GRID: An energy advisory council recommends Northwest utilities acquire at least 3,500 MW of renewable power in the next five years to offset growing demand and coal plant closures. (Utility Dive)

LITHIUM: A California lawmaker representing the poverty-stricken and polluted Salton Sea region becomes a leading advocate for lithium development in his district. (Politico)

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STORAGE: Nevada regulators approve NV Energy’s plan to build a 220 MW battery system at the shuttered Reid Gardner coal plant. (RTO Insider, subscription)

ELECTRIFICATION: Washington state regulators consider requiring electric heat pumps for space and water heating in new residential buildings after implementing a similar rule for commercial structures. (Center Square)

UTILITIES:
An Oregon utility develops a machine-learning weather forecasting system to help it avoid sparking wildfires with its equipment. (KGW8)  
• San Diego Gas & Electric begins offering incentives to customers for reducing energy use during times of high power demand. (City News Service) 

CRYPTOCURRENCY: A Washington state hearing examiner greenlights a plan to convert a shuttered northeast Washington paper mill into a 100 MW cryptocurrency mining operation. (Spokesman-Review)

OIL & GAS:
A Permian Basin oil and gas operator agrees to pay $150,000 in fines, spend $500,000 to improve regional air quality and reduce flaring to settle a lawsuit from environmentalists. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
• New Mexico environmentalists say federal agencies are undercounting orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells in the state, thereby hampering efforts to clean them up. (Source NM)
The only company to bid in the Trump administration’s oil and gas auction in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge last year relinquishes its lease.
(Anchorage Daily News, subscription)
Colorado analysts predict investor demands and supply constraints, not federal policy, will limit oil production growth in the state this year. (Colorado Newsline)
A national environmental group launches a $75,000 advertising campaign urging the Biden administration to reject ConocoPhillips’ Willow drilling project in the Arctic. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
Renewable energy developers plan to build a 42 MW solar-plus-storage installation on a U.S. Navy base in Hawaii. (news release) 
• California solar advocates plan to protest state regulators’ proposal to slash net metering payments for rooftop solar at today’s public utilities commission meeting. (news release)   

CLIMATE: Hawaii children sue the state for failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect them from climate change’s effects. (Grist)

COMMENTARY: A California county official calls on the state to invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure in rural areas that have so far been left behind. (Sacramento Bee)

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Jonathan P. Thompson

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.