Moody’s expects coal mine closures in U.S. Powder River Basin region in near future FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Platts:Coal mined from the Powder River Basin, the most productive coal-producing area in the U.S., is expected to decline significantly next year and could pressure companies to close “at least a few” mines there in the early 2020s, Moody’s Investors Service wrote in a note issued Wednesday.Multiple bankruptcy restructurings and a planned joint venture between Arch Coal and Peabody Energy in the PRB have recently changed the region’s competitive landscape. But that has not fundamentally altered its poor overall long-term trajectory, wrote Benjamin Nelson, a vice president and senior credit officer with Moody’s.“Demand for [PRB] coal had surged in the 1990s as an environmentally friendly alternative to higher-sulfur coal from the U.S. east, but coal-fired power plants’ adoption of scrubbers and the retirement of many older units built before the passage of the Clean Air Act has diminished the appeal. [PRB] producers’ credit quality depends heavily on delivered costs, which means some significant factors influencing the competitiveness of [PRB] coal are largely beyond the producers’ control.”The basin produced 342 million [short tons] in 2018. On an annualized basis, based on weekly U.S. Energy Information Administration data through early October, production this year would total 306 million [short tons].Nelson also pointed out that the entire coal industry faces significant risk due to investors increasingly focusing on issues related to environmental, social and governance factors. The PRB is particularly susceptible because the coal mined there is used primarily for power generation.With many generators phasing out coal use in the U.S. and relatively few export outlets for the area, producers may have little choice but to throttle back production. Nelson noted that all of the companies rated by Moody’s are focusing on metallurgical coal production from other regions.More: Moody’s expects Powder River Basin coal mine closures in early 2020s
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Salt Lake Tribune:Since its first year in business in 1982, the Levin-Richmond Terminal has been tied to Utah industries, first importing coke for use in the Geneva Steel plant, then exporting iron ore. After Utah’s iron mines shuttered, its coal mines kept the deep-water terminal on the San Francisco Bay’s east shore busy, transferring coal from rail cars onto ships bound for Japan.Now city officials in Richmond, Calif., are looking to sever that Utah connection with a proposed ordinance banning the handling and storage of coal. Such a prohibition would effectively eliminate a key pathway to Asia for Utah coal, potentially slowing production at Sufco and other big Beehive State mines and forcing many rural Utahns out of work.The proposal has divided Richmond — a working-class city of 110,00 with long-standing ties to heavy industry, famous for oil refining and shipbuilding — pitting union workers against environmentalists and public health advocates.Council member Eduardo Martinez contends the past six years of coal shipments have left a harmful coating of dust in Richmond neighborhoods near the rail shipping yards and terminal, and he hopes to put an end to it. “It’s in the world’s interest [to restrict shipments of coal], but specific to Richmond, it’s all the coal dust that has blown out over our communities,” Martinez said. “We, as city legislators, have the ability to govern land use. Air quality is the reason we are employing a land use regulation.”If ultimately approved, Richmond’s proposed coal ordinance would immediately bar new land uses from handling coal and petroleum coke, while phasing out these fossil fuel commodities over three years at the Levin-Richmond Terminal, a family-owned, civic-minded business employing 62 mostly union workers.The Richmond City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on its proposed ban Dec. 3, after which it is expected to vote up or down, according to Martinez. The city has already banned coal from its publicly owned port facilities.More: Bay Area city might ban coal shipments, shutting down a key overseas export point for Utah mines Richmond, Calif. city council considers coal export ban
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:The Tennessee Valley Authority announced this week that it has contracted for 484 megawatts of solar power in the past two months, part of its push to expand its clean energy portfolio and reduce its reliance on coal power.The awards announced this week, which include one 200-megawatt solar system paired with a 50 megawatts/200 megawatt-hour battery system, will increase the TVA’s share of solar generation by 44 percent. The seven-state federal power agency gets less than 3 percent of its power from wind and solar today, compared to 39 percent nuclear, 26 percent natural gas, 21 percent coal-fired, and 10 percent hydropower.But TVA’s long-range integrated resource plan (IRP) calls for adding between 1,500 and 8,000 megawatts of solar by 2028, along with up to 2,400 megawatts of energy storage, to serve the utilities and customers it supplies across seven states. By 2038, TVA could see as much as 14 gigawatts of solar on its system, a rate of increase that equates to roughly 700 megawatts per year over the next 20 years.The winning projects announced Tuesday were selected out of a total of 3,700 megawatts of proposals submitted to an April 2019 RFP for TVA’s newly launched Green Invest program, which is aimed at providing large corporate power purchasers with renewable energy. It’s modeled on the work TVA has done with big data center customers like Facebook and Google, which are demanding 100-percent clean energy options from utilities across the Southeast.The first Green Invest project, a 35-megawatt solar system developed by Nashville-based Silicon Ranch in partnership with Vanderbilt University and municipal utility Nashville Electric Service, was announced in January. Silicon Ranch will also be developing a solar project of up to 80 megawatts in Madison County, Tennessee.Florida-based developer Origis Energy won two contracts, including a 100-megawatt solar farm in Obion County, Tenn., and a 200-megawatt solar system with 200 megawatt-hours of batteries in Lowndes County, Mississippi. Spanish developer OPD Energy will develop a fifth, 69-megawatt project in Simpson County, Kentucky. [Jeff St. John]More: Tennessee Valley Authority adds 484MW of solar, plus 50MW of batteries Tennessee Valley Authority takes first step into solar plus storage market
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Tech:Spanish utility Iberdrola has landed €800 million (US$903 million) in funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) to spearhead new renewable energy deployment throughout Spain.The financing package will be put towards the construction of more than 20 solar and wind projects in Spain with a total capacity greater than 2GW.Iberdrola has signed a green energy loan worth €600 million with the EIB, while the financing issued by the ICO – Spain’s state-owned bank and lending institution – is the third such loan it has granted to Iberdrola for the development of renewables.Part of the combined financing package will be used to support Iberdrola’s 328MW Cáceres solar farm, located in the Ceclavín and Alcántara municipalities in Spain’s Extremadura, a hotbed of solar PV activity. The project itself will supply power to telecoms giant Orange, it was confirmed earlier this year. Additional wind and solar projects in various regions in Spain have been identified to be constructed between now and 2023.Ignacio Galán, president at Iberdrola, said a green recovery from the pandemic is the “perfect opportunity to generate sustainable growth and massive future employment. With the agreement we are signing today with the EIB and ICO, we are moving forward with our commitment to accelerate investment and put 3,000 MW of new capacity into service in Spain by 2022 and up to 10,000 MW by 2030,” he said.Iberdrola has been on the charge in Spain, bringing forward a number of significant utility-scale projects – including Europe’s largest to date – as it looks to take leading role in Spain’s solar resurgence. In April, the utility promised to accelerate planned investments in renewables to stimulate economic recovery in the country.[Liam Stoker]More: Iberdrola pockets €800m to drive renewable growth in Spain Iberdrola secures $903 million financing package for new renewable energy projects in Spain
Lauren James is a 24-year-old trad climber from North Carolina (her outgoing voicemail message says, “hey y’all”) who has turned her passion for sending rock into a career as a cell tower technician. Imagine climbing 500-feet of vertical steel carrying 30-pounds of gear. Now imagine doing that every day for a month straight while traveling the country. Technicians call themselves “tower dogs,” an apt nickname for such a demanding job.What exactly does a cell tower technician do? James: We climb cell towers looking for any bent steel, loose bolts, or irregularities in the structure or carrier’s equipment. We are basically the eyes of the tower owners.Are there many women in the industry? James: No. Out of 9,000 cell tower technicians, less than 15 of them are females. There’s really no reason for that. Yes, it’s physically demanding, but it is such a rewarding job with excellent benefits and compensation. It gets a bad rap, too: it is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in America, but like anything, it’s as safe as you make it.How did you get into it? James: Since I was a kid, I’ve always been intrigued by welding. When I got into rock climbing and after taking an intro to welding class in college, I decided I wanted to combine the two loves. My stepdad and uncle were ex-tower climbers, so I looked up tower technician jobs in North Carolina.Does being a climber give you an advantage? James: Both mentally and physically. The more you understand and feel comfortable with the equipment you’re using, the more comfortable you are with the heights. I already had the stamina and endurance needed for climbing cell towers. I enjoy pushing myself on towers just like I do on rocks. But rock is definitely more diverse and more appealing.How physically demanding is the job? James: Some towers feel like you are doing pull-ups the entire height of the tower. On a 500-foot tower, that’s a heck of a lot of pull-ups—not to mention our tower climbing harnesses weigh 30 pounds—excellent training weight. A trad rack feels light now.How much do you travel for your work? James: I travel three to four weeks a month and then I’m home on break for a week. That equals almost 252 days a year spent on the road working. That’s a lot of hotels, a lot of gas station coffee. We work seven days a week, so I rarely get time to do anything besides work, but I’ve experienced some beautiful scenery and done some cool things. So far I’ve climbed in 35 states, seen the Adirondacks from a tower, had my first bowl of clam chowder in Massachusetts, took my first ferry in New York, and saw Las Vegas from a tower.When you’re home, where do you climb? James: I’m a trad climber so my favorite crag in North Carolina is Linville Gorge. I love the remoteness there. New River Gorge will always be close to my heart too. It’s where I climbed for the first time. I love the community involved in rock climbing. There’s an abundance of positive vibes, passion, and like-minded individuals. For me it’s a very spiritual thing as well. There’s no other place I feel closer to God than when I am enveloped in his beautiful creation.
I’m a firm believer that we should all continue our education well after we’ve attended our last class. For some, that means learning French or attempting to levitate through mindful meditation. Personally, I’m trying to learn how to open beer bottles with random objects. I suck at it. Never could master the cigarette lighter beer bottle trick. I’ve even been known to have trouble opening beers with an actual bottle opener.But since I’m all about trying to become a better person, I’ve been seeking out wise individuals who can open bottles of beer with outdoor equipment. We’ve already covered the carabiner and the bike pedal. Now it’s onto the river.Here’s the latest in BRO’s hard-hitting investigative series about how to open beer bottles with random objects. In the above video, Hartwell Carson, the French Broad River Keeper, shows you how to use a canoe paddle for good, not evil.Follow Graham Averill’s adventures in drinking and Dad-hood at daddy-drinks.com.
Your weekly new’s update for the week of April 2, 2014.HOBIE FOUNDER PASSES AWAY AT 80Watersports cultural icon Hobart “Hobie” Alter passed away on Saturday at the age of 80. Alter began shaping surfboards and later an entire watersports culture, a story recently revealed in his biography, “Hobie: Master of Water, Wind and Waves.”Born October 31, 1933, Hobie grew up on Laguna Beach and began shaping balsawood longboards for friends in the 1950s, opening the area’s first surf shop in Dana Point in 1954. With friend Gordon “Grubby” Clark the two pioneered the development of the foam surfboard and Hobie quickly became the number one surfboard brand in the world. The list of legendary surfers that shaped boards and rode for Hobie is a veritable Who’s Who of surfing legend.In the late 1960’s Alter unveiled his namesake “Hobie Cat” performance sailing catamaran – bringing sailing to the masses with a boat that could be launched from any beach. He also invented the “Hobie Hawk” remote controlled glider, the “Hobie Super Surfer” skateboard, a 33-foot mono-hull sailboat, a “Float Cat” for fly-fishing, and the “Katie Sue” 60-foot power catamaran.His goal to “not wear hard-soled shoes or work east of California’s Pacific Coast Highway” had become a reality. He introduced a brand of active lifestyle products that improved the lives of thousands worldwide. Alter received the Waterman Achievement award from the Surfing Industry Manufacturers Association in 1993, was inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame in 1997, and was admitted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2011.CONSUMER CONFIDENCE HIS HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE JAN. 2008Good news for outdoor apparel and gear, along with other industries. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased in February, improved in March. The Index now stands at 82.3 (1985=100), up from 78.3 in February. It was the strongest reading since the index stood at 87.3 in January 2008, just as the Great Recession was beginning.ITALIAN SETS NEW SPEED SKIING RECORDClocking in at 156.8 mph, Italian Simone Origone broke his own world speed skiing record on Monday at Chabrieres in the French Alps.The Chabrieres slope drops more than 1,600 feet in three quarters of a mile and has a maximum grade of 98 percent. In comparison, most black runs in the United States have a maximum grade of about 35 percent. Whoa.Origone’s previous record was 156.2 mph, set in 2006. Check out the video here.GLAMPING AIMS TO GET MORE OUTDOORSGlamorous camping, or “glamping,” aims to get individuals who are timid about an overnight outdoors experience more comfortable in the wild.Companies like Solid Ground Shelters boast full-range camp set up and preparation, along with tear down after your trip is over. They offer homey amenities such as a real mattress and high quality linens to top off the experience, whether in your backyard or at a music festival.Campground attendance is strong in Virginia, with state parks registering 712,609 campers in 2013, and another 379,423 that stayed the night in cabins. While certainly not roughing it, glamping adds just another facet to the state’s bustling outdoor culture.
Do you want a small-town pace with big-city plates? The slower pace of small-town America is the perfectrespite from today’s high paced society. However, vacationers often believethey must forego other amenities in lieu of the slower pace – namely variedfood options. Craft beer, specialty cocktails, local wine, made-from-scratchdesserts and regional Southern fare brim from table to table in any flavor youcould imagine. Cozy basement wine sippings around the fireplace at TAPS make for the perfect start or end to your evening. Steaks, seafood and live jazz are the specialties at Haywood’s. Dinner and drinks on the breezy terrace at Rocca Bar + Ristorante overlooking Main Street and Halcyon Days Cider Co. and apple orchard labyrinth with incomparable views of the Blue Ridge Mountains are only a few of the come-as-you-are food experiences that should top your list. Looking for deep history and an energizing community? Few places are morealive than a college campus and the surrounding community. But when that youngcollegiate energy radiates alongside deep roots of history, the result ispractically magical. Fusion #3: History + Innovation And before you think finding outdoor adventure means you’ll have to sleep in a tent hidden away in the woods, you may want to take a look at the plentiful lodging options available in the area. From historic hotels, inns and B&Bs, cabin and vacation home rentals to robust campground sites and RV parks, you’ll find the perfect place to rest your head. Relive history as you meander the grounds of Wade’s Mill, a 1750s working grist mill, and Cyrus McCormick Farm, then take a state-of-the-art brewery and packaging plant tour at Devils Backbone Outpost Tap Room & Kitchen, a self-guided tour at Lexington Coffee Roasters (one of the nation’s top 12 coffee roasters) or visit the Sheridan Livery to try the wine-on-tap bar, the first of its kind in the Shenandoah Valley. Fusion #1: Small-Town Pace + Foodie Haven Go ahead…find the outdoor adventure you’ve been seeking. And then perhaps you may want to top it off with a stay at the historic and luxurious The Georges hotel in downtown Lexington or Forest Oaks in Natural Bridge. Whether enjoying thenatural outdoor beauty, the deep history or the unique pulse of culture inLexington, Buena Vista and Rockbridge County, the enjoyment of one experienceis heightened, in part, because of the existence of the others. Do you like outdoor adventure and luxury lodging? Outdoor enthusiasts will delight in the variety of adventures awaiting them here in Rockbridge County, VA. Bike on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hike lush green mountain ridges of the Appalachian Trail. Paddle along the tranquil Upper James River Water Trail or fish the plentiful streams and rivers throughout the valley. Explore the karst landscape in Natural Bridge State Park and the Caverns of Natural Bridge and Devil’s Marbleyard. Learn more at lexingtonvirginia.com. The fortress-like presence of Virginia Military Institute serves as the sentry of Lexington, amicably giving way just beyond to the red brick sidewalks and quaint shops that speak of days gone by. Fusion #2: Outdoor Adventure + Excellent Lodging Choices But in Lexington, VA and surrounding areas, foodies need not worry. With a storied list of sweet and savory bites, any pallet will be fully satisfied. Chefs take inspiration from what’s local and fresh, filling your plate with produce plucked that morning by local farmers, steak raised down the road at Buffalo Creek Farm and in-house creations you’ll find nowhere else.
It’s Always Summer at the Massanutten Indoor WaterPark Located on 6,000 acres in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Massanutten Resort offers outdoor enthusiasts a nearly-endless supply of activities year-round. Here are just a few of our favorites: Hours and rates for the Massanutten WaterPark vary depending on age and season, but children 2 and under are always free! Plus, you can see full hours and rates online at massanuttenwaterpark.com Start planning your next adventure at www.massresort.com/specials. Want to see the mountains from a totally different perspective? Consider signing up for an exhilarating Canopy Tour at the Family Adventure Park. This 90-minute journey through the forest will take you across the Burma bridge, hanging vines, and four different zip lines that range in length from 90 to 470 feet. If you’re looking for quick, heart-pumping action, fly alongside a friend on the 800’ Mega-Zip dual racer zip line! Or, if you have the little ones with you, the Kids’ Adventure Course is perfect for those 12 and under who still want to experience all the action. Open Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, Massanutten’s Outdoor WaterPark welcomes all water and sun lovers to catch a wave at the White Caps Wave Pool, play water hoops, or race down the Rockingham Racer head-first, downhill water slide. For the ultimate relaxation, rent a private Cabana for the day; complete with a ceiling fan, Wi-Fi, four lounge chairs, two towels, as well as dedicated service from the newly expanded Chill Grill. All that hiking, mountain biking, rappelling, and ziplining is sure to build up your appetite. Luckily, Massanutten has one of the best dining scenes in the Valley. With three top-notch restaurants to choose from, you’ll never want for great food and drink when visiting Massanutten. Campfire Grill is Massanutten’s newest on-mountain dining location inspired by the Shenandoah National Park. Camp stove chili, chicken dumplings, campfire pouches, and skillets are just a few classic campfire dishes. Just make sure to save room for the s’mores! Massanutten hosts four annual festivals on their ski slopes, two of which occur during the warmer months. Whether you’re looking to jam out at the ValleyFest Beer & Wine Festival on May 25 or watch the fireworks with the whole family at Summer Jam on July 3, Massanutten is the place to be! Test Gravity at the Massanutten Bike Park The Shenandoah Valley has become a hotspot for downhill mountain biking and the Massanutten Bike Park is one of the best in the area. With two chairlifts that service a network of gravity-fed trails, Massanutten offers a great mix of purpose built trails tailor-made for beginner, intermediate, and expert riders. Surf the Earth on a Golf Board If adrenaline pumping action is what you desire, Massanutten’s Ridge Climbing & Rappelling Excursion is just for you! Experience the thrill of a 38ft and 58ft rappel, assisted by your guide. Stop for beverages and a quick snack at the scenic overlook before reaching for new heights during a rock climbing portion. Conquer your fears and blaze your own trail on two different Class 5 climbing routes, with difficulty ratings from 5.6-5.8 to match your climbing experience and fitness level. Professionally trained guides assist you during each activity, so no experience is necessary. Ridge Climbing & Rappelling Excursion Open year-round, Massanutten’s climate-controlled, Indoor WaterPark entertainment complex features 8 water slides, an adventure river, hot tubs, and water play structure with countless interactive elements and a 528-gallon dumping bucket. A highlight for thrill-seekers is the state’s first and largest FlowRider surf simulator! If you’re visiting with the little ones, make sure to visit the Frog Pond, a shallow pool with sprinklers, swings, and a giant frog’s tongue that babies and toddlers love sliding down! Massanutten Resort is home to two high caliber golf courses: Woodstone Meadows Golf Course and Mountain Greens Golf Course. If you’re headed onto the greens, be sure to ask about the newGolfBoards. Golfers of all ages can now “Surf the Earth” from shot-to-shot in a way that feels like snowboarding or surfing. Soar Through The Canopy Attend a Festival Fuel Up at Campfire Grill
But this isn’t their first paddle, so to speak. The men have successfully paddleboarded across three of the five Great Lakes. In 2015, they traversed Lake Michigan, raising money for the Great Lakes Alliance. In 2017 they crossed Lake Huron, fundraising for Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In 2018 the men tackled Lake Superior, raising money for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. “Our overall goal is to help keep the Great Lakes awesome,” said one of the paddlers, Jeff Guy. “Our hope is that people will join us in donating to this great cause.” Yesterday morning three men set out to paddleboard across Lake Erie to raise money for the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, a non-profit that studies algae blooms and works to protect the ecosystem of the Great Lakes. The paddleboarders will travel 80 miles carrying all of their own supplies while fighting exhaustion and the threat of hypothermia. Three men to cross Lake Erie on paddle boards