Western Energy News

Utility-scale solar accelerating on Southwestern tribal lands

SOLAR: A new report finds that utility-scale solar installations are accelerating on tribal lands in the Southwest due in part to the emergence of battery-storage technology, policy changes, and falling prices. (T&D World)

ALSO: Developers have reached a power purchase agreement for a 200-megawatt solar project in Kern County, California. (Power Engineering)

CLEAN ENERGY: New modeling shows that of all states, Colorado may be the best prepared for a large-scale transition to clean energy — with the cleanest of three scenarios being the cheapest. (Vox)

UTILITIES: Xcel Energy-Colorado faces questions about its fossil fuel spending as the company argues for a rate increase with state regulators. (Denver Post)

CALIFORNIA:
PG&E faces $6.3 billion in bankruptcy and wildfire costs this year, including possibly having to pay bankers and certain stock owners $1 billion in fees for arranging a bankruptcy exit plan. (Bloomberg)
PG&E customers are set to receive bill credits totaling $90 million for the first of the utility’s public safety power shutoffs last month. (Sacramento Bee)
Inspection records reveals eight PG&E towers passed inspections before last year’s Camp Fire, but failed afterwards. (NBC Bay Area)
Contra Costa County, California fire investigators confirm PG&E electrical equipment started two wildfires last month. (East Bay Times)

GRID: California’s utility regulators “reluctantly” approved a controversial extension for two gas-fired generators and ordered electricity providers to secure 3.3 additional gigawatts of reserve supplies as the state faces potential shortfalls within two years. (Orange County Register and Bloomberg, subscription)

POLICY: New Mexico legislators say the state’s utility regulators are moving too slowly and overstepping their authority in carrying out New Mexico’s new clean energy law. (Albuquerque Journal)

NUCLEAR: Idaho grants a waiver to the Department of Energy that would allow spent nuclear fuel in the state for research purposes. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A shuttle fleet in California is demonstrating the longevity of Tesla’s electric cars, with some vehicles approaching 500,000 miles. (Quartz)

OIL & GAS: A new group formed to fight an Alaska ballot initiative that seeks to boost oil production taxes filed with the state division of elections this week. (Anchorage Daily News)

COMMENTARY:
The Wiyot Tribe of California says a proposed wind energy project will provide few local benefits and ruin a sacred space. (Lost Coast Outpost)
Democratic Presidential Candidate Tom Steyer says climate change demands urgent action, especially in Nevada. (Reno Gazette Journal)
Two Washington State climate advocates say local action on climate change is even more imperative in the wake of the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. (Seattle Times)
An editorial board explores the friction between the State of California and President Trump on energy efficient light bulbs. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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