$53 Million Investment Infusion for U.S. Residential Solar Panel Maker in 8 States FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:SunPower Corp., the second-largest U.S. panel manufacturer, arranged more than $53 million in financing for residential-solar installations.The deal supports installations in eight U.S. states, Natalie Wymer, a spokesman for San Jose, California-based SunPower, said in an email Friday. Consumer demand “continues to grow and we want to continue to be positioned to answer that call.”The residential market is “where they ought to be focusing,” Joseph Osha, a San Francisco-based analyst at JMP Securities LLC, said in an interview Friday. “Residential solar may not grow at 50 percent, but there’s a market there.”South African bank Investec Plc led the financing. Investec has been a go-to lender for U.S. residential solar deals. It arranged about $880 million in debt financing last year for U.S. rooftop-solar developers and financiers, more than half of the $1.5 billion raised market-wide.SunPower, which is majority-owned by French energy giant Total SA, is both a manufacturer and developer, and is a co-sponsor of the 8Point3 Energy Partners LP yieldco that’s for sale. Its panels are used for utility-scale, residential, commercial and industrial projects.SunPower Obtains $53 Million Financing for Residential Solar
Month: December 2020 Page 1 of 6
Capitalizing on ‘New Frontier,’ Biggest U.S. Utility Partners in Energy-Storage Venture FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Power Engineering:The nation’s largest utility holding company and a major lithium supplier are partnering up to create a new company designed to connect investors with well-researched opportunities in the energy storage sector.Exelon Corp. and Albemarle Corp. announced Wednesday that they were founding investors in Volta Energy Technologies. The new Napierville, Illinois-based firm seeks to connect technical and product development know-how with investment mechanisms.“The energy sector is undergoing a transformation,” said Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon. “We must help lead the nation through this change by investing in the next big innovations that provide the best commercial and customer solutions. Exelon launched and invested in Volta because we operate at the forefront of energy innovation, and energy storage represents an important next frontier.”Exelon owns and operates utilities which provide electric and gas service to millions of customers in the Midwest and eastern U.S. Units include Commonwealth Edison, Baltimore Gas & Electric and PECO, among others.The worldwide advanced battery and storage market is projected to rise to more than $100 billion within a decade, according to some reports. Over the next year, Volta will seek other investors who have energy storage as a key element of their business strategy.Traditional venture capital funds often lack the expertise and patience required to advance innovations from lab to market, and public research institutions are not charged with commercializing their work. Volta’s model bridges these gaps and offers a solution.Volta’s release says it will leverage relationships with U.S. national laboratories and global research institutions to source and validate the most promising energy storage technologies. For example, Volta’s Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Argonne National Laboratory allows the group to validate emerging technology and solve technical challenges that pose barriers to transforming valuable technology into new products for consumers.“Argonne National Laboratory’s expertise and capabilities in energy storage and battery testing will be a tremendous asset to the entrepreneurs, technologists and companies that are creating new economic opportunities in the energy system,” said Argonne director Paul K. Kearns. “Volta will complement Argonne’s other substantial efforts to enable successful entrepreneurial efforts. We look forward to working with Volta’s team and support ongoing innovation in this critical energy sector.”More: Exelon, Albemarle Partner to Create New Energy Storage Firm
Norway’s Statkraft looks to ‘ramp up’ its solar, wind development efforts FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge News:Norwegian utility Statkraft has unveiled a revised strategy that will see it “significantly ramp up as a wind and solar developer” with ambitions in Europe, India and South America.The group will also look for new business opportunities in renewables and decarbonisation in Norway and beyond, as the hydro-focused group seeks to combine “flexible hydropower and intermittent onshore wind and solar power to deliver reliable, renewable and cost competitive energy,” said CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen.Statkraft also laid out an updated geographical focus for the new approach, which it said was driven in “response to technological developments” in each sector.In the Nordics it plans to “optimise” its hydro portfolio, complete the 1 GW Fosen onshore wind project, and “lead the Norwegian energy transition” by pursuing growth in areas such as EV charging, hydrogen and biofuels.In the rest of Europe, South America and India, Statkraft will pursue wind and solar development opportunities, as well as boosting its hydro portfolio.Statkraft operated just under 1 GW of wind capacity by the end of 2017, according to information on its website.More: Statkraft plans wind and PV ramp-up under revised strategy
High prices for coal power, dirty air spark growing support for renewable energy in Poland FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:As he stood outside a coal mine during a campaign stop last month, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki surprisingly touted the project’s green credentials. “Without investments like this one, we wouldn’t have renewable energy and other industries that we are betting on,” Morawiecki told a crowd of miners in Silesia, the country’s coal heartland.The mention of renewable energy at all, in the weeks leading up to an election on Sunday, marks a change of tone in the country, which gets most of its power from coal and has previously stifled renewable investments. With wind and solar costs plummeting and an increasing public backlash against some of the dirtiest air in the region, the government is changing its rhetoric on energy and looking to the European Union to help finance the transition.Morawiecki’s Law & Justice party came to power in 2015 thanks in part to support from miners. In its first year, the government nearly halted the fast-developing onshore wind industry with restrictive laws. At the same time, it revived a 1 gigawatt coal-fired power plant project in Ostroleka — whose backers now struggle to find financing.A tripling in the price of emission permits last year also hit Polish coal hard, with wholesale power prices currently about 25% above levels in neighboring Germany. The government stymied the impact to consumers by freezing household electricity rates and limiting the increase for businesses.Then last year, the government held an auction for new onshore wind projects. Developers, including state-owned utility PGE SA and international players EDP Renovaveis SA and Innogy SE bid to sell power at prices that were far below what the market had expected. “That was a big turning point,” said Bart Dujczynski, founder of Proventus Renewables Ltd., which advises on renewable energy projects in Poland. “It made opposition to renewables quite difficult to justify because economically, it was very attractively priced.”Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski, a major proponent of coal power, has championed a 1 billion-zloty ($255 million) solar subsidy program. Additionally, the government plans to auction a record 3.4 gigawatts of renewable energy this year. The country’s photovoltaic capacity passed the 1 gigawatt mark on Oct. 1, up 158% from a year earlier, as households and enterprises sped up installations of solar panels.More: Poland’s backing wind power in the heart of coal country
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Australian Financial Review:General insurer QBE has completed its divestment of thermal coal and expects to gradually reduce its investments in other fossil fuels, as it prepares for a surge in demand for environmental and social impact finance after the coronavirus-induced economic crisis.Chief investment officer Gary Brader, who manages $US23.5 billion ($35 billion) worth of assets, told The Australian Financial Review the insurer had no interest in owning assets that would lose value, such as thermal coal.On the other hand, he said bond issuers were expressing the desire to issue bonds for a specific social or environmental purpose, and predicted this would pick up steam when the pandemic had passed. “We’re taking a lot of calls from issuers who are saying, ‘I want to bring a bond to market that does some good and doesn’t just fund my balance sheet’. Those conversations are picking up, both on the social side as well as on the carbon-light, renewables [side],” he said.Mr. Brader’s observation was backed up by a new report, published on Monday by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia, which showed that the social impact investment market had almost quadrupled in the last two years, from less than $6 billion to around $20 billion.Early last year, QBE announced it would divest and stop underwriting companies that derive more than 30 per cent of their revenue from thermal coal by 2030. Mr. Brader said that divestment was now complete.“We’re very mindful of the fact that sitting on assets that other people will not want to buy in the future, or will not want to pay very much for, or very simply fewer people are going to give you a bid – that’s a pretty bad place to be,” he said. “We want to be in things that over time more and more people are going to want to own, and pay more for. And we can see that transition only intensifying.”[James Fernyhough]More: QBE divests thermal coal, predicts post-virus green boom Australian insurer QBE completes divestment from thermal coal sector
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ReNews.biz:United Arab Emirates-based renewables developer Masdar has signed an agreement with the government of Uzbekistan to build a 500MW wind project.The agreement, with the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan and JSC National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan, covers the design, financing, construction and operation of the wind farm. Commercial operation is expected to occur in 2024.In November 2019 Masdar signed a PPA and government support agreement with the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to design, finance, build and operate the country’s first public-private partnership solar photovoltaic power plant.Masdar was announced as the winning bidder for the 100MW solar project after tendering the lowest tariff in the programme’s competitive auction.The 500MW wind project and 100MW solar project will help Uzbekistan reach its goal of developing 5GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.More: Masdar inks 500MW wind deal with Uzbekistan UAE’s Masdar to build 500MW wind farm in Uzbekistan
Few Smokey Mountain towns draw tourists like Gatlinburg, Tennessee. At a year round population of nearly 4,000, Gatlinburg has been the go-to stop for visitors to Great Smokey Mountain National Park since the park’s 1934 inception. On any given day you’re liable to find hundreds of tourists exploring Gatlinburg’s downtown area, sometimes in should-to-shoulder fashion. But contrary to popular belief, there’s much more to Gatlinburg than pancake houses and t-shirt shops.The Smokies offer some of the most compelling scenery you’ll find anywhere in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, and Gatlinburg makes an ideal launch pad or base camp for those hoping to venture into this wild and wonderful part of the Southeast. When visiting Gatlinburg you’ll have a chance to engage in such activities as fly fishing for the area’s legendary wild trout, road cycling the Cades Cove Loop, whitewater rafting the Big Pigeon River, hiking the AT, or exploring the area on horseback.Did you know? Gatlinburg is home to Tennessee’s only ski resort. With well-maintained slopes at 3,000 feet, Ober Gatlinburg hosts skiers, snowboarders, and inner tubers all winter long.Vote now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!
Develop your network. Many of the biggest opportunities are sealed not with a flashy resume and extensive interview process, but rather with two parties knowing each other’s reputation and acknowledging mutual opportunity.Be a hustler. “Be hungry. Take unpaid internships. Demonstrate simple hard work and determination,” says Stasia Raines, director of marketing and communications at Outdoor Nation.Wear many hats. Most companies in this sphere are small and in a state of flux, so it’s important to be willing to compromise and take on different roles—and also to be excited about it. William Irving, vice president of leadership development at Nantahala Outdoor Center, puts it like this: “Guides who are flexible and bring a varied skill set allow us to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the company and operating season. When asked to wear multiple hats and be trained in many areas, these people expand their usefulness to the company and also sustain themselves throughout the year.”Be true to your passions. Authenticity is key in the outdoor industry. Kelley Freridge, digital marketing specialist at Chaco Footwear, encourages candidates to walk the walk. “Live the life you’re trying to sell. If you want to sell skis, be a skier.”Surround yourself with great people. Neko Mulally, a pro downhill mountain biker and member of Trek World Racing, acknowledges the importance of his peers in his development. “As an athlete, one of the enablers was definitely my community. My hometown of Redding, Penn., has a great downhill scene that helped me progress, and the Gravity East race series allowed me to test the skills I would need for international competition.”Brandon Blakely, engineer at Cane Creek Cycling Components, explains: “Your work plus your passion equals a lifestyle. I love what I do, but I need to be careful to keep it alive. I realize that burnout is possible with this much riding, and my sport is so special to me, I need to be careful not to allow work to change that.”A decision to work in this world does not guarantee an easy life. There will be obstacles and challenges, long hours and frustrations. But they are easily overcome by working alongside passionate, like-minded people, who share a common goal of getting people outdoors. Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? It’s the idea that a butterfly flapping its wings in Africa can trigger a chain of events resulting in a massive and destructive hurricane spiraling through the Atlantic. In spite of its power, the whole system begins with the air manipulated by a single pair of tiny wings. This is how my career in the outdoor industry began.While it was never part of the plan, a few key events changed the course of my life. One of them was a kayak shuttle ride with a friend, who casually mentioned that he was moving on from his management role with his kayak sponsor, and that he thought I would make an excellent fit to replace him. Before I knew it, I was working for a paddling company and landing more sponsors for my paddling pursuits. It was a dream come true.But it hasn’t been all roses. Any field or profession has its downsides, and it’s important to be aware of those before deciding on a career or making the sacrifices to switch from a current one. Here is an honest look inside the everyday workplace of the outdoor industry.Many positions in the industry involve long hours and low pay. Businesses depend on leisure spending and disposable income—two things that dry up in tough economic times. As a sponsored athlete, I learned this in a vivid way over the last economic recession, when my salaries were slashed or eliminated from different partnerships.Weather and environmental factors can have huge effects on the ebb and flow of revenue. During a rainy summer, the mountain bike industry will take a big hit, while whitewater rafting revenue may increase. That same rain may mean a dry winter, which negatively affects ski resort business.The entire industry depends on consumer interest. Will the next generation continue to recreate outdoors or will they turn their attention towards traditional sports, video games, or social media? The answer to this is pivotal to the health of the outdoors industry.But here is the secret that keeps the outdoor industry growing and thriving, even amid tough economic times: the incredible passion of the people within it.I’m talking intimidating, chills-down-your-spine, cut-it-with-a-knife passion running through the veins of nearly every person who works in this space. The collective passion occurs for one primary reason: the activities and sports that drive the industry are beautiful. There aren’t many things that can compare to hiking the A.T. across Roan, or riding a mountain bike through a valley of ferns in Pisgah. Providing the products and services that make these things possible gives a deep sense of purpose. This purpose in turn drives innovation and also allows for fantastic work-life balance. I have friends who work for bike companies that host lunchtime rides every day, and others whose paddlesports employer sends them to Costa Rica for an annual week of surfing and relaxation. Interpersonal bonds are as tight as they get, and when everything is weighed out, working in the industry is worth it.How can you get your muddy boots in the door?
Carabiners are one of the most ubiquitous pieces of climbing equipment around. These oddly shaped pieces of aluminum seem to sprout from every climbers harness and backpack like odd little flowers. Knowing a little bit about the different varieties and characteristics of carabiners can be helpful when deciding what you need to have with you for which purpose. So clip in and relax here is my take on the wide world of those snappy thingies.It can be helpful to understand the parts of the carabiner. There is the spine which is the side opposite the opening. The part that opens is called the gate. It will either be a solid piece that houses a spring inside it or a wire gate. The nose of the carabiner will have a shape that allows for the gate to be captured when the carabiner is loaded and begins to stretch. This has typically been a pin and a notch for it to rest in. Variations now include key locks where the bin is replaced by shaping the metal on both the gate and nose so the two pieces fit forming a wedge.Wire gate carabiners may be less susceptible to vibrating open during a fall where the motion of the rope running through the carabiner causes the gate to flutter open a small amount. If the carabiner is loaded with the force of a lead fall at that exact moment it can possibly fail. Unless the spring on a solid gate carabiner has become weak or excessively dirty this is a very rare phenomenon. The wire gate design can be less prone to freezing though which is nice for activities such as ice climbing and mountaineering. They can be lighter as well in general. Other considerations for the nose of the carabiner can be how clean it is with regard to clipping. Key lock carabiners are less prone to snag on a wire of a stopper or the edge of a bolt hanger. Some wire gate carabiners are also designed in such a way that there is less chance of the nose becoming snagged while clipping or unclipping.Carabiners are described as having a major axis and a minor axis. The major axis is along the spine and is how the carabiner is generally intended to be loaded. The minor axis is the span between the gate and the spine. Carabiners are stamped with strength markings that indicate major axis, minor axis, and gate open strengths. These are marked with the kN symbol which indicates strength in kilonewtons. One kilonewton when converted to a static load strength is approximately 224 pounds. Climbing carabiners are engineered to handle the loads commonly experienced while engaged in climbing activities. DO NOT go out and get carabiner like items from the hardware store and bring them out to a climbing site! Also if you have non-climbing type key chain carabiners around, never let these get mixed into your climbing equipment.Some things to consider will be weight versus durability. If you are just getting started and want some workhorse carabiners, lean towards buying ones made of thicker stock as opposed to the smallest and lightest. They will last longer before getting notched out by the rope. Once your carabiners start to show significant notching, go ahead and toss them. While they might still be strong enough for the loads you subject them to the other serious concern will be the new edge radius that has been created by the missing metal and that new edge could be dangerous for your rope. I will also mention steel carabiners. These critters are massively strong and durable but they will feel like small bricks in your pack and will set you back a good bit more price wise. Unless you really just want the longest lasting carabiners for mega top rope sessions year after year, you probably have no need for the steelies.Locking carabiners are not necessarily stronger than non-locking ones. Again the strength is determined by thickness of stock used, shape, etc. The point of locking carabiners as that they keep the gate from accidentally opening during critical applications such as while belaying or while the rope is running through a top rope anchor.Shape: There are a few basic categories of shape with tons of variations on each.Ovals: One of the oldest varieties is the Oval. Ovals are useful due to their symmetry. You can pair two in the opposite and opposed configuration and have a nice secure combination where the spine of one acts to guard the gate of the other from being accidentally pushed open. They are also useful when using pulleys or aiders when you want the load to rest in the middle and not shift around as much. While these have become somewhat less popular among climbers I would say they are still worth keeping a few around. The shape is handy for racking equipment like a set of wired nuts or a few tricams.D-shaped: This shape came about in search of increasing the strength of the carabiner by shifting the load closer to the spine.Modified/ Asymmetrical D: These are D’s that have been stretched out to increase the gate opening or gate clearance. This helps when trying to clip ropes one handed as when leading a climb.Pear or HMS: These locking carabiners are generally sized to handle two strands of rope such as when belaying with double ropes or rapelling with two strands. They also allow for building a munter hitch. By having a larger rounded section they also are a good choice for a clove hitch. This combination is a common way for climbers to anchor themselves at the belay station using the rope on multi-pitch climbs.The blue and orange carabiners on the image above are examples of pears. The first has an autolocking gate and the middle has a screw gate. The purple carabiner on the right is an asymmetrical D with a screw gate. Autolocking gates can be handy in that you may be less likely to forget to lock it but the down side is they cannot be clipped one handed which means when attaching the rope or tying hitches like the clove or munter you will need to have two hands free.Marking your carabiners is a great idea if you plan to go out and share equipment with friends. Some electrical tape can work or another option I have liked is automobile pin striping that you can find from auto part stores. It is narrower in width than electrical tape, cheap, and durable. Nail polish is also a popular option.As always your safety is your responsibility, be sure to get quality instruction before selecting equipment and using it.There are many great threads and posts on this topic. Check out the following links for more great reading. Check out some of the great resources at www.blackdiamondequipment.com and www.petzl.com for info about their products. For tips and resources you can also visit the American Mountain Guides Association web page www.amga.com and look at the Tech Videos section. Feel free to visit us at Fox Mountain Guides www.foxmountainguides.com as well for info on courses and instruction.Happy Climbing.
Just off Interstate 81, in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, sits the city of Lexington. I have visited many times and have long known it as great stop for outdoor adventure and beer, and the home of both Washington & Lee University and Virginia Military Institute.Like other fans of Americana music, I will soon be referring to it as the hometown of rising star Vivian Leva.Vivian Leva’s debut record, Time Is Everything, was released earlier this month on Free Dirt Records. Rich with hints of bluegrass and classic country, this new collection of tunes is earning Leva favorable comparisons to notable Americana songstresses Gillian Welch, Aoife O’Donovan, and Sarah Jarosz.I was lucky enough to catch up with Vivian and let her dish about her hometown. Should you ever find yourself in Lexington, heed her advice and take advantage of this locals-only insight. These destinations would make for a great day in her town.BRO – Best place for live music?VL – My favorite place to hear live music is undoubtedly Lime Kiln. It’s really the best place to go for miles around Lexington. They always bring in great acts and the environment, since it’s an outdoor theater, is perfect for a summer evening of music.BRO – Favorite eatery, and what should I order?VL – Pronto Gelateria is my go-to lunch spot. Although the menu is limited, it has all the things I want: cappuccino, caprese sandwiches (the prosciutto and goat cheese is great!), and gelato.BRO – Best cup of coffee?VL – If you want a plain old coffee, Pronto is the place to go. If you’re into espresso drinks, then it’s definitely Lexington Coffee Shop. They make a mean latte.BRO – Favorite local outdoor adventure?VL – In the summer, I love going swimming at Panther Falls. It’s just a little ways outside of Lexington and right near the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s beautiful there, and there’s even a secret underwater tunnel that leads right under the waterfall. It’s the perfect place for picnic and swimming, especially on days when it’s not too crowded.BRO – Best late night hang?VL – Waffle House. The perfect end to any late night . . . or morning.Vivian Leva is up north of the border right now with a run of shows in Canada over the next few nights. She returns stateside with stops in Minnesota and Wisconsin next week. For more info on when Vivian will be on a stage near you or how you can grab a copy of Time Is Everything, check out her website.Be sure to take a listen to the title track of Vivian’s new record, along with brand new tunes from Erika Wennerstrom, Mermaid Motor Lounge, and Lissie on this month’s Trail Mix.