On the Blogs: Wind, Solar Beat Coal On Price In Colorado FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Cooperative:Utilities in Colorado are planning to add a lot more renewable energy over the next few years, for a variety of reasons. I’ve looked at a couple of the trends driving this energy transition such as 100% renewable energy commitments from the utilities’ major customers, including towns and cities like Pueblo and Boulder, and major companies like Aspen Skiing Company, Google, Vail Resorts, IBM, Anheuser-Busch, and New Belgium.But perhaps the biggest reason that utilities in the region are pursuing more renewable energy is that the low costs of wind and solar energy have continued to fall, opening up a huge market: replacement power for existing coal plants.Cheap renewable energy has already meant that when utilities needed new power generation in recent years, they have mostly chosen renewable energy. Nationwide, wind and solar power represented about two-thirds of all the new electricity generation capacity that was brought online in both 2015 and 2016, according to the US Energy Information Agency.But as the costs of building new wind and solar projects have kept dropping, renewable energy is now becoming cheaper even than continuing to run existing coal-fired power plants – as Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper recently noted, “Coal is no longer the low-cost fuel.”More: New Wind and Solar Power In Colorado Is Now Cheaper Than Existing Coal Plants
Xcel, Hewing to ‘Steel for Fuel’ Strategy, Presses Ahead With Wind Farms in Texas and New Mexico FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:The Texas Public Utilities Commission voted to approve two wind farm projects from Xcel Energy’s Southwestern Public Service — a 478 MW project in Hale County, Texas and a 522 MW wind project in Roosevelt County, New Mexico. New Mexico regulators had approved the proposal in March.The Commission also approved the power purchase agreement between the utility and NextEra’s Bonita Wind Energy, as part of Xcel’s acquisition of the Hale project. SPS will purchase an additional 230 MW of wind generation from two Texas-based wind farms.Combined, the two projects will require 500 turbines from Vestas-American Wind Technology. Xcel has close to 1.6 GW of wind energy available in its Texas-New Mexico generation mix and its proposal will nearly double that, adding 1.2 GW.The expansion had a false start in April, when the Commission gave a voice-vote approval for the $1.6 billion deal, but delayed a final order to allow the parties to file written responses regarding cost recovery and other concerns expressed by the regulators. Xcel’s subsidiary appeared before the Commission regarding their proposal four times, according to RTO Insider. Now construction can begin on the two wind farms.SPS told the commission that the power purchase agreement and the two wind projects will lead to net savings for customers.Announced in March 2017, the major wind energy expansion contributes to Xcel’s growing renewable energy footprint. The project is part of Xcel’s Steel-for-Fuel strategy, as defined by Xcel CEO Benjamin Fowke during the company’s Q1 earnings call in April.“Because of the strong wind resources in our service territories, we have the unique opportunity to invest in renewable generation in which the capital cost could be more than offset by fuel savings,” Fowke said during the call.Xcel is also pursuing regulatory approval for wind energy projects in Colorado and Minnesota. If the Minnesota Commission approves the company’s proposal, Xcel could become an industry leader in wind energy, with more than 10 GW of wind capacity.More: Xcel to add 1.2 GW of wind to Texas, New Mexico mix, as PUC gives formal OK
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Croatia’s state-run power utility HEP aims to boost renewable energy to 50 percent of its total capacity from the current 35 percent, investing 1 billion Croatian kuna ($153.96 million) a year on average until 2030, it said on Thursday.It will upgrade existing hydro power plants, as well as adding new ones, and invest in other renewable sources, HEP said in a statement.The company is currently running an open tender procedure for the construction of a 6.5 megawatt (MW) solar power plant on the island of Cres, which will be the largest in the country to date.Talks are also underway on the acquisition of two solar and two wind farms, it said, adding that a total of 600 million kuna will be allocated for these projects in 2019 alone.Croatia, the European Union’s newest member, imports 40 percent of its electricity, around 40 percent of its gas and up to 80 percent of its oil. It currently has 4,500 MW of installed power generation capacity with HEP controlling 85 percent of the electricity market.More: Croatia’s HEP to invest $1.85 billion in renewable energy by 2030 Croatia’s government-run utility plans major renewables investments
New Mexico regulators approve all-renewable replacement power option for San Juan coal plant FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Albuquerque Journal:The state Public Regulation Commission unanimously approved an all-renewable energy plan Wednesday morning to replace the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station near Farmington.The 5-0 decision sets in motion plans for Public Service Company of New Mexico to sign power purchase agreements with third-party providers to build 650 megawatts of solar farms in San Juan, Rio Arriba and McKinley counties, plus 300 MW of backup battery storage. Investment in those new resources could total about $1 billion, bringing 1,200 or more construction jobs to the northwestern region of the state.Commissioners said the plan, which was recommended by hearing examiners in the case, is the best option to meet environmental goals and other requirements specified in the state’s new Energy Transition Act. The ETA requires PNM to transition to 80% renewable energy by 2040 and carbon-free generation by 2045.PNM had requested PRC approval last summer to abandon the San Juan power plant in 2022 to begin meeting ETA goals, which the commission granted last March. But commissioners still needed to approve new generating resources to replace lost electricity from the coal plant.In the end, commissioners accepted the recommendation by PRC hearing examiners to adopt an all-renewable approach proposed by the Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy. Examiners said the proposal would best meet the ETA’s environmental goals, as well as respond to the act’s emphasis on placing at least some replacement power generation in San Juan County to offset the impact of the coal plant’s closure on local communities.PRC General Counsel Michael Smith told commissioners Wednesday morning that evidence presented by the examiners shows the CCAE plan will restore much of the tax base that San Juan County and the Central Consolidated School District there will lose after PNM abandons San Juan.[Kevin Robinson-Avila]More: PRC approves all-renewable plan to replace power from San Juan
Race DetailsWhen: June 1-2, 2013Where: Williamsburg, Va.What: 8K, half marathon, kids fun run, half marathon relayStart time: 8amRace size: BoutiqueWebsite: http://www.runforachievabledream.com/Third Annual Run for the Dream, Williamsburg, VA, June1-2, 2013 Run for the Dream is a great opportunity to compete in a boutique race in a unique historic setting. The race has something for everyone. It includes an 8K Run/Walk, the 2013 USA Masters 8km National Championship, and a Kids Fun Run. It also includes a Half Marathon and new this year, a Half Marathon Relay.The course winds through beautiful Colonial Williamsburg, along quaint streets and the scenic James River, and when you cross the finish line you do it in style in William & Mary’s football stadium. It makes for a great photo finish. Race management is Dave McGillivray and the DMSE team.The race offers great value. Every year the first 3,000 registrants receive a free $70 ticket and $15 food voucher to Busch Gardens and a $40 ticket to Colonial Williamsburg. After the race, celebrate at the post-race party with delicious BBQ and libations, live music and more.This year, our new race director Kelly Baker, has put her personal touch to some cool new swag with a redesigned tee shirt, upgraded finisher’s medals and a new goodie bag.Run for the Dream benefits An Achievable Dream a nationally recognized K-12 school in Newport News, Virginia and Wounded Warrior Programs. Proceeds go to the participating organizations that include Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, Disabled Sports USA and Paralyzed Veterans Racing.Race ContactKelly [email protected](757) 599-9472
Stretching 3,000 miles from Massachusetts to Texas, the ICW is a linked series of channels, bays, and dredged canals. Through Low Country, it follows tidal rivers and inlets between the mainland and the barrier sea islands. Recalling my previous trip out to Cumberland, a thought occurred. The wooden boards on the walkway down the sandy bluff were warped and weather beaten. The floating dock was damaged, with one corner jutting skyward and the other underwater. A few reminders of recent hurricanes and that, in Low Country, first impressions can be misleading. My wife perked up curiously as we approached the waterway. Not much was happening on this sleepy Saturday in late February. A few fishing boats floated about. A single pelican soared across the channel. Some bored cormorants tried to look busy. We passed the waterfront campground of local paddling outfitter, Nature Adventures Outdoors. But their season was still a few weeks from starting and their floating dock rested on a mudflat. I’d studied the tide charts and knew that within minutes, the tide would start falling. The current would reverse downstream, snaking through plains of golden cordgrass toward the Atlantic Ocean. In the meantime, we prepped our gear and waited for the shift. “Is that a dorsal fin?” “No way,” said my wife. Then, one day, a friend shocked me out of my coastal complacency by mentioning Cumberland Island National Seashore, five hours south in Georgia. After paddling, biking, and hiking around this amazing near-wilderness, I had a sudden realization: I hadn’t given Low Country enough of a chance. I began searching for other adventurous spots I must have missed. One of the first images that popped in my head was a sign on Highway 17 for Awendaw Creek Canoe Launch. In the distance, I spotted a green navigation marker. Looking around, I didn’t see much evidence of a topnotch paddling destination. The creek channel was engorged with inky blackwater that moved sluggishly upstream from the peaking tide. It didn’t look particularly inviting for paddling in our intended direction, toward the Intracoastal Waterway. It was a warm and sunny morning in early spring when we arrived at Awendaw Creek Canoe Launch, the type of day when better-known put-ins across the country would be swamped with paddlers. But we were the only two boaters in sight. Several times we passed beneath the Awendaw Passage Trail on the creek-left bank, which runs for about four miles between the canoe launch and Buck Hall Recreation Area, overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. These islands are shell middens, built by Native Americans who piled oyster shells above the high tide level. Archaeologists are uncertain about the precise purposes for these platforms. They were probably created for a few reasons, including fishing, camping, religious ceremonies, oystering, and collecting refuse. Odd, because the Intracoastal Waterway itself was completely hidden from view. When a tugboat passed by, it looked more like a tractor plowing through tallgrass. From my paddleboard, I saw two shapes moving through the water in front of the Buck Hall dock. Two bottlenose dolphins were swimming directly toward us, their fins rising every twenty feet. Approaching within 20 feet, they circled playfully around us for a while, before continuing their way south. “Maybe we’ll see dolphins today?” To say I never imagined paddling in a place called Low Country would be a major understatement. For a dozen years, I was mostly a whitewater paddler who did occasional flatwater trips with friends. Then my wife and I relocated to a college town near Myrtle Beach. Surrounded by swamps and a lack of topography lines, I wasn’t particularly pleased with the move. As we continued downstream, the current quickened and the water level within the creek channel dropped. This revealed cordgrass roots, mud banks, and eventually tidal flats covered by oyster reefs. A few slightly elevated islands of hardwood trees rose up from the marsh grasses. Sure enough, during our first hour on the falling tide we moved lazily downstream through sweeping meanders between pine forest. Bald eagles perched and herons circled. Fish jumped. I paddleboarded into a narrow side channel before thinking about gators and hustling back out. I quickly identified what I thought were the main outdoor opportunities in the area. A few short hiking trails through what I called the wildlife refuge of lowered expectations. A flatwater section on the Waccamaw River where the excitement came from dodging speedboat wakes. A local dunes trail for mountain biking. And a 5-mile loop through suburban neighborhoods where I could road cycle laps until my brain numbed enough to forget where I lived. Every chance I got, I’d hit the road heading uphill. So here we were. When we began paddling at 10 a.m., the current was moving slowly downstream. Being new to the area, I’d spent some time learning about tides on the Southeast Coast. There are four tides every day, two highs and two lows, with a typical range of about four to five feet around South Carolina’s Low Country. Each rising or falling tide lasts six hours, and the bulk of the water moves through during the middle third of a changing tide, when the current is fastest in either direction. After lunch at Buck Hall, while waiting for the current to switch, we paddled back to our vehicle on the rising tide. We’d found a great new Low Country paddling adventure. And two weeks later, we were back.
By Dialogo June 02, 2010 The head of the Peruvian Army General Staff, Abilio Fox Calle, died Monday of an acute myocardial infarction while participating in Peruvian-Ecuadorean bilateral talks in Lima, the institution announced in a statement. “Gen. Abilio Fox was participating in the Peruvian-Ecuadorean bilateral talks and died as a result of an acute myocardial infarction,” according to the statement, read by the broadcaster RPP. The Peruvian Army “deeply” regrets “this irreparable loss” to the institution and expresses its heartfelt condolences to General Fox’s family and friends in this moment of sorrow, the text adds.
By Dialogo August 18, 2010 The defense ministers of Chile, Jaime Ravinet, and Peru, Rafael Rey, agreed Monday to establish a process for measuring the military expenditures of their countries, which are pursuing litigation over their maritime border in the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Both ministers signed two memoranda of understanding during an official visit to Lima by Ravinet, who met with Peruvian president Alan García in the Palace of Government in Lima. “The aim is to strengthen ties between the two countries, and we have made and ratified agreements that can make it possible to continue promoting mutual understanding and trust, as well as regional peace and security,” the Peruvian minister said. Ravinet affirmed that he was pleased with the agreements and emphasized that his country “wants to live in peace” and demonstrates “maximum transparency” in its military expenditures. “Chile and Peru should be capable of constructing a vision that can create brotherhood between our peoples and that can look to the future,” he said. In the memoranda that were signed, “the establishment of a procedure for starting the process of determining equivalencies for the measurement of defense expenditures” was approved, Rey said. As part of this process, Ravinet said at a press conference that his country is in the process of renovating both its mid-range and short-range air-defense systems. For his part, the Peruvian minister announced that Peru also has a public-investment project to acquire an anti-aircraft defense system.
By Dialogo October 04, 2010 Two military operations in Peru’s Huanuco region, northeast of the capital of Lima, yielded the capture of six suspected guerrillas as well as materials for cocaine paste production on September 28. According to the Peruvian Armed Forces Joint Command, alleged terrorists Ramon Mayta Perez, known as “Camarada Lino” among other aliases, and Toribio Atanacio Quito, known as “Camarada Chavinillo” were arrested in the central town of Santa Rosa de Yanajanca during the initial operation. The suspects provided information that led authorities to a second operation in which a large cocaine paste production lab suspected of belonging to Shining Path commander “DT Artemio” was discovered. Four more suspects were arrested during the operation, reported EFE news agency. In addition, the Latin American Herald Tribune reported that two other Shining Path members – wanted for murder, extortion and robberies committed for the remaining faction of the maoist guerrilla – were also arrested earlier in the same week in separate operations. While the six suspects were turned over to police, a representative from the Public Ministry mandated that all material found at the lab was burned, according to the Armed Forces Joint Command.
By Dialogo April 20, 2011 Suriname was represented at the Caribbean Nations Security Conference, co-hosted by the United States Southern Command and Trinidad and Tobago in February 2011, by their newly appointed Chief of Defense, Col. Hedwig Gilaard. Diálogo spoke with Col. Gilaard about the security challenges facing his country and the need for increased regional cooperation to tackle trans-national threats such as the spread of illicit trafficking throughout the Caribbean. Diálogo: What are the main security concerns for Suriname at this time? Col. Hedwig Gilaard: We have to do a lot to have a feeling of security, because we have open borders and it’s very difficult to track illegal activities, very difficult. Eighty percent of my country is forest, so the east and the western borders are open. There are many rivers, so everybody can come in easily. We don’t have a good routing system that can track aircraft. So I think we can do more about safety in our country. Diálogo: What would be the role of the Armed Forces in ensuring safety and more precisely in combating illicit trafficking in Suriname? Col. Hedwig Gilaard: We have a great challenge because the Armed Forces are not that big. We have approximately two thousand men, so the country is too big for the Armed Forces alone to handle. Maybe with help from other nations, we can do a better job. Diálogo: Where do you envision this help coming from? Col. Hedwig Gilaard: Maybe from the big brothers, like Brazil, our southern neighbor, and the United States. Diálogo: Do you also have a problem in Suriname with criminal organizations and the emergence of gangs? Col. Hedwig Gilaard: Yes. Just like in every country, and even more so in a small county, we have that problem. Diálogo: How has illicit trafficking affected your country specifically? Col. Hedwig Gilaard: We are a transit country along the drug route, but a part of the drugs stay in the country. So in every neighborhood we now have youngsters who are on drugs. A part of our youth are affected by drugs. Diálogo: You mentioned working with other countries. What would be some of the benefits for Suriname in working with the United States and other partners? Col. Hedwig Gilaard: We are working with Southcom [United States Southern Command]. Some years ago we captured illegal aircraft but I think for two years now we haven’t captured illegal aircraft, so maybe there are less drugs coming into the country. Diálogo: Do you think additional monitoring or working with organizations such as JIATF-S (Joint Inter-Agency Task Force-South) and with regional partners, such as the RSS (Regional Security System) in the Caribbean and CARICOM, would also bring a direct benefit to Suriname? Col. Hedwig Gilaard: I think so, yes. I don’t have numbers to show you, but I think that maybe we don’t have as many drugs coming into Suriname. I know that two years ago we found a lot of small aircraft that we captured in our country. But I don’t know the route now through our country. Diálogo: Do you feel that initiatives like the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative will be helpful to combat illicit trafficking? What role could Suriname play within that initiative? Col. Hedwig Gilaard: Yes. It’s a difficult task. We can’t do it alone. We are too small to do it alone and we have a lack of intelligence, a lack of means. I think that with training we can resolve a lot of problems. Our budget is not that big, so with the help of others, I think we can achieve those goals. Diálogo: What would Suriname contribute to the initiative, for example, specialized training or information sharing that you could assist with? Col. Hedwig Gilaard: We know our country. I think we have enough experience. Maybe we can deliver results with our experience. Diálogo: Is there anything else you would like to add? Col. Hedwig Gilaard: Yes, I hope that we can get support from, like I mentioned before, the big brothers, like the United States and Brazil, to help us to do something to bring down to normal proportions illicit trafficking.