WSJ: Energy Companies Scale Back ‘Big Ideas’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Sarah Kent and Robb M. Stewart for the Wall Street Journal:The world’s largest energy companies are sidelining big ideas that they touted just a couple of years ago as the future of the industry, Sarah Kent and Robb M. Stewart report. The oil industry has deferred or canceled $270 billion in projects as of March since crude prices began crashing nearly two years ago.The casualties include ultra-deep-water drilling projects, huge boats that serve as floating liquefied natural gas factories and technology that could cut emissions from burning fossil fuels. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Chevron Corp. and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. are among the big companies to pull back or delay ambitious projects.“To be brutally honest, any large new greenfield investment, whether floating LNG, deep-water or elsewhere, is under very strict critical review for cost levels and return, simply because of where the industry is,” Shell Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said.Full article ($): Complex and expensive ideas once held out as industry’s future fall to cost-cutting pressures WSJ: Energy Companies Scale Back ‘Big Ideas’last_img read more

J.P. Morgan puts capital behind solar-plus-storage projects

first_imgJ.P. Morgan puts capital behind solar-plus-storage projects FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Energy Storage News:8minutenergy Renewables, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and an affiliate of Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners have entered into a joint venture that will provide equity capital for 8minutenergy’s 10.7GW portfolio of utility PV and storage projects.This joint venture, along with investment from 8minutenergy CEO, Tom Buttgenbach, provides over US$200 million in capital commitments. 8minutenergy is wholly owned by Buttgenbach and his management team as of 6 December 2018. Buttgenbach, who co-founded 8minutenergy in 2009, led a management buyout of the shares of fellow co-founder Martin Hermann last week.Buttgenbach noted: “We thank J.P. Morgan and Upper Bay for bringing the long-term focus and financial resources to enable us to unleash the full potential of our pipeline and incredibly talented team.“We have been the largest and most successful solar developer in California, and have expanded our cost leadership across the US, developing a solar and storage project pipeline of 10.7GW. A testament to our low-cost leadership is the 420MW Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar plant in Nevada, which at 2.3 cents/kWh fixed for 25 years, holds the record for lowest-price solar PPA in the nation. In Texas, which is a purely price-driven competitive market, we will start construction of our 280MW Holstein 1 power plant in the second quarter of 2019.”Michael Lehman, managing director and portfolio manager of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said: “We’ve been very impressed with the 8minutenergy team and their ability to deliver sustainable returns through their utility-scale solar projects. 8minutenergy has a premier development process that consistently delivers attractive solar projects with long-term, contracted cash flows.”More: JP Morgan buys into 10.7GW solar-plus-storage pipelinelast_img read more

Creditors, workers challenge Mission Coal bankruptcy bonuses for top brass

first_imgCreditors, workers challenge Mission Coal bankruptcy bonuses for top brass FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Unsecured creditors and the unionized workforce of Mission Coal Co. LLC filed objections to two incentive programs the company proposed to retain employees during its bankruptcy sale process. Mission Coal asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama to approve two plans on Nov. 28: a key employee incentive plan, or KEIP, and a key employee retention plan, or KERP. The KERP is a $1.1 million proposed incentive program that Mission said is designed specifically to retain 40 “critical non-insider employees” through the reorganization, while the KEIP provides up to $281,875, depending on certain sales metrics, to encourage two senior members of management to meet “challenging sale-related process and pricing goals.”A committee of Mission’s unsecured creditors wrote in a Dec. 12 filing that they do not object to the broader KERP program, but do object to KEIP bonuses they said are unnecessary and duplicative of pre-petition bonuses that were paid to the same two executives on the eve of the company’s bankruptcy. Just two days before the petition date, the unsecured creditors wrote, Mission doled out $1.5 million in bonuses to three top executives, including the two who would benefit from the new program: Gary Broadbent, the general counsel and vice president of human resources, and Vice President of Accounting Alan Jones. “The proposed KEIP does not properly incentivize the debtors’ executives to achieve significant value-enhancing performance during the pendency of these Chapter 11 cases,” attorneys for the unsecured creditors wrote. “Moreover, the proposal to reward two executives who each received payments of $365,000 a mere two days before the petition date is unseemly, at best.”The United Mine Workers of America, or UMWA, the union representing some of those employees, said it was not consulted in the design of the retention plans and urged the rejection of both of the proposed programs.More: ($) Mission Coal sees backlash from workers, creditors over incentive programslast_img read more

Osaka Gas withdrawal may kill planned 1.2GW coal plant development in Japan

first_imgOsaka Gas withdrawal may kill planned 1.2GW coal plant development in Japan FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Japan’s Osaka Gas Co Ltd said on Wednesday that it will pull out of a plan to build a coal-fired power plant in Yamaguchi, western Japan, citing changes in the electricity market and future business risk.Osaka Gas had planned to build a 1.2-gigawatt (GW) coal-fired power station in the city of Ube in Yamaguchi prefecture, aiming to start operations around 2026. Electric Power Development (J-Power) and Ube Industries Ltd are partners in the project.J-Power said it and Ube Industries have agreed to continue the plan to build a coal-fired power plant, but they will halt an environment access process to revise the plan. “We will consider scaling down the size to a single 600-megawatt ultra super-critical (USC) power plant or building a few 300-megawatt integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants,” J-Power Executive Managing Officer Hitoshi Kanno told a news conference.A spokesman at Osaka Gas said the company’s decision reflected concerns over tighter regulations on coal power stations after 2030 and intensifying competition after the liberalization of the power market in Japan.The move by Osaka Gas comes after other Japanese companies have withdrawn from new coal-fired power projects amid growing global pressure for companies to divest coal assets due to environmental concerns.More: Osaka Gas to withdraw from coal-fired power station projectlast_img read more

European Energy A/S to build 300MW solar farm in Denmark, largest in northern Europe

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:Renewables company European Energy A/S has secured local council permission to install what it says will be the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) park in Denmark and in Northern Europe.The company’s project for a 300-MW solar complex was approved by the municipality of Aabenraa, Southern Jutland region, with a “massive majority,” the developer said on Wednesday. Its proposal will require a total investment of over DKK 1 billion (USD 157.5m/EUR 134.3m).The PV farm is planned to be built near Kasso, in proximity to future data centres and a major regional transformer station. Its construction is slated to begin early next year, while the power plant is scheduled to start feeding electricity to the grid before the end of 2021.Once up and running, the solar farm will be capable of producing enough electricity for over 75,000 Danish homes. Its output will help offset 1110,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually.[Veselina Petrova]More: European Energy wins approval for 300-MW solar complex in Denmark European Energy A/S to build 300MW solar farm in Denmark, largest in northern Europelast_img read more

Appalachian Mountain Brewery

first_imgFact: A new brewery opens every day in North Carolina.Fact: Some of them are in crappy locations. Like in strip malls in towns that are flat with nothing to do but go to strip malls. Not the case with Appalachian Mountain Brewery, which sits on the edge of Boone within a few miles of a handful of ski resorts, the state’s only lift served mountain biking, life-changing road cycling (see Lance’s biography), bouldering, rock climbing…you get the idea. It’s hard to imagine a better place to open a brewery. And I applaud AMB for following the three rules of business real estate: Location, location, sell beer.I stumbled across AMB during a bike trip to the High Country (see the August BRO issue) in the same manner a thirsty adventurer stumbles across an oasis in the desert. The High Country is a lovely place, but it’s been surprisingly short on local craft beer—a fact that’s always bugged me. Appalachian fills that void, and fills it with style. The brewery took over an old industrial space about a mile from App State and has been adopted by college kids and locals alike in the few short months it’s been open. Show up on a weekend afternoon, and folks spill out of the tasting room’s open bay doors and onto the gravel backyard, where there’s probably a food truck dishing something good. Wood slats line the walls and ceilings, and a cluster of handmade walking sticks adorn the wall behind the bar (the owner carves them and donates them to disabled veterans). There’s a strong green vibe at the brewery—they’re working to restore the stream behind their brewery and have a solid “pints for non-profits” program, where a portion of proceeds from each beer go to a specific local organization. Order the stout, and Appalachian Voices gets a cut. Get the IPA and Blue Ridge Conservancy sees some love…And then there’s the beer itself, which is beyond good. They have the standard hopped up IPA’s that everyone loves, but also more subtle styles like the Kilt Lifter Scottish Ale, and a killer Kolsch that’s the perfect post-ride compliment. Boone just got a little bit better. appalachianmountainbrewery.comFollow Graham Averill’s adventures in drinking and Dad-hood at daddy-drinks.comlast_img read more

Weekend Pick: Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals at Beech Mountain

first_imgBeech Mountain is gaining a reputation as one of the premier mountain biking destinations in the Southeast, and the country for that matter. Hosting the Gravity National Championships in 2011 and 2012 put them on the mountain biking map, and they build on that success by hosting the Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals (officially the 2013 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships) this weekend. This is the second national championship event of the 2013-14 collegiate cycling season and will draw college mountain bikers from across the country to the North Carolina resort.This is a three-day event, so there will be plenty of biking action throughout the weekend. Friday will feature downhill qualifying and short track cross-country. Saturday will be dominated by the cross-country and downhill competitions, and Sunday will wrap up with dual slalom and the new team relay event. The team relay is a new co-ed event that will give schools the opportunity to show off their depth of their men’s and women’s endurance squads on the same course.“It is very spectator friendly,” says Beech’s Talia Freeman. “All of the events are staged around the base of the resort, so you can definitely watch easily from the base of the area. We also sell spectator lift tickets: you can buy a lift ride to the top if you want to see some of the upper sections of trails.”There will also be an awards banquet and bbq dinner on Saturday night, that should prove to be a fun event. This is a great opportunity to see the best college riders in the country do their thing at one of the best riding locations on the East Coast. Don’t miss it.More details can be found on the USA Cycling website.View Larger Maplast_img read more

THE DIRT: Weekly Outdoor News From The Blue Ridge And Beyond

first_imgConservation Groups in North Carolina Stand up for Red Wolf WelfareMembers of the Red Wolf Coalition, Inc., Defenders of Wildlife, and the Animal Welfare Institute have announced their intent to sue the U.S. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife for the ahency’s perceived mismanagement of North Carolina’s rare red wold population. That mismanagements includes the authorization of the killing of a breeding female, one of only 50-75 red wolves known to be in existence today. The conservation groups will be represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center.Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 11.00.18 AM“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has violated the law and its responsibility to protect the world’s only wild population of red wolves which now numbers only 50-75 animals,” said Sierra Weaver, senior attorney for the SELC. “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must rededicate itself to ensuring the survival of America’s rarest wolf and restore the former successful recovery of this endangered species.”Learn more here.Jurek Battles BaxterAccording to a story published in Runner’s World earlier this week, Scott Jurek may be headed to trial in Maine to fight three summonses he was issues immediately following his record breaking Appalachian Trail thru-hike. Juke’s Maine-based lawyer, Walter McKee says that each citation carries a potential fee of $1,000.The citations were issues as a result of Jurek’s mountain top celebration after he set the Appalachian Trail speed record previously held by Hendersonville, N.C. native Jennifer Pharr Davis. Authorities cited him for “littering, traveling in a group larger than the park’s limit, and drinking alcohol in public”, but Jurek disputes the charges saying in his personal blog that “the Park administration has chosen to paint a disparaging and inaccurate picture of what truly happened.”Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 11.03.26 AMPhoto by Jenny JurekClick here for more up to date info.Obama Heads to Alaska to Adress Climate Change and Meet Bear GryllsDuring a recent three-day trip to Alaska intended to address and raise awareness about the growing threats of global climate change, President Obama stepped away from his traditional presidential duties to film an episode of ‘Running Wild With Bear Grylls’.  Watch the video to learn more.A Walk in the Woods Hits Theaters Bill Bryson’s famous A.T.-based saga ‘A Walk in the Woods’ has finally been adapted to the silver screen and is playing now at theaters near you. Read our Appalachian Trail mega-feature to find out how the Appalachian Trail Conservancy plans to address the expected surge in A.T. visits following the release of the film.last_img read more

Why We Go: What Drives Someone to Hike 2,000-plus miles from Georgia to Maine?

first_imgThe phrase “Hike your own hike” has become something of a motto on the Appalachian Trail. It’s often used in defensive reply to someone who is offering unsolicited advice on how you should hike the trail: what food you should eat, how many miles to cover in a day, what’s wrong with your choice of footwear—but it can also point to the highly personal nature of what draws people into the woods. What motivates people to commit months of their life to following a wilderness path through the mountains of eastern America?One of the most common reasons is for the challenge of it. They want to test themselves on a difficult adventure. They are drawn by the romance and allure of roughing it for weeks on end as they explore the original American frontier. Others go to the A.T. for therapy. They need to escape the grind of the modern world and refill their tanks in the quiet woods. For me, I was most strongly drawn to the A.T. by the story of it. For several years, the stories I heard most about the A.T. were those of my girlfriend, Sunshine. She’d thru-hiked the trail back-to-back in 2004 and 2005. She told me of the friends she made on the trail and the adventures they had together: cowboy camping in the White Mountains or fording swollen rivers in the Maine wilderness. She talked about how difficult it was but also how inspiring. On the trail she’d found herself and grown stronger and more self-confident as a woman. I was captivated by her stories, and the year I turned 30, I decided to go out and make my own journey on the trail. With Sunshine’s support, I went down to Springer Mountain in early February and started walking north.Throughout my hike I always felt I was walking back to Sunshine. This was geographically true in the early days as I made my way north through the dripping, gray Georgia woods towards our home in North Carolina. I spent large parts of those days thinking about Sunshine and the possibilities of our future together. I carried in my pack a wooden ring set with a rough cut diamond that I planned to give to her once I reached the north end of the Smokies where she would join me for a few days on the trail. I can’t count the number of times I opened my pack to check and make sure the ring was still there or the number of hours I spent imagining how I would propose to her.But the trail, like life, has a way of changing your plans. The words “trail” and “trial” can be exchanged by a mere shuffling of letters.When I reached the southern end of the Smoky Mountains a week before my planned rendezvous with Sunshine, I was hiking with four companions I’d met on the trail. We began the climb up the tallest mountains on the A.T. as a heavy winter storm descended on the range. Day after day, the snow deepened and the temperature dropped. Every morning I awoke to boots that were two frozen blocks of ice. The simple act of stuffing my sleeping bag into its sack was a painful ordeal that rubbed my frozen fingers raw. The romantic vision of the A.T. quickly gave way to a painful slog through exhausting conditions. If we weren’t post-holing through 3-foot snowdrifts, then we’d be walking through a cold rain, soaked to the bone. Through it all the good humor of my hiking companions and the stark beauty of the winter landscape lifted my spirits and kept me putting one foot in front of the other. When I finally reached Davenport Gap at the north end of the Smokies, Sunshine was there waiting for me with a hug and a warm pizza.We hiked together for two days through snow-laden woods under trees sheathed in ice. On the night that we camped on the shoulder of Max Patch Bald, I prepared for my proposal. In the pre-dawn dark, I stole out of the tent, leaving a note card with instructions for Sunshine that told her to sleep in (she loves to take leisurely mornings) and where to find me when she was ready to get up. I walked up to the snowy bald where I reflected and prayed while I watched the dawn break.Then my plan began to falter. Sitting down on the snowy hill, I realized that I’d forgotten some needed implements in the tent, most importantly my down jacket and coffee fixings. Not wanting to risk waking Sunshine and disturbing the plan, I decided to settle in and tough it out. An hour passed, then two. The dawn came and went, and the sun rose higher and higher in the sky. For some time I had been thinking, “What on earth can be keeping her?!”DSC_6815_FIXThe truth was she had been awake for some time, luxuriating in her warm sleeping bag and wondering where I’d gone. It wasn’t until she sat up and bumped her head against the note card (which I had romantically hung from the tent rafters) that she read it. She hurried from the tent and found me up on the mountain, a shivering hermit who was completely failing to have the patience that he’d envisioned for himself.She sat with me on the hill, and all the words I’d imagined to say left me. I spoke to her sincerely and falteringly of my love for her and my desire to join my life to hers. When I had finished, she rewarded me with a “Yes.”Long distance hiking does not measure well by the standards of the civilized world. It won’t make you rich or famous. By the end of the journey, you won’t have much to show for your efforts besides some extremely well-toned calves, and those fade quickly once you descend the mountain and return to “normal” life. But the day I descended Mount Katahdin I felt I’d gained a treasure of immeasurable value. I’d lived one of the most important stories of my life, and I was ready to go forward into my future with Sunshine.[divider]Related Articles[/divider]last_img read more

Blue Ridge Outdoors Presents: The Second Annual Bluegrass, Bikes & Beer Tour with Travis Book

first_imgTravis Book is best known for his role as singer and bass player for in the Grammy-nominated bluegrass outfit the Infamous Stringdusters.He’s also a hell of a solo artist and loves to shred some singeltrack when he can find time between nationwide touring gigs with the aforementioned Dusters.For the second year in a row, Book is combining his passion for solo performance with his love for mountain biking by hosting a 6-show tour at breweries scattered throughout  the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina and Virginia.“I got inspired to put Bluegrass, Bikes & Beers together because I love music, and riding bikes and drinking beer,” Book said in a recent interview with our sister publication Elevation Outdoors Magazine.For Book it’s not just about enjoying local trails, sampling area brews, and putting on a killer bluegrass show. He’s also using the Bluegrass, Bikes & Beers tour as a way to raise funds for trail maintenance and local trail building efforts.“We do a group ride during the day and then we play bluegrass and serve beer at a free event that night to help raise money for local bike clubs,” he said.If you live in the Blue Ridge region, chances are Book will be coming to a brewery near year in the next couple of months. Check out venues and dates below:April 22, Harrisonburg, VAPale Fire BrewingBenefiting Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC)4pm: Group Mountain Bike ride leaves from Pale Fire7pm: Music from Travis Book and The Hot SeatsApril 23, Roseland, VADevils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub and MeadowsBenefiting the Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Coalition (CAMBC)10am: Group Mountain Bike ride leaves from Sherando Lake (parking lot at gate)12pm: Group Mountain Bike ride leaves from Devils Backbone2pm: Music from Travis Book and The Hot Seats6pm: Group Mountain Bike ride leaves from Devils BackboneApril 24, Roanoke, VASoaring Ridge Craft BrewersBenefiting the Roanoke Area chapter of IMBA (RIMBA)2pm: Group Mountain Bike ride on Mill Mountain Trails leaves from SRCB4pm: Music from Travis Book and The Hot SeatsMay 13, Brevard, NCOskar Blues WNCBenefiting The Pisgah Conservancy3pm: Group Mountain Bike ride OR trail run in Pisgah National Forest(leaving from Oskar Blues Brewery)5:30: Music from Travis Book and The Fireside CollectiveMay 15, Shelby, NCNewgrass Brewing CompanyBenefiting the Cleveland County/City of Shelby Rail-to-Trail project2pm: Urban Group Ride leaves from Newgrass Brewing5pm: Music From Travis Book and The Mark Schimick and Josh Daniel ProjectJune 4, Black Mountain, NCPisgah Brewing CompanyBenefiting Pisgah SORBA1pm: Group Mountain Bike Ride from Pisgah Brewing4pm: Happy Hour Music with Travis Book and guests7pm: Keller Williams, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Grateful GrassThe Bluegrass, Bikes, and Beers your is brought to you byIceMule Coolers, KEEN, Klean Kanteen, Osprey Packs, and Yakima. Click here for more info. BBB_Fulllast_img read more