Governor announces ‘Operation Red Clover’

Posted On Jan 1 2021 by

first_imgGovernor Douglas Announces ‘Operation Red Clover’ to Improve Public HealthEmergency Response Major Exercise to be held August 2 – 4 in Burlington,St. Albans and MorrisvilleBurlington, Vt. – For three days next week (augst 2-4), the state of Vermont willconduct a large-scale test of its public health emergency responsecapability, Governor Jim Douglas announced today. This exercise is thelargest of its kind ever conducted.Dubbed ‘Operation Red Clover’ after the Vermont state flower, the exercisewill pit an estimated 700 participants from the Department of Health, areahospitals, and multiple state and local agencies against a simulatedoutbreak of a deadly infectious disease.The exercise scenario begins Monday morning, August 2, with simulatedreports coming into the Health Department from three hospitals aboutpatients just admitted with unusual symptoms.Over the following hours and days, epidemiologists, public health nurses,microbiologists, infection control practitioners, hospital staff,physicians, nurses, government officials, emergency responders, localemergency managers, community members and many others will play out theirvarious roles in the emergency posed by the simulated event.”This is a very important exercise,” said Gov. James Douglas. “It’scritical to the continued safety of Vermonters that we put all of ouremergency plans to the test. With funding from the U.S. Department ofHealth and Human Services, the Vermont Department of Health has beenworking hard to see that our public health and health care system iswell-trained, well-organized, well-equipped and well-prepared.”The focus of the exercise next week will be on the Health Department’soffices in Burlington, St. Albans and Morrisville. Other majorparticipants are Fletcher Allen Health Care, Northwestern Medical Center,Copley Hospital, the Vermont National Guard, Vermont Emergency Management,and the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.”We must be ready for anything – from a natural disaster to an infectiousdisease outbreak, to an extreme act of biological, chemical or nuclearterrorism,” said Health Commissioner Paul Jarris, MD. “The internationalSARS epidemic of 2003 provided the latest real-life example of why we needto have a system ready to respond immediately and effectively to anythreat to the health and lives of Vermonters.”Key elements that will be tested during Operation Red Clover: * Disease surveillance and investigation to detect unusualpatterns of illness * Deployment of Fletcher Allen Health Care’s new bio-isolationunit * Laboratory capacity to test and confirm clinical specimensfor biological agents * Rapid information exchange among health professionals viaHealth Alert Network * Delivery of timely, accurate, credible and usefulinformation to the public * Activation of the Health Department and State EmergencyOperations Centers and Incident Command System to manage emergencyresponse * Deployment of Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)pharmaceuticals to local clinics * Community clinics to deliver medicine to people who may havebeen exposedOperation Red Clover is the first in a planned series of large-scaleexercises to test public health emergency preparedness and response.Although each event will focus on a particular threat, the overall goal isto enhance Vermont’s “all-hazards” approach to emergency response.last_img read more


“Late blight” strikes tomato and potato crops across Vermont

Posted On Jan 1 2021 by

first_imgIt s been an exceptionally rainy and cool summer and one of the consequences is that Late Blight disease has been reported in every corner of Vermont and across the Northeast. With these weather conditions Late Blight rapidly kills the foliage of tomato and potato plants. Many hundreds of farmers and gardeners have already been stricken, and it is likely that the situation will get worse unless the weather turns hot and dry.Late Blight is caused by a fungus, Phytophthora infestans, and it s the same disease that led to the Irish potato famine almost 150 years ago. The disease is not directly harmful to people as it only infects potatoes, tomatoes, and some related weeds.The good news is that the disease does not persist in the soil from year to year, so with proper action, farmers and gardeners should be able to avoid this problem next year. In addition, infected potato crops may still yield edible tubers if the diseased foliage is destroyed soon after infection is observed.Late blight needs living plant tissue to survive, so infected tomato plants should be destroyed as soon as the disease is identified. In small gardens, this means removing plants in trash bags and sending them to the landfill; in larger gardens and farms the plants should be gathered into piles and burned, or simply turned into the soil so they can decompose. There is still plenty of warm weather that will allow plant residues to break down before winter. A month or so after initial incorporation, the residues should be lightly tilled and mixed with soil again, and then a winter cover crop should be sown. Winter rye or oats planted in early fall will protect the soil over winter and further promote biological activity. Do not put plants in the compost pile just in case some portion is protected from the elements and makes it through the winter.Once potatoes are confirmed with late blight, the tops (vines) should be mowed or cut off before the stems get heavily infected. That will help prevent spores from washing down to the tubers. Wait to dig the tubers at least 2 or 3 weeks until the vines are completely dead, as that will limit the number of spores on the soil surface when the tubers are dug. It also allows time for the tuber skins to toughen up underground, and that will limit the number of cuts and bruises created at harvest, reducing places for spores to get into the tubers.When harvesting, be sure to get all the potatoes out of the ground, to limit the chances of the disease surviving the winter in a living tuber. After harvest, do not wash the tubers until it s necessary, as that could spread disease among them. Keep them in a cool location to suppress disease development, and check them often, removing any rotten tubers.Late blight spores are easily carried long distances on the wind, so anyone growing tomatoes or potatoes should be watching their plants for signs of the disease, and act quickly to destroy them in order to limit spread of the disease to other growers. Please inspect your tomato and potato plants on a daily basis! Late Blight is already widespread and has caused serious economic losses. We need to do what we can to limit the scale of this epidemic.The symptoms of late blight on tomato and potato leaves and stems and fruit are dark, water-soaked spots of irregular shape, about the size of a nickel to a quarter, often beginning at leaf tips or edges. These spots become abundant when the foliage has been wet due to rain or dews. The infected areas often become covered with light layer of white fungal growth that contains the spores of the disease. Infected tomato fruit develop large brown areas, either on the plant, or a few days after harvest.There are other common diseases of tomato and potato that can be mistaken for late blight. If the infected area has a yellow border and is occurring on the bottom of the plant, it is probably due to Early Blight or Septoria Leaf Spot. These two diseases are found in home gardens and farms every year in the Northeast, but they are less likely to kill plants, and they don t spread long distances.At this point, and with rainy weather, fungicides do not appear to be slowing the disease very much, but if your plants show no signs of infection so far, then fungicides may help to protect them. Homeowners can apply a garden fungicide labeled for tomato or potato use that contains the active ingredient chlorothalonil. Organic growers can apply a copper fungicide labeled for these crops. These products can only be effective if used before the disease appears and they should be reapplied every 5-7 days if wet weather persists. If spraying any type of fungicide, remember that these materials only protect healthy tissue infected leaves cannot be saved. Good coverage of all the foliage is critical, and repeat applications are needed to protect new growth from infection. Always read the pesticide label and follow the instructions carefully.For more information on Late Blight, including many pictures of the symptoms, see:http://www.hort.cornell.edu/lateblight(link is external)http://www.umassvegetable.org/LateBlightAlertforTomatoandPotato.html(link is external)Source: Dr. Vern Grubinger, Vegetable and Berry Specialist, University of Vermont Extension, July 30, 2009last_img read more


Robert Cioffi elected chair of the University of Vermont Board of Trustees

Posted On Jan 1 2021 by

first_imgRobert F. Cioffi, a native Vermonter from St. Albans, has been elected chair of the University of Vermont Board of Trustees.Cioffi is currently a venture partner at Alerion Partners, a private equity fund located in Rowayton, Connecticut. He lives in New Canaan, CT with his wife Meghan (UVM Class of 1991) and their three children.Before joining Alerion, Cioffi was a Senior Vice President with GE Equity, a subsidiary of GE Capital Corporation. Upon graduating from UVM in 1990 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Economics, Cioffi worked for the Franklin County Industrial Development Corp. In addition, Cioffi worked on the staff of former U.S. Senator James Jeffords. He later moved to New York to join the Chase Manhattan Bank. In 1998 Cioffi joined GE Equity, after receiving his M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.Cioffi was elected to the UVM Board of Trustees in 2002 by the self-perpetuating board of nine trustees. He was re-elected to a second 6-year term in 2008. Cioffi also served as a UVM student trustee from 1988 to 1990. He is a recipient of the UVM Young Alumni Award and the Kidder Medal. He replaces Ian Boyce, who served as chair for the past two years. Boyce’s term on the Board will end in 2012.In accepting this responsibility, Cioffi stated, “It is an honor and a privilege to be elected to serve as chair of the UVM Board.  My experience growing up in St. Albans and attending UVM helped me appreciate how important the relationship between Vermont and its University is to the future of the Green Mountain State.  UVM has become a major player on both the local and national stage, and I look forward to working with the Board and the University community to build on our success.  I am also very fortunate to be following in the footsteps of Ian Boyce, and wish to express my sincere thanks to him for a job exceedingly well done.”Source: UVM. 3.9.2010                                                                            ###last_img read more


Mortgage report shows modest gain despite 7.39 million troubled loans

Posted On Jan 1 2021 by

first_imgThe Mortgage Monitor report released today by Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS), a leading provider of mortgage performance data and analytics, showed mixed results with the nation’s home loan market. Modest improvements in the number of loans curing to current and reductions in total new delinquencies are still overshadowed by a large pool (7.39 million) of non-current and REO loans. The report is based on data as of March 2010 month-end. Vermont ranked among states with the fewest troubled loans.Several of the nation’s largest states by population, including Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, Arizona, California, Illinois, Indianaand Ohio showed foreclosure inventories at a higher percentage than the average national foreclosure rate of 3.27 percent. Overall, the number of non-current loans across the nation has declined over the past six months, but 16 states showed an increase in the number of non-current loans. Total delinquencies, excluding foreclosures, decreased 10.3 percent from February to March 2010, however, the total represents a year-over-year increase of 15.7 percent. Similarly, March’s foreclosure rate stands at 3.27 percent, representing a month-over-month decrease of 1.2 percent but a year-over-year increase of 32.9 percent. The number of loans moving from seriously delinquent into foreclosure rose in March, after hitting historic lows in February.The impact from the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is evident in the improved level of loan cure rates as trial modifications are converted to official loan modifications. Elevated levels of early-stage cures (loans 30-  to 60-days delinquent) indicate a higher rate of self-cures.Other key results from LPS’ latest Mortgage Monitor report include:Total U.S. loan delinquency rate:9.12 percentTotal U.S. foreclosure inventory rate:3.27 percentTotal U.S. non-current* loan rate:12.39 percentStates with most non-current* loans:Florida, Nevada, Mississippi, Arizona, Georgia, California, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Jersey and MichiganStates with fewest non-current* loans:North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Vermont, Colorado, Iowa and Minnesota*Non-current totals combine foreclosures and delinquencies as a percent of active loans in that state.Note: Totals based on LPS Applied Analytics’ loan-level database of mortgage assets.LPS manages the nation’s leading repository of loan-level residential mortgage data and performance information from approximately 40 million loans across the spectrum of credit products. The company’s research experts carefully analyze this data to produce dozens of charts and graphs that reflect trend and point-in-time observations for LPS’ monthly Mortgage Monitor Report.To review the full report, listen to a presentation of the report or access an executive summary, visithttp://www.lpsvcs.com/NEWSROOM/INDUSTRYDATA/Pages/default.aspx(link is external).About Lender Processing ServicesLender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) is a leading provider of integrated technology and services to the mortgage and real estate industries. LPS offers solutions that span the mortgage continuum, including lead generation, origination, servicing, workflow automation (Desktop), portfolio retention and default, augmented by the company’s award-winning customer support and professional services. Approximately 50 percent of all U.S. mortgages by dollar volume are serviced using LPS’ Mortgage Servicing Package (MSP). LPS also offers proprietary mortgage and real estate data and analytics for the mortgage and capital markets industries. For more information about LPS, visit www.lpsvcs.com(link is external).SOURCE Lender Processing Services, Inc. 4.29.2010. JACKSONVILLE, Fla., /PRNewswire-FirstCall/last_img read more


HUD awards Vermont $393,000 to promote jobs, independence for HUD-assisted living

Posted On Jan 1 2021 by

first_imgBurlington  Housing Authority$222,000 The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded Vermont more than $393 thousand in grants to help public and assisted housing residents find employment; connect with needed services; and help the elderly and people with disabilities maintain independent living.  The funding also allows the grantees to retain or hire ‘service coordinators’ or case workers to work directly with these HUD-assisted families to connect them to the supportive services that meet their individual needs. See chart below for Vermont entities receiving funding. VERMONT PH-FSS, ROSS-SC and MHSC GRANTSRecipient NameFunding Amount:   PH-FSSFunding Amount: ROSS-SC Mountaha, LLC (Saint Albans)$37,009 SUBTOTAL$134,477$222,000$37,009 Funding Amount: MHSCBrattleboro Housing Authority$69,000                                     Vermont Total: $393,486  Rutland Housing Authority$65,477 The funding announced today includes: Approximately $35 million through the Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency ‘ Service Coordinators Program (ROSS-SC) Program; approximately $15 million through the Public Housing ‘ Family Self-Sufficiency Program (PH-FSS); and $45 million through the Multifamily Housing Service Coordinator Program (MHSC).   ‘The service coordinators funded through these programs open doors that help HUD-assisted families find jobs, access services and assist the elderly and disabled to continue living as independently as possible in their homes,’ said Barbara Fields, HUD New England Regional Administrator. The ROSS-SC and PH-FSS programs allow grantees across the U.S. hire or retain service coordinators to work directly with residents to assess their needs to connect them with education, job training and placement programs and/or computer and financial literacy services available in their community to promote self-sufficiency.  Only public housing authorities are eligible for PH-FSS grants.  ROSS-SC grants can be awarded to public housing authorities, resident associations and non-profit organizations.  Grantees that receive ROSS-SC grants can also use the funding for this purpose, which allows the elderly or persons with disabilities who live in public housing to maintain their independent lifestyle. In a similar fashion, the MHSC program provides funding to owners of private housing developments under contract from HUD to house low-income individuals. These owners, or their management companies, hire or contract service coordinators with backgrounds in providing social services, especially to the elderly and people with disabilities, to assist their residents with special needs.   Combined, HUD estimates this funding will allow the grantees to hire new employees or retain approximately 650 service coordinators that are currently working with HUD-assisted individuals. The purpose of the ROSS-SC and PH-FSS programs is to encourage local, innovative strategies that link public housing assistance with public and private resources to enable participating families to increase earned income; reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance; and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency. Public housing residents who participate in the PH-FSS program sign a contract with the housing authority, which outlines their responsibilities towards completion of training and employment objectives over a five-year period.  For those families receiving welfare assistance, the housing authority must establish an interim goal that the participating family be independent from welfare assistance prior to the expiration of the contract.  During their participation, residents may create an escrow account funded with their increasing income, which they may use in a variety of ways, including continuing their education or making major purchase. HUD’s Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a long-standing resource for increasing economic security and self-sufficiency among participants.  HUD issued a new report earlier this year that evaluated the effectiveness of the FSS Program. Conducted from 2005 to 2009, the study shows the financial benefits are substantial for participants who remain and complete the program. This study is the second of a three-part series by HUD that evaluate the effects of the FSS program. The first study found individuals who participated in the FSS program fared better financially than those who did not enroll in the program. HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) will launch the third and final installment to complete the series this year. The MFSC program allows multifamily housing owners to assist elderly individuals and nonelderly people with disabilities living in HUD-assisted housing and in the surrounding area to obtain needed supportive services from the community, to enable them to continue living independently.  The grants are awarded for an initial three-year period to eligible owners of multifamily housing for the elderly or disabled, to enable them to hire and support a service coordinator.  The funds cover such costs as salary, fringe benefits, quality assurance, training, office space, equipment, and other related administrative expenses. A report HUD released in 2009 noted that aging in place reduces rates of premature institutionalization for low-income elderly residents, thus reducing the costs borne by taxpayers. HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and  transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov(link is external) and http://espanol.hud.gov(link is external).  You can also follow HUD New England on twitter @HUDNewEngland, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD(link is external), or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listservlast_img read more


Union Bankshares reports third quarter results, net income of $1.4 million

Posted On Jan 1 2021 by

first_imgUnion Bank,Union Bankshares, Inc (NASDAQ ‘ UNB) today announced Net Income for the third quarter 2011 of $1.4 million, or $0.32 per share, compared to $1.5 million, or $0.32 per share, for 2010.  Results for the third quarter of 2011 reflect a $0.01 earnings per share decrease due to direct acquisition expenses incurred during the quarter related to the May 27, 2011 purchase of branches in Grafton, Littleton and North Woodstock, New Hampshire.  There was an increase in the net interest income for the quarter of $405 thousand, or 8.6%, an increase in noninterest income of $455 thousand, or 29.2%, a decrease in the loan loss provision of $50 thousand, or 25.0% and a decrease in income tax expense of $64 thousand, or 14/1%.  These positive factors were offset by the direct acquisition expenses of $63 thousand and a $939 thousand, or 22.7% increase in other operating expenses.  Year to date earnings for 2011 were $3.5 million, or $0.78 per share, compared to $4.2 million, or $0.94 per share, for 2010.  Year to date direct costs associated with the acquisition of three New Hampshire branches were $421 thousand, or $.06 per share.Union Bank branches were unharmed by Hurricane Irene and there were few customers who suffered major damage.  The impact of a reduction in tourism traffic to Vermont as a result of the storm has not been quantified; but the majority of our service area was minimally damaged and our customers continue to be optimistic.Balance Sheet accounts increased substantially as the acquisition of the three New Hampshire branches added $67 million to deposits, $32 million to loans and another $5 million to various other asset categories.  Total loans grew $63 million to $429 million, or 17.1%, as of September 30, 2011 from $366 million as of September 30, 2010 due to the acquisition and internal growth in spite of the Company selling $50 million of residential mortgage loans to the secondary market during the first nine months of 2011 to manage long term interest rate risk.  Total deposits reached $472 million compared to the prior year of $377 million.  The Company had total capital of $42.6 million with a book value per share of $9.56 as of September 30, 2011.A quarterly cash dividend of $.25 per share was declared on October 19, 2011 to shareholders of record October 29, 2011, payable November 10, 2011.Union Bankshares, Inc., headquarted in Morrisville, Vermont is the bank holding company parent of Union Bank, which offers deposit, loan, trust, investment management and commercial banking services throughout northern Vermont and northwestern New Hampshire.  At September 30, 2011, the Company had $546 million in consolidated assets compared to $450 million at September 30, 2010.  The Company operates 13 banking offices, a loan center and 29 ATM facilities in Vermont; 4 branches and ATM facilities in New Hampshire.Union Bank has been helping people buy homes and local businesses create jobs in area communities since 1891.  Union Bank has earned an outstanding reputation for residential lending programs, is an SBA Preferred lender and has an outstanding Community Reinvestment Act rating.  Union is proud to be one of the few community banks serving Vermont and New Hampshire and maintains a strong commitment to traditional values.  Union is dedicated to providing genuine customer service and community support, donating tens of thousands of dollars to local nonprofits annually.  These values–combined with financial expertise, quality products and the latest technology–make Union Bank the premier choice for your banking services, both personal and commercial.  Member FDIC.  Equal Housing Lender.  Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements necessarily involve risks and uncertainties, and many factors could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward-looking statements. When we use any of the words ‘believes,’ ‘expects,’ ‘anticipates’ or similar expressions, we are making forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results and events to differ from those contemplated in the forward-looking statements: uncertainties associated with general economic conditions; changes in the interest rate environment; inflation; political, legislative or regulatory developments; acts of war or terrorism; the markets’ acceptance of and demand for the Company’s products and services; technological changes, including the impact of the internet on the Company’s business and on the financial services market place generally; the impact of competitive products and pricing; and dependence on third party suppliers. For further information, please refer to the Company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov(link is external).  Morrisville, VT October 19, 2011 ‘ Union Bankshares, Inclast_img read more


FT: Australia’s Biggest Utility Turns to Solar

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Jamie Smyth for the Financial Times:In a dusty mining town in the Australian outback, AGL Energy is plotting a green power revolution that could transform the country’s electricity sector.Australia’s biggest utility recently opened a solar farm in Broken Hill, the birthplace of global miner BHP Billiton. A sister AGL solar farm in Nyngan, about 500km away, is the biggest in the southern hemisphere. Together the A$440m ($325m) plants will produce 155 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 50,000 homes.“These projects were built on time and on budget — they are proof large-scale solar can be built in Australia,” says Brett Redman, AGL’s chief financial officer.AGL, which was founded in 1837, is undergoing a transformation. For a century the A$12bn utility has relied mainly on coal and gas to provide electricity to its customers, making it Australia’s largest polluter. But when Andrew Vesey, an American, took over as chief executive last year AGL began pursuing a future without coal — a controversial policy in a country with the world’s fourth-largest coal reserves.“We have recognised that our communities and our customers are expecting the world to decarbonise,” says Mr Redman. “We need to be part of the change.”AGL, which last year generated 87 per cent of electricity for its 3.7m customers from coal, is beginning a staggered phase out of coal-fired generation that will see the last of its three huge coal plants close by 2050.It is quitting gas production and exploration, has built the largest renewable energy generation portfolio in Australia and invested A$20m last month in Sunverge Energy, a company specialising in renewable battery technologies.However, AGL faces a similar conundrum to utilities in many developed countries: how to scrap its fossil fuel generation to make room for renewables while protecting its earnings?The dominance of coal generation in Australia, which accounts for 61 per cent of electricity production, and a government wedded to promoting the fossil fuel makes this transition even harder.“AGL’s newish chief executive is recognising the writing is on the wall for coal and trying to turn the ship, but it is like an ocean tanker and will take a long time to turn,” says Tim Buckley, director at the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.Mr Buckley says there are headwinds facing renewables in Australia: surplus electricity generating capacity; flat or declining demand; and continued policy uncertainty.Sun shines on AGL’s Australia solar energy plans FT: Australia’s Biggest Utility Turns to Solarlast_img read more


U.S. Coal Production, Deliveries Down; Central Appalachia Off by Half Since 2011

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Taylor Kuykendall and Hira Fawad for SNL:In 2015, Central Appalachia produced less than half of the amount of coal it was producing annually in 2011.West Virginia, the second largest coal-producing state in the nation, has seen production fall 15.4% year over year from 2014 to 2015 alone. Kentucky’s production drifted to 61.6 million tons, 20.5% lower than the year-ago period.In Wyoming, production was down just 5.0% year-over-year. However, signs are beginning to point to dramatic declines in the Powder River Basin as well. While production has fallen 13.4% in the Powder River Basin since 2011, early MSHA data shows the region’s top mine, North Antelope Rochelle, trimmed production by about one-third in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the year-ago period.An analysis of SNL Energy coal delivery data showed that most power plants in the U.S. received a typical delivery spike in the third-quarter after a sharp slump in deliveries in the first half of the year. However, deliveries fell sharply again in the back half of 2015.Persistently low natural gas prices likely compounded what ended up being a relatively mild winter. Several producers had indicated they were hoping a cold winter could drive utility demand or at least diminish their stockpiles, a hope that never materialized in 2015.A trend toward higher utilization of natural gas power generation is projected to continue. The U.S. government is projecting 2016 will be the first year natural gas overtakes coal as the primary source of U.S. generation after taking the top fuel on a monthly basis multiple times in 2015.Those looking for hope for U.S. coal overseas may also be disappointed. Total U.S. coal exports have fallen from a near-term peak of 43.5 million tons of coal in the second quarter of 2012 to 24.3 million tons of coal by the fourth quarter of 2015 — a decline of 44.1%.Full article ($): Central Appalachia coal production cut in half in past 5 years U.S. Coal Production, Deliveries Down; Central Appalachia Off by Half Since 2011last_img read more


Maryland-based electricity-development company: Subsidies are the ‘wrong way to go’

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享RTO Insider:Competitive Power Ventures, which last week celebrated the opening of its new 805-MW combined cycle gas-fired power plant in Oxford, Conn., would like to build more gas plants. But it said it is wary of subsidized competitors.The company announced Thursday that is has begun selling power in ISO-NE from its Towantic Energy Center, which uses two GE Power 7HA.01 combined cycle, dual-fuel turbines, one of the most efficient designs in the world, with up to 64% efficiency.The plant represents the 26th HA unit to go online, GE said. The HA series is air-cooled, which CPV says “saves as much as 90% of the water used by similar” steam-cooled designs. Poor sales of its previous steam-cooled H-class turbines prompted GE to switch to condensed air, which allows for a simpler configuration that is not only more efficient but more economic to construct as well, the company says.The turbines’ efficiency will give Towantic an advantage in ISO-NE’s energy market, said Tom Rumsey, CPV senior vice president of external and regulatory affairs. With no load growth in New England, new plants must be more efficient to be profitable, he said.Rumsey said the company expects the plant to be a baseload resource, and it isn’t worried about there being gas shortages for the plant because it can also burn ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel. In the 2014 polar vortex and this year’s bomb cyclone events, “it wasn’t that you couldn’t get gas. It was that gas was so expensive,” he said.CPV is concerned, however, about state-subsidized resources disrupting the markets, Rumsey said. The company is looking to build more gas plants in New York, Illinois and New Jersey, all of which have enacted zero-emission credit programs for at-risk nuclear plants. They “represent the biggest challenge to the competitive markets since they began,” Rumsey said. “Accommodating these resources is the wrong way to go.”More: CPV: Subsidies, not gas fears, challenge for new plants Maryland-based electricity-development company: Subsidies are the ‘wrong way to go’last_img read more


Cost of Dominion’s delayed Atlantic Coast Pipeline rises to $8 billion

Posted On Dec 31 2020 by

first_imgCost of Dominion’s delayed Atlantic Coast Pipeline rises to $8 billion FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Platts:Southern Company is out as an equity partner in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline after majority owner Dominion Energy agreed to buy its stake, amid ballooning costs and legal challenges that have stalled the 1.5 Bcf/d US Northeast natural gas project.Dominion disclosed the new ownership structure Tuesday as it released financial results for the final three months of 2019. It will own 53% and Duke Energy will own 47%, with Dominion acquiring Southern’s 5% stake in the pipeline and gas transmission assets, which include an interest in a small LNG project in Florida, for $175 million. Southern will remain an anchor shipper on Atlantic Coast Pipeline.The 600-mile pipeline, which would run through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, moving Appalachian Basin gas to Mid-Atlantic markets, is now expected to cost approximately $8 billion, slightly above the high end of Dominion’s previous guidance range of $7.3 billion to $7.8 billion. And while Dominion expressed confidence it will eventually finish the pipeline; it isn’t talking about the pipeline’s growth potential in the same way it has before.Assuming everything goes as Dominion hopes, the operator is maintaining its target of completing construction by the end of 2021 and finishing commissioning in early 2022. At the time the operator filed its permit application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in September 2015, it was estimated that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would enter service by November 1, 2018, at a total cost of $5.1 billion.With the price tag having soared, talks continue with shippers to revise rates to reallocate how costs for the pipeline are shared, Dominion said. An agreement is expected to be formalized in the coming weeks, CFO James Chapman said on the investor conference call.[Harry Weber]More: Dominion agrees to buy Southern stake in Atlantic Coast Pipeline as project costs soarlast_img read more