Tapping Wind and Natural Gas, New Regional Grid Expansion for Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin Is Complete

first_imgTapping Wind and Natural Gas, New Regional Grid Expansion for Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin Is Complete FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:Xcel Energy and Otter Tail Power say they’ve completed a 70-mile power line in South Dakota that’s the last piece of a major expansion of the upper Midwest power grid called CapX2020.The new 345-kilovolt line connects a new substation near Big Stone City with an existing substation in Brookings in eastern South Dakota.In the announcement Wednesday, the Minnesota-based utilities say eight wind projects and a natural gas power plant are waiting to connect to the line.CapX2020 is an initiative of 11 utilities in Minnesota, the Dakotas and Wisconsin to expand and upgrade the regional power grid to handle the increasing supply of wind and solar power. It includes 800 miles of transmission lines altogether, representing a $2 billion investment.Utilities Finish Last Piece of CapX2020 Power Grid Expansionlast_img read more

China targets uneconomic coal-fired capacity in three-year trial program

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:China is pursuing a three-year pilot program, led by five of its biggest utilities, to integrate and cut some coal-fired power capacity to help the debt-saddled industry, state media reported. The pilot, which runs through 2021, will seek to consolidate coal-power assets within five northwestern regions and reduce their capacity by up to one-third, according to Shanghai Securities News, citing sources it didn’t identify.The state-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission, which oversees the utilities, did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment. Calls went unanswered to the media offices of the five companies — China Huaneng Group Co., China Datang Corp., China Huadian Corp., State Power Investment Corp. and China Energy Investment Corp.The five firms had a combined 520 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity at the end of last year, according to the Shanghai Securities News report, adding that those coal power units had total combined liabilities of 1.1 trillion yuan ($156 billion) and assets worth 1.5 trillion. China’s coal plants are distributed across 30 provinces and territories, of which 15 saw losses in the coal and power business last year, according to the report.Coal plants nationwide ran at only 49% of their capacity during the third quarter, BloombergNEF analyst Hanyang Wei said in a report Tuesday, citing slower overall demand growth as the trade war with the U.S. impacts the economy, as well as competition from nuclear and hydropower.The plan to retire capacity is expected to boost profitability of some power companies, China International Capital Corp. analyst Liu Jiani said in a note. The entire industry could benefit if the program is extended to other provinces, Liu said.Under the trial program, each of the five state utilities will be tasked with leading asset consolidation and capacity reductions in one of the five provinces or territories: Huaneng in Gansu; Datang in Shaanxi; Huadian in Xinjiang; SPIC in Qinghai; and CEIC in Ningxia, the report said. The program could be expanded in the future, it added.More: China plans coal-power revamp to help ailing generators China targets uneconomic coal-fired capacity in three-year trial programlast_img read more

Waters of Virginia Giveaway

first_imgWhether you prefer casting flys on mountain streams and rivers or paddling the flatwater of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia has it all. enter to win a trip, or some gear, and start exploring the Waters of Virginia with the ones you love.Grand Prize includes:Three night stay for two at Natural Retreats Virginia Hot Springs featuring a historic tour of the area, a half day guided fishing trip at Meadow Lane on the Jackson River, a guided hike for two and exclusive access to The Old Dairy including gym, outdoor pool and jacuzzi pool.First Prize includes:A full weekend of camping at your choice of any Virginia State Park AND an Ocean Kayak Malibu Two, two Extrasport Livery lifejackets, and two Carlisle Daytripper paddles from Appomattox River Company.Second Prize includes:A two night stay at the historic Palmyra Inn in Wakefield, VirginiaThis contest is now closed! Thanks to all who entered and please check out all our other great giveaways.Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning  date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 noon EST on June 15th, 2013. One entry per person. One winner per household.  Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United  States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older.  Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge  Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No  liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate,  non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled,  mistranscribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for  technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable  network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer  transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of  processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the  sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Natural Retreats, Virginia State Parks, Palmyra Inn, and Appomattox River Company reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information  and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their  sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry  process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes.  Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating  sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies  shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from  acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash,  or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of  the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to  allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion.  Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater  value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply.  Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors  office on or before June 30th, 6:00 PM EST 2013. Winners will be contacted by  the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7  days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of  winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received.last_img read more

Perfect Day

first_imgMy idea of what constitutes a “perfect day” is a bit of a moving target that’s shifted over time. When I was younger, an Allman Brothers show was definitely in the mix. Probably a visit to the Waffle House too. When my kids were babies, a very long nap followed by a marathon session of NFL was about as perfect as a day could get. My perfect day now? It would definitely include riding singletrack. Probably some sushi. And are the Allman Brothers still together? Let’s get them back in the picture too. If you ask me that question during winter, substitute fresh powder for singletrack and carry on with the plan. And don’t forget a bunch of these Perfect Day IPAs. They’re in the mix no matter what the season.Asheville Brewing Company has been brewing Perfect Day for at least a year now, but they just recently started canning the beer. You could argue that there are already too many IPAs on the market, and that the last thing a beer-drinker needs is to sort through yet another juicy, hop bomb. It’s a stupid argument, but you could make it. Here’s how that argument goes: “The shelves are packed with so many hoppy IPAs, I can’t make a decision on which beer to get.”I’ve actually made the argument myself on occasion, frustrated with the sheer volume of choices, unable to pick my next sixer because there are just too many beers. It’s enough to make you retreat into a can of something familiar, an old standby beer that’s good, sure, but more importantly, safe. Because not every new beer is great. Some of them actually suck. I had one the other day that tasted like regret with a hint of mint. That’s probably the only real problem with this massive brewing boom—not all of it is good. Every new beer you try is a gamble and nobody wins all the time. So why not just stick with the beer you know? Right?But every once in a while you take that leap of faith on a new beer and taste something like Perfect Day IPA, and you remember why it’s so important to take chances every once in a while. Perfect Day is an incredibly citrusy, balanced beer that eschews the bitter finish of old school IPAs, delivering waves of sweet, fruitiness instead. It has a smooth, almost fluffy mouthfeel that makes it dangerously easy to drink. The best part, it’s now available in cans year round, which means I can throw it into my perfect day scenario, whether I’m shredding singletrack or ripping powder. Now everyone sing Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” with me: “Oh what a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you…”last_img read more

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series: Nashville

first_imgWe also invite you to take on our Remix Challenge.  Run 1 Mile on Thursday, April 26th plus any other distance that weekend and get three medals!  You are already training for one day… why not make it two and earn some sweet bling?! If you just can’t get enough Rock ‘n’ Roll running on your weekend, the Remix Challenge is definitely for you.Music is a core part of our DNA here at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.  As part of our commitment to deliver more music, we are excited to announce this year’s Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series Headliner will be Hunter Hayes! 2017 St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Nashville, TN. For over 20 years, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series has made running fun by infusing each course with live bands, cheer teams and more. In 2018, we are bringing our best to the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & Ѕ Marathon with more music, runner support, and community engagement every step of the way.St. Jude Nashville Marathon Friday April 28, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn. Photos by Donn Jones Photography Registered participants have first dibs on free tickets, so what are you waiting for? We invite you, your friends and family to run with us in 2018! This event is a bucket list race that features one of our series’ largest block parties thanks to terrific community support from start to finish.  With the marathon, half marathon, 5K and 1 mile distances, there is something for everyone.2017 St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Nashville, TN.last_img read more

Honduras: Medical Teams Work Hand in Hand

first_img Honduran surgeons and their U.S. counterparts have worked side by side for years bringing medical assistance to the people of Comayagua, Honduras. In October 2011, Joint Task Force-Bravo Medical Element and Honduran surgeons completed highly needed surgeries in local hospitals. The six-person Joint Mobile Surgical Team worked together three times a week, averaging between two to five surgeries a day. “We’ve being doing this for 18 years and I’ve been on hundreds of these trips,” said Dr. Wilmer Amador, Joint Task Force-Bravo medical liaison officer. “It’s a win-win for everybody.” The JTF-Bravo Medical Element also supports military missions and humanitarian assistance and provides lifesaving surgical capability at Soto Cano Air Base. Source: Joint Task Force-Bravo By Dialogo January 01, 2012last_img read more

Chilean and Ecuadorean Defense Ministers Review Cooperation Agreements

first_imgBy Dialogo January 31, 2012 The defense ministers of Chile, Andrés Allamand, and Ecuador, Javier Ponce, reviewed the military cooperation agreements in effect between the two countries and signed a memorandum for the peace missions in Haiti, the Ecuadorean Government announced on 27 January. Allamand, who was concluding a two-day visit to Ecuador, met with Ponce to evaluate, in particular, a strategic alliance between the Chilean munitions firm Fábrica de Maestranzas del Ejército and the Ecuadorean munitions firm Santa Bárbara S.A. The ministers also signed an addendum to the memorandum of understanding for the Joint Company of Engineers participating in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), with the aim of improving the military participation of both contingents. They also “reviewed the progress made by the South American Defense Council in 2011, particularly with regard to confidence-building and transparency measures, as well as that organization’s future prospects,” the statement added. Quito and Santiago signed an agreement in 2009 to make their arms purchases public, while Chile has been working on renovating two Ecuadorean submarines in order to prolong their useful lives for an additional 20 years. Allamand also presented a Chilean project to develop risk maps, directed at promoting natural-disaster prevention in the region, and visited aviation and naval schools in the coastal city of Salinas.last_img read more

iRobot Mission Rolls to Tobyhanna Army Depot

first_img Tobyhanna Army Depot’s new robotics mission helps warfighters remotely search for improvised explosive devices using either a laptop computer or backpack control system. The depot’s System Integration and Support, Production Engineering, and Communication Systems directorates are involved in fabricating and upgrading several components of the iRobot unmanned ground vehicles. “There is no doubt that this mission directly saves lives,” said Chase Gardner, electronics engineer in the Production Engineering Directorate. “The work we do at the depot with the iRobots provides Soldiers a larger safety blanket and greater sense of security by extending the range of communications between the vehicle and the operator.” The requirement to upgrade two different robots came as part of a Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement asking for improved communication capabilities. The larger iRobot 510 PackBot system features a front- and rear-facing camera, mechanical arm and two ‘forks’ that allow the robot to position itself in several different stances. The iRobot 310 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle is slightly smaller and is controlled using an optic lens. Both systems are operated using video game controllers. Michael Murray, an electronics integrated systems mechanic in the Communication Systems Directorate, says the mission requires a wide range of knowledge and skills. “This project uses hands-on skills like Soldering and manual troubleshooting but also incorporates software-based knowledge,” he said. “Since it is such a new mission and requires a different type of thinking, a total team effort is required to pull all of our skills together and put out a quality product while adapting to customer requests.” Requests have included fixing a problem with the battery door latches. Increased temperatures would cause the latch to fail, leaving the door unsecured. Had the problem persisted, the robot may not have functioned properly, compromising the safety of the warfighter and his mission. Electronics Worker Nicholas Prehotsky’s solution to replace the ineffective latches with snaps not only fixed the problem, but saved time and money. Tactical Radio Branch chief Patrick Connolly said adapting to challenges and quickly finding solutions is an integral part of the mission. “Problems are to be expected, but knowing that warfighters count on our work to keep them safe pushes us to be accountable,” said Connolly. “I’ve never seen a team with so much enthusiasm, dedication and pride.” By Dialogo November 05, 2012last_img read more

Mexican Police Seize Cannon to Launch Drugs to the United States

first_img There are over 50,000 military and police officers taking part in the fight against drugs since December 2006. Mexican drug traffickers built a cannon to launch drug packages from the city of Mexicali to Calexico (California, U.S), a local chief of police said on February 21, after the device was seized. Officers deployed to a point near the Mexicali border saw in the distance several individuals who, after noticing their presence, ran away leaving behind the device. After becoming aware of this, the authorities from both countries “set up operations on each side of the border to identify areas and the schedule in which alleged drug traffickers would launch the drug packages, containing mainly marihuana,” Carrillo added. By Dialogo February 25, 2013 The cannon’s weigh is approximately 1.8 tons, and is made of a long plastic cylinder resting on a metal base sitting on the bed of a truck. center_img “The base had a hose connected to a compressor, which was in turn connected to the vehicle’s engine; this was the propeller used to eject the packages,” explained Carrillo. In Mexicali and Tijuana, Baja California, as well as in other municipalities in the neighboring state of Sonora, it is common to find clandestine tunnels that are used for smuggling drugs into the U.S. The operation was carried out after U.S. Border Patrol agents were alerted during a recent bilateral meeting with Mexican authorities where discussion over this novel form of drug trafficking took place, Chief of Police Marco Carrillo from Mexicali, Baja California state, said. In January 2011, Mexican authorities found out that drug traffickers were using a catapult to eject drugs into U.S. territory. last_img read more

Peru Makes Progress Against Illegal Mining

first_img LIMA, Peru – The Peruvian government has deployed reinforcements in the fight against illegal mining, which causes the Treasury losses of $500 million Peruvian soles (US$183 million) annually, more than three times the $159 million soles (US$58 million) the Interior Ministry invests in equipment and upgrades for the country’s National Police. The activity is more profitable than narco-trafficking. Illegal gold mining generates US$1.8 billion, while drug trafficking generates US$1.2 billion a year, according to the 2012 report by the consulting firm Macroconsult titled “The Economics of Illegal Gold Mining in Peru.” Gold accounts for a majority of the illegal mining in Peru, yet copper, silver and non-metallic minerals such as coal also are illegally mined, according to the Ministry of the Environment. To continue the process of formalizing all forms of mining nationwide, which began in February 2012, Peruvian authorities appointed retired Col. Wilfredo Álvarez Mendoza as the high commissioner for mining formalization, illegal mining interdiction and environmental remediation. Álvarez Mendoza also will coordinate a team focused on closing illegal mines throughout the country. “It is estimated that in Peru there are 100,000 informal miners, including more than 70,000 of whom are interested in taking part in the formalization process,” Juan Jiménez Mayor, the president of the Council of Ministers, said during Álvarez Mendoza’s appointment on May 6. Illegal mining is present in 21 of Peru’s 25 departments, according to the report “The Management of the State versus Informal and Illegal Mining in Peru,” which was presented in February by the Office of the Ombudsman. In addition to economic losses, there are serious social and environmental impacts, particularly in the Amazon region. “It’s most likely there [in the Amazon], particularly in the departments of Madre de Dios, Cusco and Puno, where the worst effects have been seen,” said Ernesto Ráez Luna, an adviser to the Ministry of the Environment’s senior management. “It is the main enclave of illegal gold mining in Peru.” New dangers “This mainly happens in mountainous and coastal areas (the departments of Ayacucho, Arequipa, Ica and Piura), with the mining of gold and copper, and somewhat less in cases involving coal and other nonmetallic minerals, such as limestone that is used for construction,” he said. Proactive enforcement Ráez said proactive enforcement must be included in the strategy to formalize illegal mining. Illegal miners argue they are not criminals because they are engaged in an activity of subsistence. “[Nevertheless,] there are crimes being committed and rights that are being violated,” Ráez said. “But you can’t prosecute or arrest 100,000 people,” he added. The government’s plan seeks to stop the extraction, sale and export of minerals that have been taking place for decades in Peru without any official oversight. The ministries of Energy and Mines, the Environment, the Interior and the Economy and Finance, as well as regional and local governments, among other institutions, have worked together to combat illegal mining. Formalization includes six steps and will be completed by April 2014. “The risk we run is that to protect itself, illegal mining will begin to be used to finance armed groups, which we have seen in Colombia,” said Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal in a May 11 interview with El Comercio newspaper’s Somos magazine. “We’re close to having this happen.” To date, the illegal alluvial mining of gold has destroyed 18,000 hectares of a total of about 77 million hectares of the Peruvian Amazon – 57.6% of the country – largely as a result of the use of mercury, according to Ráez Luna. The fish in Madre de Dios – the region most affected by illegal gold mining in Peru – have mercury levels above those permitted by the Word Health Organization, according to a study carried out in 2009 by the Carnegie Institution for Science. In some cases, levels have reached 1.12 ppm (parts per million), well above the 0.5 ppm limit. “Methylmercury has been detected in the waters contaminated by illegal mining,” Ráez Luna said. “This compound is highly toxic and easily enters into living organisms such as plants, animals and human beings. It mainly affects the nervous system, with serious consequences for the mental development of children.” The damage caused will not immediately result in a hospital visit, Ráez Luna added, but it leads to children’s “having an IQ that is five, 10 or 15 points lower than they would have had in optimum environmental conditions.” Ráez added underground mining also generates a significant environmental impact, particularly when it comes to water pollution. Illegal miners extract minerals using picks, sort through the material and grind it using traditional mills. The material undergoes a process of amalgamation that uses large amounts of water, mercury, cyanide and coal. In most cases, these waters are discharged into surrounding farmland, rivers and the Pacific Ocean. By Dialogo June 19, 2013 The first step involves a “statement of commitment,” which includes declarants’ providing basic personal information, acknowledging they’ve been mining illegally and agreeing to comply with all of the requirements to mine legally. Subsequent stages include obtaining mining rights and authorization to use surface areas and bodies of water – a requirement known as the Corrective Environmental Management Instrument – before legally starting or resuming operations. From February to December 2012, which was the deadline for meeting the initial requirement, a total of 77,723 “statements of commitment” were received, according to the Ministry of the Environment. “If we take into account that there are 100,000 (illegal) operators, there are approximately 30,000 that we need to turn down because they have not shown a willingness to present a statement of commitment,” Pulgar-Vidal said. José de Echave, an expert in mining issues and former deputy minister of Environmental Management, said illegal mining in Peru is “the other side of the boom” in formal mining that has taken place in recent decades in Peru. The country is the world’s third-largest producer of copper and eighth-largest producer of gold, with five million ounces exported in 2012, according to Macroconsult. With 4% of the world’s gold reserves, Peru could climb as high as fifth in production if the country eliminates illegal mining, Peruvian Minister of Energy and Mines Jorge Merino said during a symposium held in Lima in May 2012. Mining accounts for 14.5% of Peru’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 59% of Peruvian exports, according to figures from Macroconsult. In 1994, mining accounted for only 4.7% of the GDP. “Formalizing an activity that has grown explosively, while also trying to prevent its continued growth, is a fundamental first step,” Echave said. “We need a multisector intervention to ensure that illegal miners gradually enter the formal economy and carry out their activities in accordance with Peruvian law. But without question, we also need eradication [of illegal mining centers].”last_img read more