Xcel Energy Inc., which provides power generation to Colorado customers, plans to build a 21-mile transmission line (230-kV) in the Piceance Basin to serve anticipated natural gas-fired generation to enhance reliability on the Western Slope. A 1,100 MW gas-fired generator also is planned near Mesquite, NV, on 250 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. A unit of EWP Renewables Corp. has filed an application with Nevada regulators to construct the plant, which would come online in two 550 MW phases in 2016 and 2017.

The California Energy Commission has approved $3.2 million in clean transportation grants, with $2.5 million for alternative fuels that liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) projects. The natural gas projects included $600,000 to Blackhawk Logistics LLC to build a publicly accessible LNG truck fueling station in Blythe, CA; $300,000 to Lompoc Unified School District in Santa Barbara County to build a CNG fueling station for its fleet of buses and student transport vehicles; and $300,000 to the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians to convert an existing public gasoline station into a CNG dispensing facility.

The Washington state Utility and Transportation Commission has approved a “coal transition” agreement between Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and TransAlta Centralia Generation LLC, setting the stage for the closure by 2025 of the state’s only coal-fired power plant. A law passed in 2011 allowed greenhouse gas emissions standards to be applied to encourage coal-fired plants early. Under the agreement, PSE will purchase an average 346 MW of coal-fired transition power from the Centralia coal-fired plant until one unit is closed in 2020 and until the final unit is shuttered in 2025. The approval requiresPSE to file annual reports on the contract.

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