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Monthly Archive: December 2020

FBI Investigating $300 Million Whitefish Deal

first_imgFBI Investigating $300 Million Whitefish Deal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal:Agents from the FBI’s San Juan field office are looking into circumstances surrounding the deal that the public power monopoly known as Prepa signed with Whitefish Energy Holdings LLC, according to the people familiar with the matter.Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló canceled the contract Sunday, saying it had become a distraction from the U.S. territory’s efforts to restore the devastated grid. Only 30% of the island’s power customers have had electricity restored.The Federal Emergency Management Agency, multiple congressional committees and local auditors also have raised concerns and begun requesting documents about the deal.Whitefish, a startup firm based in the remote hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, had roughly 350 subcontracted workers and 2,500 tons of heavy equipment on the ground for restoring electrical lines destroyed in the Category-4 hurricane. But the firm’s small size and limited track record, as well as the terms of the contract, ignited concerns around Puerto Rico’s management of the flow of federal disaster-relief dollars to the island.More ($): FBI Is Probing Puerto Rico Power Contractlast_img read more

Consultants say offshore wind may soon be U.K.’s cheapest renewable resource

first_imgConsultants say offshore wind may soon be U.K.’s cheapest renewable resource FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ReNews:Offshore wind could surpass the onshore sector as the cheapest source of renewable energy in the UK by 2028 without changes to planning regulations, according to new research from consultancy Cornwall Insight.The consultancy bases its analysis on projections for capital costs by technology, fixed and variable operational costs, expected hurdle rates and locational factors, such as transmission losses and connection fees. It also uses the current load factors for offshore wind of 58.4% and 38% for onshore wind.Cornwall Insight said innovations in the offshore sector – such as higher turbines with longer blades – are allowing projects to capture more wind, while planning restrictions on onshore turbine size mean projects cannot take advantage of such improvements.Cornwall Insight senior modeler Tom Edwards said: “The renewable energy market is under a process of transition with onshore wind facing the real prospect of being usurped by its offshore cousin to be the cheapest source of clean power in the not so distance future. Improvements in offshore technology are occurring all the time and for offshore wind increasing the size of turbines is making a significant impact.”With 8MW models currently being deployed, and larger 10MW and 12MW models under development as the technology advances. With these larger economies of scale, it is inevitable that costs will fall.More: Offshore ‘could be cheapest clean power in UK’last_img read more

Rising air conditioning demand threatens to overturn India’s renewables goals

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Economic Times:The growth trajectory of the cooling industry, particularly air conditioning, can become a major roadblock in India’s energy transition to renewables by 2030, according to a study by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).The air conditioning sector is expected to grow at around 10 percent which may present a huge challenge for the integration of renewables in the energy system because much of the country’s residential cooling demand falls at night when solar is not available, it said.“The growth trajectory of cooling, in particular air conditioning, is expected to be particularly rapid, at about 10 per cent per year,” the research paper titled “Understanding India’s electricity sector transition to renewables” said.India’s electricity demand is projected to grow at 6 per cent per year between now and 2030, reaching about 2040 trillion watt hour (TWh) of grid-based electricity demand. Taking into account the projected transmission and distribution (T&D) losses and auto-consumption, national generation requirements would be on the order of 2400 TWh.This growth rate in itself presents a challenge to substantially increase the share of renewables, requiring an extremely rapid rate of capacity addition to meet incremental demand growth.“Scenarios studying the grid integration of renewables clearly show that the need for power system flexibility is projected to grow significantly under ambitious scenarios for the increase in renewables,” said the paper.While total demand is projected to double by 2030, the need for daily balancing which is shifting energy within a day to balance the variability in solar output, is also projected to grow six-fold by 2030. The available supply of flexibility is expected to exceed by the mid-2020s, posing an absolute constraint on the growth of renewables, unless proactive measures are taken to increase the flexibility of the power system.An analysis of the grid integration challenge of variable renewables in India clearly show that this transformation will be unachievable unless substantial progress is made in developing a comprehensive portfolio of flexibility options.More: India’s energy transition to renewables: Air conditioning to pose a key challenge Rising air conditioning demand threatens to overturn India’s renewables goalslast_img read more

Moody’s: Problems mounting for U.S. coal industry

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mining.com:US domestic demand for thermal coal will fall in the near term as individual states shut down much of the industrial economy to try and stem the coronavirus pandemic, and as slowing economic activity cuts US electricity demand in the second quarter of 2020, Moody’s Investors Services said Thursday in a research note, adding that it expects an unprecedented shock to the global economy in the first half of 2020.The outlook for coal-fired power plants in the US has darkened over the past few months, Moody’s said, particularly for coal plants in the Mid-Atlantic and the industrial Midwest. These coal plants have been economically challenged for the past few years, generating minimal to negative cash flows. The developments in the past few months have conspired to push them into an even more perilous position, Moody’s asserted.Meanwhile, environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) issues with respect to the coal industry have eroded access to capital for US coal companies, Moody’s noted. Equity and debt trading levels for coal companies have worsened substantially from a trifecta of factors. Moody’s highlighted a weakening export market in the second half of 2019, multiple announcements that major investors would divest coal-related holdings, and the broader weakening that occurred with the global spread of the coronavirus in March 2020.Coal companies have also struggled with recent adverse political developments, including a revised approach to black-lung liabilities that would require them to post more collateral during a weakening market environment, and a recent US Federal Trade Commission ruling against Arch and Peabody’s joint venture in the Powder River Basin that would have helped these compete against alternative fuels.Export thermal markets will continue to fall in 2020, Moody’s said, rather than helping rescue domestic thermal coal producers from weakening domestic demand like in 2017 and 2018. While some producers still have contracts established during stronger market conditions, and cash costs vary significantly for each mining operation, coal pricing in Europe will not support a continuation of US exports at 2019 levels, which were themselves down 20% from 2018 levels.While thermal coal prices continue to decline, demand for metallurgical (met) coal used in steelmaking remains uncertain – with clear downside risk.More: ESG issues limit U.S. coal industry’s resistance to pandemic – report Moody’s: Problems mounting for U.S. coal industrylast_img read more

Tesla seeing ‘unprecedented demand’ for battery storage systems

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Tesla Inc. harnessed surging demand for large- and small-scale battery storage systems in the third quarter to boost deliveries by 59% from a year ago to 759 MWh, a new quarterly record, the company reported Oct. 21.The California-based integrated electric vehicle, energy storage and solar company could have delivered higher volumes were it not constrained by a lack of lithium-ion battery cells.Still, through three quarters of the year, Tesla has deployed nearly as much energy storage as it did in all of 2019, a year in which it delivered more storage than in all prior years combined.Tesla’s pre-assembled Megapack product for utility-scale projects “is going to be a large growth segment for the business,” R.J. Johnson, head of Tesla’s energy business, said on the call.PG&E Corp. subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is using the Megapack at its 182.5-MW/730-MWh Tesla Moss Landing Battery Energy Storage Project (Elkhorn) under construction in Monterey County, Calif., part of a rapidly expanding fleet of lithium-ion storage installations in the state.“We have more demand than supply through 2021, and we continue to ramp the product to match unprecedented demand across the globe through 2023 and beyond,” Johnson said. “Our order book is rapidly filling up through 2023 in a multiple-gigawatt-hour scale.”[Garrett Hering]More ($): ‘Unprecedented demand’: Tesla energy storage sales, orders surge to new heights Tesla seeing ‘unprecedented demand’ for battery storage systemslast_img read more

Blue Ridge, Ga.

first_imgPopulation: 1,290Public lands: Appalachian Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail, Deep Hole Forest Service Campground, Toccoa River and Lake Blue Ridge, Upper Toccoa River, Ocoee RiverOutdoor Highlights: Springer Mountain, Cohutta Wilderness, Toccoa River Canoe Trail, Aska Adventure Trails Arealast_img

Trail Mix | July 2017

first_img Embed Audio PlayerPierce EdensThe BonfireUse Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 6:02 Mirrors Wes Swing 5:17 Hold On Me Twisted Pine Sift Envy on the Coast 4:14 3:04 Copy and paste this code to your site to embed. The Luckiest Thief Little Silver 3:53 3:36 4:31 Gone The Savage Radley Purple Tongue Kellen of Troy Alien Invasion Moon Hooch When I Lived in Carolina Kazyak 3:35 2:41 4:54 Promise Not To Leave Cameron Mitchell I’m Not Your Man Sammy Brue 3:47 No Punches Strange Americans 3:44 Drunken Barbers Hand Slaid Cleaves What were the highlights, the milestones, of your teenage years?If your adolescence was anything like mine, you were hoping that cute somebody liked you back, or that first time your folks tossed you the keys to the car, or that you made that team, got that part, or earned that scholarship.Sammy Brue most likely is doing things similar to that. At the same time, he can include sharing the stage with Lucinda Williams, Justin Townes Earle, and Hayes Carll, playing the Newport Folk Festival, and releasing a record produced by John Paul White, of The Civil Wars, and Ben Tanner, of Alabama Shakes on his list, too.And Sammy is just sixteen years old.Yep, you read the correctly. Despite barely being old enough to drive, Sammy Brue is already leaving his mark on the Americana world. With three EPs under his belt, Sammy released his first long player, I Am Nice, last month, and a national tour is in the works.Trail Mix is happy to include “I’m Not Your Man” from this rising star this month.Also featured this month is a tune from Whiskey Shivers. This raucous and rootsy quintet, hailing from Austin, Texas, is poised to finish the summer in a monster way. A tour with guitar whiz Billy Strings is on the horizon, and the band will have a song featured in the new Pitch Perfect 3 film. Big things are certainly happening for this crew.Returning to Trail Mix this month are some of our all time faves. Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Moon Hooch, and Slaid Cleaves all have new records out, and – as always – the mix is excited to feature cuts from each.And be sure to check out new tunes from Wes Swing, Suntrodden, Cameron Mitchell, Kelley Of Troy, The Savage Radleys, The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers, John Dennis, Tom Forest, Kazyak, Pierce Edens, Twisted Pine, Envy On The Coast, and Little Silver.Lots of good stuff coming up on the Trail Mix blog, too. Chats with Strange Americans and Korby Lenker are on tap, as is a profile and ticket giveaway for Deep Roots Mountain Revival in West Virginia.Tune in to these great artists sharing their music with us. Grab a record or two or three. Spread the word. Go see one of these bands live. Pay them back for letting Trail Mix bring their music to you. Cluck Ol’ Hen Whiskey Shivers 6:02 2:56 3:49 4:10 High Is Not The Top Chris Robinson Brotherhood 6:02 Momma Told Me The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers Moonflower Suntrodden 3:22 4:33 The Bonfire Pierce Edens Summer Tom Forest Resurrection Mary John Dennis 3:18 4:57 Northern Lights Korby Lenkerlast_img read more

Quick Hits: Hawk Eyes

first_imgScan The Skies This SeptemberIf Vic Laubach doesn’t have to work and the rain holds off, he is probably at Rockfish Gap, Milepost 0 on the Blue Ridge Parkway counting birds of prey.“When raptors migrate,” explains Laubach, Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch Coordinator, “they all follow common paths, and we can get good population counts.”The same mountain ridges that give us big views act as “leading lines” for migration, providing raptors, like hawks, eagles, vultures, and falcons, the weather conditions needed for long-distance travel. If you’re a bird traveling all the way to South America, says Laubach, “you don’t want to flap your wings the whole time.” Instead, many raptors “kettle” in mesmerizing circles of invisible columns of rising hot air called thermals or soar along slopes when northwesterly winds collide with northeast-southwest ridgelines.August begins with a trickle of birds. Numbers peak for two weeks in September, when thousands of broad-winged hawks can pass in one day. Diversity peaks in October and November, with high numbers of vultures, eagles, sharp-shinned hawks and red-tailed hawks. All that data is compiled with the Hawk Migration Association of North America alongside the data from hundreds of other volunteer hawk watch locations.“We hope it’s [data] being used by scientists,” says Laubach. The reality, he continues, is that data shows downtrending raptor populations resulting from “loss of habitat and food sources,” and those issues will likely be further impacted by climate change. Some changes, however, are more interesting than concerning, like rebounding bald eagle populations and more Mississippi kite sightings.There’s certainly no shortage of places to sit back and watch the skies, but here are five places, north to south, where every fall is hawkwatch season.Hawk Mountain SanctuaryKempton, PAA cornerstone of raptor conservation, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was actually once a hawk hunting ground. Today, the North Lookout at the 2,600-acre preserve is a well-known (read: crowded) hawk watch, so hike to East Rocks instead. Start at the Visitor Center, making a 4-mile loop using the Lookout, Skyline, River of Rocks, and Golden Eagle trails.Rockfish Gap Hawk WatchAfton, VALocated at the Inn at Afton along Blue Ridge Parkway, Laubach sees Rockfish Gap as an accessible option. “Anyone can drive up and look up” to see passing raptors, and volunteers are regularly available to share spotting scopes and information. Laubach enjoys October when diversity means “you could see anything” and the weather starts to cool.Hanging Rock Tower RaptorObservatory, Union, WVHanging Rock Tower, the only official hawk watch site in West Virginia, is high atop Peters Mountains (elevation 4,073’) along the almost-finished, 330-mile Allegheny Trail. The 2-mile round trip hike from Limestone Hill Road to the tower is steep, but you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views and a small, dedicated group of hawkwatchers. Post hawkwatch, stay for the sunset.Mahogany Rock OverlookSparta, NCNo hike necessary at Mahogany Rock Overlook (Milepost 235) where the Blue Ridge Birders set up in the grassy pull off with an almost 360-degree view. Thanks to a few dedicated volunteers, this site became North Carolina’s first official hawk watch in 1986. It’s still a great place to stop and learn a little from regulars.Caesars Head State ParkCleveland, SCThe “Wing Nuts” of the Greenville County Bird Club spend fall hawkwatching at 3,226-foot Caesars Head and its 180-degree view into the South Carolina Piedmont. The Main Overlook is accessible by a short walk from the parking area, where Tim Lee, Naturalist at South Carolina’s Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, recommends looking north back over the ridge to track raptors as they pass over.last_img read more

8th annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival announces full lineup

first_img On-site camping has long been an extremely popular aspect of the festival, with some options already sold out. This year’s Red Wing will feature a new on-site lodging option on Chimney Ridge: luxury glamping in canvas tents by Solid Ground Shelters, on sale now on the festival’s ticketing page. Also new for this year, the Chimney Ridge camping area will have improved transportation options to the festival venues, trails down to the park, and facilities up on the ridge.  The Red Wing Roots Music Festival is excited to announce a full lineup for the eighth edition of the Shenandoah Valley’s best music festival, held each July at Natural Chimneys Park in Mount Solon, Va. This year’s festival will take place from July 10-12, 2020.  Since it began in 2013, Red Wing has emphasized great music, great food and great fun for the entire family in the great outdoors. This year, the festival will once again feature musical performances on five stages, along with the region’s finest food trucks with options for craft beer, cider, and wine. Outdoor activities include a kids’ climbing wall and play area, organized bike rides and group runs, as well as morning yoga sessions beneath the rock towers at Natural Chimneys Park.  In addition to festival hosts and local favorites, The Steel Wheels, festival headliners include The Mavericks, Sarah Jarosz, Billy Strings and Asleep At The Wheel. center_img Also among the 40-plus artists scheduled to appear at Red Wing this summer are Hiss Golden Messenger, Son Little, Tim O’Brien Band, Peter Rowan’s Free Mexican Airforce w/ Los Texmaniacs and Dustbowl Revival. Visit the full line up at www.redwingroots.com/2020-line-up/.  As in recent years, festival tickets have been selling quickly. Less than 1,000 three-day tickets are still available. A limited number of single-day tickets will go on sale the first of June and likely will not last long.  For tickets and more information, visit www.redwingroots.com.last_img read more

Trail Dames Summit: An Exploration of Self and the Outdoors

first_img“Even though I didn’t know anyone and it was a scary because I didn’t know what it was all about, you all were very welcoming,” she said. “I changed my view about my hiking and hike my own hike mentality.  So today I wore my Trail Dames summit shirt as I completed 500 miles walking/hiking this year! Even though most of you are a continent away from Southern California, I hike with you in mind.” “I thought of warmer days, sunny skies, and the laughter of women ringing out over the trail,” Huthmaker said. Anna “Mud Butt” Huthmaker started Trail Dames in 2011 after her own experience hiking the Appalachian Trail. Seeing the community of hikers on the trail, she started planning a conference that would bring together women from across the country to share in a love for the outdoors. This year’s conference will feature speakers, clinics, hikes, and more. Listen to the experiences of women who hiked El Camino de Santiago in Spain, the Himalayas in Bhutan, and the 4,000-foot White Mountains in New Hampshire. Learn how to prepare for an overnight trip, how to tie useful knots, and how to take care of yourself out on the trail. Get outside and moving with other trail lovers in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  Spend your weekend amongst a supportive group of women at the 2020 Summit: A Woman’s Exploration of Self and the Outdoors.  Why: Get inspired for your next trip on the trail with informative sessions and a great atmosphere! Don’t forget to bring the gear you no longer use to participate in the gear swap. It’s a great way to find your gently used gear a new home. Take home something during the silent auction or from the author and vendor area.  When: June 26-28 Registration for the summit includes lodging for Friday and Saturday night, five meals, and all of the scheduled activities. Located between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll be staying in the dorms at Western Carolina University less than a mile from the Tuckasegee River. Where: Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C. An accepting and nonjudgmental organization, the Trail Dames welcome women of all abilities to grow individually and together at their hiking and backpacking conference this summer, taking place in Cullowhee, N.C. on June 26-28. “I promise it is so much fun, and I learned a lot even though I’ve hiked my whole life,” she said. Another attendee said she went home with some trail yoga moves, an eye towards mindfulness, and a new foot balm recipe.  Whether you are a beginner hiker looking for tips on getting started or an experienced trail blazer with more than 5,000 miles under your belt, the Trail Dames Summit is for you.  Who: Anyone who identifies as a woman and enjoys getting outside “Little Bear,” a 2018 summit attendee, walked away from the experience with a renewed energy for hiking.  For more information about the Trail Dames and the 2020 conference, visit traildamessummit.com. Stay tuned for more information on the keynote speaker and clinics coming soon.  last_img read more