Bids for Egypt solar project come in under ¢3/kWh FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company is currently reviewing six bids for the 200 MW Kom Ombo solar PV project including two bids both of which were below the $0.03 mark, causing an immediate publicity campaign from the two companies involved, Spanish solar developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures and Saudi energy giant ACWA Power.On Tuesday, PV Magazine reported that Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) had issued a press release revealing the details of the 200 MW solar energy tender for the Kom Ombo solar PV project which is estimated to be worth $525 million and will be constructed in the Aswan Governorate in the south of the country.At the time, FRV confirmed that it had submitted the lowest bid price of $0.02791 per kWh, followed by ACWA Power with $0.02799 per kWh, and the third lowest offer was offered by Norway’s Scatec Solar at $0.03045 per kWh.Three other bidders were also involved, including three consortiums made up of the consortia EDF-Marubeni-El Sewedy, Engie-Orascom, and Actis-Enerpal, with bids of $0.0315 per kWh, $0.034, and $0.035 per kWh, respectively, according to the Daily News Egypt.However, a day later PV Magazine had to update their story after Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power announced, via a statement to the magazine, that “Hassan Amin, the regional manager of ACWA Power Egypt, declared that ACWA Power offered a price of $0.02799 at the very beginning, then it submitted a discount letter to reach the lowest price – $0.02752.”The fierce competition for Egypt’s solar market is good news as the global solar industry continues to evolve and shift away from traditional juggernauts and new countries looking to build up their store of low-cost renewable energy join the fray.More: Egypt 200 MW solar tender boasts sub-$0.03 bids
Rocky Mountain Power moving forward with $3.1 billion wind project in Wyoming FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wyoming Public Media:Rocky Mountain Power plans to break ground on a $3.1 billion-dollar statewide wind energy project this week.The project includes building three new wind farms in Carbon and Converse counties, adding upgrades to existing wind turbines in those counties, and constructing an 140-mile high voltage transmission line through Sweetwater and Carbon counties.The utility’s spokesman Spencer Hall said the project will provide for up to 1,600 construction jobs and 100 full-time positions, while the new wind farms will generate 1,150 megawatts of energy.“Importantly, it’s going to benefit rural economies,” he said. “I think Wyoming is facing a transition in the energy future and I think it’s exciting to see Wyoming embracing new technologies, new opportunities.”Hall said construction and upgrades will generate approximately $120 million in tax revenue and that the project will result in significant tax revenue after construction is completed, with around $11 million projected for 2021 and $14 million annually by 2024.More: Rocky Mountain Power to break ground on $3.1 billion wind project
DOE: 2018 U.S. coal consumption lowest since 1978 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享San Antonio Express-News:Despite efforts by the Trump administration to revive the U.S. coal industry, the nation’s appetite for coal continues its long decline.Last year domestic coal consumption fell to 687 million short tons, the lowest level since 1978, according to data released Monday by the Department of Energy.That comes amidst efforts by the Department of Energy to improve the efficiency and reduce the carbon emissions of coal-fired power plants, which have been closing at a fast clip nationwide due to increased competition from natural gas and wind and solar farms.The Energy Department announced Monday it was handing out $39 million in funding, part of a push to improve efficiency five percent by 2020.The power sector accounts for more than 80 percent of domestic coal production, which fell to less than 760 million short tons last year. Of the remainder, 50 million short tons was purchased by U.S. industrial facilities, and another 115 million short tons was shipped overseas.More: Coal consumption continues to drop, despite Trump’s efforts
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:India’s renewable energy sector claimed a new milestone with the awarding of the country’s first tender for 24/7 green power that’s set to include storage as part of its deployment.Leading developer and IPP ReNew Power won the 400MW ‘round-the-clock’ (RTC) tender award after a competitive process run by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which handles renewable auctions for the Indian government.The developer is free to deploy wind, solar or hybrid capacity in conjunction with storage to supply power day and night to two utilities – New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Dadar and Nagar Haveli. ReNew Power has been contacted by Recharge for more details.The debut RTC auction – which unlike some recent Indian tenders was more than twice oversubscribed – was hailed by India’s power minister RK Singh as “a beginning towards firm, schedulable & affordable RTC supply through 100% [renewable] power”.The winning price was 2.90 rupees/kWh ($0.038/kWh, $38/MWh) for the first year of the 15-year deals, rising by 3% annually.Sidharth Jain, managing director of India-based research group MEC+, said the escalation gives a median price of around 4 rupees/kWh.[Andrew Lee]More: India hails renewable milestone after first deal for 24/7 green power India’s ReNew Power wins contract for 24/7 green energy with first year cost of $38/MWh
Enel Green Power breaks ground on 284MW Azure Sky solar-plus-storage project in Texas FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享NS Energy:Enel’s subsidiary Enel Green Power North America has started construction on the 284MW Azure Sky solar and storage project in Texas, US. The solar and storage project is located west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Haskell County, Texas and will have 284MW of solar along with 81MW of battery energy storage capability. The project is expected to be operational by next summer.The project will be powered by nearly 700,000 bifacial photovoltaic (PV) panels, which could generate more than 586GWh of clean energy annually. The energy produced by the facility will be delivered to the grid and will also charge the 81MW battery co-located at the facility.Enel Green Power CEO and Enel global power generation business line head Salvatore Bernabei said: “Enel Green Power is serious about storage in North America. Coming just a few months after our announcement of the Lily project, Azure Sky’s groundbreaking is yet another step forward toward a sustainable future with flexible, hybrid plants that will generate renewable power while further stabilizing power grids.”Enel has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with The Home Depot, a home improvement retailer in the US, to sell a portion of 75MW from the Azure Sky project. The amount of energy will be enough to power more than 150 Home Depot stores. The PPA is part of Home Depot to produce or procure 335MW of clean energy as per its 2020 Responsibility Report.Last month, Enel had started operations at the second phase of its Roadrunner solar plant in Upton County, Texas, with a capacity of 245MW. With the second phase coming online, the overall capacity of Roadrunner solar plant has now reached 497MW.More: Enel begins construction on 284MW solar and storage project in U.S.
My dog is a bit of a brute. At 100 pounds and more athletic than most humans could ever dream to be, Rodney the Weimaraner has a ripped physique and an impressive bark to match. He runs on heel or pulls on command, a hook-up for power on skis in the wintertime and a running partner by my side all year ’round.Living and getting out daily with a “fitness dog” like Rodney necessitates specialized equipment, and over the years I have acquired custom canine gear, fleece doggie jackets, and even fashionable items for workaday walks when I want my dog to stand out from the proverbial pack.The latest “fashion piece” for Rodney is a collar called the Kahuna. Made by Stunt Puppy, a Minnesota dog-gear brand, the oversize collar uses webbing that’s 1.5 inches wide and comes with funky patterns as well as stout construction for the big dogs it’s built to adorn.The Kahuna, which costs $25, is a collaboration with Croakies, a company most known for its sunglasses straps. Stunt Puppy worked with Croakies for its expertise in making high-strength nylon webbing that looks good, and the thick collar is offered in six colorful prints.On the performance side, once the snow falls you’ll find Rodney showing off his X-Back Dog Harness from Skijor Now LLC. The company requires you to perform multiple measurements of your dog’s body before it custom-stitches the X-Back, a harness built for pulling humans around on skis.I got the X-Back five years ago and it has endured many miles of Rodney’s worst. We fly on skis, and he never grimaces because the harness’ padded straps align to his anatomy like a glove. At $39.99, the Skijor Now harness is a bargain for any dog put into the pulling position on snow.Dog park visits see Rodney wearing a collar with a built-in retractable leash. The Release N Run collar has a thin cord that serves as the leash — it pulls out of a slim compartment on the collar. A reeling mechanism retracts the cord instantly back into its hidden place when you let go.For dog parks and wild areas where you rarely need a leash, the Release N Run collar, at $32.95, is a great option. The retracting cord is four feet long, and it is fine for casual walks when you’d rather leave your primary leash behind.Toys keep Rodney entertained at home when he can’t be running. This summer, the Orbee Ball from Planet Dog has been a favorite. Touted as the “world’s best dog ball,” these rubbery spheres come in four sizes and cost $7 and up.The Orbee Balls are nearly indestructible for chewers. They bounce and are somewhat soft for safety while tossing. Best part? The balls float, letting Rodney and I play by water and not worry about his favorite new toy sinking in the creek where he swims. –Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com. Connect with Regenold at Facebook.com/TheGearJunkie or on Twitter via @TheGearJunkie.
Our picks for the best in resort gear will have you enjoying the mountain and looking damn good this season.1. K2 SlaybladeTough, stable, and rockered like a surfboard, the Slayblade is the type of board that will give you confidence anywhere on the mountain. Built with bamboo and featuring an “ollie board” for extra pop, it’s light and snappy—ideal for improvising while bombing down the mountain. But it’s not just for groomed terrain. This freerider floats in the soft stuff and smashes crud. $575; k2snowboarding.com 2. Rossignol Experience 83 TPXBig-mountain powder skis use rockers— curved-up surfboard shapes—to attain flotation in deep powder. But here’s a dirty secret: that shape also makes it easier to initiate turns and ideal for hitting hardpack and even bumps. The Southern skier will relish this rockered board that has enough slice and dice to handle manmade snow, but can still levitate when it does snow (or when you travel West). $500; rossignol.com 3. Nikwax BaseFreshYeah you stink. But this stuff will wash that smell out of the base layer that claimed to be stink-proof, then turned out to eventually hold onto your own personal funk. It works well on workout clothes and yoga mats too. $7.50 (300 ml); nikwax.com4. OR Incandescent HoodieYou could get overwhelmed with the sheer number of puffies on the market these days, but Outdoor Research got creative here by using a quilting pattern that doesn’t just look different but also puts the down where its insulation is most effective. Even better, the light Pertex fabric on the outside allows those goose feathers to loft and hold more warm air. It weighs a mere 17.9 ounces and easily stuffs into a pack. $325; outdoorresearch.com 5. Powderhorn PowderridePowderhorn worked with Gore-Tex to create a four-way waterproof/breathable stretch fabric for this baby—the first use of the material in the U.S. The result is an athletic soft shell with all the protection of a hard shell.$475; powderhornworld.com6. Liberty Retro Light Bamboo PoleLiberty combined pliable bamboo with a carbon core here, making for a light pole that looks stylish yet can handle some abuse. $118; libertyskis.com 7. Zeal Ion HD Camera GoggleYep, nothing beats homemade ski porn (or so we are told) and no helmet cam can compete with these goggles when it comes to keeping a low profile on the hill. The camera is impressive, shooting full 170º wide angle 1080p video and 11 megapixel still photos. $399; zealoptics.com 8. POC FornixThe purpose of a helmet is of course to protect your skull and the Fornix does that better than most thanks to POC’s Aramid Bridge System—which combines outer shell and inner foam to keep the helmet both quite light and to ensure that it stays in one piece during the multiple impacts of a serious fall. Beyond that, it looks damn stylish and features six vents to keep things cool. $160; pocsports.com9. Teva Lifty Chair 5Built with the long, cold, thankless days of lifties in mind but good for everything from winter hiking to getting you to the mountain, these soft boots are stuffed with 3M Thinsulate LiteLoft insulation and wrapped in a waterproof shell. Best of all, they compress down easily for travel. $170; teva.com
Your outdoor news bulletin for June 10, the day Benjamin Franklin’s kite was struck by lightning:Teen Attempts A.T. RecordLike many others, Neva Warren of Florida has a 35-pound pack, a trail name (Chipmunk), and is attempting to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail from South to North. Unlike other thru-hikers tackling the trail this summer, Warren is only 14-years old, and if she completes her journey she will become the youngest solo thru-hiker in the history of the trail. WDBJ7 caught up with the youngster on her way through Craig County, Virginia, roughly a third of the way through the 2,100 mile trek. Inspired by a family trip to Shenandoah National Park, Warren says she trained mainly on flat ground, but has been steadily racking up more and more miles as the hike has progressed. Her family has been meeting her at trailheads although she has spent a few extended stretches in the backcountry. Favorite part of the trail: the wild ponies of the Grayson Highlands of course.You can read more about Chipmunk’s quest on her blog.Man Airlifted Off Trail in Pa.Speaking of the Appalachian Trail, a man was rescued off the trail outside Allentown, Pennsylvania, after falling nearly 100 feet down an embankment. A man described to be in his early 20s was airlifted to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries following a coordinated rescue effort from multiple agencies in the area. The trail is apparently heavily traveled and injuries are not uncommon according to officials. The man had been hiking with friends when he fell around 9 p.m. Be careful out there, especially when hiking near 100 foot banks at night.Climate Record BrokenAnd speaking of breaking records, the global carbon dioxide emissions from energy rose to a record high in 2012. A report from the International Energy Alliance says the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions ros 1.4 percent in 2012, to a record high of 31.6 billion tons. Perennial Pollution Powerhouse China saw the biggest jump from 2011 to 2012, although the acceleration of emissions has slowed. The United States and Europe both posted falling carbon emissions from 2011 to 2012, so kudos to us. This is still bad news for the country and world though as IEA found the world to be on track for a 6-10 degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature, higher than the maximum 3.6 degree rise deemed sustainable.
I first met Jesse Cobb a number of years ago, when he was playing mandolin with The Infamous Stringdusters. I remember being struck by Jesse’s aggressive playing; his mandolin work was distinctive, his solo runs both melodic and furious. I’ll never forget the first time I heard “No More To Leave You Behind,” from the ‘Dusters’ first record. The timing, tone, and precision mystified me.Jesse’s story is an intriguing one. A native of Wisconsin, he is one of four musical brothers. Brothers Matt and Shad are both mean fiddlers, with Shad being one of the most sought after players in Nashville, and brother Jed is one hell of a clawhammer banjo player. The three of them spent much time on the road during their formative years, picking bluegrass in The Cobb Brothers Family Band. Later, Jesse spent time logging timber, running sled dogs, doing construction, and working on the railroad.A move to Nashville in 2000 brought Jesse back to music. Jesse was a founding member of The Infamous Stringdusters in 2006, spending five years recording and touring with the genre-bending ‘grassers before leaving the band in 2011. These days, Jesse calls the Ontario area home, where he lives with wife Nicole and their daughters Kayla and Mackenzie. I caught up with Jesse to chat about where his musical career has taken him recently. BRO – How was recording this record – a solo project – different from your previous recording experiences? JC – I went into my buddy Mark Lalama’s Sumbler House Studios with no intention of making an album. This started as an idea for teaching mandolin camps and workshops, just to show my style of improvisation that could be dissected with a class. It wasn’t until months later, when working on another project at Mark’s, that we came up with the idea to let this be a stand along project. In most recording situations, especially band sessions, there are very thought out arrangements and lots of opinions to consider. In this case, I wanted a raw, live, improvisational feel, so there was very little planning. I just went straight to playing.BRO – We are featuring “Solitude,” the title track of your record, on Trail Mix this month. The song is an instrumental, but there still has to be a story behind it.JC – I’ve been traveling pretty much my whole life, starting with moving back and forth between the West Coast and Midwest three or four times when I was a small child. I played with my family band when I was in my teens, worked on the railroad in my early twenties, and was a musician again after that. During all that time crisscrossing the country, I have always loved sitting in the back of a van or truck, late at night, playing my mandolin when most folks are asleep. This tune was written in one of those situations, somewhere in Wyoming, I believe. Everyone, no matter how busy, needs some solitude.Finish this thought . . . “Playing the mandolin is better than logging work because…”JC – …the mortal danger in playing mandolin is considerably lower, unless, of course, you get involved in the “what is bluegrass?” discussion.BRO – You and your brother, Shad, have spent some time on the road doing some duo shows lately. Are you guys more like the brothers Everly or Robinson? JC – I’d say the influence of both can likely be heard, although I am pretty sure Shad doesn’t know who The Black Crowes are! That’s one of the best things about playing with Shad. He has a very deep respect for the older sounds, and I’d say we are more influenced by the Louvin Brothers that either of those two. We are open to more modern influences from the jam and modern rock worlds I’ve been exposed to over the years, though our vocal styles are very much in the vein of the Everlys.BRO – You recently spent some time on the road with a bad ass band. Tell me about that project.JC – Bad ass indeed! I was on the road with Noam Pikelny, Bryan Sutton, Barry Bales, and Luke Bulla. I was fortunate to do 15 shows with these guys over about three weeks. We had an absolute blast. These guys are both amazing musicians and great friends on the road. Noam always finds the best food, Barry is the best late night bluegrass DJ I’ve ever heard, Bryan is a great influence, both musically and personally, and Luke is one of the best singers I know and his advice and encouragement were priceless. Things came together pretty quickly as far as getting our set list locked in. Everyone was given the opportunity to show off their various chops and it was so fun to play music we rarely get to play with our other projects. I also need to get a shout out to Dan Foldes, our road manager, sound guy, roommate, and all around good dude. He made us sound good every night. I hope we get to do some more of this next year.——————————————————-You can find out more about Jesse Cobb and his brand new record, Solitude, by surfing over to www.mandocobb.com. Also, be sure to check out the title track from the record on this month’s Trail Mix.
Your daily news update for February 5th, the day the largest Jell-O (9,246 gallons) was made in Brisbane.Land Preservation in WNCAnother major win for outdoor enthusiasts was announced this Tuesday in Transylvania County.The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, The Conservation Fund, and the U.S. Forest Service issued a statement declaring plans to conserve nearly 8,000 acres along the Blue Ridge Mountains in the area. In 2013, more than 3,200 acres of working forestland and a large portion of the headwaters of French Broad River’s east fork were obtained and protected by the North Carolina Forest Service. A grant from the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program, along with state and private funding, made this acquisition possible.Located on the border of North Carolina and South Carolina, the newly-protected acreage will become part of the prospective Headwaters State Forest. The area sits adjacent to 100,000 acres of existing conservation lands in both states, providing habitat for endangered plant and animal species.Ranked 7th on the 2013 national Forest Legacy Program priority list, the State and The Conservation Fund utilized a $3 million grant to purchase 711 acres of land. Additional private and state funding of $5.4 million allowed for the protection of another 1,186 acres. Additional acquisitions are expected to made in 2014.The N.C. Forest Service plans to create a multi-use management plan for the land, allowing sustainably managed timber production alongside a variety of public recreational uses, including hunting and hiking.Coal Ash Spill in NCDuke Energy reported Monday that 50,000 to 82,000 tons of coal ash (enough to fill 20-32 Olympic-sized swimming pools) spilled into the Dan River from an unlined pond at its retired power plant in Eden.A 48-inch stormwater pipe beneath the unlined ash pond broke on Sunday afternoon, draining water and ash from the 27-acre pond into the pipe. A team of specialists from Appalachian Voices remains on-site to sample the water for toxics such as arsenic, as well as other contaminants. Yesterday, two members of the team were on the water in canoes, scouting the river from the point of discharge at the retired power plant to a few miles downstream. Their reports show signs of discolored water and ash that stretches close to 20 miles downstream.Environmental groups have previously filed lawsuits in an attempt to force Duke and other utility services to remove ash stored near waterways faster and more consciously. Greenpeace in particular has stepped to the forefront of the spill aftermath, forcing Duke Energy to answer accusations and questions on drinking water safety.This is the second incident this year where hazardous materials leaked into a waterway and threatened the local drinking water. Residents in West Virginia are still without clean water due to the chemicals that spilled into the Elk River last month.Freedom to Float Bill Defeated in the SenateVirginia paddlers were turned upstream on Friday when the Freedom to Float bill was defeated in the Senate 10 to 30.The American Canoe Association believes this bill was a reasonable approach for non-motorized vessels to use non-tidal rivers, streams, and creeks for recreational purposes. Paddlers would have been allowed to float on drainage areas of at least seven square miles without being held liable for civil or criminal trespass.For more information on the issue of river access, check out this story by BRO contributor Beau Beasley.