First half 2018 coal deliveries to U.S. power plants down sharply

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Coal deliveries to U.S. power plants decreased nearly 10% in the first six months of 2018 compared to the year-ago period, reversing the year-over-year growth in the first six months of 2017.According to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis of U.S. Energy Information Administration data, U.S. coal producers delivered 271 million tons of coal to domestic utilities in the first half, down from 301 million tons during the same period in 2017.The Central and Northern Appalachian basins took the largest hits among the main coal-producing regions, seeing year-over-year delivery decreases of 24.1% and 15.2%, respectively, over the first two quarters. Powder River Basin deliveries saw the smallest year-over-year percentage decrease at 6% but the largest tonnage decrease of 9 million tons.Two of Alpha Natural Resources Inc.’s Central Appalachian mines had some of the basin’s largest year-over-year delivery drops on a percentage basis. The Ruby Energy mine and Delbarton Preparation Plant in Mingo County, W.Va., had substantial decreases in their deliveries from the year-ago period, down 93.5% to 12,000 tons and 83.9% to 26,000 tons, respectively.More ($): Coal deliveries to U.S. power plants fall 9.8% YOY in H1 First half 2018 coal deliveries to U.S. power plants down sharplylast_img read more

World Bank’s Scaling Solar program helps Zambia bring two PV projects online

first_imgWorld Bank’s Scaling Solar program helps Zambia bring two PV projects online FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Tech:Enel Green Power (EGP), a subsidiary of Italian power giant Enel, has started operations of the 34MW Ngonye solar PV plant in Zambia.The completion comes days after French developer Neoen and US thin-film specialist First Solar announced the completion of the first of the World Bank-backed Scaling Solar projects, another large project of 54MW in capacity in Zambia.The US$40 million Ngonye project, located in Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone in the country’s south, is Enel’s first PV project in Zambia and another under the Scaling Solar programme, which is driving large-scale PV adoption in African states such as Senegal and Madagascar, among others. Enel’s project will sell its energy to the country’s state-owned utility ZESCO through a 25-year power purchase agreement.Zambia’s Scaling Solar programme has been carried out by Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which awarded the project to EGP in June 2016. The plant is owned by a special purpose vehicle 80% held by EGP and 20% by IDC.In June 2018, Enel signed a financing agreement with IDC of around US$34 million for the construction of the PV plant, involving senior loans of up to US$10 million from the International Financing Corporation (IFC), up to US$12 million from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program and up to US$11.75 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB).Zambia is aiming to set up 600MW of solar in the next 2-3 years to diversify its energy mix.More: Zambia driving Scaling Solar forward with second large-scale project completionlast_img read more

Weekend Pick: Brew Skies Festival

first_imgAugust is heating up in the Blue Ridge, which means summer is both peaking and heading toward its eventual end. If you are like us, you are grasping for those last pieces of summer, itching for a few more summer adventures before Labor Day. Even given the time crunch, it can be hard to motivate and rally to the outdoors when the typical hot and muggy atmosphere is a constant drain on your energy supply. Sometimes, all you want to do is sit back, listen to some good ole’ time mountain music, and take quaffs of your favorite craft beer from the brewery right down the road. Well, you may not get to do this every day, but this weekend, you’re in luck because the Brew Skies Festival is happening Friday and Saturday at Canaan Valley State Park in Canaan Valley, West Virginia.Sponsored and hosted by WV’s own Mountain State Brewing Company, the Brew Skies Festival is in its second year. The festival features both local and national bands playing Friday beginning at 3pm and Saturday at 11am. Bands slated to perform include J. Roddy Walston & the Business, The Pimps of Joytime, Luella and the Sun, Mystery Train, and many more. But this festival is not all about the music, it’s also all about West Virginia Craft Beer with Bridge Brew Works, Morgantown Brewing Company, Blackwater Brewing Company and more in attendance selling suds. The festival also includes a KIDS Area, kids nature hike on Saturday, and a five mile Morning Trail Run. Plus, you are right at the edge of Monongahela National Forest and the mountain biking mecca of Davis, WV, so bring the bike and hiking shoes.You can purchase a weekend pass or day tickets through the fest’s website, and either camp or stay at one of the numerous inns and B&B’s in the immediate vicinity, which are also listed on the site. Brew Skies are shining again!View Larger Maplast_img read more

Legalize It: Long Live the Traveler

first_imgThe South occasionally gets a bad wrap for our culture’s sometimes stagnant political and social views. I’m talking about booze here, and those pesky “Blue Laws” that some states adopt to keep the good public from drinking too heavily on Sundays. You could make an argument for the health benefits of not being able to drink for a few hours on Sunday morning, but I won’t listen because it’s frustrating as hell having to wait until lunch time to buy a six pack on my God-given “day of rest.”Fortunately, if there’s one area of social change that the South is a trail-blazing pioneer, it’s in the realm of “The Traveler,” known in less-refined circles as “the go cup.” Personally, I love the Traveler. There is nothing more frustrating in this world than the transitions between one place to the next. Life is too short to spend 15 minutes between bars or parties—why can’t we just jump cut to the good stuff? Having a beer in my hand as I walk helps with that mundane transition. Granted, Travelers are largely illegal in the United States. I believe the authorities have called my Travelers “open containers” in the past. I get it—public intoxication is a nuisance, and we can’t have people drinking “willy nilly” in the streets at all hours of the day. But what if I get lost between bars? And I get thirsty?And don’t get me started on the time-honored tradition of “The Cocktail Stroll,” wherein a handful of neighbors gather with frosty beverages in innocent-looking cups and walk with young children through the neighborhood. I don’t care if it’s illegal, you can’t take that tradition away from me. Live free or die!Luckily, there are two places where The Traveler isn’t just legal, it’s an institution. In Savannah, Georgia, it’s rude to leave a bar or party without a red Solo cup filled with your favorite beverage, and in New Orleans, they actually have drive thru Daiquiri bars. Yep. You don’t even have to get out of your car to fill up your “go cup.” The South may be labeled as “backwards” by some folks, but if legalizing drinking on the go isn’t progressive, I don’t know what is.Long live The Traveler.last_img read more

The January Issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors is Live

first_imgQUICK HITSRichmond plans to build 360-mile trail network • Thief steals same bike twice • Push-up world record • Deer trips runner at cross-country raceCONTRIBUTOR QUESTIONSOnce a month we throw our contributors for a loop with a question about their lives in the outdoors. This time around we inquired about their New Year’s resolutions!THE DIRTCoal baron convicted • Cancer Survivors Conquer WhitewaterTRAIL MIXShovels & Rope’s Surprise Cover AlbumGREAT DANE22-year-old Dane Jackson had a Big Year. What’s on the Horizon Line in 2016?BEST OF THE BLUE RIDGEOur eighth annual readers’ choice awards highlight your favorite outdoor destinations, organizations, businesses, people, and events.SEEING IN THE DARKFour dark-sky parks in Appalachia offer some of the starriest skies in the South.IGNITE THE NIGHTExplore new adventures after dark by moonlight (or headlamp). Night rides, runs, and paddling trips transform the outdoor experience.[divider]Read more from[/divider]last_img read more

Where to Find the Best Fall Colors in Virginia

first_imgHidden Valley LakeThe rapidly changing fall foliage looks perhaps even more stunning in the glassy surface of the 60-acre Hidden Valley Lake, which is snuggled into the crown of Brumley Mountain, just outside the town of Abingdon, Virginia. Admire the vibrant seasonal transition on foot, hiking the wilderness management area’s network of trails, or set out from the boat launch along the northern part of the lake. If you are so inclined, the high-elevation lake is also popular with anglers in pursuit of smallmouth bass and northern pike.  Virginia’s expansive woodlands, famously blue-tinged mountains, and rambling scenic byways are the place to be when colorful autumn leaves are at their fiery peak. When you are ready to seek out some fall color, take to the state’s wild spaces, and cherish the seasonal transition at these stunning Virginia locations.Abingdon is one of several small mountain towns that offers easy access to both cultural amenities and stunning outdoor vistas, perfect for a weekend getaway.Grayson Highlands State ParkGrayson Highlands State Park. Photo by Rocky Wall Virginia State ParksOne of Virginia’s most unique places, the highland meadows, dense forests, and panoramic summits of Grayson Highlands State Park are still the domain of roaming bands of wild ponies. The park also straddles the massive Mount Rogers National Recreation Area – offering color-seeking autumn visitors sweeping views of some of the largest undisturbed wild spaces in the state. For a short hike with endless Blue Ridge vistas, trek the mile-long Rhododendron Trail—you are also likely to be sharing the path with the park’s famous hoofed residents. Mount Rogers National Recreation AreaMt Rogers. US Forest Service – Southern RegionOne of the most spectacular corners of Virginia, the 200,000-acre Mount Rogers National Recreation Area is spread over a picturesque, high-elevation pocket of Southwest Virginia, sprinkled with alpine meadows, vast tracts of mixed hardwood forest, and the famed “bald” peaks of Appalachia. The Mount Rogers Scenic Byway, flanked by towering forests, winds gracefully through the massive wilderness area. However, if you prefer a self-propelled leaf-peeping tour, 60-miles of the Appalachian Trail meander through the area, which boasts views of the two highest peaks in Virginia—the 5,729-foot Mount Rogers and the 5,518-foot Whitetop Mountain.Channels State ForestSpreading into Washington and Russell counties, 4,836-acre Channels State Forestis one of Virginia’s best kept secrets—and a most exceptional natural space. In the fall, visitors can admire not only the fiery reds and burnt oranges of the protected area’s mixed hardwood forests but also can hike to the namesake channels. The 400-million-year-old sandstone formations are nestled into the southern slope of Clinch Mountain, near the summit of Middle Knob.Link to our website is: www.visitabingdonvirginia.comlast_img read more

Festival Essentials 2018

first_imgThe Best Gear For Big Bashes In The Blue RidgeDust off your hula hoops and Chacos—it’s festival season. For the next few months, we’ll gather in celebration of good music, food, sports, and culture. The South has some of the best outdoor festivals in the country, from the highly curated lineup at Highwater in Charleston, South Carolina, to the mega-spectacle that is Bonnaroo. And if you want to maximize your festival enjoyment, you’re going to need the right gear. So we talked with Tim Grotenhuis, executive director of Asheville’s Mountain Sports Festival, which is celebrating its 18th year this May, about what to pack and what to leave at home.“Remember that festivals are group experiences,” Grotenhuis says. “You’re not in your own backyard, so you need to think about how your gear will impact other people’s experience. So, bringing a hacky sack is fine, but a hard baseball to throw around? Not so good. A sun hat is great, but an umbrella is rude.”Grotenhuis’ advice for gearing up: pack what you need to be comfortable, but keep it low profile. Here are the gear essentials that will enhance your festival experience, whether you’re camping overnight or hitting a single-day event.Eagles Nest Islander LED Blanket | $70The Islander is a super lightweight blanket that packs down to nothing, and shakes clean. It’s a festival essential, and this version also has a string of LED lights around the edges, which is key when you want to find the spot you staked down after the sun sets.Goal Zero Flip 10 | $25What’s the point of going to a festy if you don’t get the Instagram post because of a dead phone? This battery pack holds a single charge for your phone and is just a little bigger than your lip balm, so you definitely have space for this in your fanny pack.Epic Wipes | $13 4-packMaybe you’re camping and there’s no shower, or maybe you just danced all day in the hot sun and want to feel fresh. Epic Wipes are 16 times bigger than a wet wipe, so you can give yourself a head to toe cleaning on the go.Platypus DuoLock SoftBottle | $14Platy’s new soft bottle is made from bomber BPA-free plastic with a lid that’s guaranteed not to spill, and a handy carabiner attachment point. Fill it up when you need it, pack it away when you don’t.REI DryPoint GTX Active | $250This jacket was built for the backcountry, but all of the properties that make it essential for a hike make it handy at a festival too. It’s incredibly light and breathable, thanks to Gore-Tex’s new Active 3 layer, so you won’t mind wearing it even in the summer in the South.DrinkTanks Insulated Cup | $25Ditch the plastic cups and bring a single vessel that will serve you from morning coffee to late night beers. This vacuum-insulated cup preserves the temp of your bevy, no matter how hot it is outside.Otter Box Trooper | $300A cooler is a must if you’re camping, but hauling a massive Yeti might not be an option. Enter Otter Box’s new Trooper, which has enough space for 50 cans and can be carried as a backpack. And will keep ice for up to 72 hours.Therm-a-Rest Uno Chair | $90Most festivals have height limits on chairs. The Uno sits low to the ground, staying well within height regulations, packs into a slim disc and also converts into a side table, which can be handy if you’re camping.last_img read more

Quick Hits: First solo trip across Antarctica + Trump gets sued for offshore drilling

first_imgLast day for public comment on proposed pumped storage facility in WV’s Blackwater CanyonThe company FreedomWorks, LLC, is proposing to bring an industrial pumped storage hydroelectric plant to the Monongahela National Forest. Opponents of the Big Run Pumped Storage Project say that the siting of the project would impact the hydrology and ecology of Tucker County, WV by damming a tier 3 trout stream, impacting sensitive and endangered species, and destroying public lands and viewsheds in the Blackwater Canyon. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is accepting public comments until the end of the day today. The comment period is for the pre-permit, which covers preliminary activities like surveys and planning. There will also be a public hearing on the issue on January 9th, 2019 from 6 to 8pm at the Tucker County courthouse in Parsons, WV. To learn more about the project or sign the petition visit the Friends of Blackwater website. Nine Attorney Generals sue Trump over offshore drillingAttorney Generals from nine states including North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have joined a lawsuit filed by environmental groups that seeks to block the Trump Administration from doing seismic testing for drilling off of the Atlantic Coast. The Attorney Generals oppose the use of air guns to survey the floor of the Atlantic Ocean for oil and gas on the grounds that they will “expose whales, dolphins and porpoises to repeated sound blasts louder than 160 decibels,” which will threaten their health and violate the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and other federal laws to conserve wildlife. The Attorney Generals are also opposed to the prospect of drilling for oil and gas off of their shores. In January the Trump administration proposed to offer the oil and gas industry leases on almost the entire U.S. outer continental shelf, the largest expansion in US history. Governors in states along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, along with state lawmakers and congressional delegations, are in near-unanimous opposition. American Explorer finishes solo, unaided journey across Antarctica Portland, OR native Colin O’Brady, 33, is the first person to ski alone and unaided across Antarctica. The endurance athlete began his journey on the Atlantic Ocean on November 3 and arrived at the finish line 54 days later on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. O’Brady skied 932 miles pulling a 300-pound sled which carried all of the food and supplies he would need for the journey. Consuming 8,000 calories a day and battling life threatening cold temperatures and whiteout conditions, O’Brady accomplished his goal with a superhuman push to the finish line, traveling 80 miles for thirty hours straight to reach the end of his journey at the Ross Ice Shelf. “We all have reservoirs of untapped potential,” O’Brady is often quoted as saying.last_img read more

U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Visiting South America

first_img U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns traveled to Chile on 9 December and will continue on to Argentina and Brazil in order to “expand relations with key regional partners,” according to a statement by the State Department. In Chile, Burns will meet with Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter to discuss trade issues, nuclear security, and joint projects, the statement explained. In Argentina, the Under Secretary will meet with Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman as well as with leaders of civil society, also in order to discuss nuclear non-proliferation. Finally, in Brazil Burns will meet with high-ranking members of the administration that will take office in January, in order to discuss economic initiatives and joint projects with the United States, the statement concluded. By Dialogo December 10, 2010last_img read more

U.S. Sanctions Salvadoran MS-13 Gang Leaders

first_img One of the individuals affected is Borromeo Enrique Henríquez Solórzano, also known as “El Diablo Pequeño” (Little Devil) and “El Diablito de Hollywood” (Hollywood’s Little Devil), who is imprisoned in El Salvador and is considered to be the leader of MS-13 in Central America, according to the Treasury. The sanctions prohibit U.S. entities and individuals from establishing any transaction with the six designated people, and are designed to “disrupt MS-13’s activities and protect the U.S. and international financial system from possible abuse,” the Treasury said in a statement. By Dialogo June 07, 2013 The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned six leaders of the Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, one of the most dangerous gangs in the world, on June 5. center_img The other five are Moris Alexander Bercian Manchón, aka “El Barney,” José Misael Cisneros Rodríguez, aka “Half Million,” Marvin Geovanny Monterrosa Larios, Moisés Humberto Rivera Luna and Saúl Antonio Turcios Ángel. MS-13 is involved in human and drug trafficking, as well as kidnapping, murder, fraud and other crimes in the Unites States and other countries, the Treasury added in the statement.last_img read more