Month: December 2020

In Closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant, a Concession That the Future Is Not Nuclear

first_imgIn Closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant, a Concession That the Future Is Not Nuclear FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Ivan Penn and Samantha Masunaga for the Los Angeles Times:One of California’s largest energy utilities took a bold step in the 21st century electricity revolution with an agreement to close its last operating nuclear plant and develop more solar, wind and other clean power technologies.The decision announced Tuesday by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to close its beleaguered Diablo Canyon nuclear plant within the next decade runs counter to the nuclear industry’s arguments that curbing carbon emissions and combating climate change require use of nuclear power, which generates the most electricity without harmful emissions.Instead, PG&E joined with longtime adversaries such as the Friends of the Earth environmental group to craft a deal that will bring the company closer to the mandate that 50% of California’s electricity generation come from renewable energy sources by 2030.PG&E’s agreement will close the book on the state’s history as a nuclear pioneer, but adds to its clean energy reputation. California already leads the nation by far in use of solar energy generated by rooftop panels and by sprawling power arrays in the desert.“California is already a leader in curtailing greenhouse gases,” said Peter Bradford, a former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “Now they’re saying they can go even further. That’s potentially a model for other situations.”Under the proposal, the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County would be retired by PG&E after its current U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission operating licenses expire in November 2024 and August 2025.The power produced by Diablo Canyon’s two nuclear reactors would be replaced with investment in a greenhouse-gas-free portfolio of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage, PG&E said.Full Article: PG&E to close Diablo Canyon, California’s last nuclear power plantlast_img read more

Solar Industry Sees Post-Hurricane Opportunity in Puerto Rico

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:The solar industry has taken particular interest in San Juan in the aftermath of the hurricane. It’s primarily a humanitarian effort for these companies, but it’s also a chance to showcase an energy source capable of enduring natural disasters. Tesla Inc. is sending its Powerwall battery systems and Sunrun has sent more than 12,000 pounds of solar products and equipment to the island. The Solar Energy Industries Association has received pledges for more than $1.2 million in product and monetary contributions from its network. Some hope the crisis will spur greater energy self-reliance. “We should be more flexible, to allow regions to have their own systems,” said Marco Antonio Rigau, president of San Juan’s city council, in an interview. “We are not using solar energy completely.”Sunrun is using these charitable installations, that will allow the firehouses to produce their own power for lights and communications equipment, as a test for setting up more microgrids around the island, said Chris Rauscher, director of public policy for the company. Providing storage is crucial at this point; solar panels alone can’t provide round-the-clock power. With the grid down, existing panels atop Puerto Rico homes and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. stores that are affiliated with utility Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or Prepa, have failed to operate. Houston-based Sunnova Energy Corp., which has 10,000 residential customers in Puerto Rico who depend on Prepa, is asking battery providers to send shipments to the island on the expectation that restrictions preventing their use will be eliminated. Chief Executive Officer John Berger said he met last week with Governor Ricardo Rossello for assistance “to cut the red tape to allow those batteries to come in and allow our customers to have power.”Getting the power back on is the current priority, Governor Ricardo Rosello told a Bloomberg News reporter in San Juan on Friday, but more thought must be given to the future of the energy grid. (He has already held an “initial conversation” with Elon Musk on the subject, he recently tweeted.) The island must “give ourselves an opportunity to not just rebuild the old system but rather to establish a platform so that we can consider microgrids” and other uses of renewable sources, he said.More: Solar Industry Wants to Build Puerto Rico’s Grid of the Future Solar Industry Sees Post-Hurricane Opportunity in Puerto Ricolast_img read more

Investor Signal: Philippine Coal Tax

first_imgInvestor Signal: Philippine Coal Tax FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Interaksyon:The passage of the coal tax increase in the Philippines gives a clear signal to investors that the country is leading the ASEAN transition to clean energy. This is important as it gives new policy impetus for the private sector to invest in abundant yet underdeveloped wind resources.And it’s already happening.Meralco PowerGen Corporation (MGen) is planning to invest in wind power projects and is looking at two projects totaling 300 megawatts (MW). Its president Rogelio Singson was quoted by recent reports as saying that “When the coal tax kicks in, that will even be more competitive.”The public and private sector in the Philippines can take this a step further by replacing the 10,000 gigawatts (GW) in coal projects currently in the pipeline with other options such as geothermal, natural gas, solar, wind, hydro, and biomass through a technology-neutral least-cost procurement.Building new wind and solar farms costs less than continuing to run current coal or nuclear plants, according to a new report from Lazard, a leading global financial advisory and asset management firm. The levelized cost of energy for both utility-scale solar and onshore wind technologies globally are down six percent from last year. Economies of scale and technology development mean this deflationary trend shows no sign of slowing.As a result of renewable energy cost deflation, the electricity transition taking root in countries around the world is attracting the world’s largest investors. Global electricity policy leaders such as Mexico, Chile, India, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates are seeing accelerating tariff cost reductions of up to 50 percent since the start of 2016. Overnight, a 500-MW wind tender in Gujarat, India was finalized at a record low 2.43 rupees per kilowatt-hour (kWh), equivalent to USD0.04 per kWh or PHP1.90 per kWh. Rooftop solar in the Philippines is seeing costs as low as under USD1 million per MW.As the Philippines’ energy policy clarity and commitments build, the opportunity to replicate this technology-driven trend here is very material.More: Coal tax: The right signal for new investments in the Philippineslast_img read more

Indiana utility Nipsco signs with NextEra for 300MW of solar capacity in coal-free drive

first_imgIndiana utility Nipsco signs with NextEra for 300MW of solar capacity in coal-free drive FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO), a subsidiary of US utility NiSource Inc., has concluded off-take deals with NextEra Energy Resources LLC involving around 300 MW of solar capacity in Indiana.NIPSCO and units of NextEra Energy Resources, which is in turn part of NextEra Energy Inc., have signed two 20-year purchase power agreements (PPAs). They will see NIPSCO get the electricity from two photovoltaic (PV) parks that will be installed in central Indiana, the energy provider said on Friday.The new solar plants, namely the 200-MW Brickyard Solar and 100-MW Greensboro Solar, are planned to go live by the middle of 2023. The particular projects were selected in a Request for Proposals (RFPs) that NIPSCO held at the end of 2019. The Greensboro solar farm will have 30 MW of integrated battery storage capacity.The off-take deals are part of NIPSCO’s strategy to deliver “more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy mix” and support the utility’s ambition to become coal-free by 2028. This goal will be achieved by adding more wind, solar and battery storage capacity to the company’s portfolio, it said, adding that more renewable projects will be announced later this year.[Veselina Petrova]More: NIPSCO seals solar PPAs for 300 MW with NextEralast_img read more

Invenergy begins construction on 1.3GW solar project in Texas, largest in U.S.

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Invenergy has begun construction on a five-phase, 1,310-megawatt solar center spanning three Texas counties, the energy developer and operator said on Wednesday.The company has already secured offtake agreements with several cities and large corporations for its Samson Solar Energy Center, with phases set to come online in 2022 and 2023. Though the solar will be divided over numerous neighboring sites, its total capacity is significantly greater than the 690-megawatt Gemini project, which currently holds the title for the largest solar project planned in the U.S. In recent years, Texas has become an epicenter for utility-scale solar development. While solar accounts for only about 2 percent of generating capacity in the territory of system operator ERCOT, it outranks all other categories in ERCOT’s interconnection queue. In an April report, ERCOT forecast that its installed solar capacity of about 2.3 gigawatts could double this year.While much of the solar development in the state has concentrated in West Texas, Invenergy will construct its first Texas solar project in the northeast part of the state, near the Oklahoma border. It’s expected to yield more than $250 million for private landowners and create about 600 jobs during construction.The greatest portion of Samson’s power output will go to telecommunications giant AT&T, which has signed a power-purchase agreement for 500 megawatts of capacity — a record purchase for the United States in the commercial and industrial domain. Honda is the next largest offtaker with 200 megawatts. McDonald’s will offtake 160 megawatts, the city of Bryan, Texas snapped up 150 megawatts, and Google contracted for 100 megawatts. Home Depot and the cities of Denton and Garland also each contracted for slices of under 100 megawatts. Invenergy declined to provide details on the contract prices.Chicago-based Invenergy is among the leading renewables developers in the U.S., with over 3.5 gigawatts of solar and wind contracted in the U.S. and Mexico. Long a heavyweight in wind, Invenergy’s interest in solar is more recent, though it ranks in the top 10 solar developers in the U.S., according to Wood Mackenzie. Earlier this year, it began operating what was then its largest solar project, a 160-megawatt array in Georgia. This Texas project is “at a new scale,” said Ted Romaine, the company’s senior vice president of origination, in a statement.[Emma Foehringer Merchant]More: Invenergy announces 1.3GW series of solar projects in Texas Invenergy begins construction on 1.3GW solar project in Texas, largest in U.S.last_img read more

Fest Gear

first_img1. Outdoor Research TerminiIn the thick of summer, the Termini is just what you need to get through long days of festing. Despite the casual look, it’s made of technical, extremely lightweight nylon with an airy fit that will let what little wind’s out there reach you for sweet relief. Add odor control treatment and UPF 30 sun protection, and you’ve found the shirt that will carry you through the weekend. $65; outdoorresearch.com2. Chaco UpdraftA revamped take on the classic Chaco, the Updraft features a lighter streamlined sole with a comfortably sculpted platform that cradles your foot and the expected grippy Vibram® traction on the bottom that you can’t live without. $110; chacos.com3. Kelty LumaSpot RhythmPerfect for campsite illumination and background tunes, the LumaSpot Rhythm is a versatile lantern with a bright, movable spotlight mounted to the top and a built-in MP3 player to keep the jams rolling all night. Bonus feature: multi-colored LED’s can be set to disco mode for your late night campsite dance party. $65; kelty.com4. Sierra Yahi 6 TentTake advantage of basecamp-style festy camping and stretch out with the Yahi 6. The border pole design pops quickly and delivers plenty of room for the whole family or a handful of close friends and a cooler. Two doors and two vestibules mean easy entry and exit, as well as simple organization of gear and other festival essentials. $399; sierradesigns.com5. Crazy Creek New Hex 2.0There’s no hassle bringing the New Hex 2.0 out to the main stage for a set of bluegrass. The lightweight camp chair features high-density core foam for long stints of comfortable chillaxing with your favorite tunes. Plus, when it’s time to bounce around the grounds, it rolls up to only four inches in diameter. $40; crazycreek.com6. Eagles Nest Outfitter SlackWireIn between sets, hook up the SlackWire and challenge your friends to a balance competition. See who has the strongest core with this slacklining wire that sets up in minutes and comes in a convenient carrying case for festy transport. $60; eaglesnestoutfittersinc.com 7. Eureka Sawtooth 45LEureka makes its first foray into backpacks with the Sawtooth, a rugged, durable, and affordable overnight pack. Extensive exterior pocketing keeps water bottles and maps within easy reach, and the roomy interior stows a week’s worth of gear and food. $109; eureka.com8. Scarpa SparkAnother crossover company, Scarpa has long been known for its tough hiking and mountaineering footwear. Now it has released its first trail shoe. The Spark weighs in at a lean 9.7 ounces, yet it has plenty of grip and support for rugged Blue Ridge trails. A minimalist design and a sturdy sole make the Spark a quick, nimble trail shoe for running, fastpacking, or day hiking. Eco-bonus: the Spark is made of 40 percent recycled materials. $115; scarpa.com9. Pura Water BottleMany water bottles claim to be BPA-free, but Pura ensures that every component—from lid to lining—is made from 100%, BPA-free stainless steel. Even the lid is steel, ensuring no sneaky endocrine disruptors leach into your water. It’s also 100% recyclable and made from 60% recycled steel. No other water bottle offers the safety and durability of the Pura. $25; purastainless.com10. Anarchy McCoy SunglassesLightweight and flexible, the McCoys withstood a week of getting smashed, crunched, and sat on. Named after Steve McCoy from the 1972 movie The Getaway, these classic shades provide complete UV protection, and the polarized lenses are especially impressive behind the wheel. Rugged and durable, they didn’t break or scratch after a road trip that involved multiple cars, hikes, and kids. $40; anarchyeyewear.com11. Outdoor Research Helium JacketIt’s as light as its name. The Helium compresses into its own pocket so small that it’s barely noticeable, yet the durable storm shell protects hikers from sudden downpours or cold fronts. The elastic cuffs and drawcord ensure weather-tight shielding. $130; outdooresearch.com12. Carhartt Canvas Cargo PantsCarhartt is synoymous with rugged durability, and the cargo pants live up to the Carhartt legacy. They are ideal for rugged adventure. Made of 7.5-ounce, 100% ring-spun cotton, they offer thigh, multiple tool, and utility pockets and a right leg utility band. They’re quite simply the toughest pants on the planet, yet the cotton is comfortable and lightweight. Wear them on and off the trail for durable, long-lasting comfort and style. $82; carhartt.comClick here for our full list of festivals!last_img read more

Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns Nominee: Harrisonburg, Virginia

first_imgOften hailed as one of the region’s top outdoors towns, Harrisonburg is smack dab in the heart of Virginia’s famed Shenandoah Valley.This college town — home to James Madison University — is also home to 51,000 residents and is a stone’s throw from George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.Mountain bikers flock to these forests for some of the best mountain biking in the Blue Ridge mountains. Not suprsinigly, JMU has a world-class mountain biking team, and some of the region’s top riders hail from Harrisonburg. The south fork of the Shenandoah River is a popular destination for tubing, kayaking, canoeing and fishing. When the mercury drops tourists and locals tend to head for the ski slopes of the Massanutten Resort. Year round, the biggest draw is nearby Shenandoah National Park, where hikers can explore the Appalachian Trail and hundreds of miles of additional singletrack leading to famous overlooks and vistas.Cudas_IB_0814_2DID YOU KNOW? Reddish Knob, located about one hour from Harrisonburg in the George Washington National Forest, is one of the highest points in Virginia. At 4,397 ft, the peak is a well-known destination for hikers and mountain bikers.Vote now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!last_img read more

Tool Thieves Hit Rocky Knob Bike Park

first_imgThere’s a special kind of asshole roaming around the mountains of North Carolina’s High Country right now. The Boone Area Cyclists reported earlier this week that a bunch of tools were stolen from their tool trailer at Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park. The thieves stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment—all stuff that was purchased through grants or donations. Essentially, they took everything but a handful of shovels. This is a volunteer organization that builds bike parks and trails. Bike parks and trails that a lot of kids like to ride. Because, as most of you know, riding bikes on trails makes kids happy. So essentially, this thief (or thieves) just stole happiness from children.volunteersI’m trying not to be too judgmental here. We’ve all done things that we’re not proud of. I can think of several years during my late teens/early 20s that would probably make my mother weep with shame. But stealing trail building tools? That’s a new kind of low. A rock bottom kind of low. I put this guy in the same category as a bike thief. There’s a special ring of hell reserved for people who steal bikes. And now that ring of hell needs to make room for this tool-stealing douchebag. I mean really, stealing tools? How much meth can you buy with a mattock anyway? The Boone Area Cyclists are carrying on with business as usual, and have work days planned for the near future. They’ve set up a donation page so the public can help them replace the tools that were lost. Check it out and consider helping these volunteers out. The singletrack that they’re building and maintaining in and around Boone literally makes the world a better place. Don’t let some asshole with sticky fingers ruin that.last_img read more

Half Ton Thru-Hike

first_img26-year-old Georgia native and wilderness guide Seth Orme was out hiking in Franklin, N.C. one afternoon when he started picking up little pieces of trash along the way. The crew hiking alongside him followed suit, and soon they found themselves with a pound of trash collectively. Orme thought about all of the litter living on our trail systems and wondered whether anyone had ever attempted to clean it up. One year later, during the summer of 2015, he decided to act. He set out on a journey with two friends to remove as much trail trash as possible while thru-hiking. Orme and two friends collected over 1,000 pounds of litter from the Appalachian Trail. They are continuing that mission on the Pacific Crest Trail this year.Each human generates on average around 4.7 pounds of waste each day, creating 750 million tons of garbage annually. With national park visitation in 2015 coming in at an all-time high at 307.2 million visits around the country last year alone, the outdoors are presented with a new set of challenges. Orme and his crew, aptly named Team Packing it Out, hope that by acting as outdoorsmen should and engaging the Leave No Trace ethic of packing out what you pack in on your adventures, that leading by example will create a lasting ripple effect.“We’re seeing continued increase in trail use with ‘A Walk in the Woods’ coming out last year and Cheryl Strayed’s ‘Wild’ which had similar effects for the PCT,” says Leave No Trace Education Director Ben Lawhon. “That leads to a lot of impact and certainly increased litter.”Enlight1_FIXIt was litter that initially sparked Orme to call up lifelong friend Joe Denhard whom he’d known since 8th grade and kayaked the Mississippi River with a few years earlier. He told him he wanted to clean as much trash as he could while thru-hiking the A.T. that summer. Denhard was in for the five-month challenge, and together they set out with a sea-kayaking guide Orme met a few years earlier, Paul Twedt.“I knew at that point in my life it was going to take something more, a bigger reason for me to quit my life for five months,” says Orme. “This idea had a strong enough pull for me. What if there is no trash? What if I can help?”On the eight-mile approach trail to Springer Mountain, Ga., they collected 19 pounds of trash. “Shaking our heads, thinking ‘what are we doing?’ we just kept telling each other to stay positive, realistic, and humble about whatever was going to happen,” said Orme.At Appalachian Trail Days in Damascus, Va., they talked with the crew at Granite Gear, including Granite Gear vice president of sales and marketing Rob Coughlin. “I talk to a million hikers a year, but the ambition they took to collect a half ton of trash while thru-hiking is the greatest hiking accomplishment I’ve heard in recent history,” says Coughlin. “You have a lot of guys out there doing speed records and things like that, which is great, but to go out there and remove mattresses off the trail is going well above and beyond.”Granite Gear paid for the rest of their hike in 2015 and signed them as official athletes for 2016. They outfitted them before they hit the trail in May and will be joining them at several stops along the way to create short videos. Orme says they’re not using any new or high-tech gear for this hike and didn’t on the A.T. either. Their method is simple—use trash grabbers and keep an arsenal of trash bags and mesh nylon sacks to grab all visible trash. They stubbed toiled paper into the ground using their hiking poles and handed off full trash bags to day hikers leaving the trail with cars or emptied them in the nearest town’s trash cans and recycling centers. They weighed their findings each day using a small luggage scale.“With some of the situations we got into with trash, I’m so glad we were all there together. When you find 70 pounds of mattresses it would be tough to carry that out solo. It was ridiculously hard with three people,” said Orme.“Each person that picks up a piece of litter while out there inspires someone else to and someone else and so on. It changes our collective ethic about being outdoors,” said Orme.last_img read more

Instagram Takeover: Kristi Parsons

first_imgThis month’s Instagram Takeover features Tennessee-based photographer and explorer Kristi Parsons. One look at Kristi’s feed and you’ll find yourself longing for a visit to the mountains of eastern Tennessee. Her speciality is capturing the beauty of her home mountain range, the Great Smokies in Tennessee, but she’s constantly exploring the nooks and crannies of the North Carolina side of that range as well. Check out a few of her favorite photos below, stay up to date with her adventures here, and read our Q and A with Kristi at the bottom of this post.3hemphillbaldsmokieshikeThis recent shot comes from Hemphill Bald. I’ve done both sides of Hemphill, both the Hemphill Bald Loop at the Purchase Knob to Swag hike. I loved this shot because earlier in that week, I had been all over Lexington, KY (Horse Capital Of The World) trying to snag the perfect shot of a horse for a project that I’m working on, then, that following Sunday, I went to my mountains to soak up the day and walked upon this capture. I’m pretty certain that it was just proof of where I belong. 1atgoingtograssyridgebaldroanmountainThis shot comes from a portion of the Appalachian Trail on Roan Mountain, on the way to Grassy Ridge Bald. It had absolutely monsooned on us that day, but when we came back down the fog and the sun made the already magical looking forest even more enchanting. I couldn’t pass up a shot. 4summersdayonmaxpatch Max Patch is my old nemesis, and this will always be one of my favorite shots from there. After experiencing tundra-like conditions there on New Years Eve Day morning along constant fogged in visits and a midnight storm that brought 40 mph wind gusts and lightning, she finally decided to show me her beauty.5oconolufteeoverlookncsmokiesSunrise at Oconoluftee. It doesn’t get much better than that. When my two favorite states (Tennessee and North Carolina) meet in the middle, to say good morning, the result is pure bliss!2forneyridgetrailsmokieshikeForney Ridge Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the trail that will also take you to Andrews Bald. I love trail shots because to me the trails hold thousands of memories and stories. They absorb not only the rain but also our stress, thoughts, frustrations, worries, and sadness.[divider]a Q & A with Kristi Parsons[/divider]BRO: How long have you been exploring the Smokies?KP: I grew up in East Tennessee, so I’ve visited the Smokies my entire life. However, they’ve become a constant part of my life over the past year and a half. I returned to them after a very traumatic time in my life and found indescribable peace and positivity in them. There will never be a time again that I don’t think of them as home and make time to roam their hills. BRO: When did you start capturing the beauty of these mountains in photographs?KP: Just after returning to the trails and truly experiencing their magic, I decided that I had to find a way to encourage others to experience it as well. That was my reason for beginning to photograph my adventures and write about them. For the past year and half, I’ve shared my discoveries on social media in hopes of inspiring others to go outside and play as well. BRO: Other than photography, what’s your favorite way to get out and explore the mountains of East Tennessee?KP: I’m a nature nerd in every way possible. If it’s outdoors, I’m happy. I love hiking, camping, backpacking or just exploring the forest for hours to find all the things that many others seem to overlook. BRO: Where do you go when you’re not exploring the Smokies? Got any other favorite haunts in the Southern Appalachians?KP: One of the things I love about living in Knoxville is that I’m 2 hours from amazing places in every direction. From the waterfalls of Middle Tennessee to Western North Carolina, Northeast TN, Chattanooga and North Georgia and the corners of Kentucky and Virginia. I’m absolutely in love with Western North Carolina, Roan Highlands and Grayson Highlands. Those are definitely 3 of my top favorite spots to explore outside of the Smokies. BRO: What are your five favorite trails in the Smokies? KP: 1. Any trail in the Tremont section of the park, it’s all just gorgeous. Lush, green, filled with waterfalls and tranquility. 2. Charlie’s Bunion. It has it all: The AT, red squirrels, insane views. 3. Alum Cave to LeConte. It was my first trail to LeConte. Gorgeous views, fantastic rock features and of course Mount LeConte at the top. 4. Rainbow Falls, but only crazy early in the morning to beat the crowd. It’s just perfect, regardless of if you’re going to summit LeConte or just getting in a quick hike to the falls. 5. Trillium Gap. Again, a beautiful trail that will take you to Mount LeConte. Trillium also features the only waterfall in the park where the trail actually takes you behind the waterfall. And of course, it’s the trail of the LeConte Llama train. Who doesn’t love seeing llamas on a hike? BRO: Tell us about the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while out in the field. KP: Thankfully, nothing too insane yet, however, as i mentioned before, Max Patch is my nemesis! From tundra like conditions and freezing fog on New Years Day morning to being blown off the top at midnight on my birthday by 40mph wind gusts and distant lightning to multiple fogged in visits. She’s my nemesis but sure is beautiful when she’s happy! Related:last_img read more