Clean energy groups, industrials unite in opposition to Minnesota gas plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Energy News Network:In an unusual convergence of opinion, clean energy groups and large industrial companies are asking Minnesota regulators to block a utility’s investment in a new combined-cycle natural gas power plant. While the groups’ reasons for disapproving the project differ, both camps concluded that Minnesota Power hasn’t done enough to justify its stake in the proposed $700 million power plant, and an administrative law judge recently agreed.The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission holds a hearing Thursday in Duluth to determine whether to approve the utility’s plan to invest nearly $350 million in the Nemadji Trail Energy Center in Superior, Wisconsin. The plant’s cost and up to 550-megawatt output would be shared with Wisconsin’s Dairyland Power Cooperative. The proposal is also currently going through Wisconsin’s regulatory process.The gas plant has drawn criticism from the utility’s large business customers, environmentalists, clean energy organizations and residential ratepayers. More than 1,500 people submitted letters, most of them against it. A poll of 552 Minnesota Power customers by the Citizens Utility Board last year found 77 percent did not support the proposed plant and 92 percent called for a full analysis.Clean energy organizations say the utility’s generation projections drastically overestimate its need for electricity and that carbon emissions are too great. Other alternatives such as energy efficiency, load shifting, and renewables were not seriously considered, they argue.Less expected was the opposition from large power users, a group of mining companies, paper mills and other businesses that uses most of the utility’s generation. Their objections reflect an understanding that they will pay for much of the plant because of the utility’s unique customer makeup, unlike almost any other in the country. Minnesota Power’s industrial customers absorb 74 percent of its energy generation, compared to 28 percent on average nationally. Residents and small commercial businesses split the different at 13 percent each, roughly a third of the national average for those segments.The intervenors charge that the utility has not fully explored options for cutting energy demand and tapping other sources. “The Company has not demonstrated that its proposed purchase of 250 MW NTEC purchase is the best and lowest cost option to meet its projected energy and capacity needs due to deficiencies in its modeling and procurement process,” the Large Power Intervenors said in a PUC filing.More: Customers, clean energy groups unite against Minnesota natural gas plant Clean energy groups, industrials unite in opposition to Minnesota gas plantlast_img read more

Consulting firm predicts wind power will supply 30% of global electricity by 2050

first_imgConsulting firm predicts wind power will supply 30% of global electricity by 2050 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Windpower Engineering & Development:Wind energy is rapidly becoming the new norm for power generation and will deliver 30% of all global electricity production by 2050, with 12% from offshore wind and 18% from onshore wind. In 2019, mega wind projects achieved a new UK record low of £39.65 (US$51.05) per MWh – a 30% price drop on 2017 prices. New projects such as the 252-MW Liuheng (Guodian Zhoushan Putuo) offshore wind farm in China and the 30-MW Block Island wind farm in Rhode Island will help to expand the potential of global offshore wind.These are just some of the forecasts by DNV GL in a new report, Offshore wind: The power to progress. The report delves into 12 key factors which influence the adoption of offshore wind and focuses on the successes, challenges and lessons learned. It provides an insight into the future of offshore wind and how expansion can be accelerated.When looking at the future of offshore wind energy, two mega-trends are very clear. Firstly, the relentless drive to reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCoE). Secondly, as a result of the first trend, turbines and wind farms will continue to get bigger.As wind technology progresses, the reports outlines an increased use of robotics and artificial intelligence. In construction, robots will initially supplement human capabilities, for example, in heavy lifts and underwater work. They will go on to handle an increasing amount of offshore wind farm construction, especially for wind farms located in remote and hazardous environments. On the operations and maintenance side, robots will take on activities, such as on-site repairs and inspections inside, outside (by drones and crawlers) and below the surface (by remotely operated vehicles).More: DNV GL predicts wind power to deliver 30% of global electricity production by 2050last_img read more

Trespassers Welcome

first_imgYou’re probably familiar with North Carolina’s national forests, state parks, and national parks, but what about the privately-owned conserved lands that are open to the public? The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy has introduced a hiking challenge to introduce the public to their impressive portfolio of protected lands. Complete eight hikes on lands like Bearwallow Mountain, a bald overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge, and the Foothills Spur Trail in the East Fork Headwaters preserve, and you’ll get a patch and free hiking gear. While most of the properties on the CMLC hiking challenge list are still privately owned, Dupont State Forest is also on the docket. Dupont is now North Carolina’s first state recreational forest, and CMLC was instrumental in bringing the 10,000 acre park into public ownership.See more details about the challenge and the individual hikes here.last_img read more

Down the Mountain

first_imgHit the Slopes: This month ski and snowboard races are plentiful in the Blue Ridge.Grab some wax, tighten your goggles, and pin on a race bib. Whether you’re into big air or scorching downhill speed, the Southern slopes are ripe for unleashing your competitive side. From freestyle trick duals to tenths-of-a-second determined slalom runs, regional resorts have the snow comp for you.Crescent Ski Council Slalom and Giant Slalom RaceSugar Mountain • January 7-8The nationally lauded Crescent Ski Council, which comprises 22 ski clubs and nearly 5,000 members throughout the Southeast, hosts a series of two-day races throughout ski season, held at resorts in North Carolina and West Virginia. The races feature slalom runs on Saturday and giant slalom runs on Sunday with approximately 200 racers who are divided into two divisions with 10 flights each, based on a predetermined handicap. Additional races in the series take place at North Carolina’s Appalachian Ski Mountain on January 28-29, a return to Sugar on February 11-12, and Beech Mountain on February 25-26. The final event takes place in the Silver Creek area of Snowshoe Mountain on March 9-11.crescentskicouncil.orgWinterfest Weekend Beech Mountain, N.C. • January 7-8Every year Beech throws a High Country snow party that’s full of irreverent fun like the Cardboard Box Derby and a Bathing Beauty Ski Contest. The real action will take place among the free-heelers at the weekend’s Telemark Festival and the N.C. Championship Snowshoe Race, a qualifier race for the 2012 U.S. National Snowshoe Championships.skibeech.com http://basecamp.blueridgeoutdoors.com/?p=2578Ryan Lichtenberg Memorial Rail JamLiberty Mountain, Pa. • January 22Bring your best moves to Liberty Mountain for a rail jam to honor a fallen friend. The action takes place in the hardcore Lower Vertigo section of Liberty’s terrain park, where riders will land tricks on a range of killer boxes, big jumps, and rails. Ryan Lichtenberg was a former Liberty employee who died after sustaining a head injury while snowboarding in Colorado. A big part of the jam is promoting helmet safety awareness.libertymountainresort.com Freestyle Double CrossWintergreen Resort, Va. • January 29, February 12 and 25Strap into your board or click in to your skis and get ready for the fast-paced action of double cross. Four racers launch out of the starting gate at once, tightly fighting for space and aggressively rubbing elbows through a course of table tops, jumps, and whoop-de-doos. The top two then advance to the next round, until one winner is left. Racers can accumulate points for an overall series win.wintergreenresort.comCupp Run Challenge Snowshoe Mountain, W.Va. • February 6If you feel the need for speed, Cupp Run is the most satisfying run in the South. Ski racers from all over the East Coast come to Snowshoe for the gnarly downhill slalom course on Cupp—an epic slope that covers more than 1,500 vertical feet in a little over a mile. Big prize money is awarded in pro and amateur divisions.snowshoemtn.comhttp://basecamp.blueridgeoutdoors.com/?p=2543Shred for the Cup SeriesAppalachian Ski Mountain, N.C. • January 22, February 11 and 26There are three chances to show off your park prowess. It starts with Big Air, which features some of the High Country’s hard core riders getting seriously vertical, as they spin off curved rails and huck 720s off bomber jumps. The series then continues with a rail jam and finishes with the dynamic spins and flips of slopestyle. Overall series winners in three categories take home the coveted Cup.appskimtn.comlast_img read more

Weekend Picks: The Artie

first_imgThe Artie Levin Memorial Century ride, June 22, 2014, Salem, VirginiaThe Blue Ridge Bicycle Club presents a scenic and challenging century ride on June 22, inviting cycling enthusiasts from around the region to celebrate the life of club founder Artie Levin.This annual event is dedicated to the memory of Artie’s life and his contributions to the Roanoke Valley and surrounding communities. In addition to the century, there are 3 other routes (50, 34 and 15 miles) one of which should suit your interests.The Artie Levin Memorial Century will start at the beautiful Green Hill Park located in Roanoke County and wind for 100 miles through neighboring Montgomery County. Riders will encounter 6 rated climbs, and approximately 6,000 feet of elevation gain along the way. Riders will see the highest elevation at about the halfway mark as they climb Old Catawba Mountain Road with an elevation of 2,000 feet above sea level. The full century features a few of the favorite routes of area cyclist featuring Bradshaw Road and Old Blacksburg Road.The 50, 34 and 15-mile routes will start on the same road as the Century route and diverge along the way. See route maps for details.The Century will have rest stops at the 44- and 72-mile marks. The 50-mile route has a rest stop at the 25-mile mark. The 34- and 15-mile routes do not have rest stops.The Century and 50-mile routes will start promptly at 8:00 a.m. The 34- and 15-mile routes will start promptly at 10:00 a.m.Click here for more info and to register. Click here for more information about the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club.Bio: Artie Levin, Mr. Fitness to nearly everyone, lived his long and rich life celebrating the joys of exercise with great zeal, pumping iron until his last day at age 82 in 1996. He was a Roanoke celebrity as the host and star of the legendary Mr. Fitness television show in the 1960’s, and as a columnist for The Roanoke Times & World-News.artie-levinlast_img read more

The Return of the Natives

first_imgMatt Kulp, a senior biologist for the National Park Service (NPS), stood alongside members of the Little River, Great Smoky Mountains, and Clinch Mountain chapters of Trout Unlimited as they donned wading gear, put on hats, and applied sunscreen. Surprisingly, they’d left their fishing gear at home. Nevertheless, the anglers hoped to land thousands of brook trout by assisting NPS employees in a field test of a stream in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).Kulp and his assistants were preparing to test the results of an effort to restore native brook trout to Lynn Camp Prong, a mid-sized trout stream in the GSMNP. At some point in the past, a well-meaning but ignorant individual transplanted a number of rainbow trout into the stream. The transplanted trout thrived and quickly began crowding out the native brook trout.As early as 2005, Park officials began trying to uproot the rainbows. After electro-shocking the rainbows proved ineffective, NPS employees shocked brookies instead, moved them out of the stream and into adjacent streams within the park, and then released the fish-killing chemical antimycin into Lynn Camp Prong. Officials were convinced that such drastic action was the only way they could be certain that the invasive rainbow trout would not return.By 2010, officials believed that all the rainbows had been extirpated from the stream. They then painstakingly moved nearly 1,000 native brookies from their temporary homes back to Lynn Camp Prong. Workers captured the fish and walked them in buckets outfitted with aeration pumps back to the stream. When all was said and done, the brookies proved to be in even greater abundance than the rainbows found here earlier.Lynn Camp Prong is ideal for brookies and a boon for trout anglers. “Many of our brook trout streams are at high elevations that are more susceptible to acid deposition, so this lower elevation segment will provide better buffering capacity against acid rain for years to come,” says Kulp. The Lynn Camp project reconnects some tributaries, such as Marks Creek, Indian Flats Prong, and Panther Creek that now also have brook trout in them, and it will also supply fish downstream to Thunderhead Prong.Reopening Lynn Camp Prong was a significant milestone. It marks the first time that every stream in the park was open to fishing and harvest since the park’s inception in 1936.last_img read more

The March 2018 Issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors is Live!

first_imgWe’re excited to announce that our March 2018 issue is out! In this issue we take a look into the region’s best trout towns, the endangered Red Wolf, murder in the mountains, and we head down to the coast to profile some folks from our beaches.A Note From The EditorThe Red Wolves’ Last StandQuick HitsWhat’s New This MonthCode Red: The Endangered Red Wolf May Go Extinct In The Wild This YearRight On The Edge: Navy Training Range Adjacent To Valving Grounds Spells Trouble For Endangered Right WhalesA Really, Really Long Walk In The WoodsFlashpointPay To Play? User Fees Can Provide More Political Clout For Outdoor Groups But The Forest Services Is Still Far More Focused On Firefighting And Logging.Featured ArticlesTrout Towns: 8 Fly FavoritesDown By The SeaOf Artists And AthletesA Murder In The Woods: The Mystery Behind Shenandoah National Park’s Last Homicide206 Miles: Teams Tackle The Smoky Mountain RelayTrail MixExpanding A Country Heartlast_img read more

EL CHIVO: Documentary about BRO Editor in Chief now on Amazon Prime

first_imgLong before Christopher McDougall’s bestselling book Born to Run was published, Blue Ridge Outdoors Editor in Chief Will Harlan was running with the indigenous Tarahumara of Mexico’s Copper Canyons. El Chivo—a feature-length documentary about Harlan’s adventures with the Tarahumara—is now available on Amazon Prime.Harlan won the Copper Canyon 50-Mile Ultramarathon in 2009 against an international field of top athletes—as well as the legendary Arnulfo Quimare, a Tarahumara goat herder and two-time race champion who had previously bested seven-time Western States 100 champion Scott Jurek.After winning the race, Harlan creates a nonprofit to help Arnulfo and other Tarahumara farmers fighting to keep a foothold in their ancestral canyonlands, where drought and drug wars are widespread. Harlan also tries to emulate the Tarahumara way of life on a small off-grid homestead in the mountains of North Carolina.El Chivo—“the goat”—is the moniker given to Harlan after he won the 50-mile ultramarathon. The documentary follows Harlan at home and abroad as he transitions from elite athlete to ordinary dad. Award-winning Asheville documentary filmmaker Rod Murphy directed El Chivo, and he recently struck a deal with Ananda Media to distribute the 78 minute film through Amazon Prime.Ananda Media, a French action and adventure sports distributor, will also distribute the documentary via On-Demand and other online platforms both streaming and broadcast.Watch a trailer of the documentary here. Visit rodmurphyjr.com and collectiveprojects.tv for more info.last_img read more

Nine Pre-Inca Burials Found in Lima Neighborhood

first_imgBy Dialogo July 23, 2009 Lima, 22 July (EFE).- Peruvian archeologists have found nine burials in a “huaca,” a pyramidal pre-Inca construction, in the Lima neighborhood of Magdalena del Mar, the discoverers announced today. “There are nine individuals, one extended and the rest in fetal position,” EFE was told by archeologist Roberto Quispe, who specified that the bodies, discovered last week in the Huantille huaca, were covered with up to three layers of cloth. In addition, a number of ceramic vessels and gourd cups or bowls were found together with the individuals buried in fetal position. Although more extensive analysis still needs to be done to determine their origin, the bodies are presumed to belong to the Ishma culture, which flourished in the Late Intermediate Period (between 1000 and 1400 CE) on the central Peruvian coast and was centered in the locality of Pachacamac, about forty kilometers south of Lima. According to Quispe, the individual in extended position would have been buried during the last years that the Huantille huaca was in use. Since excavations began in Huantille, a score of bodies, forty vessels, and around fifteen spindles have been discovered, among other pre-Inca objects. The Huantille huaca has been recovered from a state of abandonment, at the initiative of the Magdalena del Mar local government and with the support of the National Institute of Culture. Until 2007 Huantille lay forgotten under tons of debris and garbage, in addition to having been invaded by drug addicts and even a brick factory.last_img read more