SOLAR: Environmental and industry groups agree on a set of principles aimed at expediting utility-scale solar power development while protecting wildlife, landscapes and communities. (Los Angeles Times, news release)

ALSO:

CLEAN ENERGY: A Colorado coal and steel city reinvents itself as a clean energy hub with an expanding wind turbine factory, a solar-powered steel mill and a train testing center. (Colorado Newsline)

GRID: California researchers explore ways to reduce energy consumption and grid strain by pre-cooling homes and using them as “thermal batteries” on hot days. (news release)

MICROGRIDS: Pacific Gas & Electric launches a $200 million grant program to fund clean energy-powered microgrids in local and tribal communities. (news release)

ELECTRIFICATION: Colorado launches a $10 million grant program to fund public building electrification projects, such as replacing gas furnaces with heat pumps. (news release)

BATTERIES: California regulators work to deploy grid-scale battery energy storage systems quickly while also mitigating the risk of “thermal runaway” fires. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

CLIMATE: 

COAL: Attorneys conclude arguments in a trial that could determine the fate of a proposed coal export terminal at Oakland, California’s port. (Oaklandside)

OIL & GAS: 

  • A Colorado county votes to ban new oil and gas facilities within one mile of existing or planned water reservoirs. (9 News)
  • The federal Bureau of Land Management seeks public input on a proposal to restrict oil and gas development in parts of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. (Alaska’s News Source)

URANIUM: Ute Mountain Ute tribal members and advocates march against a Utah uranium mill as the facility’s owner prepares to restart two idle mines in the region. (Times-Independent)

CRITICAL MINERALS: A company plans to invest $44 million to establish a demonstration-scale rare earth elements processing plant at its Wyoming mine. (Cowboy State Daily)

CARBON CAPTURE: Developers bring a carbon capture demonstration project online at a Wyoming test center. (County 17)

COMMENTARY: An analyst urges federal regulators to guide battery materials mining toward “least conflict” areas, similar to how a California effort handles large-scale solar developments. (The Hill)

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Jonathan hails from southwestern Colorado and has been writing about the land, cultures, and communities of the Western United States for more than two decades. He compiles the Western Energy News digest. He is the author of three books, a contributing editor at High Country News, and the editor of the Land Desk, an e-newsletter that provides coverage and context on issues critical to the West.