U.K. Marks a Milestone in Industrial-Scale Grid Storage

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Britain’s switch to greener energy will take another significant step forward this week with the opening of an industrial-scale battery site in Sheffield.E.ON said the facility, which is next to an existing power plant and has the equivalent capacity of half a million phone batteries, marked a milestone in its efforts to develop storage for electricity from windfarms, nuclear reactors and gas power stations.The plant, housed in four shipping containers, is the type of project hailed by the business secretary, Greg Clark, as crucial to transforming the UK’s energy system and making it greener.Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, is building a 49MW facility on the site of a former power station in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, while EDF Energy is working on one of the same size at its West Burton gas power station in Nottinghamshire.David Topping, the director of business, heat and power solutions at E.ON, said: “This is a milestone for E.ON in the new energy world and an important recognition of the enormous potential for battery solutions in the UK.”The utility-scale batteries are being built in response to a request from National Grid, the owner of Britain’s power transmission network, for contracts to help it keep electricity supply and demand in balance, which is posing an increasing challenge for the grid as more intermittent wind and solar comes online.Balancing supply and demand is essential for keeping the frequency of electricity constant at 50Hz across the UK. The ability of batteries to respond to demand in less than a second makes them ideal for the task, with earlier sources of backup power much slower at just under 10 seconds.E.ON has secured £3.89m of the £65.9m of contracts awarded for the service, though National Grid estimates the batteries will save it £200m over four years.Leon Walker, the commercial development manager at National Grid, said: “Using battery storage is a significant development for managing the national grid. It’s an ultra-fast way of keeping electricity supply and demand balanced.”More: Mega-battery plant to come online in Sheffield U.K. Marks a Milestone in Industrial-Scale Grid Storagelast_img read more

French companies secure financing for 60MW of solar in Senegal

first_imgFrench companies secure financing for 60MW of solar in Senegal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:A trio of international development lenders will provide €38 million in loans to fund two 30 MW solar power plants in Senegal.The Proparco unit of the French Development Agency, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have made the funds available to project development partners French power company Engie and Meridiam, a Parisian global investor and asset manager. The Sovereign Fund for Strategic Investment, created in 2012 to boost private sector investment in Senegal, will also be involved.The two 30 MW projects will be the first developed in Senegal under the Scaling Solar program overseen by the World Bank, which operates the IFC as its private sector investment arm. “With the signing of this funding, Senegal is once again demonstrating that the Scaling Solar approach is achieving record prices by attracting world-leading players while also enabling competition,” said Aliou Maiga, IFC regional director for West and central Africa.The Scaling Solar initiative aims to create viable markets for solar power in the developing world with the IFC as principal transaction advisor.The first 30 MW project, planned by the French consortium in Kahone in western Senegal, will sell power for €0.03801/kWh and the second plant – in Touba in central Senegal – has secured a tariff of €0.03983. The CRSE pre-qualified 13 of the 14 bids submitted for the tender but shortlisted only eight developers for the final phase of the procurement.In January 2016 Senegal became the second African country to join the Scaling Solar program. The nation had around 134 MW of installed solar power generation capacity at the end of last year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Senegal has around 650 MW of total installed power generation capacity and is planning to deploy 200 MW of solar up to next year.More: Engie secures financing for 60 MW of solar in Senegallast_img read more

Sunrun CEO sees big opportunity linking battery storage, distributed solar

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Battery-backed distributed solar arrays that store energy for later use and provide additional power grid services are a massive, untapped opportunity for “virtual power plants” that could total 9,000 MW in California alone, said Lynn Jurich, CEO of home solar specialist Sunrun Inc.“This is the equivalent of 50 fossil fuel power plants or four times the size of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant slated to retire in 2025,” Jurich said on an Aug. 7 earnings call with investment analysts.In July, East Bay Community Energy awarded the San Francisco-based company a contract as part of a portfolio of resources to replace a jet fuel-fired peaking power plant in Oakland, Calif. Under the 10-year agreement, Sunrun will provide 500 kW of capacity, harnessed from several megawatts of solar and more than 2 MWh of battery storage, to be installed on roughly 500 low-income housing units. Also in July, the city council of Glendale, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles, authorized municipal utility Glendale Water & Power to continue negotiations with Sunrun under a similar portfolio model for fossil-fuel replacement.Despite the recent progress in Sunrun’s home state, the Northeast “is crushing California on this,” she added. In February, Sunrun secured a bid to supply 20 MW of capacity to the ISO New England from around 5,000 residential solar-plus-storage customers starting in 2022. Utilities in Vermont, Long Island and Massachusetts also are collaborating with grid operators to offer programs “that enable batteries to participate in capacity markets and other grid services revenue streams,” Jurich said.The CEO said Sunrun continues to invest in its residential battery platform, known as Brightbox, “even though it is causing short-term headwinds from slower install times, an immature supply chain, and permitting and interconnection obstructions.” Prioritizing solar with batteries, however, is “the right long-term decision,” Jurich added.After recently expanding into Texas, the company, which has installed more than 6,000 battery systems for its approximately 255,000 customers, now offers Brightbox in nine states and Puerto Rico. Excluding sales by Sunrun’s external partners, more than 10% of the company’s new customers overall — and 25% in California — purchase batteries, the CEO said.More ($): 9 GW of virtual power plant potential in California, Sunrun CEO says Sunrun CEO sees big opportunity linking battery storage, distributed solarlast_img read more

Contura CEO: It’s possible Eagle Butte, Belle Ayr coal mines will never reopen

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Gillette News Record:Nearly 600 locked-out Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal miners waiting for a call to return to work may not get that call.While Contura Energy Inc. continues to negotiate with the federal government to close its deal to buy the mines from bankrupt Blackjewel LLC, the deal may not be completed before Blackjewel runs out of money and has to liquidate the mines. That was one of the takeaways from Contura’s 2019 second quarter earnings call Wednesday morning.If that happens, Contura, which sold the mines to Blackjewel in 2017 and is still on the hook to reclaim them, would move into full reclamation mode, said Andy Eidson, the company’s chief financial officer.Recognizing that the sale “is wholly dependent on reaching an agreement” over federal leases, Blackjewel is “on a pretty tight clock on day-to-day operating funds,” Eidson said. “It’s not an absolute certainty an agreement will be reached before (Blackjewel has to convert its Chapter 11 bankruptcy to) Chapter 7.”Eidson said if that’s the case, Contura has crunched the numbers and believes it can do the required reclamation at the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines for about $100 million over a period of eight to 10 years. While the company has bonded for about $250 million to do that work, the bond amount is a high-end projection of reclaiming the land that includes things like buying expensive equipment Contura already has.The preferred outcome continues to be reaching an agreement with the federal government and reopening the mines, Eidson said. However, Contura also is prepared for the alternative. Going straight to reclamation is “certainly something we would rather not deal with, but if this is the way we have to deal with it, we believe the net impact to the company would be very manageable going forward.”More: Contura not ‘particularly interested’ in PRB long-term Contura CEO: It’s possible Eagle Butte, Belle Ayr coal mines will never reopenlast_img read more

U.K. firm projects offshore wind capacity will top 165GW by 2030

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ReNews.biz:Global offshore wind installations will hit 165GW by the end of the decade and are on track to reach 418GW by 2040, according to new research by UK analysts Rethink Energy.The global expansion of offshore wind will see the technology provide 5% of global electricity in two decades, as installed capacity balloons from the 25GW installed worldwide today. The report predicts this growth will require some $1.3 trillion in investment and create 8 million jobs.Rethink said the Asia Pacific region is on track to overtake Europe as the largest market for new installations within the 2020s and China is set to take over from the UK as the country with the most installed capacity by 2026.US installations are however likely to continue to lag behind those in Europe and Asia over the next decade.Transmission was singled out as a key challenge that needs to be met to ensure the progress of the sector in global markets.The emergence of floating wind is set to play a big role in boosting the rate of new capacity added beyond 2030. Its authors predict the LCOE of floating wind will reach “a competitive level” between 2028 and 2030, but said the growth of floating installations in the near-term will likely be dogged by consenting problems.More: Offshore wind to ‘top 400GW by 2040’ U.K. firm projects offshore wind capacity will top 165GW by 2030last_img read more

Midwest utility Evergy proposes new renewable energy investments, faster coal plant closures

first_imgMidwest utility Evergy proposes new renewable energy investments, faster coal plant closures FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Kansas City Business Journal:Evergy Inc. announced on Wednesday a new five-year strategic plan designed to speed its transition to cleaner energy and — importantly — to do so as a stand-alone company.The plan results from a review by a special committee put together by the Kansas City-based utility and activist investor Elliott Management Corp. In line with a deal Evergy and Elliott reached in late February, the committee was charged with recommending to increase shareholder value by investing more in Evergy’s infrastructure and increasing reliance on renewable energy — or by seeking a sale.As part of the plan, Evergy expects to invest roughly $4.8 billion to upgrade its electrical grid, improve customer service platforms and increase access to renewable energy.Evergy has been on a path to increasing sustainable energy, [Evergy Chief Customer Officer Chuck] Caisley said, “but what this will do is make some investments to accelerate that.” That will mean additional investment in wind power but also adding solar power and battery storage. The price of large-scale solar power generation has come down and will be competitive within five to seven years, he said.Peak production from solar occurs at midday in Evergy’s territory (much of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas), which doesn’t completely match peak demand times in the summer, he said. The wind generates the most power at night, when demand is lowest. That’s where battery storage comes into play.A big part of the plan is to ask Kansas and Missouri for assistance in speeding the retirement of Evergy’s coal-fired power plants. Caisley said the company would ask the states to issue bonds to pay off all debt owed on the plants. Evergy would repay the bonds through a line on customer’s bills. Caisley noted that customers already pay the cost of the coal plants. With the bonds, the company will reduce interest owed on the plant debt and free up money to invest in more efficient systems. Also, by relying more on wind and solar power, the company will reduce fuel costs.[Brian Kaberline]More: Evergy, Elliott Management agree on a renewable-increasing strategic plan, avert a salelast_img read more

Mitsubishi wins orders for hydrogen-compatible turbines at three planned U.S. gas-fired projects

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The developers of more than $3 billion in planned natural gas-fired generation projects in New York, Ohio and Virginia have selected Mitsubishi Power Americas Inc., a Florida-based affiliate of Japanese industrial giant Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., to supply hydrogen-compatible gas turbines along with the tools for generating and storing hydrogen produced from renewable sources of energy, the companies announced Sept. 2.The three projects, totaling nearly 3,300 MW, are Tiger Partners LP’s Danskammer Energy Center (Repowering) in Orange County, N.Y., Ember Partners LP’s Cadiz Combined Cycle Plant (Harrison County Industrial Park) in Harrison County, Ohio, and Balico LLC’s Chickahominy Power project in Charles City County, Va.The three projects would initially be capable of operating on a mix of 30% hydrogen and 70% natural gas. They are planned for completion in 2022 and 2023, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. Similar to the Intermountain Power Agency’s planned 840-MW Intermountain project in Delta, Utah, a gas repowering of a coal-fired plant that also will rely on Mitsubishi turbines, the three facilities are designed to gradually transition to 100% green hydrogen. The projects will also use excess renewable energy to create and store hydrogen on-site through the process of electrolysis.“The size and pace of electrolyzers and storage will depend on the regional adoption of renewables and need for energy storage,” Mike Ducker, head of renewable fuels at Mitsubishi Power, said in an email.The orders are part of an emerging push to establish hydrogen as a critical element of utility, corporate and state efforts to develop power systems relying on very high levels of variable wind and solar energy. That includes an initial $100 million, five-year research and development initiative that includes Mitsubishi Power — recently rebranded from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas Inc. — and a host of major U.S. utilities.The New York, Ohio and Virginia projects include six turbine power trains, bringing Mitsubishi’s total of gas turbine hydrogen conversions to eight and placing it at the forefront of the fledgling hydrogen industry, Ducker said.[Garrett Hering]More ($): Mitsubishi lands 3.3 GW of new US hydrogen turbine orders Mitsubishi wins orders for hydrogen-compatible turbines at three planned U.S. gas-fired projectslast_img read more

Seasonal Affected Disorder

first_imgI don’t feel so great. It’s possible that I have the beginnings of a cold or the flu, but I suspect that I’m just suffering through the intense stage of ennui that hits just before a midlife crisis. I’m not really sure what a guy like me does for a midlife crisis. I still like my wife and kids, so I don’t think I’ll go out and get a girlfriend. Getting a motorcycle seems so cliche. Maybe a career change? Maybe I’ll quit the fast paced, stressful life of adventure/beer freelance writing and become a potter. Blow my kids’ college fund on a really expensive kiln.You see, that’s funny because my kids don’t have a college fund. See previous comment about my career as a freelance adventure/beer writer. I don’t know. There’s a good chance that my general malaise has nothing to do with an impending mid-life crisis and everything to do with this weird weather that’s putting a damper on my ski season. Call it a new form of Seasonal Affected Disorder (or just SAD for short). Typically, that’s when you get a little bummed out during the winter because the days are so short and you’re not getting enough sunshine. But I’m getting bummed out because any decent snow storm is quickly followed by rain and 60-degree weather. It’s as if we’re getting all four seasons in a single week. Every damn week. We start off with a couple of days of intense cold, then there’s some spring like rain and we finish off with some high 60s and sunshine. It’s completely schizophrenic, and it’s wreaking havoc on poor little Breckenwolf. Also, I can’t settle in to a mood or rhythm. Sigh. Do I pull out the mountain bike or the skis? Do I wear flip flops or winter boots? Do I drink a summer saison or a winter stout! Really, this weather has made the concept of seasonal beers totally irrelevant. It’s gonna be in the high 60s this weekend—I’m supposed to drink a barrel aged stout that’s spiced with cinnamon in that kind of weather? So I’ve decided to skip the seasonals and go after hoppy beers that work no matter what the weatherman has in store for me. Enter Boojum Brewing Company, out of Waynesville, N.C., which has two killer hop-forward beers, the Reward Pale Ale and Hop Fiend IPA.Reward is a solid pale that manages to walk that tightrope between malty and hoppy that all great pales walk, but Hop Fiend is my favorite of the two beers, at least in the current, fragile state that I’m in. It’s an appropriately named beer that’s all about the hops. Boojum, which is a Native American word that means “Chacos foot tan,” throws heaps of Mosaic, Simcoe and Citra hops into the kettle and then, seemingly just wafts the malt near the beer during the brewing process. Forget balance, this beer is weighted heavily on the side of hops, giving you a palate-scorching raid of fruit and pine that’s swept away by a bitterness almost as strong as my feelings toward our current ski season. Sigh. It’s the right beer for me right now. Who knows what I’ll be drinking next week, when there might be a blizzard. Or the neighborhood pool might open. It’s hard to tell.last_img read more

July 2018: The Road Trips Issue

first_imgIt’s officially summer and we’re proud to announce that our July issue is live and out in a newsstand near you. For this month’s feature, get behind the wheel with folks from across the Blue Ridge as they share their essential summer road trips to take across the region. Also in this issue, we cover the folklore of the region, learn how mountain lions are making a comeback, and why it’s never too late to pick up a new adventure sport. All that and more below! last_img

South Carolina’s Old 96 District Is an Unexpected Wonder for Nature Lovers

first_img The Explorers The Endurance Hikers and Bikers The “Glampers” With everyone rushing to get outside and get some fresh air, many of mother nature’s biggest fans may find themselves looking back at their map for something new. Finding a new favorite place is a mix of trial, error, and pure luck. What’s the best hiking trail, easy to reach but not over-crowded? What lake makes a good weekend getaway? What state park is worth a road trip? Like we mentioned before, over 250 miles of hiking trails means there’s room for plenty of variety. Shorter, beginner-friendly trails are plentiful, but the Lakeview Tail in Hickory Knob State Park rewards those in it for the long haul. On Old 96 District Tourism’s Top Ten Best Trails List, (https://visitold96sc.com/ten-best-trails-in-south-carolinas-old-96-district/) the Lakeview Trail runs about 6.7 miles with panoramic views of Lake Thurmond. For even longer excursions, the Forks Area Trail System (FATS for short) connects several looping trails together for routes up to 34 miles long. The Boaters Old 96 District covers 5 South Carolina counties, nestled against the Georgia border. Between these counties (Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, and McCormick,) are plenty of natural wonders that hit that sweet spot for many. Three lakes, 6 state parks, and over 250 miles of hiking trails mean there is plenty to do. Whether you are a fan of fishing, challenging hikes, or just enjoy meandering through the scenery, there is something to do for every kind of nature lover. Here are our tips for some of the highlights: center_img Some outdoorsy people prefer the open water and a clear sky- and who can blame them? Old 96 District has many places to fish and boat, whether your preference is a larger boat or a humble kayak. Together, these three lakes hold over 100,000 acres of water. Besides the State Parks with lakeside access, plenty of Marinas (https://visitold96sc.com/boating-and-marinas/) also give boaters ample access to the water. That said, Old 96 District’s five other State Parks have a lot to offer (https://visitold96sc.com/6-ways-to-enjoy-our-state-parks/), including some breathtaking views and trails. While you’re in the area, consider enjoying some of the other State Parks and getting the full experience, maybe even getting a head start on your Ultimate Outsider status. (https://visitold96sc.com/all-about-sc-state-park-ultimate-outsider-challenge/) Sometimes we find the most interesting visits are the ones where there is stuff to find and stuff to meander through. Old 96 District is home to two different Revolutionary War battlefields, each with their own unique story. (https://visitold96sc.com/revolutionary-war-hiking-trails/) Explore the still-standing Star Fort at Ninety Six National Historic Site (the only one left of its kind!) where the siege of Ninety Six took place, the first Southern land battle of the war. At the Battle of Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, scenic trails run alongside the battleground. Learn the play-by-play of this battle… and its twist ending! These, of course, are only some of the ways to enjoy everything Old 96 District has to offer. Take a more in-depth look at the trails (https://visitold96sc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/old-96-hiking-biking-brochure-1.pdf) or find the campsite with the best view (https://visitold96sc.com/top-5-south-carolina-state-park-campsites-in-the-old-96-district/). With so many ways to enjoy the area, we encourage people to do what they do best: get out there and explore! (https://visitold96sc.com/scenic-and-natural/) Some of us like to camp while keeping our amenities close-by. If you love the idea of a weekend getaway in nature but prefer the comfort of a mattress and hotel room, Hickory Knob State Resort Park might have you covered. Hickory Knob is the only South Carolina State Park that is also a resort, meaning you can tailor your experience to exactly your level of comfort. Choose a campsite, a group cabin, or inviting hotel rooms. Take a dip in the lake, or take a dip in the swimming pool. There is also skeet-shooting, an 18-hole golf course, and more on site. Some of us are new, some of us just like to enjoy ourselves without pushing too hard! Both are completely fine. Old 96 District has plenty of walking trails, gentle strolls, and trails ranging from easy to medium. Some of our favorites include the Ten Governors trail in Edgefield, SC. Starting with a boardwalk over Slade Lake, the Ten Governors trail invites visitors to wander past historic homes and monuments to each of the 10 SC governors that hail from Edgefield County. It’s a mile one way, or two miles round trip. Afterwards, grab an ice cream cone from the Edgefield General Store! The Casual Hikerslast_img read more