Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Energy News Digest for January 13, 2021

The Energy News Digest is sponsored by the Northwest Public Power Association.

The News Digest on Facebook and Twitter will bring you breaking news throughout the week.

Subscribe to The Energy News Digest.

HOT SHOTS – TODAY’S TOP FIVE STORIES

Washington State Windstorm Knocks Out Power to Hundreds of Thousands Overnight (KCPQ-TV, Seattle, WA)

https://www.q13fox.com/news/washington-windstorm-knocks-out-power-to-hundreds-of-thousands-overnight

Coronavirus Causes Largest U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Drop Since World War Two: Report (Reuters)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-climatechange-emissions/coronavirus-causes-largest-u-s-greenhouse-gas-emissions-drop-since-world-war-two-report-idUSKBN29H19O

Wildfire Smoke Now Causes Up to Half the Fine-Particle Pollution in Western U.S., Study Finds (Los Angeles Times, CA)

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-01-13/wildfire-smoke-fine-particle-pollution-western-us-study

Oregon Utility Regulators to Probe Looming Grid Reliability Question (Portland Business Journal, OR)

https://energynewsdigest.blogspot.com/2021/01/oregon-utility-regulators-to-probe.html

Sage Grouse Review Done, But Scant Time for President Trump’s Changes (Associated Press)

https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-birds-environment-courts-billings-ee57322c7c1d3cc6458c45577d18c1ae

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS (See Stories Below)

1.      Washington State Windstorm Knocks Out Power to Hundreds of Thousands Overnight

2.      Oregon: Widespread Power Outages Hit Portland Area; 50,000 Homes, Businesses Affected

3.      Oregon Utility Regulators to Probe Looming Grid Reliability Question

4.      Massive Turbines Trucked Toward British Columbia’s Peace River Dam Site in Wide, Slow Convoy

5.      California: New San Diego-Area Community Choice Energy Program Feuding with San Diego Gas & Electric

6.      Utah Is Suing a California City over Its Coal Ban

7.      California: Trinity PUD Settles Helena Fire Claims

8.      Fall River Electric Cooperative Manager Wins Seat on NW Power Council

9.      NuScale Power, UAMPS Execute Agreements Tied to Development of Small Modular Reactors

10.   Canada: New Small Modular Reactor Action Plan a Key Step for New Technology’s Growth Amid ‘Incredible Demand,’ Says Industry Group

11.   EIA Expects Higher Wholesale U.S. Natural Gas Prices in 2021 & 2022

12.   Op/Ed: After 19 Years, It’s Time to Retire Oregon’s ‘Temporary’ Energy Tax

13.   ECONorthwest President John Tapogna Stepping Down in 2022

14.   Deschutes Valley Water District in Oregon Invests in Small Hydro with Turbine Order from Voith

15.   New Wind Projects Power Local Budgets in Wyoming

16.   Warren Buffett’s Iowa Wind Power Expansion Derailed by the Bridges of Madison County

17.   More Landlords Are Investing in Energy-Efficient Improvements for Rentals

18.   Sage Grouse Review Done, But Scant Time for President Trump’s Changes

19.   Meet Bonneville Power Administration’s Estuary Team

20.   Wildfire Smoke Now Causes Up to Half the Fine-Particle Pollution in Western U.S., Study Finds

21.   Michigan Plans to Charge Ex-Gov. Snyder in Flint Water Probe

22.   Coronavirus Causes Largest U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Drop Since World War Two: Report

23.   Coronavirus Lockdowns Didn’t Reduce Air Pollution as Much as We Thought

24.   Broken Promises: Cascadia Region Not on Track to Cut Carbon Emissions

25.   Oregon: Eugene Activists Push for Stronger City Response on Climate Change

26.   Pandemic Sheds Light on Rural Broadband Necessity

27.   Broadband ‘One Buck Deal’: Georgia Co-ops’ Pole Fee Wins Unanimous Approval

28.   The Billionaires’ Brawl over Satellite Broadband

29.   Report: Cord-Cutting During the Pandemic Leads to Streaming Now Accounting for 68% of TV Viewing

30.   Lost Passwords Lock Millionaires Out of Their Bitcoin Fortunes

31.   ISP in Idaho Planned to Block Facebook and Twitter to Punish ‘Censorship’

WORD OF THE DAY

Plebeian \plih-BEE-un\ Noun - A member of the common people of ancient Rome: a common person

Barney’s Rice Barn was not a very popular eatery in northeast North Dakota. There wasn’t anything at all interesting about his rice dishes. Every item was steamed white rice of varying varieties; a relatively plebeian repast for weather-hardened farmers who were used to a hearty meat and potatoes menu for every meal. “It just doesn’t stick to my ribs,” complained an irritated customer.

ENERGY & UTILITY ISSUES

1.      Washington State Windstorm Knocks Out Power to Hundreds of Thousands Overnight (KCPQ-TV, Seattle, WA)

https://www.q13fox.com/news/washington-windstorm-knocks-out-power-to-hundreds-of-thousands-overnight

2.      Oregon: Widespread Power Outages Hit Portland Area; 50,000 Homes, Businesses Affected (Oregonian, Portland, OR)

https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/2021/01/widespread-power-outages-hit-portland-area-70000-homes-businesses-affected.html

3.      Oregon Utility Regulators to Probe Looming Grid Reliability Question (Portland Business Journal, OR)

https://energynewsdigest.blogspot.com/2021/01/oregon-utility-regulators-to-probe.html

4.      Massive Turbines Trucked Toward British Columbia’s Peace River Dam Site in Wide, Slow Convoy (Victoria Times-Colonist, BC)

https://www.timescolonist.com/massive-turbines-trucked-toward-b-c-s-site-c-dam-in-wide-slow-convoy-1.24266094

5.      California: New San Diego-Area Community Choice Energy Program Feuding with San Diego Gas & Electric (San Diego Union-Tribune, CA)

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/story/2021-01-11/new-san-diego-area-community-choice-energy-program-in-dispute-with-sdg-e

6.      Utah Is Suing a California City over Its Coal Ban (Salt Lake Tribune, UT)

https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2021/01/11/utah-is-suing-california/

7.      California: Trinity PUD Settles Helena Fire Claims (The Trinity Journal, CA)

http://www.trinityjournal.com/news/local/article_8f27d4d8-553b-11eb-9b7e-63cf0428ddb3.html

8.      Fall River Electric Cooperative Manager Wins Seat on NW Power Council (KIFI-TV, Idaho Falls, ID)

https://localnews8.com/news/local-news/2021/01/12/fall-river-manager-wins-seat-on-nw-power-council/

9.      NuScale Power, UAMPS Execute Agreements Tied to Development of Small Modular Reactors (American Public Power Association)

https://www.publicpower.org/periodical/article/nuscale-power-uamps-execute-agreements-tied-development-small-modular-reactors

10.   Canada: New Small Modular Reactor Action Plan a Key Step for New Technology’s Growth Amid ‘Incredible Demand,’ Says Industry Group (The Hill Times, Ottawa, Canada)

https://www.hilltimes.com/2021/01/11/new-small-modular-reactor-action-plan-a-key-step-for-new-technologys-growth-amid-incredible-demand-says-industry-group/277641

11.   EIA Expects Higher Wholesale U.S. Natural Gas Prices in 2021 & 2022 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=46456

12.   Op/Ed: After 19 Years, It’s Time to Retire Oregon’s ‘Temporary’ Energy Tax (Pamplin Media Group, Portland, OR)

https://pamplinmedia.com/rc/63-opinion/494173-396691-after-19-years-its-time-to-retire-oregons-temporary-energy-tax-

13.   ECONorthwest President John Tapogna Stepping Down in 2022 (Portland Business Journal, OR)

https://energynewsdigest.blogspot.com/2021/01/econorthwest-president-john-tapogna.html

RENEWABLE ENERGY & SELF STORAGE

14.   Deschutes Valley Water District in Oregon Invests in Small Hydro with Turbine Order from Voith (Newswire Today)

https://www.newswiretoday.com/news/174530/Deschutes-Valley-Water-District-in-Oregon-Invests-in-Small-Hydro-with-Turbine-Order-from-Voith/

15.   New Wind Projects Power Local Budgets in Wyoming (High Country News, Paonia, CO)

https://www.hcn.org/issues/53.2/north-wind-power-new-wind-projects-power-local-budgets-in-wyoming

16.   Warren Buffett’s Iowa Wind Power Expansion Derailed by the Bridges of Madison County (Forbes Magazine)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbryce/2021/01/13/iowa-wind-expansion-derailed-by-the-bridges-of-madison-county/

CONSERVATION & EFFICIENCY

17.   More Landlords Are Investing in Energy-Efficient Improvements for Rentals (Wenatchee World, WA)

https://www.wenatcheeworld.com/community/more-landlords-are-investing-in-energy-efficient-improvements-for-rentals/article_427be724-4f9a-11eb-9a76-8b2df014b477.html

FISH & WILDLIFE

18.   Sage Grouse Review Done, But Scant Time for President Trump’s Changes (Associated Press)

https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-birds-environment-courts-billings-ee57322c7c1d3cc6458c45577d18c1ae

19.   Meet Bonneville Power Administration’s Estuary Team (Bonneville Power Administration)

https://www.bpa.gov/news/newsroom/Pages/Meet-BPAs-estuary-team.aspx

ENVIRONMENTAL AFFLATUS – CLEAN UP ON AISLE THREE

20.   Wildfire Smoke Now Causes Up to Half the Fine-Particle Pollution in Western U.S., Study Finds (Los Angeles Times, CA)

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-01-13/wildfire-smoke-fine-particle-pollution-western-us-study

WATER, WATER, ANYWHERE?

21.   Michigan Plans to Charge Ex-Gov. Snyder in Flint Water Probe (Associated Press)

https://apnews.com/article/flint-lead-water-crisis-gov-rick-snyder-801ba227340f0ac2e10e37a06a82f08d

CLIMATE CHANGE SEQUESTRATION VAULT

22.   Coronavirus Causes Largest U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Drop Since World War Two: Report (Reuters)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-climatechange-emissions/coronavirus-causes-largest-u-s-greenhouse-gas-emissions-drop-since-world-war-two-report-idUSKBN29H19O

23.   Coronavirus Lockdowns Didn’t Reduce Air Pollution as Much as We Thought (Gizmodo)

https://earther.gizmodo.com/coronavirus-lockdowns-didnt-reduce-air-pollution-as-muc-1846051646

24.   Broken Promises: Cascadia Region Not on Track to Cut Carbon Emissions (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

https://www.opb.org/article/2021/01/12/pacific-northwest-cascadia-oregon-washington-british-columbia-climate-change-carbon/

25.   Oregon: Eugene Activists Push for Stronger City Response on Climate Change (KLCC Radio, Eugene, OR)

https://www.klcc.org/post/eugene-activists-push-stonger-city-response-climate-change

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

26.   Pandemic Sheds Light on Rural Broadband Necessity (Capital Press)

https://www.capitalpress.com/nation_world/pandemic-sheds-light-on-rural-broadband-necessity/article_65f0f7da-554e-11eb-b358-9ffb1a0ba663.html

27.   Broadband ‘One Buck Deal’: Georgia Co-ops’ Pole Fee Wins Unanimous Approval (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association)

https://www.electric.coop/broadband-one-buck-deal-georgia-co-ops-pole-fee-wins-unanimous-approval/

28.   The Billionaires’ Brawl over Satellite Broadband (Axios)

https://www.axios.com/musk-bezos-ergen-spacex-broadband-fcc-starlink-142e601a-e748-4e8f-8554-a070ca989a8b.html

29.   Report: Cord-Cutting During the Pandemic Leads to Streaming Now Accounting for 68% of TV Viewing (Telecompetitor)

https://www.telecompetitor.com/report-cord-cutting-during-the-pandemic-leads-to-streaming-now-accounting-for-68-of-tv-viewing/

THE WIZARDING WORLD OF TECHNOLOGY

30.   Lost Passwords Lock Millionaires Out of Their Bitcoin Fortunes (Seattle Times, WA – Paywall Advisory)

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/lost-passwords-lock-millionaires-out-of-their-bitcoin-fortunes/

PUBLIC RELATIONS, MARKETING & MEDIA

31.   ISP in Idaho Planned to Block Facebook and Twitter to Punish ‘Censorship’ (Gizmodo)

https://gizmodo.com/isp-in-idaho-planned-to-block-facebook-and-twitter-to-p-1846041695

ALLIGATORS IN THE SEWER – DIVERSIONS

Taiwan Man Blows 783 Bubbles Inside of Larger Bubble for World Record

https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2021/01/13/Taiwan-man-blows-783-bubbles-inside-of-larger-bubble-for-world-record/7951610571608/

Cat Reunited with Ontario Family after Ten Years

https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2021/01/13/Cat-reunited-with-Ontario-family-after-10-years/8601610569516/

Ring Found Buried in Public Park 18 Years after Being Lost

https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2021/01/12/Ring-found-buried-in-public-park-18-years-after-being-lost/6841610491211/

Lizzie Borden House for Sale: Price is $2 Million

https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2021/01/12/Lizzie-Borden-house-for-sale-for-2-million/9951610480821/

SONG OF THE DAY

Gary Lewis and the Playboys - This Diamond Ring

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKTOizdhan8

LINKS & PAYWALL ADVISORY

Links in the news digest lead to current stories. Media organizations update their websites regularly, which may result in broken links. Possible Paywall restrictions are noted in the media attribution.

ECONorthwest President John Tapogna Stepping Down in 2022 (Portland Business Journal, OR)


John Tapogna, who has led the ECONorthwest consulting firm for more than a decade, plans to step down as president in 2022 as part of a succession plan that's been underway for years.

Tapogna, 56, will be replaced by Lorelei Juntunen, who heads up the company's lucrative housing and urban development practice. She will become ECONorthwest's first female president. The handoff is scheduled for Jan. 1, 2022.

"It feels like a new chapter," Tapogna said. "We are a majority-female company, and I think there's a lot of enthusiasm and energy around having a female leader to look forward to."

Tapogna, a former Peace Corps volunteer and U.S. Congressional Budget Office analyst who became ECONorthwest's president in 2009, cited "personal reasons" but said he "will stay engaged with the firm."

Founded in 1974, ECONorthwest has worked with the likes of developers, labor unions, energy companies and planning departments over the years.

The firm has in the past sized up the economic footprint of Oregon's largest private employer, Intel Corp. The technology company generated $5.4 billion in income and had a total economic impact of $26.7 billion statewide, according to a 2012 ECONorthwest report for which Intel was the client.

ECONorthwest also was the company asked in 2004 to research how economically feasible a new basketball stadium for the University of Oregon would be. The firm projected the yearly revenue generated by an arena would be $4.1 million, far less than another, at least $10.5 million figure produced by a separate firm in 2007. Tapogna has called ECONorthwest's coming up with numbers that appeared appropriately conservative "a shining moment."

"In some respects, we come out best when we’re the skunk at the picnic," Tapogna, then a managing director, remarked in 2008. "We highlight the complexity of issues that some people may not want to hear."

Tapogna, Juntunen and three others bought the consulting firm in January 2012 for an undisclosed sum.

The company has stamped an economic footprint of its own over the years. Total revenue has gradually risen from approximately $5.1 million in 2012 to an estimated $7.6 million in 2020, according to figures provided by the company. Throughout those years, the housing, infrastructure and urban development practice area accounted for a good chunk of total revenue. That area was estimated to generate more than $4 million in 2020.

Equity a focus

Last October, ECONorthwest said it was welcoming Dr. Jade Aguilar, formerly of Willamette University, as director of research equity, a hire Juntunen was largely responsible for.

"Our firm has always had a tremendous amount of impact, but I'm not sure that we've given the same amount of attention to the flip side of impact, which is the responsibility that we have to wield that impact in a way that really does lead to the outcomes that we care about, which is improvements in our communities for all of the people who are part of the community," Juntunen said.

She said the firm is working up an equity lens, essentially a group of questions that company officials will ask themselves as they go through the phases of a project to help ensure they're "thinking more deeply about who is impacted by the work," as well as mitigating "unintended ripple effects" within a community.

She sees firmly installing that lens in the same way as other company values as a "key step" to continue having the right type of influence and impact in Oregon.

"This is really about making sure that we're paying as much attention to our responsibility as we are to our impact," she said.

'No surprise at all'

Juntunen grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho. She said she wasn't aware of the economics or planning fields until she was in her 20s. She was living in Seattle and sitting on the board of a community center that helped low-income communities. She interacted with Seattle planning staff and saw how the built environment, development market and social systems overlapped.

She said she "got completely fascinated with the role that planners and analysts can play in helping to support better decision-making."

She attended the University of Oregon, obtaining master's degrees in community and regional planning and public administration in 2004. She joined ECONorthwest the same year, then bought the firm with Tapogna and the others in 2012.

The transition to president has been several years coming. Tapogna said the two of them met about four years ago and put out a five-year timeframe. Juntunen has since assumed more responsibility, now working as vice president of operations.

"I think because we've been at this for as long as we have, when we announced it internally three months ago or so, there was no surprise at all and just universal enthusiasm about this transition," he said, jokingly saying he was hoping for a little mourning.

"There's a whole year left," she said. "There's still time for that, John."

Oregon Utility Regulators to Probe Looming Grid Reliability Question (Portland Business Journal, OR)

It’s an issue already getting attention at a regional level, but Oregon utility regulators are going to have their say on “resource adequacy” as well.

Or at least, the Public Utility Commission will look into the issue, industry vernacular for making sure the grid stays reliable under the full range of supply and demand possibilities.

It’s a planning challenge as the region transitions away from fossil-fuel resources that could be counted on to fire up and deliver power when needed.

Commissioners, in adopting a staff proposal on Tuesday to open an investigation into resource adequacy in Oregon, were careful to note that they didn’t want to step on the toes of the Northwest Power Pool.

That industry organization has been working for more than a year on a joint program for setting utility capacity obligations and sharing responsibility for getting through crunch periods. The idea is that by taking advantage of a diversity of loads and resources across the region, a reliable system can be ensured at less cost than with a siloed approach.

But who falls under the obligations, how they’re set, what value is given to particular resources, and other questions all have cost implications. And Oregon’s regulatory structure colors those questions in a unique way, leading PUC staff and stakeholders to a rough consensus that it was worthwhile for the PUC to join the fray.

The move by the PUC comes as the Oregon Legislature gears up for the 2021 session where, as it happens, a bill to establish resource adequacy requirements has already been introduced by Sen. Lee Beyer, a former PUC commissioner.

 

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Energy News Digest for January 11, 2021

The Energy News Digest is sponsored by the Northwest Public Power Association.

The News Digest on Facebook and Twitter will bring you breaking news throughout the week.

Subscribe to The Energy News Digest.

HOT SHOTS – TODAY’S TOP FIVE STORIES

Soaring Bitcoin Prices Put Central Washington Electrical Utilities on Alert (Seattle Times, WA – Paywall Advisory)

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/technology/sunday-buzz-soaring-bitcoin-prices-put-central-washington-electrical-utilities-on-alert/

Centralia, WA – TransAlta Retires One of Two Coal-Burning Units (The Chronicle, Centralia, WA)

http://www.chronline.com/news/transalta-retires-one-of-two-coal-burning-units/article_bc31cad0-5214-11eb-8c58-1b2702e6bbd3.html

John Hairston Gets Top Job at Bonneville Power Administration (Oregonian, Portland, OR)

https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2021/01/john-hairston-gets-top-job-at-bonneville-power-administration.html

Energy Northwest CEO Brad Sawatzke Announces Intention to Retire in June (Energy Northwest)

https://www.energy-northwest.com/whoweare/news-and-info/Pages/CEO-Brad-Sawatzke-announces-intention-to-retire-in-June-.aspx

Washington State Adopts Rules to Guide Utilities to Coal-Free Status by 2025, Carbon-Free By 2045 (Utility Dive)

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/washington-state-adopts-rules-to-guide-utilities-to-coal-free-status-by-202/592955/

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS (See Stories Below)

1.      Soaring Bitcoin Prices Put Central Washington Electrical Utilities on Alert

2.      Centralia, WA – TransAlta Retires One of Two Coal-Burning Units

3.      John Hairston Gets Top Job at Bonneville Power Administration

4.      What Regional Leaders Are Saying About Hairston’s BPA Appointment

5.      Energy Northwest CEO Brad Sawatzke Announces Intention to Retire in June

6.      Utilities Execs Say Alaska Energy Authority’s Powerline Purchase to Promote Hydropower

7.      Avista (NYSE:AVA) Downgraded by Bank of America

8.      Arizona: Salt River Project Customers Experience Outage Due to Technical Issue

9.      Op/Ed: Montanans Should Not Be Forced to Pay Monopolies a Profit on COVID Losses

10.   Nuclear Power Backers Hopeful President-Elect Biden’s Climate Focus Will Boost Industry

11.   South Carolina: Fight Over Santee Cooper Starts Before 2021 Session Begins

12.   Wholesale U.S. Electricity Prices Were Generally Lower & Less Volatile in 2020 than 2019

13.   In 2020, U.S. Natural Gas Prices Were the Lowest in Decades

14.   The Power Is Out. Now What?

15.   Oregon: SunPower Shutting Down Former SolarWorld Plant in Hillsboro

16.   Chinese Solar Companies Tied to Use of Forced Labor

17.   Renewables Account for Most New U.S. Electricity Generating Capacity in 2021

18.   Seattle City Light Breaks Ground on New Solar Microgrid at Miller Community Center

19.   Kauai Island Utility Cooperative Proposes Hybrid Solar, Hydro Energy Facility to Help Reach Renewables Targets

20.   North Carolina Panel Moves to Weaken Building Energy Conservation Rules

21.   New Comfort Ready Home Program Will Help Homeowners

22.   We Already Have the Key to a Clean Energy Economy. We’re Just Not Using It – Smart Meters Can Optimize the Grid & Empower Customers

23.   Washington State Adopts Rules to Guide Utilities to Coal-Free Status by 2025, Carbon-Free By 2045

24.   Record Broken for Number of Billion-Dollar US Weather & Climate Disasters in 2020

25.   How Microsoft Plans to Eliminate All the Carbon It Ever Emitted

26.   The Cost of Using Poles

27.   Data Centers Are Energy Hogs. Could They Help Power the Grid?

28.   Umatilla Electric Cooperative Uses Apps, Calculators

29.   Albemarle to Boost Nevada Lithium Output as Electric Vehicle Demand Climbs

30.   An Employer’s Dilemma: To Mandate (or Not) the Covid-19 Vaccine?

31.   A Strong Atmosphere River Approaches

WORD OF THE DAY

Noetic ● \noh-ET-ik\ ● Adjective – Of, relating to, or based on the intellect.

Smart people are fun

Noetic admiration

A beautiful mind

ENERGY & UTILITY ISSUES

1.      Soaring Bitcoin Prices Put Central Washington Electrical Utilities on Alert (Seattle Times, WA – Paywall Advisory)

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/technology/sunday-buzz-soaring-bitcoin-prices-put-central-washington-electrical-utilities-on-alert/

2.      Centralia, WA – TransAlta Retires One of Two Coal-Burning Units (The Chronicle, Centralia, WA)

http://www.chronline.com/news/transalta-retires-one-of-two-coal-burning-units/article_bc31cad0-5214-11eb-8c58-1b2702e6bbd3.html

 

3.      John Hairston Gets Top Job at Bonneville Power Administration (Oregonian, Portland, OR)

https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2021/01/john-hairston-gets-top-job-at-bonneville-power-administration.html

4.      What Regional Leaders Are Saying About Hairston’s BPA Appointment (Bonneville Power Administration)

https://www.bpa.gov/news/newsroom/Pages/What-regional-leaders-are-saying-about-Hairstons-appointment.aspx

5.      Energy Northwest CEO Brad Sawatzke Announces Intention to Retire in June (Energy Northwest)

https://www.energy-northwest.com/whoweare/news-and-info/Pages/CEO-Brad-Sawatzke-announces-intention-to-retire-in-June-.aspx

6.      Utilities Execs Say Alaska Energy Authority’s Powerline Purchase to Promote Hydropower (KUAC Radio, Fairbanks, AK)

https://fm.kuac.org/post/utilities-execs-say-alaska-energy-authority-s-power-line-purchase-promote-hydropower

7.      Avista (NYSE:AVA) Downgraded by Bank of America (MarketBeat)

https://www.marketbeat.com/instant-alerts/nyse-ava-a-buy-or-sell-right-now-2021-01/

8.      Arizona: Salt River Project Customers Experience Outage Due to Technical Issue (KNXV-TV, Phoenix, AZ)

https://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/srp-customers-experience-outage-due-to-technical-issue

9.      Op/Ed: Montanans Should Not Be Forced to Pay Monopolies a Profit on COVID Losses (Montana Standard, Butte, MT)

https://mtstandard.com/opinion/columnists/guest-view-montanans-should-not-be-forced-to-pay-monopolies-a-profit-on-covid-losses/article_eb206000-2c54-5d01-bedc-fac19bd537aa.html

10.   Nuclear Power Backers Hopeful President-Elect Biden’s Climate Focus Will Boost Industry (Reuters)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nuclearpower-energy/nuclear-power-backers-hopeful-bidens-climate-focus-will-boost-industry-idUSKBN29G2AY

11.   South Carolina: Fight Over Santee Cooper Starts Before 2021 Session Begins (Associated Press)

https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/business/article248315150.html

12.   Wholesale U.S. Electricity Prices Were Generally Lower & Less Volatile in 2020 than 2019 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=46396

13.   In 2020, U.S. Natural Gas Prices Were the Lowest in Decades (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=46376

14.   The Power Is Out. Now What? (Aberdeen Daily World, WA)

https://www.thedailyworld.com/life/the-power-is-out-now-what/

RENEWABLE ENERGY & SELF STORAGE

15.   Oregon: SunPower Shutting Down Former SolarWorld Plant in Hillsboro (Portland Business Journal, OR)

https://energynewsdigest.blogspot.com/2021/01/oregon-sunpower-shutting-down-former.html

16.   Chinese Solar Companies Tied to Use of Forced Labor (NY Times)

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/08/business/economy/china-solar-companies-forced-labor-xinjiang.html

17.   Renewables Account for Most New U.S. Electricity Generating Capacity in 2021 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=46416

18.   Seattle City Light Breaks Ground on New Solar Microgrid at Miller Community Center (Seattle City Light, WA)

https://powerlines.seattle.gov/2021/01/06/seattle-city-light-breaks-ground-on-new-solar-microgrid-at-miller-community-center/

19.   Kauai Island Utility Cooperative Proposes Hybrid Solar, Hydro Energy Facility to Help Reach Renewables Targets (Pacific Business Journal, HI)

https://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2021/01/07/kauai-proposes-hybrid-solar-facility.html

CONSERVATION & EFFICIENCY

20.   North Carolina Panel Moves to Weaken Building Energy Conservation Rules (Energy News Network)

https://energynews.us/2021/01/07/southeast/north-carolina-panel-moves-to-weaken-building-energy-conservation-rules/

21.   New Comfort Ready Home Program Will Help Homeowners (Bonneville Power Administration)

https://www.bpa.gov/news/newsroom/Pages/New%20Comfort%20Ready%20Home%20program%20will%20help%20homeowners.aspx

22.   We Already Have the Key to a Clean Energy Economy. We’re Just Not Using It – Smart Meters Can Optimize the Grid & Empower Customers (GreenTech Media)

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/we-already-have-the-key-to-a-clean-energy-economy-were-just-not-using-it

CLIMATE CHANGE SEQUESTRATION VAULT

23.   Washington State Adopts Rules to Guide Utilities to Coal-Free Status by 2025, Carbon-Free By 2045 (Utility Dive)

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/washington-state-adopts-rules-to-guide-utilities-to-coal-free-status-by-202/592955/

24.   Record Broken for Number of Billion-Dollar US Weather & Climate Disasters in 2020 (The Hill, Washington, DC)

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/533366-record-broken-for-number-of-billion-dollar-weather-and-climate

25.   How Microsoft Plans to Eliminate All the Carbon It Ever Emitted (Forbes Magazine)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2021/01/11/how-microsoft-plans-to-eliminate-all-the-carbon-it-ever-generated/?sh=b73706e1d3c1

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

26.   The Cost of Using Poles (Pots & Pans)

https://potsandpansbyccg.com/2021/01/11/the-cost-of-using-poles/

THE WIZARDING WORLD OF TECHNOLOGY

27.   Data Centers Are Energy Hogs. Could They Help Power the Grid? (Grist Online)

https://grist.org/energy/googles-data-centers-are-energy-hogs-could-they-help-power-the-grid/

28.   Umatilla Electric Cooperative Uses Apps, Calculators (Transmission & Distribution World)

https://www.tdworld.com/electric-utility-operations/tools-and-technologies/article/21150845/umatilla-electric-cooperative-uses-apps-calculators

I SING THE CAR ELECTRIC

29.   Albemarle to Boost Nevada Lithium Output as Electric Vehicle Demand Climbs (Utility Dive)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-albemarle-nevada/albemarle-to-boost-nevada-lithium-output-as-electric-vehicle-demand-climbs-idUSKBN29C1JC

GOVERNANCE & MANAGEMENT

30.   An Employer’s Dilemma: To Mandate (or Not) the Covid-19 Vaccine? (Portland Business Journal, OR)

https://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2021/01/11/an-employer-s-dilemma-to-mandate-or-not-the-cov.html

WITHER THE WEATHER?

31.   A Strong Atmosphere River Approaches (Cliff Mass Weather Blog)

https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2021/01/a-strong-atmosphere-river-approaches.html

ALLIGATORS IN THE SEWER – DIVERSIONS

Mayor of Houston Suburb Chosen by Pulling a Name from Hat

https://www.yakimaherald.com/news/weird_news/mayor-of-houston-suburb-chosen-by-pulling-a-name-from-hat/article_b52be9be-0fc3-5c0b-9493-57da2e135950.html

Woman Walking in Nanaimo, B.C., Is Showered with Cash: RCMP

https://toronto.citynews.ca/2021/01/07/woman-walking-in-nanaimo-b-c-is-showered-with-cash-rcmp/

Woman Swims 280 Feet Under Ice for Guinness World Record

https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2021/01/11/Woman-swims-280-feet-under-ice-for-Guinness-World-Record/6941610393448/

Samosa Sent to ‘Space’ by British Eatery Crash-Lands in France

https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2021/01/11/Samosa-sent-to-space-by-British-eatery-crash-lands-in-France/9301610403369/

SONG OF THE DAY

The Fifth Dimension – Up, Up & Away

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qdCuzjAGmA

LINKS & PAYWALL ADVISORY

Links in the news digest lead to current stories. Media organizations update their websites regularly, which may result in broken links. Possible Paywall restrictions are noted in the media attribution.