AEP’s Akins: Distributed resources offer less risk, same returns FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Building large-scale generation like the Vogtle nuclear plant expansion represents a “significant challenge” in today’s market, American Electric Power Co. Inc.’s CEO said Aug. 16, adding that those ventures do not align with his company’s investment thesis.During a CNBC interview, Chairman, President and CEO Nick Akins said that in the wake of AEP canceling its ambitious Wind Catcher wind farm, the Ohio-headquartered company will now focus on developing smaller renewables projects. Akins additionally reaffirmed AEP’s 5% to 7% long-term growth rate through 2021.“Mad Money” host Jim Cramer asked the CEO whether a nuclear plant will ever end up being built in the United States, framing the question in light of Southern Co.’s recent announcement that subsidiary Georgia Power Co. would increase by $1.1 billion its share of Vogtle’s project costs. The new reactors are years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget, and industry analysts are increasingly worried about Vogtle’s future viability.“I think you have to really think about it in today’s environment, where technology is going, certainly where natural gas prices are. It’s a significant challenge to build a large central-station generation facility and take on that amount of risk,” Akins told Cramer. “Obviously hats off to Southern for moving that process forward relative to nuclear, but at the same time when we look at it from an investment thesis … the magnitude of the small projects add up to much less risk for investors.“So when we look at the future in terms of investment, with distributed energy resources, where technology’s going, certainly from a transmission standpoint, those are investments that we can make that minimize risk not only to our customers, but to our shareholders as well,” Akins added.More ($): Large-scale generation like Vogtle is ‘significant challenge,’ AEP chief says
Westmoreland bankruptcy raises questions about future of Colstrip coal plant FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg Environment:One of the largest power plants in the West could be at risk if Westmoreland Coal raises the price of coal as the utility’s sole supplier as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.Nearly three-quarters of the Colstrip Power Plant’s electricity production could grind to a halt, its owners say, if Westmoreland’s potential new owners raise the price of coal from its Rosebud Mine.Shutting down two of Colstrip’s four boilers would effectively remove 1,480 megawatts of power from the market in the west, which could be damaging to the power grid, said Bud Clinch, executive director of the Montana Coal Council. With a generating capacity of about 2,100 megawatts, the massive plant near Billings, MT, delivers power to California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.“The Colstrip power plant plays a tremendous role in the northwestern U.S.,” Clinch said, adding that he didn’t know how long it would take to find a replacement for the lost power—or if that would be possible.But others said plenty of other power providers could pick up the slack, and consumers would actually stand to gain.The two Colstrip boilers in question were already slated for likely retirement in 2027, when the plant is set to be paid off. The owners of the plant say retiring the two boilers could come much sooner if the bankruptcy court allows Westmoreland to tear up the existing coal contract and renegotiate for a higher price.More: Power plant risks early closure in Westmoreland bankruptcy
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has granted a construction and operating permit to the developer of a wind project comprising multiple facilities with a combined capacity of 780 MW.Sited in the southeastern Wyoming towns of Medicine Bow in Carbon County and Rock River in Albany County, the Two Rivers and Lucky Star project will be developed and operated in two phases by subsidiaries of BluEarth Renewables Inc. During the first phase, the Two Rivers phase of construction, workers will erect 77 wind turbines at four generation sites — known as Two Rivers I, II, III and IV — with a combined anticipated capacity of 280 MW. Later, during the Lucky Star phase, 200 turbines will be installed at the Lucky Star site with a total capacity of roughly 500 MW.The estimated cost to construct the entire 100,198-acre project was listed at $1.05 billion in the permit application. The Two Rivers phase of construction is slated to begin in April 2021, with operations at those facilities anticipated to start in early 2022. The Lucky Star phase of construction should commence in April 2022, with that facility expected to come online in the last quarter of 2023.The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s Industrial Siting Division issued the permit with 22 stipulations, including one that requires the developer to seek out local workers for open positions. The company anticipates employing 262 workers at the peak of construction during the Two Rivers phase and 400 workers during the peak construction period for the Lucky Star phase.The project initially was being developed by Intermountain Wind LLC, which sold its Wyoming wind portfolio to BluEarth Renewables for an undisclosed sum in July 2018. According to American Wind Energy Association data that was last updated in October, Wyoming is ranked 17th in the nation in terms of installed wind capacity with 1,488 MW. [Bridget Reed Morawski]More ($): 780-MW wind project in Wyoming receives construction permit Wyoming issues construction permit for 780MW, $1billion wind development
We are pumped to announce that the May, 2013 issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine is on newsstands and online! The May issue is one of our most popular of the year for one reason: our annual Festival Guide. Once again, this year’s guide provides you with a listing of 50 of the year’s best outdoor festivals in the Blue Ridge. We have divided up the festivals into categories ranging from downtown festivals to the best in bluegrass to help you plan your summer festival circuit. Plus, we have the best festival gear, bands to watch, and of course our Southern Brew Guide that includes the finest summer seasonals from regional breweries and our favorite outdoor bars.Needless to say, this issue is packed full of everything you need to Go Outside and Play. Enjoy!Features2013 Outdoor Festival GuideSouthern Brew GuideStoriesA Running Feud: The Hatfield-McCoy MarathonChasing Waterfalls: Rappelling Bradley FallsWalk the Line: The Mason-Dixon TrailTeachers’ Pet: Trout in the ClassroomDesk Job to Dirt BagPlease Trespass: Private Property the Future of ConservationPipe Dream: Hiking the Keystone XL PipelineDebateKeystone XL Pipeline: Need it or Nix it?
When you’re on the A.T. you’re bestowed a trail name—a nickname, of sorts, that becomes your primary identity. Here are some of our favorites trail names from this year’s class of thru-hikers.1. Mouse King“My first night on the trail, I got to the shelter, and I noticed everybody was in their tents. No one was in the shelter because there were so many mice. I was so tired, I didn’t care. I was the only one who slept in the shelter. There were mice everywhere. I would turn on my headlight and they’d go away. Then after awhile, they just stopped going away. So I set up my tent in the shelter and went to sleep. The next morning I went to the privy, and there was a mouse right behind me, just staring at me the whole time.”2. Cheese“I was at one of the shelters, and I picked up a block of cheese, and ate it down in under a minute, and it was good, so they called me cheese. I tell bad jokes, and I’m from Wisconsin, too, so I’ve got all three things going on.”3. ILL“My first night out here, I got sick, and I threw up a couple times.”4. Magnito“I make jewelry out of metal wire, things like that. I was crafting on the rail a little bit, and someone said, ‘Oh you’re Magnito.’ It’s a super-villain in X-Men who is able to manipulate metal magnetically. After the A.T., I hope to start making jewelry for a living.”5. Sliced Beets“It’s a game I play with my son online.”6. Santa Max“Some young kid was here, and he had Max first. That’s the one I wanted. And because of the beard, he stuck me with Santa Max so he could keep what he wanted.”7. Heat Wave“I got it on the Pacific Crest Trail. I had never backpacked before, and I had no idea what I was doing. I was probably carrying about 60 pounds. I kept pulling up and cinching my backpack, and when we stopped at the first break, I unclipped everything, and I think my squeezed-up insides just kind of loosened, and I threw up all over the trail. Some older gentlemen came by and checked that I was okay and walked on. About 10 days later, or so, I ran into one of them again. He walked right up to me and was like, “Hey, Heat Wave, how’s it going?” The name stuck.”8. Cindy Loo Hoo“My hair is crazy purple, and I put it in a really high top bun a lot of the times.”9. Red Fox“I move through the woods like a fox, and I’ve got red hair and a big red beard.”10. Banana Split“I split my pants on Day 3, and I wear yellow shorts. I guess I’m kinda stuck with that the rest of the way.”
Around helping customers, most of my time at work is typically spent merchandising products, creating visual displays, and seasonally rearranging the floorplan. In the past few weeks, I have transitioned much of this time into managing our Charlottesville GOPC Instagram page, @trusty_cville, and collaborating with other employees to improve our social media presence as a company. For the last year I have focused most of my outdoor adventuring on climbing. Though, I grew up kayaking with my father, and am most experienced with backpacking. What makes me most proud of working at GOPC are the people. I am convinced we have the best customer base of any business: friendly, loyal, and inspiring. Our corporate leadership, from our store manager, to the top tiers of the company, are interested in employee concerns, supportive, and informative. I consider myself very lucky to be working with such a fantastic team. It is this sense of community that keeps me excited about my work. We are truly living in historic times and not just speaking about COVID-19. To help our amazing customers, we’ve also done something historic, opened up an online shop. Not only has Great Outdoor entered the world of online retail, but we’ve also introduced curbside pick-up for our customers as well. All they have to do is email or call and we will meet them in the parking lot with their purchased items. We have also allowed customers to set up in-shop appointments if they are interested in items that need to be fitted, like a pack or footwear. We are still doing what we do best: helping people get outside! (Even if it’s your backyard!) We are offering curbside pickup at our store locations, and have launched a new online shopping experience at www.greatoutdoorprovision.com. We will even wrap gifts for you before packing them if you request “Gift Wrap” in the comment box at checkout! Our website also lists each store’s email address and phone number, and we encourage reaching out with any inquiries, requests, or curbside pickup appointments. We are additionally offering exclusive shopping experiences on our social media channels, highlighting boutique brands and collections that cannot be viewed on our website. Each store will have slightly different collections, so following your local GOPC store Instagram or Facebook page will give you an opportunity to peak at our spring/summer inventory inside the shops. I work at the Greensboro shop and am the sportswear product contact manager and visual merchandiser and currently run Greensboro’s Instagram page. My favorite outdoor activity is a tie between hiking and trail running, both get me outside and on the trails, which is honestly what matters the most to me. We all really miss seeing our customers, and would love to keep in touch! We encourage everyone to share their adventures with our social media channels, so we can help keep our local outdoor communities strong! There are so many things that make me proud to be at Great Outdoor. I love how no matter which shop you go to or who you talk to, everyone is treated like family. I love working for a small, local retailer that focuses no only on each individual city where each shop is located, but also on the bigger picture (like giving back 1% to the planet and to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to name a few). I also enjoy getting to work with each customer that walks into the shop. Getting to hear each person’s story and how the products or advice that they’ve received from Great Outdoor has helped them have the best possible trip (or give the best birthday/holiday present) gives me so much joy and makes me swell with pride. The Blue Ridge is made up of so many incredible people, small businesses, destinations, and more. During the next few weeks, we would like to highlight some of them to allow you to get to know them better, a series we like to call Blue Ridge together. Today we are giving a shoutout to the people at Great Outdoor Provision Co. who are committed to helping people get outside. #BlueRidgeTogether Words from Great Outdoor Provision Co. Rebekah Robinson: Sportswear Product Contact Manager and Visual Merchandiser at the Greensboro Shop / Instagram Coordinator Marissa: Sportswear Buyer Contact at the Charlottesville, VA GOPC shop Curbside Pickup My motivational message for everyone is, “This too shall pass.” Human beings are incredibly resilient and when we all stick together, we can truly achieve great things. I love seeing how communities have banded together and are helping out one another and how people are enjoying the outdoors again. I highly recommend for people to get outside, even if it’s just their front yard and to (safely) take in the beauty that is around them. If you would like to see one of your favorite businesses featured with Blue Ridge Together, use the hashtag #BlueRidgeTogether to help spread the word on the people and places that make our community something to be proud of.
By Dialogo March 04, 2009 Latin America has become more competitive in tourism over the past year, but needs to improve its safety in order to increase its appeal, according to a report developed by the World Economic Fund. Costa Rica is the highest ranked Latin American country, scoring 42 points in a report on tourism competitiveness and attractiveness that covers 133 nations. It is followed by Brazil (45), Mexico (51), Chile (57), Argentina (65), and Venezuela (104). The report considers safety to be the most influential factor in the evaluation and the region’s loss of appeal. All Latin American countries count on excellent natural resources and many places are included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. “They need to demonstrate higher environmental awareness. These days that is very important,” Jennifer Blank, the co-author of the report along with Thea Chiesa, told Efe. “However, we will not forget that they have all improved and rose in the ranking,” she stated. Regarding Costa Rica, the report suggests a need to improve road infrastructure. Brazil is highlighted as a country possessing some of the most diverse fauna in the world, and with great interest in and concern about its sustainability. However, the report criticizes the high taxes and, above all, safety, since it is located between the least safe countries in the world. The report suggests that Mexico should improve on issues related to hygiene, infrastructure, and safety, while it recognizes that there has been improvement over the previous year. With regards to Chile, the report recognizes that negotiations for the establishment of businesses flow quickly and inexpensively, but regrets that the country lost six points due to the lack of priority that the government dedicates to the sector. Argentina has lost six points compared to the previous report, and one of the most influential factors is the quality of its aviation. Other factors cited include the country’s high prices and governmental regulations that have affected its competitiveness. In Venezuela, according to the Forum, tourism is not a priority for the government, since its infrastructure is inadequate and its politics are not environmentally oriented. The list of the most attractive and competitive countries is headed by Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, which have the environment, infrastructure, and proper conditions for the development of tourism, according to the Forum. In the list based on 2008 data, France is the country that shows the most improvement, moving up from tenth to fourth place. Canada is ranked fifth, Spain is the sixth, Sweden is the seventh, United States is the eighth, and Australia, the country that had dropped the most in ranking compared to last year, when it was ranked in fourth place, is ninth.
By Dialogo May 08, 2009 Juanpa’s controversial statement Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said that the FARC was “one of the biggest drug cartels in the world,” recalling that at least 50 of their chiefs are wanted for extradition by U.S. authorities. “Today, the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia; in English the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) is one of the biggest drug cartels in the world and at least 50 of its leaders are wanted for extradition by the United States, accused not of terrorism, but of drug trafficking,” said Santos. The official made these statements while speaking at a forum organized by the Superior School of War in Bogotá, attended by foreign military officers from twenty countries. Santos added that, with guerrilla drug traffickers, “the classical division of roles in which the Armed Forces dealt exclusively with matters of defense and sovereignty, while the police dealt with the issue of security, is indefensible.” Today in Colombia, “without losing the essence of every army, there is effective coordinated work between the military and police forces that generates a positive synergy against crime,” he explained. Minister Juan Manuel Santos revealed that, a few years ago, in areas in which the FARC had a strong presence and where illegal coca crops are cultivated in extensive areas, a dramatic reduction in these crops could now be observed. Among these areas, he cited the Serrania de La Macarena, a mountain located in the Llanos Orientales. There, as in the Montes de Maria (north), one can sense in the air significant improvements in social recovery in recent years, Santos emphasized. “An evaluation by the UN which will be made public in the next few days indicates that the region of La Macarena had the largest number of hectares cultivated with coca, 75 percent,” said the minister. Referring to La Macarena and the Montes de Maria as examples of the integrated action of the military and police, he said that “today these regions, which were once havens for terrorists and drug traffickers, are recovered territories for peace.” He further said that “essential infrastructure works – a road, an electrical interconnection system, an aqueduct – are as important for security as the capture of a terrorist leader.” According to the minister, between 2009 and 2010 military engineers will spend the equivalent of more than 30 million dollars to build important roads such as one crossing the Montes de María and paving in La Uribe (in La Macarena). “These roads will transport the legal products from the region and create opportunities for progress to avert the temptation of illegal cultivation and the threat of terrorism,” Santos stressed. Terrorism and drug trafficking are epidemics, “if I may say so, like the famous AH1N1 flu, which does not respect borders and takes advantage of anyone who has weak defenses,” he said. “Therefore, only appropriate cooperation between our governments, our ministries of Defense and Security, and our armed forces may counteract such dangerous and lucrative activities as those mentioned,” he said.
By Dialogo May 24, 2010 Concerns about trafficking throughout Belize have increased as operatives use the nation as a launching pad for trafficking. The upsurge in the illegal transit operations can be traced along many of Belize’s rural, remote areas, and vast ocean. It’s a problem that has been acknowledged by both Belizean officials and their American counterparts who are working in partnership in an effort to deter illicit movement within Belize’s borders. For members of Operational Detachment-Alpha or ODA, a detachment comprised of the U.S. Army’s elite Special Forces from the 7th Special Forces Group, it is a predicament they understand as the men advice and assist their Belizean Defense Force partners through training and mentoring. The goal of these efforts is to build the BDF’s military capacity in order to combat trafficking. “Belize is a cruise destination, but it has also become a trafficking destination,” said the SF officer-in-charge of the ODA. “Our goal is to build their collective capability, and get them operational in these remote areas to combat this problem.” The Army’s Special Forces are training a special group of Belizean soldiers who are assigned to the Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG). Within Belize’s military, they are considered the first responders to handle illicit activities. This exchange is part of Special Operations Command South’s, the Homestead, Fla., based command that is responsible for United States special operations in the Caribbean, Central and South America, theater security cooperation program. The program enables partner nations to better protect their borders and increase their capacity to conduct special operations. SOCSOUTH’s program also helps partner nations improve their training facilities, such as weapons ranges, in order to increase their military capacity. During the training, ODA personnel instruct their Belizean partners on a number of military skills, which include a range of advanced marksmanship, small unit tactics, first aid, and infantry maneuvers. All the training culminates in a field training exercise in which the American advisors employ practical scenarios into the training in order to prepare the BSAG troops for a real-life situation. “All of our training is based on real-world events in order to prepare them for unilateral operations,” said the SF officer. “We are working on the fundamentals so they can learn all the different skill sets, and ultimately, they can train themselves.” During a recent trip to a marksmanship range, Belizean non-commissioned officers took charge of the training and guided their soldiers on the proper procedures of marksmanship. Although the American troops advised them on some aspects of the instruction, Belizean NCOs took the lead in conducting the training. It’s moments like this that make Belizean Cpl. Macario Salam proud to serve his country. “I feel it is important that our American partners trust me to train these men, especially since we are using live ammunition,” said Salam. “It is good that they let us train ourselves. They have confidence in us, and we are grateful for their training.” The accomplishments on the firing range came just days after the BSAG conducted a reconnaissance mission of a suspected trafficking route near the Belize-Guatemalan border, one of the first military operations of any kind along this remote, jungle area. “We are here to advise and assist, but they are beginning to professionalize themselves. They have great non-commissioned officers. They are professional soldiers, and many of them have trained in British and Belizean jungle schools,” said the ODA SF team sergeant. BSAG troops credit much of their success to the relationship that they have had with their American counterparts throughout the past few months. “They (U.S. Troops) are like our brothers,” said Salam, who has served in uniform for 11 years. “These men are veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their knowledge and experience have been very important for us to become better soldiers.”
Juan Carlos was responsible for providing basic needs to captives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), when an alleged humanitarian mission in the jungle of Guaviaré took 15 prisoners to safety on July 2, 2008. What turned into the successful Operation Check-Mate, caused his demise in the guerrilla, after growing up with them. Known as “Manchaco”, Juan Carlos turned himself to authorities in mid-August – after two years of attempted escapes – and spoke to Colombian daily El Tiempo to tell of his experiences as a FARC rebel. Following the events that turned out to be Operation Check-Mate, FARC leaders took Manchaco for a traitor and assumed he turned the prisoners in for a ransom. His hands and feet were chained to a tree in a camp, where he remained under high surveillance by “Asdrubal’s” seventh front during over 40 days. According to El Tiempo, Manchaco was court-martialed and accused of involuntarily collaborating with the enemy, though he assured them he was unaware of what had occurred. “I joined that [the FARC] practically when I was 14. It was hard to be treated like that [being chained like the prisoners],” he admitted. “I will never forget it,” he added. When asked if he considered that the prisoners had remained in chains for the better part of ten years, Manchaco replied, “Yes, it’s very hard to be [in that position] when you are innocent.” Juan Carlos realized the Colombian Army – and not a humanitarian mission – had just taken off with his 15 prisoners when he turned on a TV set to find out that Operation Check-Mate had been a successful rescue mission and the prisoners were on their way home. According to his statements, the prisoners were kept as a powerful tool to use in exchange for “agreements and conversations” with the Government, and losing them was a huge hit to the entire guerrilla group. Still, Juan Carlos added, “the FARC never admitted that the [Colombian] Government tricked them and that the operation was so efficient.” He thinks many of the rebels remain in the FARC “out of fear that the Army will get them, or that the guerrilla will kill them,” but is sure that most of them want to turn around and come clean. “The conditions are not the best and they are waiting for better possibilities,” he added. With regard to his plans, Manchaco said he hopes to get back in touch with his family and start over. “I want to start a new life free of so many things, and try to forget so much lost time.” By Dialogo August 18, 2010