permanent nuclear waste storage site at Yucca Mountain should be abandoned. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• The editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle say a bill allowing hydropower to count toward California’s renewable energy quotas would “hamstring the growth of renewables in a state with the nation’s dirtiest air.”
• Two bills that help Colorado communities cope with transitioning away from coal are “solid initial steps” the state should take, say local labor and environmental leaders. (Colorado Politics)

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