Western Gas Partners LP has exercised an option to acquire a 25% interest in a joint venture with Enterprise Products Partners LP to own two fractionation trains (Trains 7 and 8) being constructed in Mont Belvieu, TX. The trains, scheduled to begin service later this year, would be operated by Enterprise. Western, formed by Anadarko Petroleum Corp., also plans to begin constructing a second cryogenic processing train at its Lancaster plant in the Denver-Julesburg Basin this year. Lancaster II is expected to have a capacity of 300 MMcf/d with throughput of 200 MMcf/d guaranteed by an Anadarko subsidiary. The partnership anticipates the project will cost $165 million, with 50% spent in 2013 and the remainder spent by early 2015. The new train is expected to begin operating in early 2015.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) have signed a first-ever memorandum of understanding too collaborate on energy research that maximizes investments in innovative technologies for California and the nation, according to CEC Chair Robert Weisenmiller and ARPA-E Deputy Director Cheryl Martin. The collaboration seeks to identify “research related to cutting-edge energy technologies,” which include coordinating funding and technical information.

California lawmakers are considering AB 177 that would mandate a 51% renewable goal by 2030, more stringent than the statutory renewable portfolio standard of 33% by 2020. The bill, authored by Assemblymember V. Manuel Perez, gives lawmakers time to dissect the details, followed by possible passage in 2014. The California Energy Commission has approved rules for public-sector utilities to meet the current 33% RPS standard, which are “critical to reduce our emissions and secure environmental benefits,” said Chair Robert Weisenmiller.

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