Western Energy News is one of five regional services published by the Energy News Network. Today’s edition was compiled by Jonathan Thompson.

UTILITIES:
Communication hiccups and higher than expected electricity rates plague the new Orange County Power Authority’s rollout in California. (Voice of OC)
A retail energy supplier agrees to pay $4.7 million to settle alleged violations of California Independent System Operator market rules meant to ensure the grid has adequate power. (Utility Dive) 

LITHIUM: Biden administration sources expect the president to invoke the Defense Production Act to expedite domestic mining of lithium and other electric vehicle battery minerals as soon as today. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
Two energy companies agree to pay a total of $3.7 million to settle alleged Clean Air Act violations at Uinta Basin oil and gas facilities in Utah. (news release)
California regulators use bolt cutters to access a leak-plagued Los Angeles drilling site after the operator cancels a site inspection. (Los Angeles Times)
California environmental groups call on the Biden administration to force oil and gas operators to fund abandoned and orphaned well cleanup. (news release)  

NUCLEAR: Oregon regulators decline to acknowledge PacifiCorp’s request to obtain electricity from TerraPower’s planned Wyoming advanced nuclear reactor due to questions over the plan’s cost to ratepayers. (Portland Business Journal, subscription) 

SOLAR:
New Mexico regulators adopt community solar project rules. (NM Political Report)
A California community school district plans to install a solar-powered microgrid at a high school that serves as a wildfire evacuation center. (Ventura County Star)
New Mexico environmental advocates urge energy developers to move utility-scale solar installations off public lands and into urban areas. (KUNM)

STORAGE:
Southern Power adds 160 MW of battery storage to two existing southern California solar installations. (Solar Industry)
Hawaiian Electric expands and extends a program that pays residents to add battery storage to rooftop solar installations. (Energy Storage News) 

HYDROPOWER: The California drought threatens hydroelectricity production at Hetch Hetchy Dam, source of 20% of San Francisco’s power supply. (San Francisco Examiner)

TRANSPORTATION:
A Utah town plans to use a $2.4 million federal grant to purchase three electric buses. (Salt Lake Tribune)
Colorado lawmakers advance a bill establishing a public transit fare-free pilot project for this August, typically the smoggiest time of the year. (Denver Post)
A fleet electrification company opens one of the nation’s largest commercial electric vehicle charging stations in Los Angeles. (NGT News)
An American Lung Association says Phoenix, Arizona, would realize significant health benefits from a nationwide transition to electric vehicles and clean energy. (Fronteras)
A California school district purchases 30 electric buses to replace half of its diesel fleet. (news release)  
• Southern California Gas plans to install 240 electric vehicle chargers at 67 company facilities by 2024. (news release)

CLIMATE: A San Francisco startup hopes to become the “Zillow of clean energy” by connecting building operators with solar panel, battery storage and electric vehicle charging businesses. (Bloomberg) 

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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.