The state Senate Environmental Quality Committee on April 12 passed SB 582, which would establish California's first-ever statutory net-negative emissions goal, with a target date of 2035. SB 582, from Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park), also calls for a "just resilience plan" to drive investments in California's most vulnerable communities, according to a news release. The bill, which passed the committee on a 5-2 vote, includes a target of 80 percent below 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions, doubling the state's current goal. It will be heard April 27 by the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.

Pacific Gas & Electric said Wade Smith was named senior vice president of electric operations beginning May 3, and will report to Adam Wright, PG&E's executive vice president of operations and chief operating officer, who joined the company earlier this year. Smith will be responsible for PG&E's electric transmission and distribution operations and maintenance, as well as emergency preparedness and response efforts, the utility said. He spent the past 30 years at Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power, serving in various leadership roles.

Solar and storage developer 174 Power Global signed a 15-year power-purchase agreement with Black Hills Energy on April 7 for the development of a 200-MW, utility-scale solar facility in Pueblo County, Colorado. When completed, BHE will be the offtaker for all of the Turkey Creek Solar generation. Construction should start in 2022, and the facility is projected to be on line in 2023. 174 Power Global, which has offices in Irvine, California, says it has more than 8 GW of solar and 10 GWh of battery storage in development.

McDermott International Ltd. and New Energy Development Co. LLC on April 12 completed the engineering for two 50-MW energy storage projects. Each is described as a "modular, expandable hydrogen facility" capable of producing roughly 24,000 kilograms per day of renewable hydrogen. The companies have not disclosed the location of the facilities. Tom Quine, technology partner for New Energy Development, told California Energy Markets the technology can be integrated with existing grid-scale energy generation and storage facilities, such as natural gas storage in salt caverns, and can be operated as an energy storage asset to continue supplying the grid with clean power when wind or solar generation is not available.

ReneSola Ltd. on April 8 closed the sale of an approximately 10-MW portfolio of Utah solar development projects to Greenbacker Renewable Energy Co. The sale includes three ground-mounted commercial distributed generation sites. The behind-the-meter projects have secured contracts with two undisclosed offtakers. Greenbacker will complete the construction and retain long-term ownership, according to ReneSola. At the end of 2020, Greenbacker purchased Graphite Solar I, an 80-MW AC/104-MW DC project in Carbon County, Utah, which has a PPA with PacifiCorp on behalf of Facebook; and in March, it completed a series of solar-garden projects in rural Colorado with Community Energy.

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