Western Energy News

Utah project sets the bar for all-electric housing

SOLAR: An apartment community of all-electric homes powered by a battery-backed solar array is seen as a viable solution in tackling air pollution in Utah; the project will be the largest residential demand-response system in the country. (Salt Lake Tribune, Utility Dive)

• Evidence from California negates claims in conservative media that solar power increases emissions through reliance on peaker plants. (E&E News)
• Los Angeles officials declined to approve a contract for record-cheap solar power because of concerns raised by the city-run utility’s labor union, still angry about Mayor Eric Garcetti’s decision to shut down three gas-fired power plants. (Los Angeles Times)

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GRID: A solar advocacy organization suggests four immediate policy changes that would unlock local clean energy and strengthen California’s disaster-prone grid. (Greentech Media)

Montana environmental officials propose approval of the 72-million-ton expansion of the state’s largest coal mine, Spring Creek Mine, after it was recently sold through a bankruptcy auction to a company controlled by the Navajo Nation. (Associated Press)
Bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel called the sale of its two Wyoming coal mines “dead” according to a statement made by a creditor in court documents.  (Casper Star-Tribune)

• Environmental activists and officials in a Colorado county are testing the limits of a new state law which flips the state’s priorities from gas and oil production to protecting the public. (Associated Press)
• BP is selling its oil and gas interests in Alaska’s North Slope for $5.6 billion, marking the end of the company’s 60-year presence in the state. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: The Trump Administration is changing rules designed to streamline approval of gas pipelines, including Oregon’s Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector projects, and other energy projects by limiting states’ certification authorities under the Clean Water Act. (The Oregonian)

A California Central Coast congressman says the U.S. Navy has committed to being part of a working group to re-examine offshore wind energy development in the area over the next month and a half. (Central Coast Public Radio)
A developer calls eastern New Mexico the “Saudi Arabia of wind” but says new transmission lines are needed to tap that potential. (Yale Climate Connections)

EFFICIENCY: A New Mexico school district is exploring a range of efficiency upgrades this year expected to cut energy consumption by roughly 30 percent overall. (The Eastern New Mexico News)

UTILITIES: PG&E unveiled a new section of its website that breaks down a seven-day potential for power shut-offs across nine geographic zones in its service territory. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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POLITICS: A Republican oil executive announced she is challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in what is expected to be a closely watched 2020 race for New Mexico’s southern congressional seat.  (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: A Bay Area business association says there is still plenty of work for state lawmakers to do regarding how PG&E settles billions of dollars in wildfire liability claims. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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