FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:The number of wind power purchase agreements (PPA) signed last quarter was the highest volume of PPA announcements in any quarter since AWEA began tracking them in 2013.AWEA noted that six companies, including Adobe, AT&T and Nestle, signed wind PPAs for the first time while several other corporations were repeat customers. Utilities also stepped up to the plate, with PacifiCorp announcing plans for a $2 billion wind farm in Wyoming. In March, DTE Energy submitted a proposal to regulators for 1,000 MW of wind farms that would be completed by 2022.The two main factors contributing to the increase in projects are the greater certainty around tax policy and the fact that developers are eager to meet the deadlines imposed by the congressionally mandated phase out of the production tax credit (PTC), Keith Martin, a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, told Utility Dive.The PTC, which provides an incentive payout for the first 10 years of a wind farm’s life, has been a driving force in the growth of wind power, as has the financial structures that have allowed financial institutions to monetize the value of tax credits. Those structures have expanded the market beyond the relatively few entities that are in a position to make use of the tax credits.Even though the value of the PTC is cut by 20% for 2018 projects, under Internal Revenue Service rules, projects that had already begun work on equipment or at a project site in 2016 are still eligible to collect 100% of the PTC. That prompted a lot of developers to buy and stockpile wind turbines. Based on stockpiled equipment from 2016 there are about 40,000 MW of wind projects in the wings with another 10,000 MW of equipment stockpiled in 2017.More: Wind Power Poised For Record Year, Despite Initial Tax Law Concerns U.S. Wind Power PPAs Hit Record Level Last Quarter
U.K. to require companies to release energy use, CO2 data FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:The British government will force large companies to report their energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and energy efficiency measures in their annual reports from April next year, it said on Wednesday.The government said it wants businesses and industry to improve energy efficiency by at least 20 percent by 2030.A previous company reporting scheme, called the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, was too complex for businesses and will be closed. The new framework will simplify and streamline reporting requirements.“The government has decided that the new framework will apply to all quoted companies and apply to large UK incorporated unquoted companies and large LLPs (limited liability partnerships) with at least 250 employees or annual turnover greater than 36 million pounds ($47 million) and annual balance sheet total greater than 18 million pounds,” the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in a statement.More: UK government to force large companies to report CO2 emissions from April 2019
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享WYMT:An eastern Kentucky utility says it is looking to add up to 20 megawatts of solar energy to meet growing customer interest in solar options.Kentucky Power says it’s also looking to diversify its electric generation mix.The company is seeking bids for solar resources to be purchased. As part of the process, Kentucky Power says it may buy solar facilities from winning bidders meeting certain economic and operational criteria.To qualify for consideration, projects must be located within Kentucky Power’s service territory. Qualifying projects must be operational by Dec. 31, 2021.Currently, Kentucky Power generates about 81 percent of 2,240 megawatts of electricity supplied to its customers using coal and about 19 percent with natural gas. Kentucky Power provides electric service to about 168,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties.More: Eastern Kentucky power company adding solar energy to the mix Coal-dominated Kentucky Power seeks solar bids
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Westword:For over a century, fossil fuels have been more than just the world’s primary energy source; they’ve been a bedrock of the global financial system, an engine of economic growth and a safe investment for governments, pension funds, charitable endowments and other institutions around the world. If we hope to stop climate change before its effects become catastrophic, that will inevitably have to change — and many climate activists want it to change as soon as possible.“Public money is being invested in companies that are directly contributing to climate change,” says Deborah McNamara, an activist with the Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate, which includes more than two dozen environmental and social-justice groups from around the state. “Here in Colorado, money is being invested in fracking companies. Do we want our public money being invested in these companies that are polluting our air and water?”After years of disappointment, the “Fossil Free” investing movement has picked up steam around the world and in Colorado, where — despite opposition from the state’s powerful oil and gas industry — it’s won some small victories, including an announcement last month that the City and County of Denver plans to dump its investments in fossil fuel companies.Like previous movements to discourage investment in Big Tobacco or apartheid South Africa, many advocates for fossil fuel divestment object to supporting oil, gas and coal development on moral grounds. The burning of fossil fuels is warming the climate to the point of global catastrophe, and they argue that it’s unethical for public institutions like PERA to continue to fund the industry.But an important difference between campaigns like Fossil Free PERA and other divestment efforts is that when it comes to fossil fuels, there’s increasingly a financial argument to be made for divestment, too. As the world continues to transition away from fossil fuels in the coming decades, investments in oil and gas are at risk of becoming “stranded assets,” suffering sharp declines in value that leave institutional investors like pension funds on the hook for billions, or even trillions, in losses.“If you look at what happened to coal in the last decade, those assets have done incredibly poorly,” says Dan Carreno, an analyst with Change Finance, a sustainability-focused investment firm. “We’re starting to see the exact same thing happen with natural gas, relative to wind and solar. And we could see the same thing happen with oil.”More: Can the fossil fuel divestment movement win in oil-rich Colorado? Fossil fuel divestment efforts begin to take hold in oil-rich Colorado
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):ExxonMobil expects investments in the global LNG sector to slow as the market works through a supply glut that has pushed prices to record lows, CEO Darren Woods told financial analysts during a Jan. 31 earnings call.“Investments in that space will probably slow,” Woods said. “Eventually, the demand will catch up to the supply and things will improve…It’s the same dynamic of capital-intensive long-cycle investments.” The CEO’s comments reflected an LNG market that has grown increasingly bearish for the near term because of weak winter demand for natural gas and the startup of new LNG export plants.Woods suggested there is a lack of urgency at his company to greenlight new LNG export infrastructure in the oversupplied environment and said new projects will have to compete within the existing portfolio. Responding to a question over media reports that negotiations broke down between Exxon and the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government over a key political agreement for a gas deal that the PNG LNG export project needs to advance to construction, Woods said there is no rush to develop the project, which used to have a target for a final investment decision, or FID, in 2020.The Platts Japan Korea Marker, the benchmark price for spot-traded LNG in Northeast Asia, hit a more than 10-year low when it dropped under $4/MMBtu on Jan. 23, according to S&P Global Platts. Margins have also weakened for selling spot LNG cargoes to Europe. In the U.S., the oversupply picture is spurring increasing concern that profits could weaken to the point that shipments from U.S. LNG facilities will be curtailed and send prices in the domestic market to uncharted lows.Woods did not specifically address the route the company would take to sanction multibillion-dollar LNG export projects. Exxon and Qatar Petroleum took a relatively novel approach when they commercially sanctioned the Golden Pass LNG project in Texas in February 2019. That was because the partners went forward without announcing any long-term off-take agreements for the project, which will be able to produce around 16 million tonnes per annum of LNG. Most developers have relied on long-term take-or-pay contracts to allow them to secure financing for their projects.Few backers of LNG projects in the world have deep-enough pockets to take this approach in advancing a project to construction. But some market observers have warned the approach could heighten the risk of overbuilding supply to meet an expected surge in demand in the mid-2020s. [Corey Paul]More ($): Exxon predicts waning investment in global LNG amid supply glut ExxonMobil’s Woods still betting on long-term growth in global LNG market
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:Greek renewable power producer Terna Energy SA plans to allocate more than EUR 550 million (USD 597.1m) for clean energy projects, including 400 MW of new wind farms.The company will embark on the new plan with the construction of over 180 MW of wind parks, gradually expanding the capacity to a target of 400 MW.The overall investment in the proposed wind projects stands at EUR 550 million, Terna Energy said earlier this week. It noted the initiative adds to the previously announced EUR-1-billion programme for deploying more wind power capacity at home and developing environmental and energy storage projects.The Greek firm will shortly start building new wind farms in Euboea, the second-largest Greek island. Those projects are part of a 270 MW portfolio of fully or partially licensed projects that it secured through the acquisition of Greek-based RF Omalies SA.Terna Energy previously set a goal of having 2,000 MW of operating renewable energy assets in Greece and abroad in 2025. It now expects to fulfil this objective “much earlier” than planned. The company already has 1,390 MW of installed capacity in Europe, mostly in Greece, and the US.[Veselina Petrova]More: Terna Energy to add 400 MW of fresh wind capacity Terna Energy plans additional 400MW of wind capacity in Greece
Merredin solar farm, largest in Western Australia, begins sending power to the grid FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The 100MW Merredin solar farm – by far the biggest in the state of Western Australia to date – has started sending power to the grid in the first phase of its commissioning process.The solar farm – near the wheat-belt town of the same name – is owned by Risen Energy and began sending output to the local grid a few days ago. Under a four stage commissioning process it will initially be able to export up to 20 per cent of its capacity, then up to 50 per cent in its second stage, and 80 per cent in the third stage before reaching full output in stage four.The Merredin solar farm began construction in the middle of last year and is one of three big wind and solar projects that will join the WA grid in 2020.The biggest wind farm in the state, the 212MW Yandin facility north of Perth, began exporting to the grid earlier this month and followed a similarly staged commissioning process. The 180MW Warradarge wind farm, also north of Perth, is also due to start generating to the grid soon.Remarkably, for a state with such excellent solar resources, and more than 1,300MW of rooftop solar, Merredin will be one of just a handful of large scale solar farms on the state’s main grid. It will join the country first grid-scale solar farm, Greenough River (now being upgraded from 10MW to 40MW), and the smaller Emu Downs and Badgingarra solar farms that are co-located with wind installations. There is also a 9.6MW solar farm at Northam.Large scale solar farms also being installed in the Pilbara, where big iron ore mines are turning to solar and storage to reduce the high cost of gas generation and to improve reliability. At least two solar plants – one of 60MW, and two more totaling 150MW, are planned by Fortescue Metals and Alinta Energy.[Giles Parkinson]More: West Australia’s first 100MW solar farm starts sending power to the grid
This contest has ended, but don’t have a cow we still have other Contests going! For a full list of local festivals, click here!
Finish flex: Kevin Baldwin from Reston, Va., celebrates at last year’s Luray Triathlon.Multisport in the MountainsWhether you’re into off-road adventure races or pavement-pounding triathlons, the Blue Ridge has multisport races with plenty of incline to steepen your challenge.Luray Triathlon: Luray, Va. • August 18Seize the opportunity to toe the line with six-time Ironman World Champion Dave Scott, who is set to take on this scenic course in the Shenandoah Valley. The two-day event features an international distance triathlon (1500m swim/41K bike/10K run) on Saturday, followed by a shorter sprint on Sunday. Both courses feature an open-water loop swim in Lake Arrowhead, followed by some rigorous pavement pedaling and pounding through winding country roads framed by a breathtaking Blue Ridge backdrop. luraytriathlon.comTri Creek Falls Triathlon: Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tenn. • August 19 A backwoods triathlon meets a low-key bluegrass festival at this Olympic distance race within the wooded confines of Fall Creek Falls State Park. Centrally located in the green hills between Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Nashville, the race starts with a 1,500-meter open water swim in a peaceful lake, followed by a 40K bike ride on rolling roads, before finishing with a shaded 10K trail run. After conquering the course, every racer gets to enjoy some mighty fine picking and singing. endurancesportsmanagement.comNorth Carolina Adventure Race 26.2-Hour Epic: Morganton, N.C. • August 25This gut-check of an endurance event covers some of North Carolina’s most killer terrain. Last year only 40 percent of the racers who started actually finished, but those who did said the course offers an unparalleled wilderness adventure. Starting in Morganton, the race covers a burly stretch of the Pisgah National Forest, as racers bike, run, and rappel through the Brown Mountains, Table Rock, and the rugged canyon country of Linville Gorge. Add some paddling on Lake James and plenty of backcountry orienteering and you have all bases covered for an epic mountain challenge. ncars.info Carter Caves 8-Hour Adventure Race: Carter Caves State Resort Park, Ky. • September 15 Part of a series that takes adventure racers to courses at different Kentucky state parks, the Carter Caves 8-Hour is your chance to see how low you can go. A long day of racing covers the best of Carter Caves State Resort Park, including trekking and mountain biking on 26 miles of trails, paddling the 45-acre Smokey Lake, and going subterranean as you explore an area that holds the highest concentration of caves in Kentucky. Soloists and teams of up to four can take on the intermediate-level race. flyingsquirreladventures.comCheckpoint Tracker Adventure Racing Championship: Oak Hill, W.Va. • September 27The largest adventure racing series in North America culminates with a backcountry bang. Solo racers and teams of up to four will cover 100 miles over approximately 30 straight hours, traversing the rugged terrain of West Virginia’s New River Gorge. Venerable sport pioneers Odyssey Adventure Racing are designing the championship course that is scheduled to include mountain biking, trekking, riverboarding, and guided whitewater rafting through class III-IV rapids. checkpointtracker.com Fountainhead Off-Road Duathlon: Fairfax Station, Va. • September 30 Go solo or grab a partner and break this one up into a relay, as you tackle some tough off-road terrain on the perimeter of Metro D.C. Start with a 2.5-mile run on the trails of Fountainhead Regional Park, then transition to a twisty 11-mile singletrack ride that’s rolling but reasonable. When you top it off with another 3.5-mile run you won’t feel anywhere near the hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital, as you stroll along the banks of the Occoquan Reservoir. ex2adventures.comDig the Du Off Road Duathlon: Hendersonville, N.C. • October 14 Bring your running shoes and your big wheeler and take the opportunity to race on trails normally closed to the public. The Dig the Du Off Road Duathlon takes place at the private Sky Valley Farm on a course that’s accessible to multi-sport newbies yet tough enough to make seasoned vets sweat. The race starts with a 2.5-mile run on twisty singletrack, leading into a 12-mile bike ride on unmaintained forest service roads with both steady uphill and downhill grades. Finish with another 2.5-mile trail jaunt, and you’ll be home free to grab a huge breath of fall air. idaph.net3 Races in 3 DaysThink you can handle three races in three straight days? Find out at the Lake Lure Olympiad Sports Festival, which takes place throughout North Carolina’s steep Hickory Nut Gorge August 24-26. The three-race challenge starts on Friday with the 10K Dam Run, a hearty 6.2-mile slog that climbs up the winding mountain roads near Lake Lure. The next day’s Lake Lure Triathlon features a 750-meter swim in its namesake, followed by a 20K quad-busting bike ride, and a 5K run with some steady ascents. Finish on Sunday with the Race to the Rock, which features an optional 25-mile bike ride or 5K run. Both tackle the grueling seven-percent grade of iconic Chimney Rock. hickorynutolympiad.comYou may be able to use this gear at your next triathlon, adventure race, or campout!
Everyone has those favorite gear items, especially when it comes to clothing. Your favorite pair of cycling socks, your favorite pair of running shorts, your favorite camping flannel. There is a reason for this, they are either the most comfortable, perform the best, or hold a special place due to the memories you have made in them.I added a favorite gear item to my list this fall and winter, the Ibex Woolies 150 Crew. I found myself wearing the baselayer beneath bike jerseys, on runs, under my flannel to work, and more. It is just so comfortable that you can’t help but keep it at the top of the drawer.The 150g/m2 weight wool is incredibly soft and cozy, so much so that multiple times I found my girlfriend curled up on the couch in it. It keeps you quite warm while also doing a great job at regulating temperature. I found myself pairing the Woolie 150 with a cycling jersey, or in the case of running another baselayer or wind vest. It is a baselayer (which it excels at) not a mid layer, so keep that in mind when dressing for your outing.The fit is well thought out. Tight enough to keep out of the way and not bunch up if worn under another layer. The collar is nice and snug, but never tries to strangle you. I am 6’1” and 160 pounds and found a medium to be the perfect fit.As far as pricing you’re looking at $80. Wool is not cheap, we can all agree on that. The fact is though I have worn the Woolies 150 Crew well over 20 times and it shows no sign of wear and tear. The quality is top notch and does a much better job than some of the other synthetic baselayers I own.Bottom Line: If you’re looking to add another favorite gear item to your stockpile, be sure to give the Ibex Woolies 150 Crew a hard look.Check out the Ibex Woolies video below: