Advances in Electricity-Storage Technology

first_imgAdvances in Electricity-Storage Technology FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:2017 could go down as the year regulated utilities took the lead in energy storage.Several of the most notable energy storage projects this year were done by or for regulated utilities. And that momentum will likely carry into 2018 as well, Tim Gretjak, an analyst at Lux Research, told Utility Dive.In some cases, it is easier for a regulated utility to make the economic case for energy storage, Gretjak said. It is hard for developers of energy storage projects to compete in energy markets where the rules do not value the flexibility that storage can provide, he added. The trend could be bolstered by the fact that utilities across the country are beginning to include energy storage in their resource planning processes. In Oregon, for instance, Portland General Electric’s integrated resource plan proposes five storage projects. In New Mexico, the Public Regulation Commission amended the state’s 2017 IRP rules to include energy storage. High on the list of notable projects of the year is Tucson Electric Power’s (TEP) solar plus storage facility. The project is being built by NextEra Energy and features a 100 MW solar array and a 30 MW, 120 MWh energy storage system. It’s most notable feature, however, is its power purchase agreement.TEP reported that the all-in cost for the solar-plus-storage project was “significantly less than $0.045/kWh over 20 years.” TEP said the solar portion of the project, at under 3¢/kWh, was “the lowest price recorded in the U.S.” That puts the remaining storage portion of the project at about 1.5¢/kWh.The project marked the lowest price announced for a solar-plus-storage project to date, far outstripping the nearest contender, a 11¢/kWh PPA between Kauai Island Electric Cooperative and AES Corp. for a 28 MW solar array with a 20 MW, 100 MWh battery system on Kauai, Hawaii.Another of the year’s most notable projects also is in Arizona, but is being developed by Arizona Public Service. It is a much smaller project, 2 MW, 8 MWh, but is notable because it is being undertaken without a statutory or regulatory mandate.APS is building the project as an alternative to building about 20 miles of new transmission lines to serve the small community of Punkin Center about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix.APS has not disclosed the cost of either the storage project or the transmission lines, but estimates the batteries will enable it to defer investment in a new transmission line for up to six years. And during that time, the batteries will also deliver additional value by providing frequency regulation and bolstering grid reliability.T&D (transmission and distribution) deferral is a growing trend, especially among regulated utilities, Manghani told Utility Dive, but such efforts are also very specific, particularly when any individual  project can require regulatory approval.Another T&D deferral project recently surfaced in Massachusetts where National Grid has plans to install a 48 MWh energy storage system on the island of Nantucket. The storage project will help back up a new diesel generator on Nantucket and defer investment in a new subsea cable to the island.In North Carolina, Duke Energy in April won regulatory approval to build a 10 kW solar installation with a Fluidic 95 kWh zinc-air battery in the Great Smoky Mountains of Haywood County. The energy storage system will power a remote communications tower in the national park that is currently served by an overhead transmission line.Duke says the microgrid project, which would cost less than $1 million, is less expensive than upgrading and maintaining the existing four-mile 12.47-kV distribution feeder that travels over rugged mountain terrain and is due for upgrades this year.The project demonstrates the “practicality” of energy storage, Gretjak said.Duke also plans to invest $30 million in two battery storage systems in North Carolina, which the company says will be the first large storage projects built by its regulated utility. “Battery technology has matured, and we are ready to take the next step. We can go to regulators and say this makes economic sense, Duke spokesman Randy Wheeless told Utility Dive at the time.Energy storage once again made market inroads this year, as it did last year, by responding to emergencies. Last year, energy storage’s value was on display when it was called on to respond to the Aliso Canyon gas leaks that threatened gas supplies to power plants critical to reliability in Southern California. Following a call by state regulators, developers stepped up to quickly build several large storage projects to support grid reliability in the region. One of those project, Powin Energy’s 2 MW, 8 MWh battery system in Irvine, came online in January.In March, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he could solve blackouts that have been plaguing South Australia by installing a battery storage system in 100 days or it would be free. Tesla made good on Musk’s promise this week, nearing completion of a $50 million, 100 MW, 129 MWh storage system at Neoen’s 315 MW Hornsdale wind farm. The storage system, which would be the largest in the world, is expected to come online Dec. 1.The Tesla project could soon be overshadowed by a massive 100 MW, 500 MWh storage system that is expected to “be the cornerstone of a new smart energy grid” in Hubei Province, China. The vanadium flow battery project is being built by Hubei Pingfan Vanadium Energy Storage Technology Co., a subsidiary of Hubei Pingfan, a mining and industrial metals and minerals company that has about 1 million tonnes of vanadium in its reserves.The China project may not have much overlap with U.S. projects because the energy markets in the two countries are so different, but China’s push could demonstrate the value of flow batteries and might aid the economies of scale for the technology. More: Top energy storage projects driving the sector in 2017last_img read more

Fitch: Solar capacity in U.S. could jump by 100 gigawatts by 2030

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Fitch Solutions Macro Research has released a report, Midwest U.S. Set To Experience Strong Growth In Solar Sector, which makes some very bold predictions about the future of the solar industry in America’s heartland.Chief among those bold predictions, Fitch states that it expects the region to contribute heavily to the 100 GW of solar power capacity expected to come to the United States over the next 10 years. This astronomical, gargantuan, whichever word of scope you use to describe, prediction is supported mainly by the region’s large proposed solar project pipeline, with a total potential added capacity of a smidge under 79 GWac that are registered within the MISO, SPP and PJM generation interconnection queues – the grid operators that cover the region.Fitch expects that this unprecedented development will be driven by the strengthened renewable energy targets of Midwest states, cities and utilities. Chiefly among these targets, Fitch references Wisconsin’s 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 goal, the 100% renewable electricity pledges made by Chicago, IL and Madison, WI, DTE and Xcel’s plans for carbon neutrality by 2050 and the litany of renewable energy-based requests for proposals sweeping the region.Strangely, the report doesn’t address the trend of large corporations increasingly adopting renewable generations to fulfill their power needs. The report, however, also attributes the projected growth to year-over-year improvements in the technologies associated with solar projects, the ever-falling costs of developing and installing solar and the expanding adoption of community solar initiatives in the region.That last point is an especially interesting one, as in 2019 utilities in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska all launched their first community solar programs, with most being so successful that they led to over-demand and filled their capacities nearly immediately.These projections by Fitch paint an incredibly bullish view on the future of solar development, one more optimistic than the projections made by Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie. These two organizations are currently projecting a 2019 solar market of 12.6 GW, with Fitch estimating an annual Midwest average growth of 83% of that figure. Obviously, the expectation is that those annual additions would increase exponentially so that the biggest additions are being made at the end of the decade. The 79 GW project pipeline only includes projects to be completed through 2023, so, if even a third of that goes on-line, that would lend major credence to the optimistic projections of the region as a whole.More: The Midwest’s solar future will be unlike anything seen before Fitch: Solar capacity in U.S. could jump by 100 gigawatts by 2030last_img read more

EIA: Wind now the leading source of renewable generation in the U.S.

first_imgEIA: Wind now the leading source of renewable generation in the U.S. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:Last year saw wind generation in the U.S. overtake hydroelectric generation for the first time, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).Released Wednesday, the figures from the EIA’s “Electric Power Monthly” report show that yearly wind generation hit a little over 300 million megawatt hours (MWh) in 2019. This was roughly 26 million MWh more than hydroelectric production.Wind now represents the “most-used renewable electricity generation source” in the U.S., the EIA said.Overall, total renewable electricity generation — which includes sources such as solar photovoltaic, geothermal and landfill gas — at utility-scale facilities hit more than 720 million MWh in 2019, compared to just under 707 million MWh in 2018. To put things in perspective, generation from coal came to more than 966 million MWh in 2019.According to the EIA’s “Today in Energy” briefing, which was also published Wednesday, generation from wind power has grown “steadily” across the last decade.At the end of 2019, the country was home to 103 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity, with 77% of this being installed in the last decade. The U.S. is home 80GW of hydroelectric capacity, according to the EIA.[Anmar Frangoul]More: Wind has become the ‘most-used’ source of renewable electricity generation in the USlast_img read more

Australia testing possibility of reusing underground coal mine as a pumped hydro project

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Australia is studying plans to transform a disused underground coal mine into a pumped hydro facility, part of a wider effort to reuse retiring fossil fuel sites for renewable energy generation.The A$13 million ($9.9 million) pilot trial at the Newstan Colliery, in Fassifern, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) northeast of Sydney, could offer a blueprint for dozens of expiring mines that’ll be retired in coming decades, according to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.Studies will test whether the Centennial Coal Co. site, close to Lake Macquarie, can eventually support a 600-megawatt pumped hydro facility that would take advantage of its reservoir, grid connection and available water source. The results will also show if similar brownfield sites, including other coal operations, could also host renewables, ARENA said in a Friday statement.“By repurposing old sites and taking advantage of the features at those facilities, we can bring more clean energy projects online that bring down emissions and deliver the secure and reliable power Australians need,” Australia’s Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said in a separate statement.Pumped storage hydroelectric power plants, which push water uphill at times of low demand and then release it downhill to drive turbines that generate electricity when needed, have huge capacity for energy storage and can help back up intermittent generation from wind and solar plants.The Newstan trial is one of several similar projects in Australia. Genex Power Ltd. is planning to install a 250-megawatt pumped-hydro facility at a former gold mine in Queensland, along with solar and wind resources. At the former Drayton coal mine in New South Wales, Malabar Resources has won approval to develop a 25-megawatt solar farm.[Rob Verdonck]More: Old coal mines can win a second life as green energy hotspots Australia testing possibility of reusing underground coal mine as a pumped hydro projectlast_img read more

Girl Guide: On Being a Woman and a Whitewater Guide

first_imgTara Nathan stops adjusting her spray skirt for a minute to stand up in front of the sea of red rafts. She waves at the boats full of Boy Scouts (most of whom are a good five inches shorter than her) and grins, a flash of white teeth on tan skin, then plunks back down on her green kayak. She pulls at her shorts.“I wore the wrong underwear,” she says under her breath. “You think guys chafe. Ugh.”There aren’t many other women in her position. The whitewater raft guide scene is mostly dominated by tan, muscular dudes with bushy beards and questionable hygiene practices.For the next seven miles of Class III-V whitewater, Nathan will be responsible for the lives of 80 strangers. There’s an epileptic, a diabetic, and a handful of unfit tourists on the trip. It rained the night before, and the water’s high. A raft will almost definitely flip. But she’s not worried at all.Curly blonde hair tucked under her river helmet, Nathan drags her boat down to the river, scoots inside, and paddles out. She floats, waiting.The trip goes smoothly. There are no injuries, and only a few swimmers. Sitting outside of the local pub afterward, she relaxes in the sun with a cold Sierra Nevada.On the river, Nathan’s a Youghiogheny River goddess. She often gets anonymous comment cards from Boy Scouts asking her on dates. She paddles smoothly around the rafts, shouting clear, concise instructions to each group as they float past.“I didn’t know I had a voice until I became a raft guide,” she says with a grin.Nathan’s 22, a recent graduate from Keene State College with a journalism degree. Right now she works for Wilderness Voyageurs, a rafting company on the Youghiogheny River in Ohiopyle, Pa. But she started working as a guide in 2009 for a different company, where her family had gone rafting on their summer vacations. Nathan was just getting out of a bad relationship back home in Connecticut. She wanted physical work that she could throw herself into, body and soul.But her rookie year was rough.“I was at a company where testosterone rules,” she recalls. “They respect the big, strong guys who excel fast and do kinda crazy things. It was like a pissing contest all the time.”Every day she was constantly trying to prove herself—jumping over fires, swimming over the waterfall at midnight—to feel respected. But she wasn’t getting anywhere. They wouldn’t let her take on more responsibility. She was never a trip leader, never encouraged to take on bigger responsibilities. On the river, her coworkers made jabs at her for being a girl.“Hey, why didn’t Hellen Keller know how to drive?” they’d ask her boat. “Because she was blind? No! It’s because she was a woman! Good luck with Tara!” They’d laugh and paddle away.Nathan shakes her head. “I was taking so much shit, getting bogged down so much.”So she switched companies and went to work for Wilderness Voyageurs in 2012.“I think all companies are defined by their senior guides,” she says. “There aren’t a bunch of hot-shot studs running around trying to prove their masculinity. The guys there are really eclectic. Some of them are quiet, but they’re good leaders. One guy plays the mandolin. One of them reenacts Civil War battles. If you do something wrong, they still might come down hard on you, but the criticism is constructive.”In that positive environment, Nathan was allowed to learn and excel. She learned how to kayak, and now she paddles the river almost every day. (Sometimes twice in a day. Sometimes with beer.) Now, in her fourth year on the river, she’s completely immersed in the lifestyle—she lives in a guide house, hangs out with the other guides all day, and drinks with them every night.That isn’t to say that Wilderness Voyageurs is a shining beacon of feminist empowerment. Nathan still takes her share of ribbing and jokes about PMS (which is really a bitch on the river), shock and awe when she shows up in a skirt on her days off. But the banter is good-natured.“It’s really taken a hit on my social skills,” she says with a laugh. “I spend all day shooting the shit with a bunch of guys. If I make the same joke in front of girls, they’re totally appalled.”Nathan’s boyfriend Mark, a bartender and fellow guide, swings by the table with a basket of tortilla chips and another beer.Guiding with her main squeeze on the river gets stressful, she admits. “I really don’t think we should work together. We care too much about each other’s safety. The nature of the job is to care about the customers, not yourself.”Even though she’s comfortable working in a predominately male field, Nathan thinks more women should give it a try.“I was never put in an executive position like this until I started guiding,” she says. “I was never the expert, never the person who could give orders instead of taking them. The fact that I have the confidence to yell and project—that’s important.”Still, there are only a handful of girls who work on the river in Ohiopyle. And right now, Nathan’s the only female at Wilderness Voyageurs who works on the more difficult sections of the river.“The average girl my age doesn’t think she can hang with this crowd,” she says. “But nobody starts as an expert. If more girls were encouraged, they could learn.”last_img read more

WATCH: ‘The Fourth Phase’ | From the Makers of The Art of Flight

first_img“Life begins. Clouds form. A snowstorm atop high peaks falls heavy, melts, flows through tributaries, into rivers. It finds the sea and turns to the air. This process we follow. This cycle we ride.”These words mark the beginning of an endorphin inducing trailer for a new backcountry snowboarding film from the makers of the classic ‘The Art of Flight.’Travis Rice’s ‘The Fourth Phase’ will bring some of snowboarding’s most impressive talents to the big screen.“It has taken everything I have learned over my life to prepare for what the past several years has challenged us with,” Rice told Red Bull. “Immersion into the winter wilderness with a few trusted comrades and a vow to not ride anything we have ever ridden before has made this the most exciting project yet. We have a team of some of the most committed riders, and a production crew that has gone all in. We’re headed back into the field soon, but before we go dark again we wanted to share a taste of what we’ve been working on.”Be on the lookout for this highly touted adventure film sometime in the fall of 2016. In the meantime, let this short but powerful teaser get you amped for the 2015-16 powder season.last_img read more

JPD on the MST: 3 Revelations from Hiking the Appalachian Trail

first_imgTwo pregnancies, twenty-four months of nursing, one knee surgery, and six months of physical therapy all separate me from my last hike of over a thousand miles.Time has passed, seasons have changed, and somewhere amid the transition, I lost my top gear. Most days I don’t have a desire or need to hike quickly but there’s still a sense of loss when I realize that I’m not as fast as I used to be.My body also takes longer to recover. I used to stare in bewilderment at the hikers who started their day with stretches and groans. Now, when I wake up, my achilles feel like taut elastic and my quads are as stiff as mud on a cold day. I have to do a sigh-filled sun salutation just to make it to the toilet.When I have a couple of hours to catch up on e-mail and write a blog, I can’t help but notice that Google’s banner ads have targeted me as a prime candidate for cellulite treatments and creepy skin solutions. Before my first baby, my hiking legs showcased veins bulging on the back on my protruding calf muscles, but after my second pregnancies, the most visible blood vessels are varicose veins. I’m not sure which is more off-putting, the fact that I have I have ‘mom legs’ or the fact that Google knows about it.My journey across the state on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail has been humbling. I have had to accept that I am not the same athlete or person that I was six years ago. At the same time, I have had the joy of revisiting the emboldening realizations that I experienced as a twenty-one year old hiking the Appalachian Trail:1. I am not separate or removed from nature; I am part of it. When you feel connected to the forest, the landscape, the wildflowers, the wild animals – you feel beautiful. 2. My reflection is best viewed through interactions with others. If you want to know how other people perceive you, then don’t spend your time looking in mirrors or capturing the perfect selfie. Instead, treat people with kindness. Share a joke… or a snack… or your time. Listen. When you make someone else light up – when you make someone else smile – that makes you feel attractive3. Self-worth should be tied to my potential, not appearance. The simple discipline on putting one foot in front of the other and looking back to appreciate the tens, or hundreds, or thousands of miles behind you make you realize that we are all capable of going farther and doing more than we think we can.As we travel across this state, I am slowly letting go of my vanity and rediscovering my self-worth. Yes, I am slower, I have stretch marks, and my body generally feels more worn. But, I’ve walked more than halfway across North Carolina while sharing the adventure, my love, and daily attention with my family. I’ve managed to hike over 700 miles while overseeing book edits and a hiking company. And, I’m on my way to completing a long trail while nursing a baby – and dealing with monthly periods. It may not be as sexy or fast as other endeavors, but I have discovered something more appealing along the way: I am discovering the beauty that comes with experience and wisdom.last_img read more

Outdoor Updates: Great white sharks identified off of the North Carolina coast

first_imgGreat white sharks identified off of the North Carolina coast The Trump administration is preparing to announce a broad rule change to the Endangered Species Act that could come at any time. The changes were first proposed in July 2018. Overall, they are consistent with the administration’s goal of reducing regulation. The most contentious provision, if included in the final plan, would allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to consider economic factors when weighing whether to list a species as threatened or endangered. Conservationists argue that the Endangered Species Act specifically disallows decisions to be guided by anything other than science and that the rule will lead to more species extinction. EPA pulls 12 pesticides that harm bees The EPA has announced that they will pull 12 neonicotinoid pesticides from the market. The announcement comes as part of a lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety, which litigated on behalf of beekeepers and conservationists. The court found that the EPA failed to protect pollinators, beekeepers and endangered species from the dangerous pesticides. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of pesticides chemically related to nicotine that interfere with the nervous system of insects, causing paralysis and eventual death to bees, even in low doses. They are also systemic, making the entire plant toxic once sprayed. Neonicotinoids began to be widely used in the mid-2000’s, just as beekeepers began noticing colony collapse. center_img Two great white sharks have been spotted in the Outer Banks off of the coast of North Carolina. The female, named Jane, was tagged in October 2018 in Nova Scotia, Canada. The male, Brunswick, was tagged in South Carolina earlier this year.  Jane has reportedly been in the area for over a month while Brunswick just arrived this week. A third tagged shark pinged last month in the same waters but there’s no word if he’s still out there. Great white sharks are a migratory species, moving to warmer waters in Florida over the winter and heading back north once the weather heats up. The sharks are about 20 miles off of the coast and pose no threats to beachgoers. Trump administration may soon finalize an overhaul to the Endangered Species Actlast_img read more

Woman hiking in SC falls 60 feet down a waterfall, then waits hours to be rescued

first_imgIt took rescue crews more than two hours and 40 people to build a “multi rope system” to reach the injured hiker. The woman was eventually pulled from the bottom of the falls with “significant injuries,” Oconee County fire chief Charles V. King told Fox Carolina, and airlifted to a hospital in Greenville. While the hike to Blue Hole Falls is considered easy, hikers often leave the trail to get a better view of the waterfall. Hikers are reminded to stay on designated trails and always use caution when hiking. A woman hiking at Blue Hole Falls in Oconee County, South Carolina, plummeted 60 feet down the waterfall and then waited hours for first responders to perform a difficult rescue. last_img

Detained Colombian Guerrilla Commander Sentenced To 46 Years In Prison

first_imgBy Dialogo September 03, 2010 Bernardo Mosquera Machado, alias Negro Antonio, former commander of the FARC guerrilla group’s Front 42, was sentenced to forty-six years in prison for an attack on a town in which four civilians and a policeman died in 1999, the Colombian attorney-general’s office announced Wednesday. Mosquera was found guilty of the offenses of aggravated homicide, attempted aggravated homicide, aggravated terrorism, robbery, and aggravated robbery, the attorney-general’s office specified in a press release. According to the decision by the First Circuit Court of the department of Cundinamarca, Mosquera was found guilty of “ordering, directing, and executing” the attack on the town of Cúmaca (in central Colombia) on 27 January 1999, which left five people dead and two police and four civilians wounded. The guerrilla fighter has been jailed since February 2009, after being taken prisoner in combat by the army. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, Marxists) have been engaged in armed struggle against the state for forty-six years and currently have around eight thousand fighters, according to official estimates.last_img read more