Coal phase-out bill moves forward in New Mexico

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Albuquerque Journal:A bill to make New Mexico’s electricity generation 100 percent carbon-free by 2045 is headed to the Senate floor following a “do-pass” vote Monday in the eight-member Corporations and Transportation Committee. The committee voted 5-2 along party lines to support the bill, with two Republican senators opposing. Sen. Pat Woods, R-Broadview, recused himself from the vote.Senate Bill 489, known as the Energy Transition Act, would require the state’s public utilities to derive 50 percent of their electricity from renewable resources like solar and wind by 2030 and 80 percent by 2040. After that, the state’s remaining electricity would come only from non-carbon-emitting sources, such as battery storage systems or natural gas generation equipped with carbon sequestration technology.The bill also includes a new financial mechanism known as “securitization” to help Public Service Co. of New Mexico cover the costs for shutting down the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station near Farmington by 2022 and pulling out of the nearby Four Corners Power Plant by 2031. Under securitization, PNM would be authorized to sell AAA-rated bonds to recover its lost, or “stranded,” investments in the coal plants, which consumers would repay through a surcharge on their bills.The bill is supported by a broad coalition of mainstream environmental organizations, and by PNM, the state’s largest utility. It is priority legislation for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who campaigned on promises for a clean energy economy, and for many of the legislators in the Democratic majority that controls both the House and Senate.Still, the bill drew sharp criticism from San Juan County and city of Farmington officials who want to keep San Juan running after 2022, when PNM and other plant co-owners abandon the facility. Farmington is now negotiating with a New York investor, Acme Equities LLC, to take over San Juan and install carbon capture and sequestration technology. To help facilitate that deal, Sen. William Sharer, R-Farmington, proposed an amendment in the Corporations Committee to delay new emissions standards contained in SB 489 until 2030 to allow Acme time to first upgrade San Juan with new carbon controls. But the committee rejected Sharer’s amendment in a 5-3 vote.More: Senate committee passes bill to eliminate carbon-based energy Coal phase-out bill moves forward in New Mexicolast_img read more

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Neoen, Tesla begin construction of 300MW battery, to be biggest in Australia

first_imgNeoen, Tesla begin construction of 300MW battery, to be biggest in Australia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:French renewable energy developer Neoen and battery storage giant Tesla have wasted little time getting to work on what will be the biggest battery in Australia, holding a groundbreaking ceremony at the site near Geelong with Victoria energy and climate minister Lily D’Ambrosio on Tuesday.The so-called Victorian Big Battery will be 300MW and 450MWh, and is due to come into service within 12 months, when it will overtake the recently expanded “Tesla big battery” at the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia which was also built by Tesla and owned and operated by Neoen.The Victorian Big Battery will have a specific role to play, satisfying a contract with the Australian Energy Market Operator that will enable it to increase imports from NSW via the main transmission link at peak times in the summer season from November 1 to March 31.“Grid-scale batteries can provide dynamic warp-speed responses so existing transmission lines can operate at full capacity,” Neoen says. “Like adding another lane to a freeway, the battery can unlock additional capacity on existing transmission networks – saving customers millions of dollars in expensive transmission line upgrades.”It will also become a major new player in the state’s energy market for the rest of the time, buying power at low prices and selling during peak periods, “firming” renewables, as well as providing frequency control and inertia.“We’ve almost doubled the energy density of the site compared to our previous Powerpack product (used at Hornsdale and other big batteries in Australia). “Importantly, the footprint of the project is significantly smaller than a comparable 300MW Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT),” a Tesla engineer working on the project said in a recent LinkedIn post.[Giles Parkinson]More: Neoen and Tesla get to work on Australia’s biggest battery near Geelonglast_img read more

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The Kentucky Road Trip: The Over/Under Trip

first_imgBRING: Hiking boots, camping gear, headlightHIGHLIGHT: Going deep in Mammoth CaveSOUVENIR: Bottle of Corsair Triple Smoke whiskey (corsairartisan.com)Day OneStart at Bad Branch State Nature Preserve, a chunk of Pine Mountain owned by the Nature Conservancy. You’ll hike a seven-mile lollipop loop through the preserve, which yields the 60-foot-high Bad Branch Falls set inside a sandstone gorge, and an incredible view of the Cumberland Plateau from High Rock, a sandstone outcropping on the crest of Pine Mountain.Post-hike, head eight miles north to Whitesburg, Kentucky’s hippest mountain town, for a scratch-made dinner at Courthouse Café (606-633-5859). Don’t leave without a slice of their signature Tanglewood Pie, a banana, cream cheese, and blueberry blend of goodness. If you like Whitesburg’s vibe, stick around for a show at Summit City, which pulls some of the best yet-to-be-discovered bands touring the South.Pitch a tent lakeside at Carr Creek Lake State Park ($20), 15 miles west of Whitesburg.Day TwoHead 2.5-hours southwest to Big South Fork National Recreation Area, a 125,000-acre park split between Tennessee and Kentucky that has one of the wildest rivers in the South and a high concentration of sandstone arches. Set up camp at the Blue Heron Campground ($17 a night), which will give you quick access to the park’s highlights in Kentucky.Spend the afternoon knocking out the Blue Heron Loop, a 6.5-mile hike that begins with two big overlooks of the Big South Fork River before dropping through a narrow slot in a cliff dubbed “crack in the rock.” You’ll also pass through a mining museum that details the area’s coal history and drop to the river where you can lounge on the giant slabs at Devil’s Jump rapid. Bring some food; there’s not much in the way of restaurants in this remote corner of Kentucky. Day ThreeHead two hours farther west to Mammoth Cave National Park, where the largest known cave system (400 miles and counting) sits below ground. Get there early enough in the day to join a Wild Cave Tour, a full-day, full-contact exploration of some of the wildest areas of the cave. This is legit caving—climbing, crawling, and squeezing through five miles of underground passages and rooms. ($48)After you emerge from the deep, head 30 minutes west to Bowling Green for a tour of small batch bourbon maker Corsair Distillery ($8).Enter our Kentucky Getaway Giveaway to win a FREE adventure road trip to beautiful Pennyrile Resort State Park!Want more adventure? Check out our full list of road trip guides!last_img read more

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September Downloadable Trail Mix: Trampled By Turtles, The Last Bison, and More

first_imgLabor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, but Mother Nature isn’t really taking note. The last week or so has been one of the hottest weeks of the season, with the Blue Ridge Mountains fairly baking under high temps. Here’s hoping that September brings some cooler temps so time out on those trails is just a bit more pleasant.Take a listen to this month’s Trail Mix as you wait and watch for these sweltering summer temps to finally go down. As always, Trail Mix has gathered the best that the indie and Americana world has to offer and has served it up, just for you.We lead off this month with a brand new track from Trampled By Turtles, the frenetic, Minnesota based acoustic crew whose music defies description or classification. At one point, I would have described them as bluegrass. No longer, though. Thanks to front man Dave Simonett’s songwriting, Trampled By Turtles simultaneously blends the spirits of Neil Young, Bill Monroe, and The Ramones and deliver their folksy, Appalachian sound with a definite punk rock spirit.If you want to catch Trampled By Turtles live and hear a live rendition of “Western World,” featured on this month’s mix, along with a slew of other tunes off of Wild Animals, the band’s newest record, take a shot at the trivia question down below.Two of Virginia’s finest up and coming artists are featured this month. Check out “These American Hearts,” the title track of the latest record from one of Central Virginia’s finest young songwriters, Bryan Elijah Smith, and “Every Time” from folk rockers The Last Bison.Also featured are tracks from Marco Benevento, Brandon Whyde & The Devil’s Keep, The Fauntleroys, Judah & The Lion, Marc Ford (of Black Crowes fame), Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer, Jesse Winchester, and many more.Remember to stream and download Trail Mix as often as you like. Play it loud. Tell a friend or neighbor an artist you didn’t know about before you turned this mix on the first time. And, of course, get out and buy records from these great bands or go catch them live when they swing through your town.last_img read more

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Adventuring With Ben: Downsizing 101

first_imgSomething has to give.Last spring, as I twice loaded and unloaded my van with all of the gear required for a two day Cub Scout camp out, that was all I could think. My van was loaded to the gills: six man tent, pop up tent for the kitchen area, folding table, camp stove, tote full of sleeping bags, a couple air mattresses, various bags with flashlights, lanterns, and cooking supplies, coolers of food and drinks, backpacks with clothes . . . . .Being involved with Ben and his scouting adventure has been a highlight of fatherhood. This marks Ben’s fourth year as a Cub Scout, and I have been his den leader for the last three years. It has been a joy to watch him fall in love with the outdoors, and he has taken to camping and hiking with great enthusiasm. But my love of camping with Ben is only rivaled by my disdain for packing for weekend excursions and then breaking everything down.So, as I began to think of Ben becoming a Webelos this fall, and our camping experiences evolving from front country camping, which is required for Cub Scouts, to back country camping, which Boy Scouts can do, I knew that a quick shift in our approach to gear had to begin, as Ben’s continuing with scouting is a foregone conclusion and we don’t own any mules.As is the case whenever I enter into something like this, I reached out to people I know who know things I don’t. I chatted with backpacking friends and dads of Boy Scouts who spent a lot of time back country camping to get an idea on what they were using. Approaching the process like a sponge, I soaked up any and all advice, and one thing became pretty obvious pretty quick; getting to the back country could be setting me back. These folks were using a lot of gear and I had virtually none of it.In an effort to not be overwhelmed, I decided to focus on two essentials, sleeping bags and a tent, first. A good friend of mine gave me rave reviews of his gear from Big Agnes, an outdoor company based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The more I heard from him, and the more I read about his Big Agnes gear, the more interested I got.On a whim, I reached out to Big Agnes to see if they wanted to be part of my journey with Ben into the world of backpacking. They signed on this summer and, to my gratitude, sent Ben and me a tent and a couple of bags and sleeping pads to try out.Ben and I finally got to put our Big Agnes sleep systems to use a couple weekends ago at our pack’s first camp out of the year. The sleep system developed by Big Agnes is what drew me to the company to start with and the bag and pad combinations they sent us had me incredibly excited. In a nutshell, Big Agnes has developed sleeping bags with pockets into which the sleeping pad can be secured. In my mind, this is genius. I remember long, uncomfortable nights ending up sideways and askew on those skimpy blue sleeping pads of my youth. Those nights were no fun then. At age 44, they would be even less fun now.I didn’t let Ben experiment with his pad and bag set up prior to the first night of our camp out. I watched a quick Youtube video on the basic inflation of the pad, but I wanted to give him a true hands-on experience. I handed him the bag and pad, gave him some basic instructions, and turned him loose to puzzle it all out. He rose to the challenge, having the sleeping pad inflated in just over two minutes. I was pretty impressed by that. I had mine ready to go in roughly the same time. We both learned something valuable pretty quickly during that first set up, though; place a slightly inflated pad into pocket in the bag prior to full inflation! After that and one other small hiccup – if you don’t want to reinflate your pad in the middle of the night, make sure the valve cover is fully secured – we were set up for a great night’s sleep within minutes.Those two nights in my sleep system, taken on the Encampment 15 bag and Q-Core SLX pad, were two of the best night’s sleep I have had outside in a long, long time. The temperatures dipped down into the 40s and I stayed nice and toasty, and my pad provided me plenty of support and insulation from the ground. And, by design, I stayed on the pad and didn’t end up all cattywampus. Ben, with his Wolverine 15 and Insulated Air Core Ultra, a system designed specifically for kids, agreed.Following this two night camp out, my van was just as full as it was after the camp out last spring. But, even though it took me a couple hours to get unpacked, Ben and I are  a bit more streamlined with the help of Big Agnes. The set up and break down of our sleeping gear was done in less than five minutes and Ben handled the rolling and stuffing of both his pad and bag completely on his own. This newfound independence, unknown when we were rolling our massive car camping bags, bodes well for future experiences and, for now, frees me up to get the rest of the damned gear out of the van.Ben and I have our next adventures in our sights, and it will involve a brand new tent, hopefully high on some mountain top near our Southwest Virginia home. I know we’ll be sleeping cozy.last_img read more

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Beyond Camping: 5 Other Activities for a Mountain House Meal

first_imgA lot of people associate Mountain House with backcountry camping, and that makes perfect sense.  Mountain House makes the best meals to add to your pack before a long backpacking adventure.  But, the truth is: we make Adventure Meals™. And adventures come in all shapes and sizes. With a trusty spork and access to water, you can take Mountain House with you wherever that adventure may take you.  Here’s just a few ideas to get you thinking outside the tent:1. Climbing! After so many pitches or boulders and so many bags of trail mix, there are few things more refueling than a warm, delicious meal.  Taking a break from the crag and heating up a Mountain House meal will take only a few minutes and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to get back to the task at hand(s).2. Tailgating! Eating is one of the best parts of tailgating.  But, it’s always one of the most time-consuming parts as well.  It’s a challenge to pack up the grill and make sure you have enough hot dogs and potato chips to feed the family.  Next time, think smaller, more convenient.  Try serving up some Chicken and Dumplings instead, for the win!3. Hunting! When you’re hunting, you are locked in and focused on what’s around you.  Your senses are engaged and you are on a constant lookout. Reserve your energy and let Mountain House keep you fed, distraction-free4. Moving! This is one of the most stressful events that anyone will ever endure.  And most likely this will happen to you several times over your life!  Forget trying to unpack your kitchen and just boil some water.  Once you’ve finished, have your furry friend clean the dishes (aka pouch) and then toss it straight in the trash.  No mess, no clean-up, and certainly no fighting over who has to do the dishes.5. Cycling!  Whether you’re going for a short day ride or packing up the paneers for an overnight haul, you’ll need to stay energized.  And with limited space, you’ll need to pack light.  Just bungee a couple pouches to your saddle bag and you’re good to go. last_img read more

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A Fool Proof Guide to the Best Summer Ever

first_imgAt this point in the year, I’ve abandoned all hope of fulfilling my New Year’s Resolutions. I’m honestly not even sure what they are. Maybe eat more hot dogs? I don’t know. I’m not even the same person I was six months ago, so you can’t hold me to the promises I made at that time in my life. My interests have shifted (hot dogs are so last year) and now I’m focused on summer. Today is the last day of school for my kids which means beginning tomorrow, I become a full-time dad without the ability to lean on the public school system for childcare, discipline, and nutrition. It’s all on me. Every day. For the next three months.A lesser parent would shy away from the situation, but I welcome the challenge. In fact, I’m determined to make this the Best Summer Ever. In order to set the tone for the Best Summer Ever, I’m establishing some new Half-Year’s Resolutions. They are completely unrealistic and there’s no way I can stick to them, but it’s important to aim high, right? Visualize success. Be the ball.1. Ride bikes every dayDoesn’t matter if it’s an epic all day mission through Dupont State Forest or just a spin around the cul-de-sac, I want to ride with my kids daily. I want them to get so used to riding their bikes, that when it comes time to run an errand, they automatically put their helmets on because the bike is the default mode of transportation.2. Camp moreI say this at the beginning of every summer, but this time I mean it. This is the summer we camp more. Car camping, backpacking, festival camping, backyard camping…3. Spend more time at the lake houseThe trouble here is I don’t have a lake house, so maybe I should revise that to say “buy a lake house.”4. Early morning road ridesBecause my wife works and I have the kids all day, my only window to get any sort of adventure or workout is between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. I think the sun is up at that time, but honestly, I don’t know. I’m going to find a bunch of retirees to hang out and join their dawn patrol group rides so I can stay motivated.5. Day drink moreThis one pretty much takes care of itself (see full-time parent, above).6. Become a river ratWe took the kids whitewater rafting for the first time last summer on the Tuckasegee. It’s the perfect intro to whitewater, but this year I want to step it up. Nantahala, Section 9 of the French Broad, Nolichucky…7. Tube moreIt’s shameful how little tubing we did last year. The French Broad runs a mile from my house and has no less than 36 bars with river-front access. I should be there every day (see day drinking, above).So, there you have it. My plan for the Best Summer Ever. To all of my editors, I might be late on a few deadlines over the next few months (see resolution 1-7, above). School’s out. Summer is here. God help us all.last_img read more

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Brazil Studies Which Vendors Will Supply the Army’s Integrated Anti-aircraft Artillery System

first_img Brazil is in the process of evaluating bids for the concession of the Brazilian Army Integrated Anti-aircraft Artillery System Project (SIAAEB), a project that aims to modernize the Brazilian Army’s anti-aircraft artillery resources, both because they have fallen behind with respect to the new technologies that exist and because of the urgency of the large events that the country is organizing, such as the next World Cup and the Olympic Games. According to a complete report by DefesaNet, the project’s scope includes the Anti-aircraft Artillery Batteries, the Anti-aircraft Artillery Groups, and the Coast and Anti-aircraft Artillery School, including the development of military-use equipment for the Army and the national defense industry. On 27 January 2011, a request for information (RFI) was sent to more than thirty firms, both Brazilian and foreign, that manufacture military-use anti-aircraft defense equipment, with a deadline of 30 March for submitting information to the Brazilian Defense Ministry. So, at the end of March and in the first week of April, a request for proposals (RFP) was issued to the selected firms, whose responses are to be submitted at the end of July or the beginning of August and will be analyzed during the month of August. The winners will be announced in September, and the contracts will be assigned in November, according to DefesaNet. Even so, the SIAAEB project seeks to prepare for the international events that Brazil is organizing, the Confederations Cup in 2013, the World Cup in 2014, and the Olympic Games in 2016, as well as to modernize and update the country’s anti-aircraft artillery and cover its gaps through the acquisition of new equipment, the integration of existing platforms, and repairs of existing equipment. Even so, the project is open, depending on the information received in response to the RFI, as well as the expected demand for activity in relation to the mentioned sports events. By Dialogo June 03, 2011last_img read more

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Heavy Security Presence along Colombia’s Pacific Coast

first_imgBy Dialogo July 08, 2011 Nearly eight thousand men from the Pacific Naval Force, distributed across psychological and surveillance checkpoints, are welcoming visitors who have chosen Gorgona Island, the beaches of Juanchaco and Ladrilleros, Buenaventura Bay, Tumaco, and Solano Bay as tourist destinations for this vacation season. Air, river, maritime, and land units are in charge of implementing patrols to enable transit and residence in a safe environment for locals and visitors during the tourist season. Sailors from the Pacific Naval Force are implementing security measures at various checkpoints in the urban area of the port of Buenaventura. Stationed at strategic sites such as HidroPacífico, Tecnoborda, Culture House (Casa de la Cultura), and major roads, the members of the Urban Special Forces Group (AFEUR), accompanied by men from the Buenaventura Military Unified Action Group for Personal Liberty (Gaula), National Police personnel, and Pacific Naval Reserve personnel, use brief welcome chats to deliver information that can enable the strengthening of community security. At sea, Coast Guard units and river combat elements are conducting ongoing patrols and surveillance, guaranteeing secure transit through Colombian Pacific waters. In the municipalities of Solano Bay and Tumaco, Pacific Coast Guard units and Marines have deployed their men to the town centers, beaches, and tourist sites, with the aim of strengthening security at these sites with a large influx of visitors during the vacation season. The Pacific Naval Force will continue implementing operations enabling it to keep watch over the security of the region’s inhabitants, at the same time that they invite the community to take the necessary security measures to avoid putting the integrity of all at risk.last_img read more

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Ecuadorean GEOs Receive Training with 9-mm Pistols at the Huancavilca Military Fort

first_imgBy Dialogo August 16, 2011 The Special Operations Group (GEO) began a training course in shooting techniques and tactics with 9-mm pistols at the Huancavilca Military Fort, a course intended for the officer corps of the Guayas 5th Infantry Brigade. The objective of the exercise is to increase the trainees’ levels of reaction and precision, with a view toward future situations in which they might be required to use their service weapon. The commander of the 5th Brigade, Colonel Arias Monteros, highlighted the importance of the exercise, in that it will improve his men’s skills in the use of this weapon and in response to scenarios such as those of the fight against arms trafficking, drug trafficking, and organized crime. I am a 15 year old young lady, my dreams and aspirations have always been to be a part of the Ecuadorian army. …please help me…last_img read more

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