Coal plants faltered in Australian heat wave, while renewables powered on

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:A report into the Victoria “load-shedding” events in the January heatwave, which sparked yet another political battle over Australia’s energy policy, has highlighted the critical failure of the state’s main brown coal generators, as well as the important contributions of rooftop solar at key times.The report by the Australian Energy Market Operator confirms observations made at the time that its efforts to keep the lights on in the face of a record heat-wave were undermined by a series of failures and capacity reductions at all three of Victoria’s big brown coal generators.In contrast, AEMO notes, renewables performed better at the time of the major load-shedding at 11 am on January 25 than had been anticipated when modelling for the anticipated hot summer was completed.“The contribution from coal generation was significantly less than expected and renewables was slightly more than expected, based on the 2018 ESOO modelling assumptions,” AEMO says.It is the poor performance of the brown coal generators that stands out in the events over January 24 and 25, where load shedding was experienced on both days in Victoria, and South Australia escaped only because AEMO was able to call on emergency reserves.The performance of the brown coal generators contrasts sharply with other generation sources. As AEMO notes, brown coal performed substantially worse than expected when it was putting its plans together a few months ahead of time, gas and hydro performed as expected, but both wind and solar did a lot better than expected.More: Brown coal generators failed the grid in Victoria heat-wave, blackouts Coal plants faltered in Australian heat wave, while renewables powered onlast_img read more

Former Brayton Point coal plant site to host massive new battery storage facility, offshore wind link

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Platts:The former 1,493-MW Brayton Point coal-fired power plant site in Massachusetts is being redeveloped into an offshore wind power support center that will include 400 MW of battery storage, the site owners and developers said Monday.Commercial Development Company and transmission developer Anbaric have agreed to build the Anbaric Renewable Energy Center at the CDC’s Brayton Point Commerce Center in Somerset, the companies said in a statement.“The Renewable Energy Center represents Anbaric’s broader vision for its Massachusetts OceanGrid project: high-capacity transmission infrastructure to maximize the potential of the region’s offshore wind energy resource,” Edward Krapels, Anbaric’s CEO, said.The main component of the Renewable Energy Center will be a 1200-MW high-voltage direct current converter to serve the emerging offshore wind industry. That portion of the project will require a roughly $250 million investment, the companies said. The 400 MW of battery storage will “bring an additional $400 million in investment,” according to Anbaric.The site is being prepared as the landing point for 1,200 MW of offshore wind power. Several offshore wind projects are in development in the area.More: Massachusetts coal plant to be redeveloped into offshore wind hub with 400 MW of storage Former Brayton Point coal plant site to host massive new battery storage facility, offshore wind linklast_img read more

Governor signs legislation mandating transition to 100% renewable energy in Virginia

first_imgGovernor signs legislation mandating transition to 100% renewable energy in Virginia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ReNews.biz:Virginia’s governor has signed into law targets for over 21GW of renewable generation and more than 3GW of energy storage as part of new measures which will require electricity to come from 100% renewable sources.Governor Ralph Northam has signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act which establishes a 5.2GW offshore wind target. It also establishes a 16.1GW target for solar and onshore wind and requires Virginia’s largest energy companies to construct or acquire more than 3.1GW of energy storage capacity.The Clean Economy Act requires new measures to promote energy efficiency, sets a schedule for closing old fossil fuel power plants, and requires electricity to come from 100 percent renewable sources such as solar or wind.The law requires Dominion Energy Virginia to be 100 percent carbon-free by 2045 and Appalachian Power to be 100 percent carbon-free by 2050. It requires nearly all coal-fired plants to close by the end of 2024.More: Virginia signs 21GW renewables target into lawlast_img read more

Fish On!

first_imgFish On!I have heard these two words uttered in English, Spanish, with a southern accent, by a salty sea captain in the Gulf of Mexico, and many others commenting on the moment when fish and fly or fish and bait meet. This week my husband heard those words when a North Carolina Red Drum took his fly and ran.Fish On!For the recreational fisherman, the goal is not to catch the most fish. It is not necessarily even to catch the biggest fish.  Instead, the goal is to spend a day in communion with creation, where fish and man meet, say hello, then goodbye, and both are changed from the interaction.  The communion with nature and fish is real and lasting. I see the effect when my husband returns home from a day of trout fishing in a western Virginia mountain stream. Placing a small, colored, artificial bug in such a way on the cold clear water that a brook or rainbow trout would strike is nourishing to him.The connection to the particular place is often more fleeting, however.   When we travel, we drop into others’ worlds, and then move on.  Though our outdoor travel experiences give us great joy, they often lack the connection to place that we gain from fishing our home streams, or hiking or favorite local trails.  Fish on, then release, and then we plan our next trip that will involve fishing somewhere new and wonderful.This week however, my husband and his father had an opportunity to get more than just the passing glance at a new place, and much more than the isolated and fleeting “fish on” experience.   What started as a fairly standard guided fishing trip, ended up becoming an opportunity not just for them, but also for our whole family, to learn more about the place that we have visited many times before.Whit and his dad hired Captain Seth Vernon for a half-day’s fishing trip in the waters off of Topsail Island, North Carolina.  Seth was an outstanding guide, to be sure (as evidenced by the picture below), but he proved to be an inspiring advocate for his home waters.   After close to five hours with Captain Seth, Whit and my father-in-law had fish stories and the usual smiles and pictures to go with them.  What made this trip different, though, was the fact that they talked more about what they’d learned about the place where they fished than the fish they had caught there.  A good guide helps you catch fish, but someone who inspires a connection to the place separate and apart from the fish is truly unique.Red Drum pre releaseIn the coming weeks I will have a lot more to say about Captain Seth Vernon, the Red Drum, and the many issues that surround fishing and coastal preservation in eastern North Carolina.  In the meantime, if this has piqued your interest at all, check out Captain Seth’s website at www.doublehaulguideservice.com.  Please also check out www.redfishcantjump.com to learn more about a great film (that I will also write about more in the future) advocating for the preservation of North Carolina’s Cape Fear coast and North Carolina’s state fish, the Red Drum.Whit and a Red DrumPS – Thank you Whit for helping share your love of fishing and your introduction to Captain Seth this week.last_img read more

The Gear Curve

first_imgLess is More: Even after accumulating several fancy cookstoves, Johnny Molloy still prefers a fire.I remember my first backpack. It was a green Academy Broadway external frame bought from a now-defunct outlet in Knoxville, Tennessee. Five pockets in which to stuff gear. Neither the shoulder straps nor the hip belt had padding. Twenty bucks of beer drinking money was diverted for that pack.Was I ever proud—and ready to tackle Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a few ridges distant from the University of Tennessee. Backpacking was new and foreign to me, a pure bred flatlander from West Tennessee who never realized my home state had mountains, bears and trout streams. I had to borrow most of my equipment on those inaugural trips.To fill those pack pockets, the first order of business was to get one of those cool survival knives with the built-in bubble compass and a hollow innard complete with fishing line, hooks, and matches. I ordered a discontinued sleeping bag from Sierra Trading Post, bought a closed cell foam sleeping pad from Wal-Mart, then scored some secondhand black leather combat boots at the local thrift store. A borrowed bulky blue tarp provided a musty shelter.And thus began my journey along the gear curve. The make-do backpacker occupies the first stage of the gear curve. Like me, the make-do backpacker probably borrows half the equipment on their back and buys discount stuff for the other half.  They can be spotted on the trail invariably wearing too tight jeans (the zip-off pants are farther down the curve) and some kind of camouflage shirt or hat. At camp they try to think of ways to use that big survival knife. An oversized cheap tent invariably pops up wherever they are. They haven’t figured out that with outdoor gear—like anything else— you get what you pay for. They are learning and most eventually move on down the spectrum. Others fall off the gear curve altogether.The outdoor purists rise higher on the gear curve. Several near-disasters have left them looking for better stuff to make roughing it a little easier: a real whitewater boat—or a quality PFD—to survive a class IV rapid; a name brand rain jacket to wear in town and on the trail. I remember when the soles came off my combat boots while trudging through snow high on Forney Ridge. I used a piece of string to stop the sole from flapping. After returning home I then dropped nearly 100 bucks on some Vasque boots. The mountain biking equivalent would be graduating to clip-on pedals and an aerodynamic helmet after crashing in the woods.The purists will be seen at outdoor specialty shops, perusing for hours over the perfect headlamp. Before entering a store, they have researched for days on the web and created comparative spreadsheets. They end up with the best gear and are always on the lookout for the latest in high-tech offerings.The gearheads stand atop the gear curve. The gearhead has it all, literally, and it’s in his pack. Around the fire you grumble about losing a tiny screw from your camp stove and ten minutes later the gearhead proudly returns with the exact size screw you need—and the latest Leatherman to tighten it.Like anything, the new toys become old. But the quest for the latest gadget continues, whether you need it or not. I once bought a camp mirror, only to discover that I didn’t want to see my own mug after three days in the forest. Pride in showing off the hippest gear lost significance in the face of towering trees and far-off vistas.And that leads to the downward stage of the gear curve. Failed and forgotten equipment bought over the years joins the dusty junk menagerie lining your garage walls. My first headlamp took four AA batteries and weighed enough to give me a neck ache. Inventory your stuff and count how many items you’ll never use again. Wise outdoor enthusiasts assess their gear needs for each situation before leaving home. Less is more. Bring the good quality stuff that works for you and nothing more.Or you can go without and adapt, looking outward at what you came to experience rather than inward at what you have. That is how I discovered many “necessities” really aren’t necessary. Why carry a stove when I can cook over a fire? Why spend hundreds—even thousands—on another boat, skis or bike when you could use that money going to your dream destination to actually do what you love? Why spend time in the store looking at more gear, or scrolling through web sites, when you can be out there on the river or on the trail?It really is about the experience, not what gear you use. At the end of the gear curve, you realize that you don’t need more stuff, but more time. Time is the most valuable commodity on Earth. And if you are like me, you want to spend as much of it as possible out there.last_img read more

Into the Great Unknown…Brewing Co.

first_imgI’m not gonna lie to you. I picked up this beer because of the can. It’s simple, muted, mysterious, attractive as hell…It looks like the exact beer The Riddler would drink. I’m not saying you can judge a book by its cover, but sometimes, a cool cover helps, you know? And then there’s the message on the back of the can:“If you’re not living over the edge, you’re taking up too much space. These 12 fluid ounces of hoppy American goodness should be carried with you on your greatest adventures.”I can dig that. True, I rarely live “over the edge” these days—mostly, I drive a minivan around—but I can dig the sentiment. So I bought the beer. Also, I’m really into IPAs right now. I think it’s a reaction to all of the malt-forward winter beers I’ve been drinking over the last couple of months. I’m ready for something a bit more complicated. Something…edgy.Standing in the beer store, I’d hoped Unknown’s Over the Edge IPA would fit the bill. Sometimes, a gamble pays off; Over the Edge turned out to be a hell of an IPA. This beer has a full-bodied, creamy mouthfeel and an incredibly balanced structure. That’s the beauty of modern IPAs—balance. At one time, the common American IPA was a hop bomb full of bitterness on the back end. I’d drink one and immediately get heart burn. Now, these beers have so much more going on than just being “bitter.” Over the Edge is a little bit sugary sweet up front, with incredible notes of citrus—mainly orange. Yeah, there’s a tinge of bitterness on the backend, along with a slightly piney drying effect on the tongue—it is an IPA after all—but that’s just one part of the Over the Edge package.Unknown Brewing Co. is based out of Charlotte. Between this beer, and all of the goodness that NoDa brewing (also in Charlotte) is cranking out, I’m thinking a road trip to the Queen City is in order.last_img read more

Flashpoint: Why is the outdoors still so white?

first_imgWe need to do more than talk about diversity.The word diversity GETS USED A LOT THESE DAYS, especially in the outdoor community. You may have seen the latest media campaigns focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Actually, I’m sure you’ve seen them—diversity is sexy, trendy, and the IN thing in the outdoors.If you don’t have a person of color represented at the forefront of your ad campaigns, social media feeds, and magazine covers, then you’re doing it wrong, it seems.So what’s the big deal? Why is everyone jumping on this diversity bandwagon, at this particular time in history? Is it a trendy fad? Will it dry up like a raisin in the sun, or will it remain a priority for the outdoor community?My hope is that it will challenge those who maintain their innocence around issues of discrimination, microaggressive behavior, and implicit bias to acknowledge their indifference to others’ lived experiences and perspectives.Many an outdoor company has taken on this work full throttle, engaging “ambassadors” and “influencers” in diversity-flavored events that may or may not include panel discussions, keynote speakers, and “activations”—showing up in places where diversity happens.But is this enough? Is this representation of non-white, non-male,  non-cisgender, non-thin, differently-abled folks enough to dismantle the deeply entrenched, systemic notions of who belongs/who doesn’t belong out in nature?No.Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoor community requires much more. To be clear, representation is a priority, obviously, because when you see folks who share some characteristics with you (whether cultural or not), you are better able to see yourself doing the same. When you view someone similar to you in a magazine or on the interwebz engaging in outdoor activities that you previously thought were reserved for a different type of person, you begin to believe that you can also do these things.I am human, and part of the natural world. We all are. And we all deserve the opportunity to exist in the outdoors and to experience nature as we wish.Sometimes this concept is difficult to understand for those who’ve always been able to see ourselves plastered throughout all forms of media. But I encourage all to keep an open mind, and to see this work not as divisive, but as work that strives to forge deep, meaningful relationships between marginalized communities and the outdoor industry.But deeper and more pointed work is necessary in order to make lasting change in the outdoor industry. In my experience, both as a diversity educator and trail runner, I’ve come to some conclusions about what is needed in an outdoor company, or any organization, really:Required research, education, and training at all levels in a company on key social justice issues and how they inform and reflect the lived experiences of non-dominant cultures. The entire company should be on board, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but it’s the only way to progress along with well, the rest of the world.A deep look into company culture as it pertains to diversity. Are folks happy? Do they feel silenced? Are they truly encouraged to be part of every aspect of the organization?Acknowledgment that different people actually have different lived experiences and worldviews, and that these affect the way we interact with each other, what activities we choose to engage in, and what we prioritize in our lives.A real, informed commitment and strategic plan to ensure that all communities are included and represented consistently within the company, in marketing and advertising, and the presence of those communities in key creative and decision-making roles.A willingness to own and fix mistakes (such as culturally insensitive marketing and business practices) and a concurrent commitment to calling out others in the industry who continue to engage in habits that continue to push folks to the margin.It’s possible to be a more welcoming industry, not in a kum-ba-ya way, but in a real, educated, more sophisticated approach.When I moved to the North Georgia Mountains, I knew that despite my skin color, I would find a home in the trail running community of the Southern Appalachians. I knew this because I felt a certain entitlement to exist in the outdoors as my authentic self, as my black self, as my woman self, as my fat self, as my cisgender self, as my educator self.I knew that the trail did not care who I was. Neither did the rocks beneath my feet, the low-hanging branches that would occasionally snatch my trucker cap, the roots hidden beneath damp fall leaves that made me look like a baby deer learning to walk, and the slippery stones at the bottoms of clear and cold rivers.I am human, and part of the natural world. We all are. And we all deserve the opportunity to exist in the outdoors and to experience nature as we wish.No matter what I looked like, where I was from, or what level of experience I’ve had walking and running through the dark and curvy corners of the natural world, I knew that I belonged.It’s on each one of us to ensure that all people feel that same sense of belonging when they venture into the outdoors.Mirna Valerio is a 2018 National Geographic Adventurer, ultrarunner, educator, and author of A Beautiful Work in Progress.last_img read more

77 Days Alone in the Arctic

first_imgFirst on the list is my beautiful wife, who more than anyone, took on the day-to-day grind of having her husband gone for an unknown amount of time while she dealt with two toddlers and the gauntlet of issues that arose in my absence. Trusting her strength allowed me to stay worry-free as long as necessary. My family, brothers, sister, mom, and many close friends and supportive community were there, too, so I knew I could focus on the task before me without anxiety. Hopefully they can find some useful strategies from my experiences that they can reapply to whatever situations they are facing in their life and become more resilient people able to live life to the fullest. If I can be a part of making their lives a bit fuller, I would be happy.  If they could endure what they did and come out loving, happy people, how could I not handle a tiny fraction of the stress they went through? I think having that perspective can help to give you gratitude and hope even in turbulent circumstances.  Definitely nowadays, when we are becoming more and more inundated with distractions and detached from our thoughts, having the ability to reconnect with nature and the natural rhythms of life is invaluable for mental well-being. It is a situation where we don’t even recognize what we have lost—things like community, the pace of life, self-reliance, and depth of thought. Primitive skills and indigenous cultures can really speak into that void.  I learned a lot of practical survival skills from the Evenki. Of course they live in the forest every day, so they have separated the wheat from the chaff quite well as far as skills go.  The 37-year-old has returned to Lynchburg, where he lives with his wife and two kids and leads primitive skills classes. BRO talked to Jonas after taking home the $500,000 prize. Jordan Jonas of Lynchburg, Va., won season 6 of Alone—outlasting military survivalists, world-class hunters, and primitive skills professionals. Key to his success was shooting a 900-pound moose with a bow and arrow—the first person to ever take down a large animal on the show (Jonas later had to kill a wolverine with an axe when it raided his moose meat). Perhaps equally important, however, was Jonas’s sense of humor, enabling him to stay mentally upbeat for 77 days alone in the Arctic.    What do you hope your kids and all your fans remember most about you?  We met at a wedding in Toronto of all places. She had spent a couple years living in China, and I in Siberia, so we hit it off discussing that (and the Gulag Archipelago amongst other things).  Who did you think about most while you were out there? How did you end up in Lynchburg, Va.?  Do you think primitive skills and indigenous cultures have a place in the modern world? After traveling around the country, I settled in Lynchburg due to some work opportunities and the inexpensive housing. We and our friends were able to afford a home without taking on heaps of debt, and many interesting folks were able to move to the area.  JJ: I met up with the Evenki after traveling to Russia to help a missionary friend build an orphanage. The folks I lived with in Russia had been to prison with an Evenk and they became very close. Eventually they introduced me and from there a new path opened.  Can you tell us more about your family history and how that influenced your thoughts and feelings while in the Arctic?  The competition always takes place in some of the wildest and coldest places on the planet—including Canada, Patagonia, and the Arctic. Not surprisingly, many of the competitors hail from northern climes. But one of its most recent winners was from Southern Appalachia. How did you meet your wife? You give her immense credit in your success on Alone. How did you manage missing her and your family while in the Arctic? Did you try to block out too much thinking about them, or did you accept the circumstances and the long separation?  If you’re looking for a binge-worthy show set in the outdoors, Alone strips reality TV to its most primal: 10 people are dropped off in the wilderness with only a backpack and a camera—and an emergency satellite phone to call when they are ready to quit. Whoever survives the longest wins.  He was left in the Arctic with only a few tools to survive the winter. How long did he last? How can I complain about discomfort when my Assyrian grandmother watched six of her seven siblings die in a genocide in the desert? Or when my grandfather watched his village be burned to the ground with his father trapped inside? Could I freak out at some small misfortune when those two endured so much but were not defined by it, but instead developed into joyful, life-giving people? They remained focused upwards and proactively worked to make life better for their descendants. They gifted my dad and 10 other beloved aunts and uncles a life defined by love, hope, and faith—and by doing so granted me the same gift. How has your life changed since winning Alone?  Knowing my family history gave me the invaluable tools of being able to put my own trials into perspective, and also gave me a roadmap for going through them with a positive bend.  Southern Appalachia is a particularly good place to learn to hunt. The abundance of game and the need to control animal populations means that you can create opportunities much more often and thus learn much quicker. Out West, you may only get one shot a year at an animal with a bow. Here there are a lot more opportunities. Hopefully we can make it an even better place to learn by creating some interesting survival courses as we move forward. I managed missing her by putting faith in the strength of our relationship. I knew we would be back together at some point and pick up right where we left off, so I didn’t have to spend extra energy wondering if our relationship would last the trial. Previously, I had spent several long stints in Russia away from her, so it helped put into perspective the time away, and it gave me the confidence that our relationship would remain healthy.  Q&A with Jordan Jonas, Winner of the TV Series Alone Also constantly with me out there was the thought of my dad. Although he passed years ago, he showed me through example how to bear indescribable hardships with an air of joy and gratitude that is a lesson impossible to teach except through example. We all will face suffering on some level, but having been shown how to navigate that with steadfastness and a constantly developing character is invaluable. BRO: Your experiences with the indigenous Evenki people—reindeer herders in Siberia—seemed really important in preparing you for your successes in the Arctic. How did you end up spending time with the Evenki and what did you learn from them? It’s allowed me to shift out of construction and into survival training and adventuring, a long-needed change of pace. Aside from that, things have remained pretty much the same—though I really should update my wife’s 2001 Ford Windstar. Cover photo: Jonas now resides in Virginia and offers wilderness survival training courses. Photo courtesy of Rachel Jonaslast_img read more

13 Colombians Detained as Members of Money-Laundering Network Whose Boss Surrendered to the U.S.

first_imgBy Dialogo June 22, 2009 Bogotá, 18 June (EFE). – Today Colombian anti-narcotics police arrested thirteen alleged members of a money-laundering network led by Fabio Ochoa Vasco, a cocaine trafficker who surrendered to U.S. law-enforcement authorities in January. At least 200 million dollars were laundered by this organization, according to the Anti-Narcotics Office of the National Police, which conducted the roundup in coordination with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). The network controlled accounts in banking institutions located in the United States, Panama, Mexico, the Virgin Islands, Ecuador, and several European countries, the anti-narcotics police indicated in a report issued in Bogotá. The report explained that these money launderers carried out their operations by means of legally-established businesses supposedly dedicated to construction, carpet sales, property management, accounting, and legal consulting, among other fields. The anti-narcotics police added that these firms are part in a group of fifty properties owned by the same network, which will be confiscated by the state, and assess the value of this property at around 30 million dollars. The operation was carried out in the departments of Antioquia (northwest), Cundinamarca (center), and Valle del Cauca (southwest), the capitals of which are Medellín, Bogotá, and Cali. The press release did not identify those arrested, but it indicated that they include “lawyers, statutory auditors, business executives, and accountants.” Ochoa Vasco, nicknamed “Carlos Mario” or “the man of the cartel,” turned himself in to the United States almost five months ago after three years of negotiating his surrender to U.S. law-enforcement authorities, who offered a five-million-dollar reward for information leading to his capture. The Colombian drug trafficker conducted the negotiations from Mexico, where he was living in hiding. The Colombian authorities said that Ochoa Vasco, who was allied to the Mexican Juárez cartel, was the subject of an extradition request by a court in Tampa, in the U.S. state of Florida. With a twenty-year history of drug trafficking, this criminal boss had his center of operations in Medellín and, according to the anti-narcotics police, shipped six to eight tons of cocaine a month to the United States.last_img read more

Argentina Debuts Satellite to Be Launched from the United States at the End of the Year

first_imgBy Dialogo March 24, 2010 The Argentine foreign minister, Jorge Taiana, today introduced the SAC-D satellite, developed in the country and scheduled to be launched from the United States in December for scientific research, as a “true national point of pride.” After being transported to Brazil to undergo environmental testing, the satellite will be launched in the most important space mission that Argentina has yet developed through the National Space Activities Commission (CONAE), the minister indicated. “We’re satisfied, because we’ve reached a very important landmark in the development of Argentine knowledge and international cooperation between equals,” affirmed Taiana, who heads CONAE’s board of directors. The satellite will be launched from NASA’s base in California (U.S.), on board a Delta II rocket, according to official sources. At the official ceremony presenting the mission in Bariloche, 1,650 kilometers south of Buenos Aires, Taiana explained that the objective of sending the satellite into space “has to do with the need to develop a vanguard sector of space activity, with fundamental tools for productive social, economic, and technological development.” Likewise, he revealed that one of the satellite’s purposes will be to study the salinity of the oceans in order to observe the environmental consequences of climate change. Taiana acknowledged that this significant advance is the result of many years of work and expressed gratitude for the international cooperation and for the “extensive participation” of Argentine and foreign entities.last_img read more