June 2019 News

e three younger generations – those ages 18 to 53 in 2018 – reported casting 62.2 million votes, compared with 60.1 million cast by Baby Boomers and older generations. It’s not the first time the younger generations outvoted their elders: The same pattern occurred in the 2016 presidential election.” Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X outvoted older generations in 2018 midterms.

STORAGE: Plans are announced for what’s being hailed as the world’s largest energy storage project, a 1,000 MW venture that will utilize compressed air in salt caverns in Utah, large flow batteries and solid-oxide fuel cells. (Greentech Media)

• A developer announces plans to build a 122 MW solar project to support Facebook’s new data center in Utah. (Solar Power World)
• The city of Albuquerque agrees to buy half the power produced by a 50 MW solar project proposed for New Mexico tribal lands. (Albuquerque Journal)
• A Washington plant that makes the raw materials used in solar panels is being “strangled” by the trade war with China, company officials say. (Los Angeles Times)
• A Sacramento utility district signs a 30-year power purchase agreement to build a 160 MW solar array. (Sacramento Business Journal)

• Colorado’s governor signs a suite of energy and climate bills into law, including legislation committing the state to a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. (Westword)
• Federal land managers in Wyoming will conduct an analysis of how a proposed drilling project will impact climate change. (Casper Star-Tribune) 

• A federal judge in Washington rules that federal land managers must consider the climate change impacts of drilling on 250 square miles of public land in Utah and Colorado. (Associated Press)

• Environmentalists are opposing subsidies for California dairies using methane digesters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Sacramento Bee)

• A western Colorado community will become the seventh in the nation to be 100% powered by renewable energy, a move made possible by a new deal with the city’s power provider. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)
• The city council in Santa Monica, California passes an $800 million climate action plan which calls for the city to be carbon neutral by 2050. (Smart Cities Dive)

A Colorado wholesale power provider has turned down a Denver startup’s offer to buy and close three of its coal-fired units and replace it with clean energy, company officials say. (Utility Dive, Energy News Network)

A Colorado mountain town pledges to use 100% renewable energy by 2035. (Summit Daily)

SOLAR: Shares of a California solar company soared after it announced it has signed a $2.3 million contract to build a solar parking canopy for a local school district. (Sacramento Business Journal)

An Oregon land commission approves new rules restricting commercial solar development on millions of acres of prime farmland, a move supported by some of the state’s winemakers. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

• A Washington entrepreneur’s “solar rover” is helping to provide portable, clean energy to events throughout the Pacific Northwest. (Seattle Times)

• The Denver Housing Authority has won the top prize in a federal competition for its efforts to build a community solar garden to serve low-income residents. (The Denver Channel)
• Construction crews broke ground of the first of three solar arrays planned for Colorado Springs, which will get a fifth of its energy from renewable sources once complete. (Colorado Springs Gazette)

The Montana Land Board has approved the lease of 1,300 acres for what could become the largest solar project ever built in the state despite objections from some residents concerned about potential impacts to grazing rights. (Montana Standard)

A Washington state factory that produces a key component in solar panels is shutting down today because of the escalating trade war with China. (Columbia Basin Herald)


A Danish wind turbine company is adding hundreds of jobs at its Colorado manufacturing facility. (Denver Business Journal)

• Researchers from the University of Rhode Island analyzing lodging data at several coastal New England sites found that tourism increased at Block Island after construction of the nation’s first offshore wind turbines there. (URI Today)


A San Diego utility’s plan to build 100 MW of battery-backed microgrids suffers a setback with a judge’s ruling. (Greentech Media)

A Southern California utility’s decision to scrap plans to build a new gas peaker plant and install a battery system instead illustrates how storage paired with clean energy might replace a crucial gas market sector. (U.S. News and World Report)

EFFICIENCY: An Albuquerque-area jail has completed a $13.9 million energy efficiency project expected to cut its annual utility costs in half. (Associated Press)

• The U.S. Interior Department is vowing to sell oil and gas leases this year for a national wildlife refuge in Alaska which has been off limits to drilling. (Reuters)
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry told oil and gas industry officials at a conference in Utah that the Trump administration is committed to making fossil fuels cleaner rather than imposing “draconian” regulations. (Associated Press)
• Two major oil companies will invest $20 million in Alaska’s $43 billion gas line project. (Anchorage Daily News)
• Utah officials sign an agreement with a handful of Colorado counties and the Wyoming Pipeline Authority they say may aid the export of Western natural gas. (Deseret News) 

• Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has agreed to a one-year delay on oil and gas leasing near a national historical park in New Mexico considered sacred by Western tribes. (Associated Press)

• The Oregon Senate has approved a five-year moratorium on fracking. (Statesman Journal)
• A Denver suburb becomes the seventh community in Colorado to adopt a temporary moratorium on drilling after the passage of a new law changing the way the oil and gas industry is regulated in the state. (Greeley Tribune)

• Colorado environmental regulators are considering a request from a Denver refinery to raise its limits for emissions of hydrogen cyanide, a colorless gas that can be deadly at certain levels. (Denver Post)

• An Alaska agency asks the state to rescind a new law requiring oil and gas companies to put up higher bond amounts to cover “orphaned” wells. (Alaska’s Energy Desk)

Attorneys for thousands of residents of a Los Angeles-area neighborhood will be in court this week seeking restitution for a 2015 natural gas leak. (KABC-TV)

• Alaska Natives and climate activists opposed plans to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling during a protest outside a major oil company’s Denver headquarters. (Denver Post)

• Another Colorado community issues a temporary moratorium on new drilling as state regulators craft new rules for the oil and gas industry that emphasize safety and environmental protection. (Loveland Reporter Herald)

• A Colorado congresswoman introduces a bill reversing the Trump administration’s efforts to undo methane regulations for the oil and gas industry. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

POWER PLANTS: An artificial intelligence firm plans to use satellite imagery to track air pollution, including carbon emissions, from every power plant in the world in real time and make the information publicly available. (Vox)


GEOTHERMAL: A conservative clean energy think tanks estimates that geothermal energy could supply as much as 20 percent of the nation’s electricity, but there are challenges to tapping underground resources currently only being produced in the West. (Grist)

STORAGE: Federal regulators have approved the New York grid operator’s rules to incorporate energy storage into the real-time energy market. (Platts)



In a joint letter, 37 electric utilities operating in 42 states oppose a rollback of federal lighting efficiency standards. (NRDC)

• City officials in Boulder, Colorado, say a recent legal settlement with Xcel Energy won’t deter them from forming their own municipal utility should voters endorse such a move. (Boulder Daily Camera)
• Hawaii regulators have adopted a portfolio of performance-based regulation tools for the state’s major utilities, a move one commissioner called “a down payment on a clean-energy future for Hawaii.” (Utility Dive)

• A Nevada bill has been amended to allow large companies that have severed ties with the state’s largest utility to avoid paying surcharges to help fund a variety of programs including low-income energy assistance, net metering for rooftop solar and energy efficiency. (The Nevada Independent)

• A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a request by PG&E to set up a $105 million housing fund for victims of wildfires linked to the utility’s equipment. (Reuters)
• Xcel Energy is seeking to raise rates in Colorado, a move company officials say could help pay for $158 million in annual grid upgrades. (Denver Post)


• Denver’s transit agency pays almost twice as much per mile to power the electric buses that serve a pedestrian mall than it does its conventional fleet, mostly due to high utility demand charges. (Denver Post)
• Arizona Corporation Commission staff have released a proposed implementation plan for a statewide electric vehicle policy that’s being opposed by one utility regulator who says it will lead to higher energy bills. (Utility Dive, Arizona Republic)

• The Trump administration’s plan to roll back vehicle emissions standards is more an inconvenience than it is a threat to states with ambitious electric vehicle goals like California and Colorado. (Forbes)
• Nevada’s governor signs a bill authorizing funds for school districts to invest in electric buses. (The Nevada Independent)

Areas of California where reductions in vehicle emissions have led to air quality improvements have fewer new cases of children with asthma, new research shows. (KNPR)

Only Washington and Hawaii are among a handful of states that received high marks in a report looking at how states are spending money from the Volkswagen emissions settlement. (Wired)

TRANSPORTATION: A California company backed by tech billionaire Elon Musk is awarded a $49 million contract to build a tunnel beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center where people will be transported by self-driving electric vehicles. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-Tennessee) said he will seek an up or down vote on a plan to permanently store nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain before moving legislation to fund the licensing process. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

BIOFUELS: Since launching in February, Utah’s first anaerobic food digester has processed almost 100,000 gallons of waste each week, converting the scraps into both methane gas and fertilizer. (Salt Lake Tribune)

POLICY: An academy launched by a former governor of Colorado for state lawmakers across the country has helped a broad range of state clean energy legislation. (Bloomberg)


A columnist says Arizona regulators’ decision to let a citizen complaint challenging a rate increase proceed was an unexpected yet welcomed move. (Arizona Republic)
• The evidence of safety of a Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository “comes across as a fantastical Rube Goldberg machine,” says the director of a Nevada nuclear waste task force. (Las Vegas Sun)


David Roberts of Vox questions the “middle ground” political position that natural gas is a bridge to cleaner energy system.

• Pointing to the election of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a New York Times columnist says it’s time Democrats start running hard on climate and energy instead of “paying the issue lip service.”

• It’s time for California to stop building new fossil fuel plants and take other bold action on climate change, says a congressman and the director of a national environmental group. (Sacramento Bee)
• A recently approved $56 million pilot program aimed at helping California’s low-income residents access clean energy doesn’t give Latino communities “any bang for the buck,” says the president of a local Latino advocacy group. (Bakersfield Californian)

Leaving space – Pope Francis said this week that we wait for “dynamization of the heart with the Spirit”

Montreal has announced plans to add a massive 184 kilometers of bike lanes to the city in an effort to support sustainable mobility and environmental health, with the first phase of 5 corridors to be completed by 2021.

Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood has plans to convert a two-mile section of an abandoned railway line into a linear park called the Englewood Line Trail, and wants it all done through local community support and grassroots development.