December 2020

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Colstrip Operator Talen Energy Wants Out

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From KTVQ Helena:The operator of the four coal-fired power plants at Colstrip told plant owners Monday it plans to exit as operator within two years, MTN News has learned.State Sens. Jim Keane and Duane Ankney confirmed Monday they’d been told Talen Energy of Allentown, Pa., informed the plants’ utility owners that it no longer wants to operate the power plants in southeastern Montana.Ankney, of Colstrip, also said Talen has asked to “expedite” its request to expedite as plant operator, and possibly quit its role earlier than two years.“What the owners have to do is figure out what they’re going to do, if someone within the owner group is going to step up as operators,” he told MTN News.News of Talen’s exit is the latest in a string of negative developments for the Colstrip power plants, which employ 360 people and generate up to 2,000 megawatts of power consumed throughout Montana and the West.Talen, which also owns part of Colstrip 1 and 2 and sells Colstrip-generated power on the wholesale market, told state officials earlier this month it is losing money on the plants and has been trying to sell its interest.Environmentalists have targeted the plants as a major emitter of greenhouse gases, arguing for their eventual closure.State legislatures in Oregon and Washington this year also passed bills that are designed to hasten or make it easier for utilities in those states to stop providing coal-fired power from the Colstrip plants.Full article: Colstrip, MT power-plant operator plans to quit in two years Colstrip Operator Talen Energy Wants Outlast_img read more


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Economics of Navajo Plant Undercut by Steady, Low Natural Gas Prices

first_imgEconomics of Navajo Plant Undercut by Steady, Low Natural Gas Prices FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Republic:Two investment firms are considering a joint purchase of the Navajo Generating Station coal-fired power plant near Page, but time is running out to strike a deal.The power plant is scheduled to close in December 2019, which also will prompt the closure of the Kayenta Mine about 80 miles away. Peabody Energy runs the Kayenta Mine and has hired Lazard, a financial advisory firm, to find a buyer for the power plant to keep the mine in business.Emails between Lazard and the Central Arizona Project, which currently uses most of the power from the coal plant, were made public recently by a Cleveland research group called the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. It’s unclear how the institute got the emails, but a CAP official confirmed their authenticity.The emails show that Lazard set up an early April meeting with CAP to talk about the canal purchasing power from the coal plant if it were to be run by Avenue Capital Group and Middle River Power. Avenue Capital is based in New York and focuses on “distressed” investments. Middle River Power is based in Illinois and is an investment company that buys power plants Neither Avenue Capital nor Middle River Power could be reached for comment.Salt River Project and the other electric companies that own the plant said they decided to close it because they can get cheaper power from natural-gas plants. SRP has said it will work with any potential buyer to turn the plant over and keep it running after that date, but warned this week that if a deal isn’t struck by mid-May, a sale probably couldn’t be completed by closing time.David Schlissel, director of resource planning analysis for the Cleveland-based institute that released the emails, has written that the coal plant faces dim prospects despite the efforts to keep it running.Schlissel said it makes no sense that Arizona regulators would try to save the plant. “Without causing a lot of pain, I don’t see how you make that plant economic,” Schlissel said. “And by pain, I mean legislators and regulators making customers buy above-market power.”He said there’s little chance gas prices will rise enough even five years or more down the road to justify keeping the plant open. “Using the same argument, you could say, ‘Geez, we ought to have horse and buggies all around in case the price of gas goes up,’” he said.He also cautioned that if the investment firms purchase the plant, it’s likely their business plan will be to make a quick profit and sell or close the facility. “My understanding is they do quick turnarounds and try to get out of plants,” he said. “Even if Navajo is purchased by these companies, there is no guarantee it is going to be around for five years. I would think it probably won’t be.”More: Two Buyers Are Considering Purchase Of Navajo Coal Plant, But Time Is Running Outlast_img read more


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Blackjewel files for bankruptcy, sends workers home from two Powder River Basin coal mines

first_imgBlackjewel files for bankruptcy, sends workers home from two Powder River Basin coal mines FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Casper Star Tribune:Two coal mines in Wyoming closed and sent 700 workers home Monday afternoon after their owner filed for bankruptcy, the latest blow to a region that has been battered by an economic downturn in the fossil fuel sector.Blackjewel LLC, which operates Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines near Gillette, sent the workers home after a bank denied the company $20 million in financing to continue operations during bankruptcy proceedings, CEO Jeffery Hoop said.Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr are the fourth- and sixth-largest producing coal mines in the country. The sudden closure hearkens back to March 2016, when two nearby mines laid off more than 460 workers, touching off economic shock waves that are still being felt in the Powder River Basin today.Blackjewel owes at least $500 million in liabilities, including about $6 million owed to employees, according to court documents. Its financial problems, along with much of the coal sector, come amid increased competition from natural gas and renewables. “The ripple effect of this bankruptcy might be felt severely (by) Wyoming taxpayers and vendors,” said Clark Williams-Derry, director of energy finance at Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based environmental think tank. “And the millions upon millions of dollars Campbell (County) is owed, they might not get.”Blackjewel is the fifth coal producer in Wyoming to file for bankruptcy in recent years. Bristol, Tennessee-based Alpha Natural Resources filed for bankruptcy in 2015, followed by Peabody Energy and Arch Coal in 2016. Westmoreland Coal, which operates the Kemmerer Mine in southwest Wyoming, filed for bankruptcy in October. In May, Cloud Peak Energy declared bankruptcy. The coal giant owns the Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines in the Powder River Basin.More: Two Wyoming coal mines close, send 700 workers home after bankruptcy filinglast_img read more


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Oil-rich Gulf nations getting serious about adding solar

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:The oil-rich nations that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council are racing to get more solar generation capacity into the development pipeline.Having just commissioned the 1.18 GW Noor Abu Dhabi project – believed to be the largest single PV facility in the world – the Emirates Water and Electricity Company of Abu Dhabi is expecting to receive bids for its next, huge 1.5 GW solar park next month. The emirati utility is also considering including large-scale battery storage in the ambitious project.Dubai, one of the leading renewables developers in the Gulf, is advancing plans for the fifth stage of the sprawling Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The latest phase comprises 900 MW more solar and major global players including Jinko Power, Engie, ACWA Power, Marubeni and a consortium effort by Masdar and EDF are among the developers lining up to submit offers next month.Within this fast-growing market, other Gulf nations are finally coming on board. Qatari utility Kahramaa has received offers for its 800 MW tender and the official contract award is expected by the end of the month. The Kuwait National Petroleum Company has received engineering, procurement and construction bids for an enormous new 1.25 GW project. The two facilities will be the first of their size in Qatar and Kuwait, possibly signaling the first shift of focus in the power sector away from fossil fuels.Having dragged its heels in the past, even the world’s second largest oil producer appears to be starting to take renewables seriously. After reaching competitive prices on its Skaka project, the Renewable Energy Project Development Office of Saudi Arabia is tendering six new projects spread around the kingdom with a total generation capacity of 1.5 GW. Oman, meanwhile, is continuing bold plans to tender a further 1.1 GW in two developments.Analysts are closely monitoring the results of that raft of tenders as the region has traditionally delivered world-record low prices for solar power. The new wave of tenders is expected to be no exception, given the size of the projects will boost economies of scale just as technological advancements including the use of bifacial modules enhance yields.More: Does slew of solar mega tenders mean Gulf nations are belatedly accepting the inevitable? Oil-rich Gulf nations getting serious about adding solarlast_img read more


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Nevada regulators consider plan to require 1,000MW of battery storage statewide by 2030

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) is considering adopting a 1,000 MW statewide energy storage target for utilities for the end of 2030, crafting a proposal more than two years after the legislature passed a bill directing it to look into storage goals.The commission’s proposal would create biennial targets, beginning with 100 MW by the end of 2020 and then ramping up to 400 MW and 800 MW by 2024 and 2028, respectively. Utilities would be required to file progress updates with the commission beginning in 2022.The proposal, which was submitted to the state Legislative Counsel Bureau on Nov. 26, could be finalized sometime in early or mid-2020, according to Cameron Dyer, staff attorney with the Western Resource Advocates’ (WRA) clean energy program.Increasing its storage capacity is also critical to Nevada’s renewables goals. In April, the state legislature passed a bill requiring 50% of electricity to be generated from renewable resources by 2030, up from a 25% RPS target by 2025. The bill also sets the state on a trajectory towards being 100% carbon-free by 2050.The storage proposal was crafted through a stakeholder process that included the U.S. Energy Storage Alliance and WRA, and was submitted to the commission by NV Energy. The 1,000 MW target might have seemed ambitious in 2017, but is much more attainable today thanks to the shrinking cost of batteries and the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that applies to batteries coupled with solar energy, according to Dyer.In June, NV Energy proposed to procure 590 MW of energy storage as part of an amendment to its integrated resource plan. The commission will vote on this proposal on Wednesday and, if approved, it will put the state seven years ahead of schedule on its proposed storage target. [Kavya Balaraman]More: Nevada PUC floats proposal for 1,000 MW storage target by 2030 Nevada regulators consider plan to require 1,000MW of battery storage statewide by 2030last_img read more


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East meets West

first_imgWell, I have made the long journey across the country, and am typing this from the beautiful town of Buena Vista, Colorado.  This is the beginning of a pretty exciting competition tour for me, and I will be attending the following events:May 30-June 3 Teva Mountain Games (Vail, CO)June 8 North Fork Championships (Boise, ID)June 16 Red Bulle Divide & Conquer (Vancouver, BC)I am already struggling to adjust to the mountain climate a bit.  My lungs don’t work quite the same at the 9500 foot elevation of Homestake Creek as they do in downtown Asheville at 2130 feet.  Regardless of the challenges, there are a number of Southeast athletes that are going to make waves and represent the Blue Ridge this summer in adventure sports competition.  Here are a few to keep an eye out for:Mike TavaresMike was featured in the May article about Stand Up Paddling, and he is a rep and professional paddleboarder for Boardworks.  Hailing from Chattanooga, TN, he is at the cutting edge of the sport’s entrance to whitewater rivers, and he will be a strong contender at the Teva Mountain Games.  We’ll see if he can upset Dan Gavere, the reigning king of whitewater paddleboarding!Dane JacksonThe middle child in the Jackson family lineage, Dane is about as dominant force in the sport of freestyle kayaking as it gets.  Now 18, Dane is already two for two in Pro competitions for the year.  His smooth style is difficult for competitors to match, and he will surely be a good bet for all of the Colorado freestyle events this year.Bryan KirkThis Fayetteville, WV local represents the ultimate blend of versatility.  He is a multi-time US National Freestyle Team Member, and his forward stroke and smooth style is just as likely to crush all takers at any extreme race that he enters.  Bryan balances this with his management of the Wave Sport Kayaks pro team.Andrew HolcombeAndrew is a two time winner of the prestigious Green River Narrows Race, and he makes everyone pretty nervous when he shows up at any event.  Keep an eye out for Andrew at the North Fork Championships in Idaho.  This event promises to be some of the most difficult whitewater ever raced, and there is not a competitor in the 30 invited athletes who is not extremely nervous.If any of our readers do happen to be out West this summer, absolutely come and say hello at any of these events.  I’ll be competing in the kayak races and then making a fool of myself in the SUP events!Good lines,Chrislast_img read more


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Festival Recap: Arise 2018 + Sustainability Efforts

first_imgBy far one of the most eco-friendly events we attend throughout the festival season, Arise Festival sets a standard for conscientious gathering.“ARISE is renowned for bold and progressive “global cooling” initiatives, such as a long-held commitment to planting one tree with every ticket sold, staging a pre-festival permaculture training, local sourcing, an organic farmer’s market in the campground, and a leave-no-trace ethos.”We experienced all of these initiatives first hand while at the festival. It’s not easy to put on such a large scale event and keep your environmental impact low. We wanted to highlight these efforts below so perhaps other festivals can follow suit and continue to ‘green’ their events.Planting one tree with every ticket soldArise partners with Trees, Water & People each year to plant one tree for every ticket to the festival sold. TWP is a nonprofit organization founded in 1998 by Stuart Conway and Richard Fox. They encourage local people to play active roles in protecting, conserving and managing their natural resources for long-term well-being.Pre-Festival Permaculture TrainingA host of extremely experienced and knowledgeable experts guide participants through three days of permaculture education. In the three days prior to the festival, attendees attend workshops that focus on “regenerating ecology and exploring community building through action-oriented organizing.” You can learn about Natural Building, Rainwater Harvesting, Earthworks, and Forest Gardening for the first two days, then put your knowledge into action with the Permaculture Action Day. This is a great way to kick off your festival!Local SourcingLocal sourcing is a form of acquiring goods needed for a business (or festival) from the area directly around the enterprise. With Arise being on Sunrise Ranch, it was a wonderful idea for them to utilize this method of sourcing. Although, I’m sure there are plenty of items (wristbands, lighting equipment etc.) that make local sourcing harder for the festival. Congrats to Arise creators for sticking to their guns and supporting the Colorado economy.Organic Famers Market in the CampgroundOh, what a wonderful way to restock on vegetables and produce throughout the festival. You could purchase fresh food right in the campground, from the land you were currently camping on. This is unique to this festival. So far, we haven’t been to another that sells produce directly from the lands the festival is held on. Leave-No-Trace EthosArise Festival paired with Zero Hero, a Colorado-based recycling and composting company, to keep the event LNT friendly. Zero Hero makes recycling, trash management, and composting achievable and easy. You may have seen their three option “trash, recycle, compost” pop-ups at recent events.These weren’t the only things Arise did to keep the event green. Check out the list from their site for more acts of greenness. We had a wonderful time at Arise. We are happy to see that even as the event grows, they aren’t shying away from keeping it eco-conscious. In fact, they are emphasizing it even more. We hope to bring some of the practices we saw at Arise to other festivals we attend along the tour.Up next we have Mountain Town Music Festival at Keystone. It will be a day of all things Colorado. Warm summer days, free live music from national acts and the harvest season for our colorful state. See you there!There is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors that make this happen: Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click here to enter for a chance to winlast_img read more


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Swimmers advised to avoid Virginia’s Lake Anna due to harmful algae bloom

first_imgAlgae blooms can occur when warm water and nutrients combine to make conditions favorable for algae growth. Most algae species are harmless; however some species may produce irritating compounds or toxins. Avoid discolored water or scums that are green or blueish-green because they are more likely to contain toxins.  Avoid allowing children or pets to drink from natural bodies of water.Keep children and pets out of areas experiencing a harmful algae bloom and quickly wash them off with plenty of fresh, clean water after coming into contact with algae scum or bloom water.If you or your animals experience symptoms after swimming in or near an algae bloom, seek medical/veterinarian care.To ensure fish fillets are safe to eat, properly clean fish by removing skin and discarding all internal organs and cooking fish to the proper temperature. Swimmers and other water sport enthusiasts are warned to avoid certain branches of Lake Anna because of a toxic algae bloom. The Middle Pamunkey Branch, Upper Pamunkey Branch, Terry’s Run and the Upper North Anna Branch of Lake Anna are all effected. The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in these areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels, the Virginia Department of Health said in a news release.  Photo: The health department advises people to avoid discolored water or scums that are green or bluish-green as they could produce irritating compounds or toxins. Image: Wikimedia Water samples taken at collection sites within the aforementioned areas exceeded safe swimming levels of harmful algae, called cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. People and pets are advised to avoid swimming, windsurfing and stand-up-paddle-boarding as well as other activities that pose a risk of ingesting water or exposure to skin, the news release said. Lake Anna is located about 72 miles south of DC and is one of the largest freshwater inland reservoirs in Virginia, covering an area of 13,000 acres. To prevent illness, people should:last_img read more


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Colombia Extradites ‘Queen of Amphetamines’ to U.S.

first_imgBy Dialogo January 11, 2011 Colombia turned over a woman known as “the queen of amphetamines” to US authorities on 7 January to face drug trafficking charges in New York, police said. Beatriz Elena Henao, 45, arrested September 1, 2009, was extradited along with two other Colombians wanted in the United States on money-laundering charges. Police said Henao rose to prominence as a multi-lingual wheeler and dealer who during the 1990s shipped more than 300,000 units of amphetamines to the United States, Spain and the Netherlands. “She speaks English, Dutch, German and Spanish, which made it easier for her to manage trade with drug traffickers in other countries,” the police said. Henao’s two sons are also in jail, one in the Netherlands after being caught with amphetamines at an airport in Stockholm, and the other in Spain, where he was extradited to face homicide charges.last_img read more


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Brazilian President Praises Military World Games

first_imgBy Dialogo July 19, 2011 “In addition to the military’s premier sporting event, (the 5th Military World Games) it is also the third largest sporting event in the world after the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. Therefore, they serve as preparation for the World Cup and the Olympics.” That’s what Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, said in her weekly radio show “Coffee with the President.” The Games, which are taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 24, has the participation of more than 100 countries and 6,000 athletes, and is organized by the International Military Sports Council (CISM). The president of Brazil commended the joint work of civil and military societies.last_img