Setback to Kinder Morgan’s Canadian Oil Sands Pipeline Project FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:British Columbia will not allow Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd to begin work on public land for its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion until it “meaningfully” consults aboriginal communities, provincial officials said on Thursday. The $5.5 billion project through British Columbia, which secured federal government approval last year, would almost triple the capacity of the current Trans Mountain pipeline. The project’s prospect has become more uncertain after a left-leaning government took power in British Columbia in June, although the administration has since softened its rhetoric. British Columbia Environment Minister George Heyman told reporters in Vancouver it is unlikely that Kinder Morgan can begin work on public land by its September construction target. British Columbia will also seek to participate in court cases against federal approval of the project, Heyman said. Kinder Morgan said in a statement it takes the British Columbia government’s comments seriously and remains willing to meet with provincial officials. The company, which has scheduled most major work for next year, said Heyman’s announcement will not affect its timeline for Trans Mountain construction. But shares in Kinder Morgan Canada and Houston-based parent Kinder Morgan Inc fell soon after the minister’s comments and ended down 3.7 percent and 1.8 percent respectively.More: British Columbia throws wrench in Kinder Morgan pipeline plan
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:Dive Brief:Dominion Energy and SCANA Corp. have agreed to an all-stock merger that company officials say will lower customer rates and help unwind financial obligations related to the abandoned V.C. Summer nuclear project. SCANA shareholders would receive 0.669 shares of Dominion stock for every share of SCANA — or $55.35/share, a 28% premium on Tuesday’s closing price. That amounts to a deal value of $14.6 billion, including debt, should the agreement be approved by shareholders and state and federal regulators.Dominion says it would write off $1.7 billion in costs related to the Summer plant, allowing it to eliminate customer costs for the project over 20 years, instead of the 50-60 years proposed by SCANA. The deal would give Dominion 6.5 million regulated electric and gas customers in eight states. Dive Insight:SCANA, parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), has been looking for a buyer since late summer, after it and state-owned utility Santee Cooper announced they would abandon construction of the V.C. Summer nuclear plant, having already spent $9 billion in ratepayer cash. The plant was originally estimated to cost less than $12 billion, but mismanagement and problems with reactor design from contractor Westinghouse pushed final cost estimates to $25 billion. SCANA now faces multiple lawsuits and an SEC investigation into whether it misled shareholders about the project, while Santee Cooper could be sold off to pay for the abandoned plant.Dominion says acquiring SCANA could help cushion the blow of the Summer debacle. In addition to a $1.7 billion writeoff of nuclear costs, the company proposes a $1.3 billion payment to SCE&G customers, amounting to about $1,000 for the average residential ratepayer. That would come on top of an additional 5% residential rate reduction, Dominion said in a release, resulting from refunds of previously collected funds and the impact of lower federal taxes. In addition, Dominion said it would complete the purchase of the $180 million gas-fired Columbia Energy Center “at no cost to customers to fulfill generation needs.”Without debt, the deal is valued at about $7.7 billion. SCANA shares were up nearly 22% in pre-market trading.If approved, SCANA would operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dominion, saddling the Virginia-based holding company with the baggage of the Summer plant, but also significantly expanding its rate base.More: Dominion, SCANA agree to $14.6B all-stock merger Merger Deal Between Dominion and SCANA Would Write Off $1.7 Billion for Failed Nuclear Plant
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Australian Financial Review:Renewable energy generated nearly 19 percent of national grid power in the year to June 30 and is on track to meet the Turnbull government’s emissions target without the National Energy Guarantee, a new report says.New wind and solar generation being built or committed under the existing federal Renewable Energy Target and just one other policy—the Victorian Renewable Energy Target—would be sufficient to achieve the government’s 2030 target of a 26 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2023-24, the report published by The Australia Institute says.Under those policies, the share of total grid generation taken by wind, solar, hydro and biomass would be about 29 percent of total National Electricity Market generation. Adding rooftop solar would lift the renewables share to just above 35 percent.Renewables hit a record 18.8 percent of NEM energy including rooftop solar in the year just completed, or 15.7 percent without rooftop solar.The surge of wind and solar energy into the grid would likely force EnergyAustralia’s 1480 megawatt Yallourn brown coal power station, the most carbon dioxide intensive plant in the NEM, which is due to close by 2032, out of service by around the mid-2020s, the report’s author, energy expert Hugh Saddler, said.Dr. Saddler said the NEG’s negligible incremental impact on emissions showed that a more ambitious target was “absolutely” needed because it would be the lowest-cost way to reduce emissions nationally and avoid imposing more onerous emissions reductions on sectors such as transport, agriculture and industry that don’t have the easy abatement options of the electricity sector.More: Renewables nearly 19 percent of the grid, set to overtake NEG Renewables near 19 percent of Australian electricity generation
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:Wind farms in Brazil’s Northeast generated 8,247 MW this past Sunday, breaking the region’s record for daily generation, the National Wind Energy Association Abeeolica announced on Tuesday.The volume produced by the wind farms was enough to supply approximately 98% of the homes in the whole region. The previous record was 7,775 MW, registered on July 14, according to data from Brazil’s National Electric System Operator (ONS).Abeeolica’s president, Elbia Gannoum, noted that there typically is lower demand on a Sunday, but also mentioned that the generation growth in the country has kept its momentum. “On business days, with higher demand, we have already had generation records with load handling of more than 70% of the Northeast in the daily average,” Gannoum said.Recently, the Power Trading Chamber (CCEE) announced that the country’s wind power capacity has increased by 19.8% year-on-year to 13,180.7 MW at the end of the first half of 2018.More: Brazil generates 8.25 GW of wind power in a day, breaks record Wind generation hits record level in Brazil
PPAs promise second life for German wind farms FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Windpower Monthly:The anticipated wave of power purchase agreements (PPA) for electricity generated by wind farms that are leaving Germany’s 20-year support system is now under way.In 2020, 4.4GW of German onshore wind will have dropped out of the 20-year support system, with the capacity rising to about 16GW by 2025. Once support expires, wind farm owners can either close down the project, or sell their electricity into the market.Smaller German onshore wind farm operators generally do not have the means to participate in wholesale electricity markets and lack the financial resources to ride out fluctuations in wholesale electricity prices. But the first two PPAs for electricity from projects leaving the guaranteed price support system indicate the wind sector has found a way to ensure 20-plus-year-old wind assets can continue to operate outside the state support system.Green electricity company Greenpeace Energy has signed Germany’s first PPA for direct supply of private customers, with wind-generated electricity from citizens’ wind farm Ellhöft in Schleswig-Holstein. The five-year PPA for electricity from the six AN Bonus 1.5MW turbines runs from 2021, after renewable energy act (EEG) support for the 9MW site expires at the end of 2020.The fixed price can be adjusted to reflect the electricity wholesale market price shortly before the contract kicks in. During the contract period, the price can be lowered or raised if the wholesale electricity market price exceeds or falls below a price corridor to spread price risk between the contract partners, said Greenpeace Energy.“Many older wind farms are in technically good shape and can help Germany reach its climate targets,” says Reinhard Christiansen from the special purpose vehicle (SPV) Windpark Ellhöft GmbH & Co. KG. “But this is only possible if the operators have a reliable income to cover operation and maintenance, which is guaranteed by the new type of PPA. The contract protects us from fluctuations in the wholesale electricity market price, and we are convinced that many wind farm operators will follow our example,” he says.More: PPAs give old projects new lease of life
Scatec Solar completes second 65MW PV project in Malaysia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Compelo:Norwegian solar plants developer Scatec Solar and its partners have begun commercial operations of the 65MW Jasin solar plant in Malaysia.Scatec Solar said that this is the second of the three 65MW solar plants under completion by the company in Malaysia. The solar plant is located in the south-west of Peninsular Malaysia and is expected to generate about 94,000MWh of clean electricity per year, which will be enough to power more than 31,000 households, while avoiding about 70,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.Scatec Solar CEO Raymond Carlsen said: “We are pleased to have reached commercial operation for the Jasin solar plant, doubling our assets in operation to 130 MW in Malaysia. South East Asia continues to be a key market for us, and we expect that the Government of Malaysia will maintain high ambitions for the deployment of renewable energy in the country.”In December 2016, the company entered the country’s large-scale solar energy market by partnering with local ITRAMAS-led consortium which signed three 21-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), the country’s electricity utility. Through the partnership, three solar plants with 197MW will be realized, with a total investment of MYR 1.24bn ($293m).After connecting the solar project to the grid, Scatec Solar has 714MW in operation and another 941MW under construction.More: Scatec Solar begins commercial operations at 65MW Malaysian solar plant
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享St. Louis Post-Dispatch:With a mining-friendly administration in power in Washington, coal was supposed to be making a comeback by now.Instead, the industry just finished a brutal year. The Energy Information Administration estimates that U.S. coal production fell 9% last year and will decline by 14% in 2020. The downhill slide is reflected in the stock prices of St. Louis area coal companies.Peabody Energy and Arch Coal were supposed to have put their problems behind them after bankruptcy filings in 2016. They emerged optimistic that reduced debt and low costs would allow for solid profits, even in a declining industry. The trouble is, utilities’ demand for coal fell faster than expected.Peabody’s shares have lost 72% of their value since the start of last year. Arch shares are down 17%; it’s been cushioned by relatively strong demand for metallurgical coal, which is used in steelmaking. A third St. Louis company, Foresight Energy, was delisted by the New York Stock Exchange and its shares fell 98% last year.These results hardly support the “coal is back” message that President Donald Trump delivered at a campaign rally in West Virginia in 2018. They don’t even back the notes of cautious optimism that industry executives were sounding a year ago.What happened? “Coal is rapidly falling out of favor in the marketplace,” says Clark Williams-Derry, an analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis. “It’s too expensive, and the alternatives have gotten cheaper.”[David Nicklaus]More: Trump said ‘coal is back,’ but the stock market says otherwise Brutal year for U.S. coal companies shows that markets trump rhetoric
Price collapse threatening LNG producers worldwide FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects are on the cusp of having to halt output as mild winter weather and the coronavirus cut into demand for the fuel.Prices for the super-cooled fuel are near a record low as an inventory glut built up during what’s usually a season of peak demand. That, according to analysts and industry researchers, threatens to make LNG-producing plants unprofitable from the U.S. to Malaysia.“We see the U.S. projects struggling,” Carlos Torres Diaz, senior vice president and head of gas and power markets at Rystad Energy, said in an interview in London. “We see coal-bed methane projects in eastern Australia struggling.”The warmest winter on record in the Northern Hemisphere has left storage tanks full at a time when they’re usually nearly empty. While demand slumped, capacity to make the fuel is set to extend the record build-out of the last decade, growing 28 million tons this year, according to Rystad, a Norwegian research company.Producers and traders are closely watching who will blink first and cut output. Vitol Group Chief Executive Officer Russell Hardy said at the IP Week conference in London that levels are now close to where it doesn’t make sense to bring U.S. exports to the market.As the coronavirus is causing havoc in markets from oil to stocks, Rystad Energy slashed its global price outlook for LNG this year by about a third for Asia and Europe. China will probably consume only 62 million tons this year, compared with an earlier forecast of 67 million tons and the impact will also be felt in 2021.[Anna Shiryaevskaya]More: Sinking gas threatens to halt LNG plants from U.S. to Malaysia
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The Mountains to Sea Trail is a 1,000-mile path stretching from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockeys Ridge in the Outer Banks. Many sections of the trail are complete, but some still require connections along the shoulders of paved roads. In the mountains, the last segment of the MST around the Cherokee reservation is nearly finished.To help complete the Mountains to Sea Trail, the Friends of the MST have launched a specialty Mountains to Sea license plate. They need 300 people to purchase the plate by the end of the year. If you’re looking for a holiday gift that keeps on giving, an MST license plate could go along way toward completing North Carolina’s premier hiking trail. Visit ncmst.org for more info.