Month: December 2020

  • Australian Tax Office Studying Financing of Northern Gas Pipeline

    first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Australian Broadcasting Corporation:The Australian Tax Office is investigating the Chinese-Singapore-owned company building the Northern Gas Pipeline from the Northern Territory to Queensland over how the project is being financed. In its latest financial report, released last month, Jemena’s parent company SGSP Assets Pty Ltd revealed: “The Australian Tax Office is currently conducting a transfer pricing audit in relation to the company’s convertible instruments”.The green legal group Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) had asked the Tax Office to investigate the financing arrangements Jemena is using to pay for the 622-kilometre pipeline, running from Tennant Creek to Mount Isa. “We understand the tax office’s investigation into Jemena for transfer pricing likely relates to a 2015 restructure that could potentially see the company avoid paying up to half a billion dollars worth of taxes, leaving the Australian taxpayer out of pocket,” said EJA’s principal lawyer David Barnden.The ATO has recently increased scrutiny of the overseas financing being used by resources companies, Barnden said. “There have been a few high-profile cases against companies for transfer pricing; the latest one was against Chevron,” he said.EJA said it would ask the NT’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) — once it is established later this year — to investigate whether Jemena exercised undue influence on the NT Government to gain an exemption from the new national gas rules.“Jemena took part in an 18-month competitive tender process run by the Northern Territory Government to win the right to build, own, and operate the Northern Gas Pipeline,” the company said. “This process also set the access terms including price for use of the pipeline. As a result of this process, users of the pipeline can be certain the pipeline’s tariffs are competitive.”Investment analyst Bruce Robertson from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said he didn’t expect that would remain the case. “A gas pipeline is a natural monopoly,” he said.More: ATO Investigating Jemena over Financing for NT-to-Queensland Gas Pipeline Australian Tax Office Studying Financing of Northern Gas Pipelinelast_img read more

  • U.S. offshore wind pipeline growing quickly

    first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:The US offshore wind industry has accumulated a pipeline of projects totaling 25.46 GW, including 1.3 GW added last year, according to a new reportThe overall project pipeline as of the end of June consists of 3.92 GW of project-specific capacity and 21.54 GW of undeveloped lease area potential capacity, the US Department of Energy (DOE) said in its 2017 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Update. The capacity comes from projects in 13 states and also includes the 30-MW Block Island wind farm, which was commissioned in 2016.A total of 1.91 GW of capacity is expected to be deployed by 2023.Offshore solicitations have awarded 800 MW in Massachusetts, 400 MW in Rhode Island and 200 MW in Connecticut to Vineyard Wind and Deepwater Wind. Other states having projects in the development pipeline are Maryland, New York and New Jersey.Overall, most of the projects are still in the planning and site control phase, while four schemes have initiated procurement. Contracts have already been awarded for Deepwater Wind’s 90-MW South Fork wind project off Long Island and its 120-MW Skipjack development off Maryland, as well as for a 248-MW scheme by US Wind off Maryland.On a global level, 2017 saw the commissioning of 3.39 GW of offshore wind farms, bringing the total installed capacity to 16.3 GW. Prices in the segment are going down following competitive auctions and there are even some unsubsidized projects. In terms of technology, turbines are growing in capacity, reaching 10 MW-12 MW, according to the report.More: US offshore wind project pipeline hits 25.5 GW U.S. offshore wind pipeline growing quicklylast_img read more

  • Mitsubishi buys into off-grid solar company BBOXX

    first_imgMitsubishi buys into off-grid solar company BBOXX FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:A British energy firm lighting up homes in Africa with pay-as-you-go solar power has secured £40m to extend its reach to Asia with the help of Japan’s Mitsubishi. The conglomerate has taken a stake in off-grid solar company BBOXX through the start-up’s latest funding round, which will power the Africa-focused company deeper into Asia.The funds will also help BBOXX, which operates in Rwanda, Kenya, Togo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to break into new African markets, where an estimated one in three people live without reliable access to electricity.BBOXX is one of a growing number of energy companies to plug into the demand for energy across Africa and south Asia. The falling cost of solar technology and the strength of mobile banking across Africa have encouraged major investments from global energy companies including US giant General Electric and France’s EDF and Engie.BBOXX and its rivals use mobile money to charge customers a monthly fee for the use of mini solar panels and ultra-efficient lighting strips. The fixed-period contracts usually run for about two years, until the equipment is paid off. Customers can then choose to keep their existing kit and use the electricity for free, or upgrade their system to include more panels and extra appliances under a new contract.Earlier this year, BBOXX sold a 50% stake in its Togo-based business to EDF Energy in return for funding to help grow the company.It operates about 270,000 solar systems, of which 200,000 are monitored remotely by software that uses machine learning to track customers’ energy use and payments. In time, BBOXX hopes to broaden its reach beyond energy to include gas, water, internet and loans. The company’s largest rival, Fenix International, supplies 500,000 homes and was snapped up by Engie in late 2017.More: Mitsubishi invests in UK company to bring off-grid solar to Asialast_img read more

  • Regulators approve massive battery storage project to replace peaking power units in New York City

    first_imgRegulators approve massive battery storage project to replace peaking power units in New York City FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享New York Daily News:They make cell phone batteries, car batteries, and AAA batteries. And then there’s the giant battery set the state OK’d Thursday for construction in Queens — a 316-megawatt behemoth that will hold enough electricity to power 250,000 homes for eight hours.The batteries planned for the Ravenswood Generating Station in Long Island City will replace up to 16 natural gas-fired turbines at the sprawling plant, which supplies about a fifth of New York City’s power. It will be partly operational in March 2021, the state Public Service Commission said.Generators will charge the batteries when electricity demand is low. The batteries will send power out to the grid as needed, the PSC says. The idea is to cut the need for fossil-fueled peak generators, which are turned on when electricity demand is highest — such as hot summer days when New Yorkers crank up the air conditioning. “This facility will displace energy produced from fossil plants during peak periods, resulting in cleaner air and reduced carbon emissions,” said PSC chairman John Rhodes.In 2014, good-government group Environment New York Research and Policy Center ranked the Ravenswood Generating Station as the state’s biggest greenhouse gas polluter. The facility generates electricity by burning more than 3 million gallons of oil per year. By converting some of the station’s real estate into a battery storage facility, officials will be able to better store and distribute electricity produced by zero-emissions energy sources like wind and solar, according to an environmental impact study for the project.Gov. Cuomo in 2018 announced a plan to increase the state’s energy storage capacity to 1,500 megawatts by 2025. The battery facility in Long Island City will store up to 316 megawatts.More: Giant electric battery set will curb Ravenswood plant pollution in Queens, state sayslast_img read more

  • Ørsted begins construction of 752MW offshore wind farm in the Netherlands

    first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Power Technology:Danish renewable energy company Ørsted has started the construction works at a 752MW offshore wind farm in the Netherlands.The company has installed the first foundations at the Borssele 1 & 2 offshore wind farm located 22km off the coast of the Dutch province of Zeeland.Ørsted Netherlands general manager Steven Engels said: “Borssele 1 & 2 will be our first offshore wind farm in the Netherlands and is an important step in the Dutch government’s ambitious shift towards green energy. Once completed, Borssele 1 & 2 will be the largest offshore wind farm in the Netherlands, able to supply renewable power to around one million Dutch households.”Borssele 1 & 2 offshore wind farm will feature 94 monopile foundations that will be installed at water depths ranging from 14m to 39.7m. In April, 94 Siemens Gamesa 8MW wind turbines will be installed at the site.In November 2019, Ørsted officially inaugurated the Formosa 1 wind farm in Taiwan, which is the company’s first offshore wind farm in Asia-Pacific region.More: Ørsted begins construction works at 752MW wind farm in Netherlands Ørsted begins construction of 752MW offshore wind farm in the Netherlandslast_img read more

  • Tudor, Pickering, leading shale investment firm, looking to move into clean energy

    first_imgTudor, Pickering, leading shale investment firm, looking to move into clean energy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., an investment bank that helped fund the U.S. shale revolution, will initiate research on companies offering new energy technologies, a person with direct knowledge of the plan said.As soon as this year, the Houston-based firm will launch equity research on companies focusing on technologies such as carbon capture, wind and solar power and batteries, said the person, who asked not be named because the information isn’t yet public. The effort, which will leverage the existing team of about 30 analysts, is being led by Matthew Portillo, manager of upstream research, the person said. While shale drillers and service providers will continue to be part of the team’s focus, the number of oil and gas companies covered will be pared.This pivot comes after co-founder Bobby Tudor early this year warned about seismic shifts coming to the energy industry as concerns about climate change mount. While oil and gas will continue to play a critical role for decades to come, investors also have been frustrated by years of anemic returns from shale explorers.Portillo’s team will also seek to identify oil and gas producers that are striving to cut emissions, as well as companies that help them achieve that with new technology, the person said.Formed in 2004 with a focus on shale, the firm became the energy arm of Perella Weinberg Partners LP following a 2016 merger.[Naureen S Malik]More: Shale adviser Tudor Pickering to start research on clean techlast_img read more

  • Famous Faces and Places

    first_imgSnowboarding Stefan Virginia homegrown mega jam rockers the Dave Matthews Band rarely tour in the winter, so band bassist Stefan Lessard has plenty of time to play in the snow. But recently the avid snowboarder was able to turn his love of gliding through powder into an appearance in Warren Miller’s ski flick, Children of Winter. In the film Lessard joins a cast that includes Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley and World Cup speedster Daron Rahlves and rides in Okemo, Vermont, with actor Jason Biggs and fellow musicians Eric Fawcett of N.E.R.D, Adam Gardner of Guster, and Ed Robertson of The Barenaked Ladies, before the boys jam in an impromptu classic rock cover band. Frazier’s Cold Mountain The world became familiar with North Carolina’s Cold Mountain in 1997 when Asheville native Charles Frazier wrote a best-selling novel of the same name. Notoriety for the remote peak only became greater when a blockbuster movie adaptation of the book starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law came out in 2005 Though the movie was filmed mostly in Romania, the actual Cold Mountain on which the book and movie are based is located right in your Blue Ridge backyard. Cold Mountain is 40 miles southwest of Asheville in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area of Pisgah National Forest. Since Cold Mountain is designated as wilderness, it remains primitive and largely undisturbed, much as it was during the Civil War. Its wilderness status also protects it from hordes of movie-crazed tourists likely to seek out the mountain. To reach the 6,030-foot mountain summit requires a strenuous 20-mile roundtrip hike along overgrown, poorly marked trails. Frazier continues to write about the region. In 2007 he published 13 Moons about the Cherokee Indians of Western North Carolina. An avid mountain biker, he also loves to explore the outdoors of his regional muse. He told a local newspaper that last year he rode over 1,500 miles in the Dupont State Forest and the Bent Creek Experimental Forest. • SparksNicholas2008_FIX burgerbar_FIX Run, Andie, Run Veteran actress and Asheville, N.C., resident Andie MacDowell (a.k.a. “Rose Anderson”) ran in the 2006 Shut-In Ridge Trail Run, one of the toughest trail races in the region. The 17.8-mile race climbs 3,000 feet to Mount Pisgah along rocky, technical singletrack. Although MacDowell stopped after 10 miles, she covered some steep terrain and gained the hard-earned respect of the mountain trail running community. The Shut-In Ridge Trail Run is held on the first week of each November along the Mountains to Sea Trail between Asheville and Mount Pisgah, and the capped field of 200 runners usually fills within 24 hours. Woody & Willie Fight MTR Getting the general public to pay attention to mountaintop removal mining (MTR) in Appalachia has been a daunting task for many community groups being marginalized by its devastating effects. In 2006 the nonprofit Appalachian Voices launched, a national Internet-based campaign to end mountaintop removal and clearly map out the 470 mountains and hundreds of thousands of acres that have perished for easy access to coal. Fortunately the effort was given a big initial push by two well-known celebrities—actor Woody Harrelson and country music legend Willie Nelson. PPL_4506_DxO_FIX andie3.jpg_FIX 709705.tif Mountain Lake Dries Up Mountain Lake—the small idyllic resort camp just outside of Blacksburg, Va.,—will forever be famously known as the film site for Dirty Dancing. Vestron Pictures took over the resort for three weeks in the fall of 1986 and turned Mountain Lake into the fictitious Kellerman’s Resort. Every year tourists still make the pilgrimage to the Southwestern Virginia Mountains to see where Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey showcased their acrobatic dance moves to the sappy sounds of “The Time of My Life.” The resort actually hosts a series of annual Dirty Dancing Weekends, which includes film location tours and lessons in the art of seductive swinging. But this past year visitors were shocked when they found that Mountain Lake’s namesake had actually dried up. One of only two natural lakes in Virginia, Mountain Lake was formed 6,000 years ago out of a semi-permeable subterranean dam that resulted from a natural shift in rock formations. Groundwater from the high mountain basin is constantly flowing in and out of the lake. Due to the ongoing drought, the lake has dried up almost completely, leaving a barren bedrock expanse. Scientists believe Mountain Lake is one of a few in the world that naturally drains and refills. It could be many years before lake levels return to normal. Celebrity Sites and Sightings Across Appalachia Running SparksEven the tough guys well up during The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks’ tear-jerking, best-selling novel that later was adapted into a blockbuster film that grossed more than $115 million worldwide. After The Notebook, Sparks wrote a string of international best-sellers, four of which were turned into films, including last year’s Nights in Rodanthe. But although the acclaimed author has become known to millions as a master of sappy romance, he is actually a pretty tough guy himself. The avid runner and weightlifter holds a track record at the University of Notre Dame, where a running scholarship paid his tuition. Last year he spread his passion for running by dishing out nearly a million dollars to build a track for a high school in his hometown of New Bern, N.C. But Sparks didn’t stop with a typical gesture of celebrity donation. He actually volunteers as a coach at New Bern High and has helped the track program become one of the most competitive in the state. Bristol’s Famous Burger? In downtown Bristol—the small border city that straddles the Virginia-Tennessee line—locals will point you toward the Burger Bar for not only one of the best things on a bun but also for a taste of country music legend. There’s a well-circulated story that late country pioneer Hank Williams had his last meal at the Burger Bar before dying in a car on his way to play a New Year’s Day gig in Canton, Ohio, in 1952. A few years ago, though, a reporter from The Tennessean did some digging and found that the Burger Bar was actually a dry cleaners at the time of Williams’s fateful last road trip. Driver Charles Carr believes he and Williams did stop in Bristol for gas and a bite, but he doesn’t recall the burger joint. After realizing the ill Williams was unresponsive he stopped at a hospital in Oak Hill, West Virginia, where the country icon was pronounced dead. Current owners of the Burger Bar still play on the Williams’s legend with memorabilia of the musician on the walls and themed meat patty concoctions based on his songs. Harrelson became concerned with mountaintop removal after attending the Hartwood Forest Council in Kentucky, where he met with local residents who are having their land, water quality, and health diminished by the improper disposal of coal slurry. “Woody was moved when he heard these stories, so he contacted me to see what he could do to help,” says Mary Anne Hitt, the former Director of Appalachian Voices, who now runs a national coal campaign for the Sierra Club. Harrelson recorded an interview for a short video to launch ilovemountains. His participation helped the movement attract a widespread audience and, to date, over 100,000 people have viewed the video online. To enhance the film, Nelson, another staunch advocate for an end to MTR, recorded an exclusive cover of Bob Dylan’s protest classic “Blowin’ in the Wind,” which played in the background. Cash on the Mountain In the mid 70s Johnny Cash was riding an unprecedented wave of country music super stardom. In June of 1974 his performance at Grandfather Mountain’s Singing on the Mountain drew one of the largest crowds in the annual gospel festival’s history. This picture was taken by Hugh Morton, Grandfather’s longtime owner, who passed away in 2006. Morton was a well-known conservationist and photographer, who published multiple books of photos that highlighted North Carolina’s natural settings and famous faces. Before his death, Morton donated his photo archives to the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives at his alma mater, UNC-Chapel Hill. The original copy of the photo, which appears in Morton’s 1998 book Making a Difference in North Carolina, was unearthed last fall from the multiple shoeboxes of pictures the archivists were given to rummage through. More gems like this will continue to surface over the next few years and be posted on the website A View to Hugh: Processing the Hugh Morton Photographs and Films ( . cold mountain_FIX dirty_dancing_FIXlast_img read more

  • Water Supply Debate: To Divert or Not Divert

    first_imgDr. Amanda Maxham researches public policy issues at the Ayn Rand Institute. KEEP WATER IN THE RIVERS Save people and snails Rivers are the lifeblood of our communities, our economies, and the natural areas all around us. It’s been said that if a river is like the body’s circulatory system, water flow is its heartbeat, driving major ecological processes like fish reproduction and migration, and forest health. Healthy flows are critical for a vibrant river and all of the benefits it provides—recreation, biodiversity, productive fisheries, and a clean water supply.Southeastern U.S. rivers and streams are a global hotspot for aquatic biodiversity—they’re home to an incredible array of native fish, mussels, snails, and other wildlife. Many of our rivers have already lost native species, often due to reductions in water flow from dams and other water diversions. When a river or stream swings unnaturally from flood-like conditions to drought-like conditions—or worse, is dried up completely—the consequences are usually dire for endangered species and the ecosystem as a whole.We must do a far better job of protecting and restoring healthy flows, especially as the region grows, but this doesn’t have to happen at the expense of thriving economies. With smart water management policies and practices, we can ensure sustainable water supplies for our communities and for our rivers.Often, natural ecosystems and endangered species function as warning flags for our species. If a river is so strained that it no longer supports native fish, mussels, and other critters, then it’s sending a signal that sooner or later at this rate, it may not be able to support us.The solutions lie in optimizing our existing infrastructure through water efficiency. Raleigh, N.C., is one of many cities that has seen overall water use drop even while its population has grown, meaning that it never needs to carry out its proposal to build a new dam on the Little River. Strategies like this preserve rivers and secure water supplies for communities while saving bundles of money.Asking whether we should tap our rivers for growth or leave the water for nature presents a false choice. If we’re smart about managing water, and efficient in using it, we can do both. In fact, we probably have to.Ben Emanuel is associate director in the Clean Water Supply Program at American Rivers.DRINKING WATERSave People, Not Mollusks!The quickest way to crush a development, water, engineering, or other similar project is to find an endangered species there.It doesn’t matter if you are rebuilding your home after a devastating hurricane, breaking ground for a new hospital, using desert land for outdoor recreation, or diverting river water to help alleviate the effects of a drought. If a sand crab, flower-loving fly, fringe-toed lizard, or sheepnose mussel is found nearby, the “keep out” signs go up and human activity is stopped in its tracks.In Atlanta in 2007, in the midst of a devastating drought, billions of gallons of much needed lake water were deemed off limits. That water was instead sent downstream, for the sake of a particular species of mussel. In another case, concern over the heelsplitter mussel led to a moratorium on river water extraction in Mint Hill, North Carolina, leaving residents without access to clean water for eleven years.These examples aren’t anomalies. They are an expression of the ideas animating the environmentalist movement: That it is wrong for human beings to impact nature, especially if our actions affect endangered species. They consistently prioritize other species above human beings, regardless of what that means for human welfare.The goal is not to protect nature for human enjoyment—it’s to protect nature from human beings. Forget about enjoying canoeing, swimming or contemplating a tranquil creek. Environmentalists regularly use the Endangered Species Act to limit or ban such activities. Nature, on their view, is intrinsically valuable and even in the process of enjoying it, human beings inevitably stamp their “footprint” on it.But limiting human beings’ impact on nature harms human beings. Extracting water, for example, is just one of the many feats of engineering that make our lives happier, longer and better. We no longer have to worry about living near to a supply of freshwater such as a river or a lake, because we have the technology to bring that water to where people need it. But if the environmentalist idea that it is wrong to impact nature had been in vogue a century ago, cities such as Phoenix and Las Vegas would have never become anything more than desert outposts.Human life and happiness requires that we use and transform the world around us. Sometimes that means building flood walls, dams, or extracting water for use in urban areas, other times it means maintaining waterways to enjoy the wildlife naturally found there. But it certainly doesn’t mean sacrificing people to mollusks.last_img read more

  • Hincapie Gran Fondo in Greenville, S.C., October 25

    first_imgThe third annual Gran Fondo Hincapie is set for October 25, 2014, at Hotel Domestique — just outside of Greenville in South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Foothills.Chosen by Bicycling Magazine readers as a 2014 “Celebrity Ride Bucket List” event, Gran Fondo Hincapie traverses roads George Hincapie covered countless miles training on throughout his career. Participants will ride alongside the legendary cyclist as well as other pro racing stars of the past, present and future including the HIncapie Sportswear Development team and sponsored triathletes. Proceeds will benefit three Greenville-area charities including Meals on Wheels.Fondo riders have three routes to choose from varying in length and difficulty:• Gran, an 80-mile test of endurance with more than 7,000 feet of climbing• Medio, a 50-mile, slightly shortened version of the Gran with picturesque views• Piccolo, a 15-mile challenge that offers a more leisurely option through the rolling foothills• For those looking for spirited competition, the fastest men’s and women’s riders up the Gran route’s timed segments will earn King of the Mountain honorsAll Gran route participants will receive a custom, commemorative Hincapie Sportsear jersey. Cyclists wanting a true VIP experience can book a Platinum Package, which includes three days of recon rides with George, followed by daily massages. The Platinum Package includes all meals plus lodging at Hotel Domestique.Continuing the Hincapie’s dedication to aspiring young cyclists, registration is free for juniors 16 and under. There’s also a kid’s route, open to young cyclists wanting to take part in the excitement of the Gran Fondo.More than just a ride, the Fondo’s festival atmosphere offers fun for the whole family, with kid’s races, fun runs, exhibitors and a large selection of food vendors and entertainment throughout the day.The Hincapie Gran Fondo is sponsored by Hincapie Sportswear, Greenville Health System, WD-40 Bike, Fleetwood RV, Freightliner, HED, Bonk Breaker, GU, Carmichael Training Systems, Hotel Domestique, Restaurant 17, Bicycling Magazine, New Belgium Brewing, T Edwards Wines, Papa John’s and Pepsi.last_img read more