Western Energy News

Watchdog issues warning on Western grid reliability

GRID: The Western Electricity Coordinating Council warns of thin reserve margins in the West through 2026, with “any major disruptions … pushing the system to the limit.” (RTO Insider)

SOLAR:
• Tesla’s decision to cut 9 percent of its workforce will prompt the closure of solar facilities in nine states including California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. (Reuters)
• Oregon regulators are set to decide whether multiple solar power projects should be regulated as a single entity. (Capital Press)
• Honda deploys the largest solar array on a commercial building in southern California. (Solar Power World)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A California transit agency is on the leading edge of a broader trend to electrify heavy-duty commercial vehicles. (New York Times)

UTILITIES: A California utility estimates it could be on the hook for $2.5 billion in damages from a rash of deadly wildfires last year. (Greentech Media)

HYDROPOWER: The developer behind a massive hydroelectric facility just outside of the Joshua Tree National Park in California misses a key construction deadline, prompting critics to declare it a “failed project.” (Palm Springs Desert Sun)

PUBLIC LANDS: Wilderness advocates say two bills filed by a U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte would open 800,000 acres of public lands to oil and gas development, a claim the congressman disputes. (Missoula Current)

PIPELINES: California regulators reject a utility’s plan to build a $639 million natural gas pipeline, which they deemed unnecessary. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

OIL AND GAS:
• A new study finds the EPA is vastly underestimating methane emissions from oil and gas production. (New York Times)
• A Colorado judge rules that a local community activist didn’t libel a Texas oil and gas company because his comments were “substantially true.” (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
• Colorado regulators sign off a plan to cap four wells that malfunctioned last year, causing a high school football stadium to be evacuated during a game. (Greeley Tribune)

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COAL: A Wyoming county and a Tennessee coal company reach an agreement concerning its $20 million overdue tax bill. (Casper Star Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
• Montana and other Western coal producing states are being held “hostage” by the ideology of politicians in Washington state who have decided to ban coal exports, says Montana’s attorney general. (New York Times)
• An Oregon company developing a small-scale nuclear reactor offers the only plant design in the world resilient to a long-term catastrophic loss to both the grid and fuel delivery infrastructure, says a planetary geologist. (Forbes)
• It’s time for local governments in Washington state to lead efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by deploying more electric vehicle fleets, says an editorial writer at the Olympian.

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