COAL: Talen Energy proposes buying out its co-owner of the Colstrip coal power plant in Montana and building a 600 MW wind facility nearby, saying the turbines will complement, not replace, the coal plant. (Associated Press)

GRID: Xcel Energy says it locked customers out of smart thermostats in late August due to an unexpected outage at its troubled Comanche coal power plant, not because of high heat. (CPR)

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UTILITIES:
New Mexico Indigenous rights groups seek to overturn a state constitutional amendment requiring the governor to appoint utility regulators rather than letting residents elect them. (Searchlight New Mexico)
• Arizona utility Salt River Project’s board approves a 4.7% rate increase and plans to construct two new natural gas generators at an existing facility. (ABC15)
A Washington state utility shuts off power to hundreds of customers to reduce the risk of equipment sparking wildfires after saying for years that such measures were unnecessary. (Seattle Times)

STORAGE:
• Developers of a 565 MWh battery storage system in Hawaii expect to complete construction in May, nearly a year later than originally planned. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscription)
Three Arizona electric co-ops partner to install a 140 MWh battery storage system. (news release)

SOLAR: IKEA stores in California begin offering residential solar packages. (PV Magazine)

HYDROPOWER: As the Western drought saps hydropower capacity, dam operators time releases to maximize generation in the evening, when grid demand is highest and solar output decreases. (E&E News)  

OIL & GAS:
New Mexico officials call on the U.S. EPA to explain why it did not fine oil and gas producers that violated federal pollution rules, saying that could hamper state regulators’ own enforcement efforts. (Capital & Main)
California residents living near oil and gas fields urge Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign a recently passed bill that would create 3,200-foot buffer zones between wells and neighborhoods. (Mercury News)
Federal analysts predict Permian Basin oil output will climb to another record high of 5.4 million barrels per day in October. (Reuters)

NUCLEAR: Pro-nuclear climate advocates do battle with more traditional environmentalists over plans to continue operating the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California beyond its scheduled 2025 retirement. (High Country News)

CLIMATE: Record high temperatures during the California heat wave knock a Twitter data center offline in Sacramento. (CNN) 

COMMENTARY: A California energy researcher says the state’s buildout of battery storage in the last two years saved residents from mass outages during the recent heat wave-induced grid scare. (Los Angeles Times)

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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.