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Another Coal Plant Closes in Upper Midwest

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wisconsin Public Radio:An energy company is shuttering another coal-fired power plant in Wisconsin. WEC Energy is closing its plant in Green Bay, and it comes on the heels of the company closing another facility in Pleasant Prairie.The Green Bay closure isn’t a surprise, the company announced its plans to shutter the plant last year. But now the company has come out with an updated timeline, saying after 90 years of operation, the Pulliam Power Plant in Green Bay will “retire” by the end of 2018. WEC is the parent company of We Energies — which announced earlier this week it will close its plant in Pleasant Prairie — and Wisconsin Public Service, which runs the Pulliam plant.WPS Spokesman Matt Cullen said market forces are also behind the decision to close Pulliam by the end of next year. Low natural gas prices and large-scale solar are making coal less cost effective, Cullen said. He said WEC is making a company-wide effort to move to cleaner energy sources such as solar and wind.“We’re pursuing the purchase from a developer of utility-scale solar. Also, WPS is one of three utilities here in the state who has reached an agreement to purchase the Forward Wind Energy Center down in the Fond Du Lac area.”Cullen said that wind development could generate 57 megawatts of electricity.Forty-six employees work at the Green Bay plant, and Cullen said it’s too early to tell what will happen to those employees once the plant closes.Pulliam, named after J.P. Pulliam, a past president of the company, was built in 1927 and sits at the mouth of the Fox River on the western shore of Green Bay.More: Green Bay’s Pulliam Plant Will ‘Retire’ By End Of 2018 Another Coal Plant Closes in Upper Midwestlast_img read more

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Hybrid wind-solar project in Minnesota may be perfect option for co-ops, municipalities

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Energy News Network:A trailblazing wind-solar hybrid project in western Minnesota could be a preview of what’s to come as renewable developers look for new ways to bolster projects.The project, developed and owned by Juhl Energy, is among the first of its kind in the country to pair wind and solar on the same site. A 2-megawatt turbine and 500-kilowatt solar installation share an inverter and grid connection, reducing equipment costs compared to two separate projects.The pairing is expected to start producing power this month. Lake Region Electric Cooperative in Pelican Rapids, about 30 miles north of Fergus Falls, will buy the power for its approximately 27,000 members.Juhl managing director Clay D. Norrbom said the plug-and-play nature of the system has attracted at least five other customers, including an industrial company in Iowa. Other customer prospects include cooperatives and municipally owned power providers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. He predicts Juhl will build at least three this year.“It opens another market that quite frankly five, 10 or 15 years ago was not there,” Norrbom said. “You couldn’t supply to a municipal co-op. The scale and efficiency weren’t good enough to do that. Now you can go and supply at that distribution voltage something that’s price competitive to the end customers.”The hybrid offers an opportunity to increase capacity. Wind turbines operate at a 50 to 55 percent capacity, Norrbom said, while solar in the Midwest sits at 15 percent. By combining power from both sources, the hybrid reaches a capacity factor of 65 to 70 percent, Norrbom said, at a cost substantially less than what Lake Region pays for electricity from its transmission and generation provider Great River Energy. Juhl decided against adding storage due to cost and regulatory issues, both challenges he predicts will dissipate in the future.More: Wind-solar pairing cuts equipment costs while ramping up output Hybrid wind-solar project in Minnesota may be perfect option for co-ops, municipalitieslast_img read more

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EIA: Coal’s share of U.S. electricity generation to drop below 25% in 2019

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The U.S. Energy Information Administration is expecting domestic coal-fired power generation this year to reach its lowest level in over 70 years.In its Short-Term Energy Outlook released March 12, the federal agency forecasts coal’s share of U.S. generation to fall from 27% in 2018 to an average of 24.6% in 2019 and roughly 23% in 2020 due to markets favoring cheaper natural gas-fired generation. In an accompanying statement, EIA Administrator Linda Capuano said this is the first time since 1949, the earliest year listed in EIA’s “Monthly Energy Review,” that coal-fired generation will fall below 25% of all power generation.The EIA expects the share of utility-scale electricity generation produced by natural gas-fired power plants to continue to rise from 35% in 2018 to 37% in 2019 and 2020. Nuclear generation’s share will stay near its 2018 level of 19% for both 2019 and 2020, while hydropower’s share is forecast to average slightly less than 7% in 2019 and in 2020, as it had been in 2018.Capuano said the EIA continues to expect wind to overtake hydropower as the leading source of renewable electricity in the U.S. with forecast shares of 8% in 2019 and 9% in 2020. In total, wind, solar and other non-hydropower renewables are expected to see their share increase from about 10% in 2018 to 11% in 2019 and 13% in 2020.The EIA’s outlook also expects total U.S. electricity production to fall from an average of 11.45 million MWh/d in 2018 to 11.20 million MWh/d in 2019, before increasing to 11.24 million MWh/d in 2020. Overall, the EIA forecast a total decrease in power production of 1.84%, or 0.21 million MWh/d, from 2018 through 2020. The EIA also anticipates that total retail electricity sales will decline from 10.42 million MWh/d in 2018 to an average 10.25 million MWh/d in 2019 before rising to 10.30 million MWh/d in 2020.More ($): EIA expects coal-fired share of power generation to fall below 25% in 2019 EIA: Coal’s share of U.S. electricity generation to drop below 25% in 2019last_img read more

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Siemens Gamesa begins test of thermal storage technology

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewable Energy Magazine:Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has launched an electric thermal energy storage system (ETES) which makes it possible to store large quantities of energy cost-effectively.The heat storage facility utilises around 1,000 tonnes of volcanic rock as an energy storage medium and is fed with electrical energy converted into hot air by means of a resistance heater and blower. When demand peaks, the facility uses a steam turbine for the reelectrification of the stored energy. The pilot plant can thus store up to 130 MWh of thermal energy for a week, the capacity remaining constant throughout the charging cycles.The aim of the pilot plant is to demonstrate the system on the grid and to test the heat storage facility extensively. Siemens Gamesa is planning to use the storage technology in commercial projects and to scale up the capacity and power. The goal is to store energy in the range of several gigawatt hours (GWh) in the near future.Markus Tacke, CEO Siemens Gamesa, added that with the commissioning of the ETES pilot plant, the company has reached an important milestone on the way to introducing high-performance energy storage systems. The technology makes it possible to store electricity for a great many households at low cost, reducing costs for larger storage capacities to a fraction of the usual level for battery storage.The Institute for Engineering Thermodynamics at Hamburg University of Technology and the local utility company Hamburg Energy are partners in the Future Energy Solutions project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. Hamburg University is carrying out research into the thermodynamic fundamentals of the technology. By using standard components, it is possible to convert decommissioned conventional power plants into green storage facilities. Hamburg Energy is marketing the stored energy on the electricity market and is developing highly flexible digital control system platforms for virtual power plants.More: Siemens Gamesa inaugurates innovative electro thermal energy storage system Siemens Gamesa begins test of thermal storage technologylast_img read more

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Shutdown begins at 2,400MW Navajo Generating Station in Arizona, Unit 3 taken out of service

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg Environment:The largest coal plant in the West has shut down one of its three units, marking another step in the plant’s now nearly certain demise.“Unit 3 is indeed offline and will likely remain so unless absolutely needed,” said Scott Harelson, a spokesman for the Salt River Project, which operates the 2,400-megawatt Navajo Generating Station in northeastern Arizona. “This allows us to focus maintenance efforts on the remaining two units while we work to use the remaining coal reserves before we close all the units,” Harelson told Bloomberg Environment.Unit 3, the youngest of NGS’ three units, has been burning coal since it was built in 1976. All three of the plant’s units are the same size, 803 megawatts.The closure on Sept. 19 wasn’t a surprise. Peabody Energy Corp.’s nearby Kayenta Mine sent its last trainload of coal to NGS in late August, according to the company.With no buyers interested in taking over the plant, it is now virtually certain to shut down by Dec. 22, when the current operating lease expires. SRP said in May it wouldn’t entertain any more bids, and it already has begun decommissioning.The plant sits on Navajo land, and the Navajo Nation’s current leadership supports a transition to renewable energy. The tribe announced Sept. 20 the completion of the second phase of its Kayenta Solar generating facility, which pumps out 28 megawatts. Phase one of the plant creates 27.3 megawatts.More: Biggest coal plant in the West closes one of three units Shutdown begins at 2,400MW Navajo Generating Station in Arizona, Unit 3 taken out of servicelast_img read more

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Coming Home

first_imgI spent the first 21 years of my life within a 70-mile radius. Born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia, I only got as far as Charlottesville when it came time to go off to college. As a kid, I took the landscape for granted; as a teenager, I predictably wanted nothing more than to put as many miles as I could between myself and my hometown. It wasn’t until college that I actually came to appreciate this place.That was when I began to notice things that had escaped my attention before. The dusky, metallic smell that comes with the first drops of a summer rain. The deep-space silence of a snowy winter day; the soaring parkway views over grassy valleys and distant, peeling farmhouses nestled in the shadow of the Blue Ridge. The way the Virginia land begins at the sea as a swampy plain and then races west to crumple into mountains. Those mountains themselves, ageless, immovable, and so ingrained in my understanding of the outdoors that anywhere flat, regardless of population or architecture, seems to me desolate and unnerving.But still I wanted to see the world, leave that 70-mile corridor for something utterly foreign. My newfound appreciation of my own surroundings crashed up against my teenage wanderlust, and I knew that I had to see what else was out there, even if it sent me right back to Virginia at the end of it all.So a month before I turned 22, I boarded a plane that took me 7,000 miles away from the only home I’d ever known. When I finally arrived in Busan, South Korea, the sun had set and the city was bathed in the twilight of a neon haze. Glowing red crosses dotted the rooftops above rows of concrete buildings that clustered in the craters among the surrounding mountains like colonies on a distant planet. For the first time, I knew what it was to be away, truly away, from home.As I got to know the place, I never lost the dual sense of the known and the deeply new that can only come with being far from home. The mountains were so familiar, and on some summer days, when the cicadas would shriek and the moist heat would cling to my skin and the clouds would billow over the ridges in thick blankets, I could almost be back in Virginia. But the rocky coast and the Chinese juniper and the itinerant monks who roamed the streets at night, twirling ratchets and calling for alms, always broke that illusion.I spent three years in Korea. I made friends: foreigners and locals. I learned the food and as much as I could of the language. I learned how to teach. I fell in love. I sat up at night and watched the wind rip the leaves from the trees as the light from squid boats shone phosphorescent off in the sea. Oppressive summer; windswept fall; raw, chapped winter; spring with its drizzle driving green shoots from black, rain-slick branches; summer again.I finally returned to Virginia with the Canadian girl I’d fallen in love with. We came back to the last gasps of a Virginia summer. Straight away, I found things I didn’t even realize I’d missed. Trees were one of the most surprising pleasures. Without even realizing it, I had spent nearly three years in a country where I didn’t see a single tree over two or three stories tall. The trees in Virginia were leafy and impossibly massive: great, ancient behemoths bursting with fractal branches and broad, variegated leaves. The sky was another surprise. Vast and filled with enormous, kingly cumuli and scraggly tussocks of cirrus, the sky bled crimson and orange and purple as day gave way to night. I hadn’t even noticed in all that time that in neon Busan, the sun just fizzled and died each night.None of this is to say that Korea didn’t have its natural beauty—far from it, the country is filled with mountains tumbling dramatically into the sea. But it wasn’t the beauty I had grown up with.Two days after getting off the plane from Korea for the last time, I went walking along the trails around the Potomac with my parents and that Canadian girl, the one I’d soon marry. I let them go on ahead while I slowed my pace through a meadow that ran right up to the river. A small sea of waist-high grass roiled in the wind. Bullrushes quivered at water’s edge, and a florid smell hung heavy in the air. For the first time in three years, I felt a sense of permanence. A rabbit stirred in the grass and then froze. I was home.last_img read more

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The Red Bull Back 40

first_imgDear Red Bull, First, let me just say I love your product. And I’m not just kissing your ass here. Those little 8-ounce cans of go-juice have been fueling my half-baked ideas for more than a decade. Love it. Never change a thing.Second, you totally need to sponsor my backyard.I know what you’re thinking: “Strange little man, we sponsor athletes, not quarter-acre suburban lots full of scrub brush and questionable drainage slopes.”It’s a valid point, and I’m glad you brought it up. You’re absolutely right. To my knowledge, Red Bull has never sponsored a backyard before. You’re not a landscaping company, after all. But this is no ordinary backyard. This is an oasis of adventure. A testing ground where the rules of gravity and limits of lactic acid are constantly questioned. This is where the envelope is pushed, baby.Granted, at a mere .23 acres, the footprint is compact, but the yard lives large. Where other suburban dads have quaint fire pits, I have a towering inferno in the middle of a 20-foot gap jump. Instead of a shed full of lawnmowers and edgers, you’ll find a winch-cat for grooming the winter freestyle park.  Are you starting to comprehend the gravity of my backyard? Take a little bit of Mount Hood, a bit of British Columbia singletrack, a smidge of Yosemite granite…shrink it down to less than an acre, and you’ll begin to understand what I’m talking about.Of course, most of The Red Bull Back 40 is still in the development stage. (Notice I’ve already given you title sponsorship as an act of good faith.) I’m currently in the midst of phase one–building a 30-foot high climbing wall up the side of my back deck that has begun to put a serious strain on my bank account.And the wall is just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s what’s in the pipeline for The Red Bull Back 40:Half Dome: The aforementioned 30-foot high climbing wall with 2,000-square feet climbing surface that moves from slab (for the kids) to vertical to overhang to straight up roof.The Free Fall: A 90-foot zipline with a drop that would never pass any sort of safety code.Jump-a-Looza: A dirt jump park complete with a foam pit (for practicing back flips) and fire pit gap jump (for impressing the neighbors). In the winter, snowblowers will be installed to turn this mountain bike jump park into a freestyle ski and snowboard park.Little Pisgah: A half-mile of burly singletrack laden with rocks and log drops. Keep in mind the minimal real estate available to me, so the singletrack can be a bit intestinal at times.Slack-vill: A 30-foot Slackline that can be strung over the foam pit or the fire pit, depending on your mood.The Red Bull Tiki Bar: An understated point of relaxation/recharging with thatch roof, handmade bamboo bar, and mini fridge stocked with Red Bull and Grey Goose vodka. And a hot tub. Because what’s a tiki bar without a hot tub?Total cost to you: $200,042. For an extra $62,000, we can install a mini-lift system that will take bikers and zip-liners back to the top of my yard. It’s a luxury item, I know, but it adds a bit of cache, don’t you think?Obviously, I can’t foot that sort of bill on my own. I’m a writer in the outdoor industry. I get paid in backpacks and wicking t-shirts. Many people would look at this exorbitant price tag and give up on their paper-napkin sketches and pipe dreams of a backyard glory. But I’m not most people. I’m a firm believer that when God closes a door, he opens a window, and it’s up to me to jump through that window without thinking twice and pray to that window-opening God that there’s something relatively soft on the other side to break my fall. Red Bull, I want you to jump through that window with me. I’m hoping your cash will break our fall.Ask yourself, aren’t you tired of sponsoring rally-car driving success stories and overly-tattooed skate boarders? Earth to corporate suits: we’re tired of seeing people summit Mount Everest and surf massive swells. Defying gravity by BASE Jumping with a Wingsuit is so last year. What’s really inspiring is real athletes (or in my case, really bad athletes) taking a chance with their marriage and homeowners association by installing state of the art training facilities in their tiny-assed backyards. That’s extreme. That’s Red Bull.You’re probably wondering what sort of exposure you’d get by sponsoring some dude’s privately owned adventure park that’s tucked safely behind a 12-foot-high privacy fence. Another great question, and I’m glad you asked it. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m a popular guy. I literally have dozens of people randomly drop by my house on an annual basis. And the demographic base is astonishingly wide. Mormon kids looking to chat. Dad-neighbors needing to borrow tools. Our babysitter. The list goes on. Each of these people knows dozens of other people. And each of those people knows dozens of people…you can see how quickly the word of mouth buzz will build once solid foot traffic is established. My babysitter alone has like, 200 Facebook friends.Now, to sweeten the deal, I’m also willing to open The Red Bull Back 40 to all sponsored Red Bull athletes as a training ground and Red Bull “hotspot” if they’re ever in the Historic Montford neighborhood and in need of an uber-caffeinated beverage and quick romp through the jump park. Think of it as a safe-house of sorts. We have a guest bedroom in the basement that your athletes are welcome to use in exchange for babysitting hours as well.The ball’s in your court, Red Bull. I look forward to our future partnership.Sincerely,Graham Averilllast_img read more

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Season Three: On the Road Again

first_imgThat’s right, folks. I’m hitting the road again for season three of Live Outside and Play, and this time, I have a special someone for the ride!_MG_2790Meet Adam Ritter, the Logistics Coordinator and Brand Ambassador for Live Outside and Play. Adam is the perfect copilot, my personal partner-in-crime, and possibly the best ambassador a brand could ever ask for. He’s thru-hiked both the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail in just under 200 days, never shies away from an adventure, and lives life to the fullest. Help welcome Adam to the program, and follow along in his own ramblings on his Instagram account @ajr1tter.As if having a partner this year wasn’t exciting enough, we are also psyched to announce that we are venturing beyond the Blue Ridge this year to the wild state of Colorado!! This year, Blue Ridge Outdoors has partnered with our sister publication, Elevation Outdoors, to bring you our first cobranded festival circuit. You can find Adam and I at 20 outdoor events and music festivals all around the Southeast/Mid-Atlantic states, as well as throughout Colorado. We’ll be east-side in the spring and fall months, and out west in the summer, so keep in touch! We’d love to meet up with you on the road, give you a tour of our van, and most importantly, go outside and play.A big thanks to our awesome sponsors, without whom this program would not be possible!Title SponsorLa SportivaSupporting SponsorsLifeStrawDeLormeCrazy Creek ProductsIceMule CoolersENOFarm To FeetMountain Houselast_img read more

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Roberto Carlos Launches in Miami Tour Celebrating His Fifty Years in Music

first_imgBy Dialogo April 15, 2010 Brazilian balladeer Roberto Carlos will launch Saturday in Miami an international tour with which he is celebrating his fifty-year career and the countless musical successes that made him the Latino artist with the record for worldwide sales. Roberto Carlos Braga Moreira, sixty-eight years old, got his start in 1960 as a pop singer influenced by the Beatles, and in subsequent years his melancholy and romantic style made him enormously famous in Brazil and the rest of the continent. With successes like “A Million Friends,” “Lady Laura,” “A Cat in the Dark,” “What Will Become of You,” and “Jesus Christ,” Roberto Carlos is a prolific artist who has sold more than 100 million records around the world, has provided music for several films, and has recorded in Portuguese, Spanish, English, French, and Italian, the record company Sony announced. Before the opening show in Miami, Sony will present a recognition award to Roberto Carlos at its headquarters in New York, the company indicated. After Miami, Roberto Carlos will continue the tour celebrating a half century in music with performances in New York and other U.S. cities, several cities in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Canada, and Costa Rica.last_img read more

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Nicaragua Eliminates Last Vestige Of War With Removal Of Antipersonnel Mines

first_imgBy Dialogo June 23, 2010 With the removal of 179,000 antipersonnel mines scattered throughout its territory, Nicaragua has closed one of the most painful chapters of its postwar period, which killed and mutilated dozens of victims over the last twenty-one years, military spokespersons announced. The mines laid in 74 of Nicaragua’s 153 municipalities have been removed, AFP was told by military spokesman Col. Juan Morales, for whom this puts an end to “a vestige of the war” that caused pain to 1,278 affected individuals, counting both those wounded and those killed, the majority of them civilians. Nicaragua, a signatory to international agreements to eliminate landmines, has also destroyed another 133,435 that it had in storage, according to official figures. With the demining of Nicaragua, Central America is now “free of antipersonnel mines,” according to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) in Geneva, an unofficial body that works to eradicate weapons of this kind around the world. Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega, in a ceremony with Nicaraguan and foreign guests, declared the fulfillment of the demining plan, but warned that “there is a risk” that some landmines still remain. If people find strange objects, “they should not touch them” and should notify the army, he indicated. The Humanitarian Demining Program, which cost about 82.19 million dollars, was implemented without interruption from 1994 to 1 May this year, with international assistance. Although the war between ‘Contras’ and Sandinistas officially ended on 27 June 1990, peasants continued to be imprisoned in their own communities by landmines on their outskirts. The Nicaraguan Army estimates that demining will benefit nearly two million people in these areas. These explosives were laid for the most part along sectors of Nicaragua’s borders with Honduras and Costa Rica and in the interior of the country to protect electrical transmission towers, bridges, and landing strips.last_img read more

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