UTILITIES: Solar firm Sunnova proposes establishing a “micro-utility” that would directly compete with investor-owned utilities to power new California housing developments with solar-plus-storage microgrids. (New York Times)

An unexpected outage and heavy electricity demand prompts Xcel Energy to lock thousands of Colorado customers’ smart thermostats during a heat wave. (Denver Post)  
Customers of Arizona’s two largest utilities collectively owe about $70 million in past due residential electricity bills, but state law prohibits disconnections for nonpayment during the summer. (CBS5)

The federal Bureau of Land Management suspends its review of a proposed hydraulic fracturing sand mine in Utah while it determines whether the project falls under the 1872 Mining Law or a more stringent 1947 rule. (Salt Lake Tribune, subscription)
Mary Peltola, the Democrat who edged out Sarah Palin in a special election to represent Alaska in the U.S. House, backs the oil and gas industry and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (E&E News)
New Mexico regulators call on lawmakers to increase funding for agencies that enforce new oil and gas rules aimed at curbing air pollution. (Carlsbad Current-Argus) 

The electric vehicle industry urges the Biden administration to streamline mine permitting on federal lands to boost domestic production of minerals used in EVs. (Reuters)
New Mexico regulators launch the transportation electrification rulemaking process, aiming to finalize the plan by the end of the year. (NM Political Report)
Idaho researchers develop a way to use machine learning to speed up electric vehicle charging without damaging the battery. (Public Power)
Tesla applies for a permit to install a battery production line at its Fremont, California, auto assembly plant. (Electrive)

NV Energy asks Nevada customers to conserve power between 5 and 8 p.m. and California officials urge residents to limit when they charge electric vehicles as a prolonged heat wave grips the region and strains the grid. (Review-Journal, New York Times)
The 3,563 Tesla home battery owners in California’s virtual power plant send up to 24 MW back to the grid as a prolonged heat wave gets underway. (Teslarati)

California lawmakers approve $54 billion in climate spending and pass a flurry of related bills — including a mandate to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 — in the final days of the legislative session. (New York Times)
Analysts say California must ramp up renewable energy and storage deployment to stabilize its grid and meet decarbonization targets, even if the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant remains open until 2030. (Canary Media)   

BIOFUELS: Oregon regulators approve the air quality permit for a proposed $2 billion renewable diesel and aviation fuel production facility. (KOIN) 

COMMENTARY: A California journalist urges regulators to stand firm on the state’s zero-emissions vehicle mandate and avoid repeating the failure of a similar 1990 plan. (Los Angeles Times)

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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.