AES, Siemens Partnership Is Big News for Batteries

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The first storage supergroup has arrived.Fluence, the new joint venture from major industry players Siemens and AES Energy Storage, kicked off operations in the new year. The company is positioning itself as a global heavyweight system provider capable of tackling everything from commercial projects up to the rarefied “100 megawatt club.”The pairing combines AES’ decade of experience developing large utility-scale storage with Siemens’ commercial expertise and global sales presence. The company announced a dedicated project financing program from Siemens Financial Services, which will simplify and shorten the timeline to finance upcoming projects. That could prove to be a key differentiator in a young industry that still struggles with readily available financing.The company also rolled out a new product [SunFlex] optimized for the budding solar-plus-storage market.Fluence’s first big contract will sound familiar to anyone watching the utility-scale storage scene in recent years: it’s the 100-megawatt/ 400 megawatt-hour project for Southern California Edison in Long Beach. AES won the contract to build that project back in 2014. The system, which will sit inside its own building at the Alamitos Power Center, needs to come online by 2021 as California’s once-through cooling plants shut down.Experience working on the largest scale of storage deployments sets Tesla and AES apart from the competition. Additional firms may rise to that scale in the coming years, but in the meantime, Fluence hopes to distinguish itself with a global sales team and many years of experience building storage in different markets.More: AES, Siemens Partnership Is Big News for Batterieslast_img read more

Risks mount for coal worldwide

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Capital Projects and Contracts:While President Donald Trump continues his efforts to revive the coal industry, governments across the Atlantic are vowing to crack down on greenhouse gas pollution and stop the use of the fossil fuel.Gonzalo Garcia, the global co-head of natural resources at Goldman Sachs Group, believes that Western Europe may already have built its last coal-fired power plant; and there is a growing list of financial institutions that have pledged to end their involvement in coal power projects, including Standard Chartered, Lloyd’s of London and the World Bank.Coal-fired projects that aim to minimise greenhouse emissions while maximising efficiency are, despite technological advancements, still risky. A proposed gasified coal-fired  project at Łęczna in Poland risks high build costs and unreliable operation, given experience of similar technology in the USA, said a report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).The report draws parallels between the proposal by the Polish utility ENEA SA and two projects in the USA: Southern Company’s Kemper County energy facility in Mississippi and Duke Energy’s Edwardsport power station in Indiana.“Overall, the US experience has shown that it is extremely expensive to build and operate new IGCC (integrated gasification combined cycle) power plants, and that, once completed, these plants do not operate reliably,” said David Schlissel, IEEFA’s director of resource planning analysis. “This is especially true for systems involved in the gasification of coal.”More: Coal comes under pressure Risks mount for coal worldwidelast_img read more

After exec bonuses and cuts to worker benefits, U.S. coal miner Cloud Peak weighs sale

first_imgAfter exec bonuses and cuts to worker benefits, U.S. coal miner Cloud Peak weighs sale FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wyoming Public Radio:Cloud Peak Energy, one of the largest coal producers in the country with two mines in Wyoming, announced today it will review strategic alternatives which include a potential sale of the company. The announcement comes after company stock shares hit a 52-week low today at $1.32. That’s nearly half of its value from this time last year.Clark Williams-Derry, director of energy finance at Sightline Institute, an environmental research center, said “strategic alternatives” could be a potential sale of the company. It could also mean the sale of a mine or any kind of asset, refinancing existing debt, pushing debt out further, or doing nothing.Williams-Derry says this comes as Cloud Peak has seen declining profit margins, lower profits in coal and a huge debt payment coming up.Cloud Peak Energy did not lay out a concrete timeline for the process and wrote in its announcement not to expect updates on it either.In a filing today, the company announced it would double the salaries of executives to retain them through “ongoing challenges.” This comes after a third-quarter announcement at the end of October to cut medical benefits for retired workers.Rob Godby, energy economist at the University of Wyoming, said the timing makes sense.“If selling the company was the strategy, canceled medical benefits makes much more sense, as reducing that liability makes the company more valuable,” he said.More: Cloud Peak Energy Considers Selling Company; Gives Executive Bonuses, Cuts Retirement Benefitslast_img read more

World’s largest floating wind turbine begins generating power off the Portuguese coast

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:The world’s largest floating wind turbine has begun generating power off the coast of Portugal.The WindFloat Atlantic project connected the first of three 8.4-megawatt MHI Vestas turbines planned for installation. The second turbine is on site for connection.WindFloat Atlantic is being developed by the Windplus consortium, comprising Portuguese utility EDP Renewables with a 54.4 percent stake, French energy giant Engie with 25 percent, Spanish oil major Repsol with 19.4 percent, and Principle Power, the developer of the floating platform itself, with a 1.2 percent interest.The project is connected to a substation in Portugal via a 12-mile cable and secured with chains to the seabed 100 meters below. That sort of depth is outside the comfort zone of fixed bottom offshore wind, and it is that capability that lies at the root of floating wind’s advantages.Deploying in deeper waters opens up new seabed areas for leasing and increases the potential total capacity for installations. What’s more, by unleashing turbines farther from the shore, it could also see projects become more efficient as wind resources improve. It also sidesteps the challenges offshore wind has faced with regard to its visual impact of turbines visible on the horizon in promising markets like France. For some markets lacking available shallow waters, like California or Japan, floating foundations could be the difference between unlocking a viable, scalable offshore market or failing to do so.The sector’s first commercial project, if not fully at utility-scale, was opened in October 2017. The Hywind Scotland project off the coast of Aberdeen consists of five 6-megawatt turbines, with Equinor taking a 75 percent share and the UAE’s clean energy vehicle Masdar the other 25 percent. During its first winter in the water, it achieved a capacity factor of 65 percent, or nearly twice the average capacity factor of onshore wind farms in the U.S.[John Parnell]More: World’s largest floating wind turbine begins generating power World’s largest floating wind turbine begins generating power off the Portuguese coastlast_img read more

Renewable energy brightens outlook for RWE, EDF

first_imgRenewable energy brightens outlook for RWE, EDF FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Two of Europe’s major utilities have demonstrated the signs of a post-coronavirus lockdown recovery, highlighted by growing renewables capacities. EDF and RWE both reported their Q3 results at the end of last week. While COVID-19 lockdowns have trimmed demand for electricity over the period, sustained renewables deployment and the associated revenue were bright spots for both companies.RWE said it expected to complete 800 megawatts of wind and solar deployments in Q4, on top of the 500 MW already commissioned. It expects its wind and solar capacity to reach 10 gigawatts by the end of the year, on its way to a 13 GW target by 2022.The changing generation mix of the German company has been laid bare in the first nine months of 2020. The combined output of the firm’s lignite and hard coal plants is down by more than one-third in the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same period last year. The output from wind and solar, meanwhile, nearly tripled from 6.1 billion kilowatt-hours to 17.1 billion kilowatt-hours. In revenue terms, the company made €1.6 billion ($1.9 billion) of revenue from its wind and solar assets in the first nine months (9M) of 2020 compared to €743 million ($879 million) in the first nine months of last year.EDF posted a decrease in sales of 4 percent to €48.8 billion ($57.8 billion) for 9M 2020 compared to €51.0 billion in 9M 2019. According to EDF, sales would have been “almost stable” if the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are accounted for.As with RWE, renewables offered some welcome good news. The company is currently targeting a total renewables portfolio of 50 GW by 2030. In February, Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF’s chairman and CEO, said it would revisit that target because “it really looks like we are going to exceed it, and by quite a significant gap.”EDF, which is majority-owned by the French government, has amassed a global portfolio of 32.5 GW of renewables, including 9.8 GW of wind and solar and 22.3 GW of hydropower. According to figures released alongside its Q3 results, the current wind and solar pipeline totals 39.1 GW, with 14.2 GW in North America and 15.4 GW in Europe. It is widely expected that solar and wind will provide the majority of the remaining capacity.[John Parnell]More: Renewables buoy RWE and EDT as clean energy outlook brightenslast_img read more

Ocoee Disaster

first_img Martocci said TVA uses the same dam sluice about 40 times each year for recreational water releases and is not required to notify the state to do so. With heavy rains in the forecast, the utility opened the sluice to drain the upstream reservoir so workers could safely make repairs on the #2 dam. “Due to the magnitude of the sludge release, fish were killed and washed downstream or killed and buried in the sludge,” wrote Dr. Richard Urban of TDEC in a citation to TVA. river-mud-0251_fix The manmade whitewater channel, site of canoe and kayak events for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, was “suddenly overwhelmed by muddy sludge that was black and smelled terrible,” U.S. Forest Service officials reported.TVA did not secure state permits beforehand, nor did they notify Forest Service officials that the foul flow was headed downstream. TVA officials say they were not required to get permits. TVA issued a statement through its spokeswoman, Barbara Martocci, saying that the utility would decide if any cleanup is needed. What all this means for the Ocoee’s beleaguered ecology remains to be seen. The sediment sitting on the bottom of the river’s reservoirs is laced with heavy metals and other pollutants from copper smelting in the last century.“What makes this an even larger tragedy is that life had just started to return to the Ocoee after 70 years of manmade destruction and dewatering,” said Bone, who has kayaked the Ocoee since 2001 and guided rafts there in 2006.The spill decimated fish and clogged the $17.5 million manmade whitewater facility with muck as deep as 3.5 feet in places, said officials from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).center_img Daniel Strother was among kayakers who had just taken off a high water run on east Tennessee’s Ocoee River on January 4 when the tons of foul-smelling muck flushed downstream.“It was quite a sight to see: thick, black noxious water where normally our beautiful whitewater is,” said Strother, 20, a raft guide from nearby Canton, Ga. “There were no whitecaps whatsoever on breaking waves, just straight blackness. The Tennessee Valley Authority released the sludge from a dam upstream, fouling the Olympic Whitewater Course. Just hours before Strothers took to the rapids, TVA workers opened a sluice gate on the utility’s Ocoee #3 Dam to draw down a reservoir and make repairs on Ocoee #2 Dam. Paddlers such as Strother and Robert Bone, 38, of Wesser, N.C., were outraged. Although state officials say most of the sediments have been flushed downstream, boaters worry effects of the spill will linger. TDEC determined TVA violated state rules but has not yet issued any fines or penalties for the spill.last_img read more

Video: DuPont State Forest

first_imgHigh Falls in North Carolina’s DuPont State Recreational Forest.DuPont State Recreational Forest outside of Brevard, NC is where they filmed the Hunger Games and Last of the Mohicans, but is so much more. From biking to hiking to swimming, the “Land of Waterfalls” packs more into its acreage than most state parks.Thanks to Friends of DuPont Forest President Bev Parlier for showing us a great time around DuPont! Check out the video below and look for more in the Happy Trails department of the September issue.last_img

Appalachian Trail Dispatch: Virginia is for Limpers

first_img Editor’s Note: Blue Ridge Outdoors contributor Chris Gallaway is currently thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. He will be periodically checking in with BRO and sharing the story of his hike. This is his fifth dispatch from the A.T. Read his other dispatches from the trail: A Cold Start, Trail Magic, Difficult Winter, Monuments, Spring! and Family.When my family left Damascus I was raring to go on my solo hike again. As sweet as our time together had been I was itching to hike more than eight miles a day, and I was tempted to try to catch friends who had pulled ahead of me on the trail. I started out from the Grayson Highlands averaging 20 miles a day for five days straight and carrying a week’s worth of food so that I wouldn’t have to leave the trail to re-supply.  This was a recipe for injury, and in no time I wore deep blisters on my left foot, blisters that became infected as I walked more miles each day without taking a rest. Soon I became marked with that most embarrassing sign of a hiker who has pushed too hard: a limp.Apparently I was not the only one who fell into the hiker speed trap. The lengthening days of spring and the gentler topography of southern Virginia conspired to lure many thru-hikers into going too far, too fast. As I hobbled into Pearisburg, VA and the Woods Hole Hostel I ran into a traffic jam of injured hikers. My old friend Camaro was traveling with a group that called themselves “The Gimp Crew” for their various ailments: shin splints, twisted ankle, fluid on the knee. As for me, I could barely suppress the head of steam I had built up. I felt compelled to keep moving despite the pain in my feet, to cover whatever ground I could with a limping, one-mile-an-hour pace. I go to the woods in large part to escape the pressure and rat race of our society, and inevitably I find myself caught up in a race of another sort, measuring my hike by how far I go each day. This is a sad state of affairs for the thru-hiker, and the body informs us of our error by breaking down.At last I forced myself to take a rest, walking a “nero” day (almost zero miles) to the Captain’s Place where I pitched my tent and sat around restlessly, twiddling my thumbs and repeatedly talking myself down from the compulsion to keep hiking. The day of rest did me just enough good to resume hiking the next day without a limp. I was thrilled; I was eager; I woke up at 6 AM and speed-hiked 17 miles in the rain only to slip on a wet rock and fall on my face, bashing my shin badly. You might think a fellow would learn, but even with a new limp and a swollen leg I still felt responsible to cover long miles so I could get into town and have a doctor check out my injury. Two days later I made it to McAffee’s Knob and sat at the view brooding over my predicament. My ankle felt stiff and weak. There was a scraping sensation when I flexed my foot up and down. I began to imagine the worst: I’d made it over 700 miles on the Appalachian Trail, and a moment’s distraction and bad foot placement could send me home for good.Pain has a way of ruling your mind. When a part of your body hurts badly it’s hard to see past it. You know in principle that the pain is temporary, that good days lie ahead, but at the moment it feels like it’s been there forever and will never go away. This was my state of mind as I hiked the ridgeline down into Daleville the next day, trying to govern my thoughts and hope the best for my shin. I was mostly losing the battle of thoughts when I looked up and saw Sunshine walking up the trail towards me. She’d taken off work and driven up from Asheville to surprise me. The welcome sight of her smile coming towards me brought tears to my eyes.That was a turning point in my hike. We got into town and had my ankle checked out: all clear, thank the Lord! We rested for a day and then slack-packed out of Daleville—my ankle felt stronger day by day. For three days we got to walk together, enjoying beautiful spring weather and the lovely woods that were sprouting with fields trillium and may apple. Quietly, to myself, I renewed my commitment to curb the urgency that follows me on the trail; to slow down and take care of my body and mind. It’s a commitment I will break again eventually, but perhaps over time I will gradually learn and become what they call “mature.” For now, I am so thankful to be continuing my hike and to feel my body growing strong and relatively pain-free once more. I’m softer now, the passage through pain has worn down my emotional composure slightly, and I find myself more easily tearing up when I talk to others about my hike thus far. I know now what a fine balance this journey rests in, that it can be over in a moment and that each day is a grace and a gift unto itself. last_img read more

Trail Mix February 2014: Free Music Download

first_imgCan we talk about this cold? This mind numbing, bone chilling, cold? When I mentioned the polar vortex last month, I was hoping it might just be a one-off, you know, a sort of here and gone kind of thing. Nope. The vortex has been hanging out. And I’m done with it. Around here, it’s just been too cold to get out and play. Thankfully, though, I have had this month’s Trail Mix to thaw me out. You are going to dig it, because this mix is really, really toasty.This month, Trail Mix opens with a brand new track from Odessa. Formerly a much in demand fiddler in the bluegrass world, Odessa’s career has changed directions – recently, she has spent time working with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes and both Rayland Baxter and Nikki Lane. Her new tune, “I Will Be There,” which I am excited to have running this month, is featured on a brand new Subaru commercial airing all over the country. New album plans are in the works; if this track is any indication, the record is going to be smoking.Our February mix also includes some serious swagger from the Deep South. Check out brand new tracks from Drive-By Truckers and vintage soul upstarts St. Paul & The Broken Bones. Both of those bands are featured in print this month. Also in the mix is Georgia native Levi Lowrey. Stay tuned to the Trail Mix blog for a profile of Levi next week.So far, we are just scratching the surface of this month’s mix. Check out brand new tunes from Lake Street Dive – recently listed by Rolling Stone as one of ten artists you need to know in 2014 – and long time Cajun crooner Dirk Powell. Lydia Loveless returns to the mix, and I am happy to feature tunes from Hurray For The Riff Raff, Naomi Wachira, Charlie Parr, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, Scott Biram, Robert Ellis, and Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coaliton.Every once in a while, a disc crosses my desk and I have a hard time letting go of it. That has been the case with the new release from The Far West. This one has been spinning a lot over the last couple weeks. Take a listen to “On The Road” and tell me singer Lee Briante is not spot on for John Prine.And, yes, there is still more – tracks from The Farewell Drifters, Nate Jones, Chase Gassaway, Nicole Atkins, Peggy Sue, Adrian Krygowski, and The Deer Run Drifters eagerly await your ears. Tune in, stream lots, and download. Take these tunes with you wherever you go and make sure to share your favorites with your friends. And, lastly, as always, comes our favorite Trail Mix reminder – get out there and buy a record or two from these great artists. They will appreciate it. Odessa – I Will Be ThereAdrian Krygowski – RoamCahalen Morrison and Eli West – James is OutCharlie Parr – ClearlakeChase Gassaway – Feeling GoodDirk Powell – Rollin’ Round This TownDrive-By Truckers – Pauline HawkinsHurray For The Riff Raff – I Know It’s WrongJimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition – White AngelLake Street Dive – Bad Self PortraitsLevi Lowrey – Picket FencesLydia Loveless – To Love SomebodyNaomi Wachira – Burn MeNate Jones – Another Night, Another TownNicole Atkins – Girl You Look AmazingPeggy Sue – IdleRobert Ellis – Only LiesScott Biram – When I Die.mp3St. Paul & The Broken Bones – Call MeThe Deer Run Drifters – BurnThe Far West – On The RoadFarewell Drifters – Modern Agelast_img read more

Missing North Carolina hiker murdered in Mexico’s Copper Canyons

first_imgA 34-year-old hiker and high school Spanish teacher from Davidson, North Carolina, was murdered by a Mexican cartel in the Copper Canyons two weeks ago.On October 24, Patrick Braxton-Andrew left North Carolina and landed in Chihuhua City. The next morning, he boarded a train that hugs the rim of the Copper Canyons, the deepest river-carved chasms on the North American continent. On October 26, he posted photos to social media showing that he was taking a bus down to Urique, an old mining town at the bottom of the canyons.Braxton-Andrew was a runner and adventurer. He had read about the Copper Canyons and the town of Urique, which were featured in Christopher McDougall’s 2013 bestselling book Born to Run. Urique was the start-finish line of the epic Copper Canyon 50-Mile Ultra featured in Born to Run, and the race has grown in popularity since the book was published, attracting many runners and tourists to Urique. However, increasing cartel-related violence in the area forced cancellation of the race two years ago.Braxton-Andrew stayed at a small hotel in Urique on October 26. Cell service on the canyon floor is unreliable, but Braxton-Andrew managed to send a few text messages from Urique to friends in the United States. They were his last communications.Braxton-Andrew was last seen leaving his hotel in Urique around 4 p.m. on October 28.When he failed to meet up with his brother Kerry a few days later in Mexico City, Kerry and his family alerted law enforcement and began organizing a massive search. Initially, it was thought that Braxton-Andrew had gone on a hike and gotten lost in the rugged, remote canyons—deeper than the Grand Canyon with no marked trails or signage.However, it was later discovered that Braxton-Andrew’s belongings, including his camera, were all left behind in the hotel, suggesting that he had not gone on an extensive hike.“He barely had anything on him,” Kerry told The Washington Post.  “And he would not be going on a hike without his camera.”Since October 30, Braxton-Andrew’s family have continued to organize searches while also working with law enforcement and government officials on the investigation of his disappearance.Yesterday, the family was informed by the state of Chihhuahua that Braxton-Andrew had been killed by a Mexican criminal organization.The family issued the following statement:Based on information provided by the Chihuahua State authorities, it is with great sadness that we announce that Patrick died on October 28th at the hands of a criminal organization that operates in the area where he was traveling. The search continues to recover his body so we can bring him back home. The authorities are searching for those responsible to bring them to justice. The family would like to thank the Chihuahua Governor and Attorney General for their unwavering commitment to locating Patrick.Patrick died doing what he loved—traveling and meeting people. Join us in celebrating his life as he would want us to do. We will always remember Patrick and his joy for life. We love you PBA.last_img read more