California Project Reflects a Trend Toward Oil Industry Investment in Solar

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Washington Post:The Belridge oil field near Bakersfield, Calif., is one of the largest in the country. It has been producing oil for more than a century and last year produced about 76,000 barrels a day, according to Aera Energy, its operator.But the oil field is about to become even more remarkable. Its future production operations will be partly powered by a massive solar energy project that will make the oil extraction process more environmentally friendly, according to Aera and GlassPoint Solar, the firm that will create the solar project.The Belridge field was discovered in 1911. Oil from the field flowed out of the ground because of natural pressure in the geologic reservoirs. Later, as the pressure declined, many companies said the field was exhausted. But in the 1960s, a process known as enhanced oil recovery gave the field new life. But squeezing more crude oil from the Belridge requires large amounts of steam to help loosen up the heavy crude, which in turn requires energy.Aera has traditionally used natural gas to heat up water to create steam. But Aera and GlassPoint will now use a large, 850-megawatt solar thermal array to evaporate the water that’s pumped into the ground to liberate more oil. The companies say this will offset 4.87 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year and avoid the emission of 376,000 tons of carbon. The water used emerges from the process of oil extraction itself and will be recycled and pumped back into the ground.The project was made possible by the recent extension of California’s cap-and-trade system for carbon-dioxide emissions until 2030, said Christina Sistrunk, chief executive of Aera Energy, a company jointly owned by Shell and ExxonMobil. “We need some level of what I would call regulatory and legislative stability to be able to fund projects that really need a couple of decades worth of certainty to be economic,” said Sistrunk. “The extension of that program really underpinned our ability to make this long-term commitment.”The solar thermal array will capture the sun’s energy using curving mirrors that are enclosed in a greenhouse and then use that energy to heat water. In addition, there will be a smaller, 26.5-megawatt solar photovoltaic installation to help power oil field operations. The project should start operations by 2020, the participating companies said.This is the second such megascale solar-oil project for GlassPoint, which is building the massive, 1-gigawatt Miraah project in Oman (a gigawatt refers to the capacity to instantaneously generate 1 billion watts of energy; a megawatt refers to the capacity to generate 1 million watts). The company said that the Belridge project will be the largest solar project in California.The combination of massive solar and massive oil is not the kind of thing we tend to think of when it comes to the expansion of renewables around the globe, which has generally been led by wind and solar installations. But joint projects of various types between major oil producers and renewable energy players are growing, too. The Norwegian oil giant Statoil has announced plans to build solar arrays in Brazil with a clean energy industry partner, and Shell is exploring a possible large solar project in Australia. Statoil, meanwhile, has also made a major push into offshore wind energy.What’s different about the Belridge project is the use of renewables, which don’t emit greenhouse gases, to produce more fuel that will emit those gases. That could leave environmentalists feeling rather ambiguous. But this, too, has parallels — a recent major carbon capture and storage project in Texas will capture most of the CO2 emitted by a major coal facility, but then pipe the gas in a liquid form to an oil field where it will, once again, be used in enhanced oil recovery.What these examples perhaps show most of all is that as renewable energy becomes more and more a part of our lives, it will also become increasingly integrated into more traditional energy systems.More: One of the country’s biggest oil fields just turned to an unexpected power source: Solar California Project Reflects a Trend Toward Oil Industry Investment in Solarlast_img read more

Pennsylvania Trespassing Case Poses a Potential Threat to National Fracking Industry

first_imgPennsylvania Trespassing Case Poses a Potential Threat to National Fracking Industry FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Anxiety is building around a court ruling in Pennsylvania that could potentially upend long-standing oil and gas arrangements, and affect hydraulic fracturing efforts nationwide.Natural gas driller Southwestern Energy Production Co. has asked Pennsylvania’s Superior Court to rehear the case with more judges after a two-judge panel ruled April 2 that hydraulic fracturing could create liability when fluids released from the fracking process flow onto adjoining properties. The case, Briggs v. Southwestern Energy Production Co., in Pennsylvania’s Superior Court, has caught the attention of energy companies, oil and gas attorneys, and legal scholars nationwide, attorneys from around the country told Bloomberg Environment.The ruling could have a chilling effect on oil and gas development because it overturns a long-standing, seemingly settled legal principle known as the “rule of capture,” they said. According to the rule of capture, a driller on one parcel of land may extract oil and gas from underneath adjoining properties as long as the driller doesn’t physically trespass over the property line.The ruling holds potential for a significant economic impact for companies invested in gas development, because it increases the possibility that energy companies could face trespass claims in connection with their fracking operations that they otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to, Anthony J. Carna, chair of McGuireWoods LLP’s oil and gas practice, told Bloomberg Environment May 3.The case involves Southwestern Energy Production Co., a subsidiary of Houston-based Southwestern Energy Co., and the Briggs family, who own a roughly 11-acre property in Susquehanna County next to two hydraulic fracturing wells that the company has operated since 2011. The Briggs sued the driller in November 2015 for trespass and conversion, seeking punitive damages. They argued that extracting the natural gas from beneath their property through hydraulic fracturing is a trespass, because the gas would be trapped forever if it weren’t forcefully fracked out.Fracking the Marcellus Shale to extract natural gas from beneath the Briggs’ property is “akin to opening the gate of a neighbor’s livestock pen and taking the livestock as they walk out,” they said in a court filing April 30, arguing that the court’s April 2 ruling should stand.More: Frackers Feeling Shaken Up by Pennsylvania Court Decisionlast_img read more

China buys big stake in 700 MW UAE solar project

first_imgChina buys big stake in 700 MW UAE solar project FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:China’s Silk Road Fund is to acquire a 24 percent stake in a large scale solar power project in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it was announced Sunday.The 700 megawatt Dubai Electricity and Water Authority Concentrated Solar Power (DEWA CSP) project represents the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the biggest single-site solar park on the planet.The DEWA CSP project was awarded to a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power in 2017. ACWA Power, which develops, owns and operates power generation and water desalination plants, said the plant was expected to save 2.4 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.“The introduction of a new investor into the DEWA CSP is absolutely in line with ACWA Power’s established strategy of sharing investments with value adding partners who will in turn bolster our projects,” Paddy Padmanathan, ACWA Power’s CEO, said in a statement. “We could not have found a more capable partner than Silk Road Fund to complement DEWA and us on what is the largest single renewable energy project underway in the world today,” he added.The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park has a planned capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW) by 2020 and 5,000 MW by 2030. It will use both photovoltaic and concentrated solar power technology to generate energy and will help to cut CO2 emissions by more than 6.5 million tons per year, according to DEWA.More: Vast solar power plant gets ‘significant’ investment from China’s Silk Road Fundlast_img read more

India plans new transmission infrastructure to support renewable energy generation

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Technica:India has shared details of large power transmission projects dedicated for renewable energy projects in the western parts of the country. The transmission projects are part of the Green Energy Corridors program that was envisaged to support the massive renewable energy capacity addition targets announced by the Indian government.India’s largest power transmission company, the state-owned Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), recently shared proposals to set up transmission projects worth $1.8 billion in the western states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. The transmission projects will support wind and solar power projects with a combined installed capacity of 25.4 gigawatts across the three states.The current proposal is part of a much larger plan to set up transmission projects dedicated to solar and wind energy farms spread across seven renewable energy-rich states in the country. As part of this plan, transmission projects to support 50 gigawatts of solar and 16.5 gigawatts of wind energy capacity shall be set up. This larger plan is divided into two phases — under phase I, transmission projects for 20 gigawatts of solar and 9 gigawatts of wind energy capacity shall be set up by December 2020, while under phase II, projects for 30 gigawatts of solar and 7.5 gigawatts of wind energy capacity shall be set up by December 2021.The states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh will have transmission projects to support 28 gigawatts of solar and wind energy capacity by the end of 2021.These transmission projects are critical for India to achieve, or even get close to, the ambitious target to have 100 gigawatts of solar power and 60 gigawatts of wind energy capacity operational by March 2022. The lack of adequate transmission network has been an issue that kept project developers from bidding in large-scale renewable energy projects.More: India plans $1.8 billion transmission projects for renewable energy projects India plans new transmission infrastructure to support renewable energy generationlast_img read more

India’s largest power company planning 5GW mega solar park

first_imgIndia’s largest power company planning 5GW mega solar park FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:India’s NTPC Ltd. plans to set up a 5-gigawatt solar park in the western state of Gujarat, which would be the biggest in the country, as the top electricity generator shifts toward cleaner energy.A site has been identified for the project, which is expected to cost as much as 250 billion rupees ($3.5 billion) and begin operations by 2024, according to a company official, who asked not to be named as the plan isn’t public yet. The company may also invite bids from developers to set up projects in the park.The plan is part of the NTPC’s aim to build 32 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2032 and reduce the share of fossil fuels in its energy mix to 70% from about 96% now. Government regulations to cap emissions from coal-fired power plants, which increase the costs of building such projects, have also prompted the New Delhi-based company to turn to green energy for growth.In addition, the generator is considering building a new 500-megawatt hydropower project in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, where it already operates one such plant, according to the official.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is targeting 175 gigawatts of renewable capacity in the South Asian nation by 2022, more than double the 80.6 gigawatts today. However, that goal has come under threat from contract breaches and payment delays by some distribution utilities, as well as sluggish foreign investment in the nation’s renewable energy sector.More: India’s top electricity generator to build mega solar parklast_img read more

Renewable electric generation topped coal-fired output in the Netherlands in 2019 for first time

first_imgRenewable electric generation topped coal-fired output in the Netherlands in 2019 for first time FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享NL Times:The Netherlands generated more electricity from sustainable sources than from coal for the first time ever last year, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday. The amount of energy produced also reached [a] record high.Last year the Netherlands produced 121 billion kWh of electricity, 6 percent more than in 2018. Electricity generated using coal decreased from over 27 billion kWh in 2018 to over 17 billion kWh last year. And energy generated from sustainable sources increased from nearly 19 billion kWh to nearly 22 billion kWh.As the electricity generation from coal decreased, production using natural gas increased, from nearly 58 billion kWh to 71 billion kWh. According to the stats office, this has to do with the low gas price, and high price of CO2 emissions. Generating energy from gas emits relatively less CO2 than doing so from coal.The Netherlands’ consumption of electricity was about the same in 2019 as in 2018. This combined with the record high production resulted in a decrease of electricity imports, from 26.8 billion kWh in 2018 to 20.4 billion kWh last year. Electricity exports increased slightly, from 18.8 billion kWh to 19.5 billion kWh.[Janene Pieters]More: NL produced more sustainable energy than coal power for first timelast_img read more

Weekend Pick: Trail Days Festival

first_imgOne of the most beautiful places in the Southeast, if not the U.S., just happens to be where three of the core states of the Blue Ridge come together. The intersection of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee on the edge of National Forest land encompasses those traits we hold dear at Blue Ridge Outdoors, and we’re sure you do too. Small towns, open spaces, mountains, and rivers dot the landscape around this trifecta of states bisected by the Southern Appalachians. If it is adventure you are after in the Blue Ridge, this is the place to get it with the Virginia Creeper Trail, Mt. Rogers and Grayson Highlands, the South Holston and New rivers, and much more all within striking distance. Plus, the Appalachian Trail runs right through the region, and right through downtown Damascus, on it’s way into the mountains of Virginia. Indeed, Damascus touts itself as “Trail Town USA” due to the A.T., Creeper, Iron Mountain, Daniel Boone Heritage, and Crooked Road Musical Heritage trails all running through town or right by it.With this distance trail lineage, it is no wonder Damascus plays host to one of the biggest trail festivals along the A.T. Trail Days is a weekend long celebration of everything A.T. and distance hiking related, scheduled to coordinate with thru-hikers passing through town. This small hamlet becomes flooded with thru-hikers, former thru-hikers, campers, bikers, and plain old hiking enthusiasts. Vendors have the latest camping and backpacking gear on hand to demo or purchase and there are hiking workshops, clinics, and lectures from legends like Warren Doyle, Bill Walker and Jennifer Pharr Davis. Plus, free gear repair, gear auction, and of course the hiker parade. There is live music played by the pros throughout the day, and played by the amateurs at the campgrounds during the evening.This is the biggest and most robust hiking festival in the area, so if you are an A.T. enthusiast, it is not to be missed. Even if you are just getting into the distance or ultralight scene, or want to start, this is the place to be, where old and young, thru-hikers and A.T. alumni share their experiences, stories, and good will from the trail and beyond. Plus, the BRO Roadshow will be there so swing by the tent, say hey to Martha and the newest member of the BRO team Jess, and sign up to win some great prizes in our raffles being held throughout the weekend.View Larger Maplast_img read more

Daily Dirt: A.T. Search Scaled Back, Rain Dims Fall Colors, and Fly Fishing Schools

first_imgYour outdoor news bulletin for August 7th, the day Lynne Cox performed one of the great cold water swims in history by swimming from Big Diomede, Alaska across the Bering Strait and onto Russian shores, communist territory, and swimming lore:Search for A.T. Hiker Scaled BackEfforts to find Geraldine Largay have been “extensively scaled back,” effectively ending the search for the 66-year-old Appalachian Trail hiker who has been missing for over two weeks. Based on geo data from her phone and hiker testimony, searchers concentrated on a 4.2-square mile section of land off the A.T. between Lone Mountain and the Spaulding lean-to Sunday, but came up empty handed. Of all the hikers that go missing in Maine, 95 percent are found within 12 hours, and 98 percent are found within 24 hours. Another one percent drown, but there is no water in the area where she went missing. Lt. Kevin Adams summed it up with this statement: ““You never know how far the human spirit can go. I am concerned about the condition of [Largay], but that doesn’t change our search efforts. We are frustrated, but we want to find her.”Wet Summer Equals Bland Colors?We have had one wet summer here in the Southeast, and the area around Asheville may have had the worst of it. Western North Carolina has seen record rainfall numbers this spring and summer, and now some are saying this may have a detrimental effect on the fall colors we are used to seeing along the Blue Ridge Parkway and elsewhere. The biology is a little complicated but the bottom line is that rain in July and August may not effect color that much, but more rain in September and October could spell curtains for the brightest and most attractive of autumn colors: RED. As oppose to the orange and yellow colors that always appear because they are hidden beneath the chlorophyll and not as sensitive to weather, the red pigment of leaves is created in the fall by a combination of sunlight and drought. So, rain may be good for extending the growing season, but too much rain in the late summer and early fall could have a detrimental effect on the fall colors. This may sound like a non-story, but the Blue Ridge Parkway relies heavily on the traffic it gets during peak leaf peeping season – October is its busiest month of the year – and this in turn has a tremendous financial impact on the surrounding community.So if the leaves don’t pop, the people won’t stop, and the economy will drop.Get Schooled on Fly FishingThe Itinerant Angler, has nothing on our Top Adventure Colleges Bracket, but they do have something to contribute to the great schools debate in the fly fishing arena. They have put out their Top Ten Fly Fishing Colleges, and a couple of regional schools made the unofficial list. Mixed in among no-brainers like Montana, Montana State, Boise State and Oregon (numbers 1-4), are sleepers like Miami (bonefish, tarpon, etc.), San Diego State (mako shark!!!), and Tulane (redfish). From our region, Tennessee University in Knoxville came in at a respectable #5 due to its proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National park and the Clinch and South Holston tailwaters. Penn State cracked the top ten at #9 for their fly fishing (Kinesiology 004 – for credits even!) and competition casting courses, but also because State College sits only five miles from the iconic Spring Creek, which boasts one of the highest-density populations of wild brown trout in the U.S.Check out the full list here.last_img read more

Stateside Manufacturing No Longer a Pipe Dream

first_imgPale Morning Media — a PR firm specializing in outdoor, ski, hunting, fishing, and natural products — launched a Made-in-America news portal this month called www.GearMadeHere.org. The website seeks to strengthen the community of American gear manufacturers and provide a sense of monitoring towards the topic and our consumer experiences.A survey from the American Made Outdoor Gear Awards — an award program created and administrated by Pale Morning Media, originally co-branded with their client Kokatat — reported that more than 40 percent of American outdoor gear companies have been established in the last 10 years, with more than 70 percent of their products made within U.S. borders.PMM_VertLogo_RGBPale Morning Media surveyed a large collection of Made-in-America brands this year, citing that 30 percent of them believe “quality” is an enormous benefit of their domestic production, while 25 percent of them decided to manufacture stateside for the enhanced “control” of how their products are made and distributed. This means better products for the consumer.Social media and a sense of community are also growing for American manufacturers. “Like many American manufacturing initiatives, GearMadeHere.org is a small first step toward a larger goal down the road,” said Drew Simmons, founder, Pale Morning Media. “We hope people will check it out, enjoy it, and send us their own inspiring stories so we can share them.”Over the last six years, Pale Morning Media has built a base contact network and body of work for the active promotion of domestic manufacturing brands. With groups like these and a rise in U.S.-made manufacturers, outdoor products and their quality show an unparalleled level of promise for upcoming years.last_img read more

Announcing Project Flame Out

first_imgWildfires are still burning on more than 45,000 acres in Western North Carolina.In order to mobilize donation efforts, several shops are selling the items firefighters are requesting at discounts to customers buying for the firefighters, along with collection bins. These items will be distributed to firefighters by local fire stations.Posters are in the process of being made, and we’ll be announcing the stores opting to participate here.flameout-4As of this posting, The Hub in Pisgah Forest and D.D. Bullwinkle’s in Brevard, North Carolina are participating.If your business would like to participate, please contact Ky Delaney [email protected] as soon as possible so that your shop name can be included in the press release.Also, if anyone is interesting in volunteering with the logistics of this process, including approaching local businesses to see if they are interested in participating, distribution posters/bins to stores, and picking up goods to take to the fire stations, that would be excellent and most appreciated!Click here for more info about donating to the wildfire cause in Western North Carolina.last_img read more