Utility deal would place massive solar farm at Colorado steel mill

SOLAR: Xcel Energy reaches a 22-year power purchase agreement with a southern Colorado steel mill that includes plans for a 240 MW solar farm. (Pueblo Chieftain)

GRID: Environmental groups are divided over a plan to expand California’s grid, a move some believe could increase the state’s use of fossil fuels. (Arizona Desert Sun)

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COAL:
• A Washington state board this week rejected a key water permit for a proposed coal export terminal, dealing a major setback for the $680 million project. (The Daily News)
• A U.S. Senator from Wyoming hopes to give his state more leverage in its fight with Washington over the Millennium coal export terminal by changing the Clean Water Act to speed up permitting. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• A Portland utility goes to court to keep an analysis of its coal resources confidential. (Utility Dive)
• The temporary shutdown of a Montana coal plant could slow the state’s uptick in coal production. (Billings Gazette)
• Burbank city leaders opt to continue their relationship with a Utah coal plant to maintain access to a critical transmission line. (Los Angeles Times)

TRANSPORTATION: Undeterred by the Trump administration’s plan to freeze fuel efficiency standards, Colorado air quality officials launch a push to accelerate the state’s shift toward zero-emission vehicles. (Denver Post)

POLITICS: At a stop to drum up support for Washington’s proposed carbon fee, Governor Jay Inslee said Interior Ryan Secretary Ryan Zinke “would sell his grandchildren for the oil industry.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

PUBLIC LANDS: The Trump administration’s recently released management plan for a downsized Utah monument calls for selling off public lands, a move Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke previously said he would not support. (Washington Post)

WIND: A 150 MW wind farm is on track to become northern Colorado’s largest source of wind energy, its developers say. (KUNC)

STORAGE: New clean energy storage systems could be a game-changer for islands like Hawaii’s Molokai. (Clean Technica)

UTILITIES:
• California ratepayers should see a savings of $3 billion over five years as a result of federal tax cuts, according to a new study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Hawaii regulators approve the first rate increase in six years for electric customers on Maui. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

POLITICS: The supporters of an Arizona clean energy initiative knowingly submitted invalid petition signatures, an attorney backed by the state’s largest utility told a judge this week. (Capitol Media Services)

COMMENTARY:
• A California regulator says it’s time to start using natural gas plants less frequently with an eye toward replacing them carbon-free resources. (Utility Dive)
• Banning oil production is a good idea but not the most economic way for California to fight climate change, says a University of California Berkeley professor. (Los Angeles Times)

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