Arch Coal Executives Reaped Bonuses as Company Went Bankrupt FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Dan Lowry for SNL:Arch Coal Inc. doled out nearly $9 million in incentive plan payments to eight executives shortly before the coal producer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection, court filings show.Arch, which filed for bankruptcy Jan. 11, made payments Jan. 8 totaling more than $8.7 million to senior executives under the company’s 2015 long-term incentive program and annual incentive compensation program.According to recent filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Arch awarded Chairman and CEO John Eaves $2.8 million, President and COO Paul Lang $1.7 million and CFO John Drexler $1.2 million.Senior VP of Operations Kenneth Cochran received $868,398, General Counsel Robert Jones got $787,015, Chief Commercial Officer John Ziegler Jr. got $602,865, VP Human Resources Allen Kelley got $591,754, and Senior VP of Strategy and Public Policy Deck Slone received $164,666, filings show. Full article ($): Arch Coal awarded $9M in bonuses to executives just prior to filing for bankruptcy
Nevada to vote on 50% renewable energy requirement FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:If at first you don’t succeed, go directly to the people.More than eight months after Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) vetoed a bill that would have increased Nevada’s renewable energy mandate to 40% by 2030, clean energy advocates have succeeded in getting enough signatures to bring an even more ambitious mandate directly to the state’s voters.According to multiple local news outlets, Nevadans for a Clean Energy Future did not only get the required 113,000 signatures, but more than 200,000 for an initiative that would raise the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) so that utilities will have to source 50% of their electricity from solar, geothermal and wind by 2030.This is a significant increase on the state’s current mandate of 25% by 2025, and would put Nevada in a four-way tie with California, New York and New Jersey for the third-most aggressive RPS, as all of these states have already mandated 50% renewable energy by 2030.Nevada is not exactly doing poorly at present. Even when large hydroelectric dams are excluded, renewable energy represented nearly 21% of in-state generation in 2017. Solar comprised more than half of this at 11.2% of total generation, and Nevada joined California and Hawaii as one of only three states where solar made up more than 10% of generation.More: Nevada 50% by 2030 renewable mandate qualifies for referendum
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:An electricity-supply crisis is looming in South Africa that could make intermittent outages in the past few months seem trivial by comparison.Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which supplies almost all the nation’s power, will lose more than one-quarter of its current generating capacity over the next decade as it shuts aging coal-fired plants. Replacing that output and adding capacity needed to meet rising demand will take years and cost more than 1 trillion rand ($71 billion), according to government estimates. The problem is likely to worsen exponentially after 2030 as more plants reach retirement age.While Eskom is building two new plants, Medupi and Kusile, they are running years behind schedule and billions of rand over budget, and won’t be enough to plug the supply gap. The utility has limited scope to invest in more projects because it isn’t making enough money to cover its operating costs and service its debt, which had ballooned to 419 billion rand at the end of its last financial year.The government has said it will look to private investors to help fund new plants and step up purchases of renewable energy from independent producers, which have added 3,876 megawatts of capacity to the national grid since 2011. However, those plans are being implemented too slowly and on an insufficient scale, according to Jesse Burton, a researcher at the University of Cape Town’s Energy Research Center.“There’s this inaction by the state,” Burton said by phone. “We should be procuring immediately.”Eskom has said its immediate focus will be to keep blackouts to a minimum by addressing maintenance backlogs, securing enough diesel to run turbines used at times of peak-power demand and fixing defects at its new units.More: Power shortages in South Africa could get a whole lot worse South Africa’s power woes likely to get even worse in the years ahead
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:Construction on a $1 billion energy storage system in central Montana could start as soon as next year after its sponsors said Friday they reached a financing agreement with a Danish firm that invests in renewable energy.Carl Borgquist, president of Bozeman-based Absaroka Energy, said the involvement of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners of Denmark marks a significant step forward for the 400-megawatt project near Martinsdale. Next up, he said, is to make arrangements with utilities or others interested in using the Montana facility to complement their own electricity generation.“That’s our last step before we’re able to go under construction and start putting concrete and steel in the ground,” Borgquist said.The Gordon Butte Pumped Storage Hydro Project was first proposed in 2010 and is intended to make wind turbines and other renewable energy sources more reliable, by storing the electricity they produce until it’s needed. Described as a “hydro battery,” it would use excess power produced by wind farms or other sources to pump water from a reservoir uphill to a second reservoir. The water would be released during periods of high electricity demand, turning hydropower turbines to generate power.A spokeswoman for Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners confirmed the firm’s involvement in the project. Senior Partner Christian Skakkebaek said in a statement that pumped storage hydro “will be a key resource as the global transition to renewable energy continues to accelerate in states such as Montana.”More: Montana energy storage project lines up financial partner Major pumped hydro storage project moves forward in Montana
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享NJ.com:Sharing a stage in Jersey City on Tuesday with one of the world’s most prominent climate activists, Gov. Phil Murphy took the next step in his plan to reach New Jersey’s clean energy future.Flanked by former Vice President Al Gore and New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy, the governor announced the signing of a new executive order that sets a goal to have New Jersey produce 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035 — more than double the current goal of 3,500 megawatts by 2030.According to Murphy, 7,500 megawatts of electricity is enough to power about 3.2 million homes. The development of New Jersey’s offshore wind industry, Murphy said, will bring billions in investment dollars to the Garden State. It is unclear how much this increased goal, if met, would affect New Jersey customers’ electric bills.Murphy wants to leverage the development of offshore wind in New Jersey to turn the state into an international leader in the industry. In April, the state created the New Jersey Offshore Wind Supply Chain Registry to facilitate development of the industry here. So far, Murphy said, more than 460 companies have joined the registry.Murphy also said the state Economic Development Agency is creating a technical assistance program to help New Jersey companies develop the skills needed to participate in this new industry.More: Murphy doubles down on N.J. wind power as Al Gore hails his push toward clean energy New Jersey governor raises state’s offshore wind goal to 7,500MW by 2035
Australia’s Northern Territory backs big battery, residential storage rebates in renewables push FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The Northern Territory government has announced plans to spend $30 million on a big battery for the Darwin-Katherine grid, a move it says will pay for itself within five years because of reduced gas costs and help expand solar power and meet the 50 per cent renewables [target] by 2030.The announcement over the weekend follows an intense debate in NT energy circles over the past year about the need for a big battery in the main Darwin grid, which was supported by the government-appointed task force and Territory Generation, and frustration over the slow response by the government to those calls.That was finally endorsed by chief minister Michael Gunter and renewables and energy minister Dale Wakefield on Saturday, who said a big battery would likely generate savings of around $6.4 million because it would mean less gas is burned as it would remove the need for much of the territory’s “spinning reserve.”That would deliver a pay-back of less than five years, around the same pay-back time that Alinta has achieved with its big battery at Mt. Newman, which has also delivered significant savings from the reduction of spinning reserve (gas generators that run in the case that other gas generators may trip), and increased reliability.The NT government says it has not yet decided on the exact size of the battery, as this will be subject to future study. T-Gen had recommended a size of around 35MW with some 35 minutes of storage – similar to Alinta’s highly successful Mt. Newman battery in the Pilbara.The announcement came as the government also announced a $6,000 grant for households and businesses to install a battery of at least 7kWh in size to help smooth the output of rooftop solar and provide grid security. It is also changing its one-for-one feed-in tariff to help pay for this.[Giles Parkinson]More: NT plans big battery in Darwin to cut gas costs and accelerate solar
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Time:Germany’s solar panels produced record amounts of electricity, exacerbating market forces that were already hammering the profitability of the country’s remaining coal plants.Gin-clear skies over central Europe helped photovoltaic plants produced 32,227 megawatts on Monday, beating the previous record on March 23. Bright conditions are expected to continue this week, according to Germany’s DWD federal weather service.Renewables are cutting deeper into the market share for coal, the fuel on which Germany’s wealth and industrial prowess was built. The government forecasts that green power will make up about 80% of the electricity mix by 2038, compared with just over 40% in 2019.Sunny conditions meant solar generated as much as about 40% of Germany’s power Monday, compared to the 22% produced by coal and nuclear, according to Agora Energiewende. Solar, wind and other renewables accounted for 78% of Germany’s electricity output.“Every year there’s more installed solar, so the record gets broken nearly every spring,” BloombergNEF analyst Jenny Chase said of the rise of solar power, adding that fewer flights and lower air pollution due to the coronavirus lockdowns may have lifted the share supply coming from solar.Coronavirus lockdowns are accelerating market trends that spell doom for the dirtiest fossil fuel. Less activity has slashed electricity demand just as spring’s sunnier and windy weather boosts output from renewables, which have priority over fossil fuels in feeding into the grid.[William Wilkes, Rachel Morison]More: Germany, with skies cleared by coronavirus lockdown, produces record solar power Germany sets new record for solar generation
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Independent.ie:The ESB [Ireland’s state-owned utility] has teamed up with a Chinese-owned firm to develop a €3bn-plus wind farm off the coast of Scotland. It’s the second major Scottish offshore wind farm project that the semi-State ESB has signed up to in the past year.In its latest deal, the ESB has inked a 50-50 joint venture with Edinburgh-based Red Rock Power – a wholly-owned subsidiary of China’s State-controlled SDIC Power – to develop the Inch Cape wind farm. It will generate up to one gigawatt of electricity and include 72 turbines.Last year, the ESB snapped up a 50pc stake in the 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore Scottish wind-farm project from French utility giant Electricite de France. Construction of the €2bn project, which features 54 wind turbines, is already under way, with full commissioning expected to take place in 2023.No specific timelines have yet been hammered out for the development of the Inch Cape wind farm, which will generate enough electricity to power up to one million homes.ESB and Red Rock Power have also agreed that they may collaborate on future energy projects.The ESB has a substantial presence in the UK market, owning power stations and wind farms. It also has a retail arm there. SDIC Power has assets across wind, solar, hydro and coal-fired power generation. Those assets have a total installed capacity of 36.3 gigawatts.[John Mulligan]More: ESB to co-develop €3bn offshore wind farm in Scotland Irish, Chinese firms partnering to develop 1GW Scottish offshore wind farm
The SkinnyBecause my wife is from Charlottesville and the city has become my home away from hometown, I find myself up there on a regular basis. From time to time, though, I am struck by the reality that I am just not up there often enough, particularly when I discover an amazing new local musical talent. Such was the case when I stumbled upon Michael Coleman. This Charlottesville singer/songwriter – also the drummer for local outfit The Hill & Wood – is silky smooth; he writes emotive, catchy tunes, has a feathery touch on his acoustic guitar, and sings with a richness that belies his youth. Coleman recently celebrated the release of his debut record, Precious Time, with a packed house at The Southern Café & Music Hall, no small indication that the word will soon be spreading about this Charlottesville crooner.For Fans OfJack Johnson, John Legend, Dave MatthewsOutside Looking In“Michael is both a wonderful musician and person and we are happy to have had him in our studio. You never know what you are going to get when a drummer steps out from behind the kit, but Michael’s solo album proves that he can do a lot more than just hold down the rhythm.”– Ian Solla-Yates, WNRN Promotions DirectorOn StageYou can catch Michael and his band this Friday, July 19th, in Charlottesville at the Intelos Pavilion opening up the weekly Fridays After Five. Next week, Michael will be performing in Virginia Beach (July 26th) and Bristow (July 27th) with Boyd Tinsley, of Dave Matthews Band, after Boyd wraps up his shows at the pavilions there.In His Own Words“I’m not the type of songwriter that has that one spot on the river to write, that one corner or room in the house to retreat to. Many of what I think are my best tunes were created randomly: driving to work, in the shower, eating dinner. You can draw inspiration from anything and I think most of my songs, especially the ones on my record, Precious Time, were written in an hour or less. I am a firm believer in letting the lyrics and melody flow in the moment.”– Michael Coleman, on songwritingOn The WebBe sure to take a listen to “Fly Away,” off of Precious Time, on this month’s Trail Mix. For more information on Michael, upcoming shows, and his new record, check out www.facebook.com/michaelcolemanmusic.
My perfect New Year’s Eve goes like this.North Carolina gets a freak snow storm that dumps 16 inches of snow on the mountains. This is actually the second big snowstorm of the Holiday Season. The first storm dropped a foot, which quickly froze, so what I’m really talking about is a solid 12-inch base with 16 inches of powder on top. Everyone is freaking out. You can’t find a loaf of bread in the grocery store anywhere. Idiots start posting “well, so much for global warming” on Facebook.Anyway, there’s a ton of snow for New Year’s Eve, so I head to the Appalachian Trail along the N.C./Tenn. border and ski a solid 10 miles throughout the day to a shelter, drinking hot chocolate and eating salmon jerky. It’s one of the really nice shelters with a hot tub. Waiting for me there are a half-dozen friends, a massive bonfire, and a tub full of Miller High Life. Because it’s New Year’s and the High Life is the “champagne of beers.” Okay, there’s some bourbon too. Maybe some Bowman Brothers small batch, from J. Bowman Brothers distillery in Virginia. We drink, we burn stuff in the fire, we ski laps on the perfectly gladed slopes behind the A.T. shelter with headlamps, and retreat to the well-placed hot tub around midnight to toast 2014 and say goodbye to 2013 under the dark sky.In my humble opinion, this is the perfect New Year’s celebration, containing the three key elements: adventure, booze, and a well-placed hot tub. It’ll probably never happen (my fingers are crossed, but I’m not holding my breath for those back to back snowstorms), but I’m gonna do my best to make sure my New Year’s Eve/Day are packed with the three key elements—booze, adventure, and getting half naked in hot water. I hope you find your own trifecta of fun to ring in the New Year.