“If you build it, they will come,” was a plea baseball’s “Shoeless Joe” Jackson whispered to Kevin Costner in the movie, “Field of Dreams”.The phrase is being dusted off by Brattleboro, Vermont area natives David and Chris McCauley, who are merging the Raymond S. Roberts autodealership with Auto Mall on Putney Road to create a General Motors facility housing all five GM franchises.It is apt in the historic sense and draws parallels with the moviebecause it beckons customers of the age-old R.S. Roberts dealership tojoin the new company in a modern age of auto retailing.On October 18th The New Auto Mall will include Chevrolet, Pontiac,Buick, GMC, Cadillac, and Chevy Medium Duty Trucks, along with thebeginnings of a new, stand-alone service facility, boasted to be thelargest and most modern in the region. This merger creates one of only afew full product GM dealerships in the United States, according to WilliamJ. Corbeil, Executive Manager of the Auto Mall.”We are excited about the opportunity of having five franchises under oneroof, providing sales, financing, service, parts, body shop and a completecommercial vehicle department. The new store will be the largestdealership in the Tri-State area offering more services and having theability to super serve our customers like no other facility in theregion,” Corbeil said.Corbeil said a party and caravan parade through downtown Brattleboro isplanned for Saturday, October 19th.”There will be a lot of food, give-a-ways and that sort of thing, but ourbiggest message is that we want past and present customers to be involvedin the festivities.”In early November, construction begins on an addition to a buildingacross Technology Drive to house the new parts, service and accessorydepartments. Unique in its concept, the plans call for a new car showroomalong side the customer lounge where vehicles can be “dressed up” withaccessories and after market parts.Phase two, in the early spring of 2003, calls for extensivemodifications to the existing Auto Mall facility at 800 Putney Road. Itwill be restructured to triple the existing showroom area, and add acustomer lounge and offices. A new GM Quick Lube Plus Center will belocated there as well.Corbeil said many of the updates comply with General Motor’s “Image 21″concept, in effect re-facing the entire store.Phase three will culminate in early summer with a large final grandopening to the public.A project creating a new Walgreen’s store at the R. S. Roberts locationon Canal Street is under way.
Enzes, Inc. unveils Enhanced Performance” a preventative maintenance program for small and medium businesses that does more than just provide blocks of support hours. Enhanced Performance” is a program of specific maintenance items customized to fit the specific needs of the individual customer.Enhanced Performance is the result of responding and reacting to our customers needs and realizing that was not the most cost effective solution for todays businesses said Enzes, Inc. founder and president Eric Smith. We developed Enhanced Performance to be proactive in nature and customized to fit each network individually. That way we actually save our customers money and help them become more efficient.Enhanced Performance” reduces the cost of PC and network ownership by increasing the lifespan of the components and reducing the amount of downtime by minimizing software and hardware failure. Additionally, businesses will see an increase in productivity by reducing the amount of employee downtime that is caused by hardware or software failures.A typical PC infected with a virus or spyware could require as much as two hours of support time to clean it. Add to that the time that the PC is down while waiting for the technician to arrive and the loss of productivity of that employee and the costs can become staggering. If that two hours was spent maintaining that same PC with Enhanced Performance” you would have saved the cost of lost time and productivity.Enzes, Inc. was founded in 2001 to provide sales and service in the networking segment of information technology to small businesses. Enzes offices are located in Waterbury, VT and can be reached by phone at (802) 244-1115 or email email@example.com(link sends e-mail).
Do you need additional information technology education to move up the career ladder? Have some IT experience but need more to land a job? Through a new federal grant, the Vermont Information Technology Center may be able to help.Vermonters are invited to apply for high-tech training and substantial tuition assistance from the Governors IT Training Initiative, which is a collaborative effort of the Vermont Information Technology Center (VITC), Champlain College, the Vermont Department of Labor and the Human Resources Investment Council. It is funded by the Presidents High Growth Job Training Initiative in the U.S. Department of Labor.For qualified employed individuals, up to 70 percent of tuition costs for an IT professional certificate–available on campus in Burlington or online from anywhere in Vermont–will be covered under the grant. Additional tuition assistance may be available through a student’s employer. For qualified unemployed and dislocated individuals, 100 percent of tuition costs will be covered under the grant.Applicants can choose from the following professional certificate programs at Champlain College: Computer Networking; Computer & Digital Forensics*; e-Business Management*; Foundations of Network Design*; Global Networks & Telecommunications*; Information Security*; Internet; Network Administration; Java Development*; Managing through Information Technology*; Multimedia & Graphic Design; Software Development*; Web Production*; Web Programming*; Website Development & Management*; and Wide Are Network Management. Those programs with an asterisk are available both on campus and online. Tuition assistance is not available to current Champlain College students.In order to maintain a competitive edge and operate more efficiently, employers want computer specialists who are knowledgeable about the latest technologies and are able to apply them to meet the needs of businesses. They require IT professionals who can use technology to communicate with employees, clients and consumers, said VITC director Dave Binch.Binch noted that as companies adopt more sophisticated and complex information technology, the U.S. Department of Labor expects IT employment to grow by 36 percent by 2012. In that same time period, Vermont labor market projections indicate that there will be more than 4,500 people employed as software engineers, network systems and data communication analysts, and computer support specialists.Champlain College’s professional certificates offer industry-recognized, concentrated skills training for incumbent IT workers who need to increase their occupational expertise, or for job seekers in need of the quickest route to new career opportunities in IT. Students take between eight and 24 months to complete a certificate, depending on factors such as the number of courses taken per semester, number of courses required per program, prerequisite courses required, or the availability of required courses.Interested applicants can contact VITC at (802) 865-6402 to learn more about the Governors IT Training Initiative grant program. Champlain College’s spring semester starts January 9.
Green Mountain Power is taking an important step in its exploration of wind power in Lowell, Vermont, by filing with the Vermont Public Service Board for a permit to measure the wind resource on a portion of the Lowell Mountain range. Known as Kingdom Community Wind, the project would be owned by Green Mountain Power and would provide electricity to customers of Green Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Cooperative.”We have spent months determining whether building a wind plant in Lowell will help us provide power to our customers, and hopefully Vermont Electric Cooperative customers, that is low cost, low carbon and reliable. After meeting with local communities and researching environmental considerations, we are ready to move forward with gathering additional information about the quality of wind in the area,” said Mary Powell, president and chief executive officer of Green Mountain Power.Meteorological stations are proposed at three separate locations in order to get sufficient wind data to analyze the feasibility of the site. Although measurement towers were installed in 2003, additional wind data will make it possible to analyze the economics of installing wind turbines at the site. Two of the measurement station towers will be over 200 feet tall and will therefore require FAA approved lights for airline safety. The towers will be located on land owned by Moose Mountain Forestry, a local timber harvesting landowner, and Wind Blown Energy.In January, the Lowell Selectboard expressed support for the installation of the wind measurement towers, saying, “Your project sounds exciting and important for Vermont’s energy future, and could potentially offer many benefits to our community.”The Lowell mountain site could potentially produce as much as 50 megawatts of electricity with the installation of approximately twenty 2.5-megawatt turbines. Wind speed data obtained through the wind resource measurement program will help inform the number and size of the wind turbines that would operate most efficiently on the site. The ultimate number of turbines installed will depend on a combination of wind quality and environmental considerations. The site could potentially provide enough locally-generated, carbon-free renewable electricity to meet the annual needs of up to 20,000 average Vermont households.Green Mountain Power recently signed an easement agreement with Moose Mountain Forestry of Lowell. If the Company proceeds, Green Mountain Power would own and operate the generating plant to provide power for its customers and it would sell a portion of the electricity to the Vermont Electric Cooperative.”We welcome the opportunity to work with Green Mountain Power on this project as our members have expressed interest in local renewable generation,” said David Hallquist, chief executive officer of the Vermont Electric Cooperative. “Green Mountain Power has years of experience owning and operating the Searsburg Wind Power facility, which gives our members additional confidence in the project,” he added.Trip Wileman, owner of Moose Mountain Forestry and the property, is pleased with the direction the project is taking. He said, “It is time for me to go back to logging and forestry management and leave wind farm development to the utilities. Not only are they better able to develop a project of this caliber, but owning the generation facility also enables them to get the best deal possible for their customers.”Utility ownership of renewable generation offers the advantage of more stable pricing at lower costs than what the utility would purchase if owned by other investors. “Part of the appeal of this project is that having Vermont owners will give us the opportunity to deliver cost effective renewable energy to Vermonters for generations to come,” said Ms. Powell.Green Mountain Power and VEC officials have been and will continue to be meeting with local residents and town officials to make sure the community understands all aspects of the project. Information is available at the project’s website, www.kingdomcommunitywind.com(link is external).About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external)) transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont’s population. It serves more than 200,000 people and businesses.Source: GMP. COLCHESTER, VT–(Marketwire – August 10, 2009) –
Standing alongside Vermonters struggling with rising gas prices, Representative Peter Welch on Monday announced three pieces of legislation to help calm rising prices in the short term and combat energy market speculation in the long term. Gas prices in Vermont are up nearly one dollar since September, hitting $3.74 in parts of the state. At the Montpelier City Public Works Department, Welch was joined by Cabot Cheese Warehouse and Distribution Manager Louie Quintin, owner of Middlesex Electric Donald Pierce and Montpelier City Manager Bill Fraser, all of whom are trying to absorb rising gas prices into tight budgets. The legislative initiatives would eliminate tax loopholes that encourage energy market speculation, release fuel from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to calm rising prices and set criminal penalties for those found to be engaging in price gouging. ‘As rising gas prices hit Vermonters at the pump and threaten a fragile economic recovery, we must use every tool we can to ease the burden,’ said Welch. ‘These common sense bills will provide much-needed relief in the short term and reduce the ability of speculators to drive up prices in the long term. With so many families and businesses struggling to get by in a down economy, it’s imperative that Congress and the President take action.’‘Rising fuel prices are affecting everyone,’ said Judy Sullivan, a constituent from Fairfax who recently contacted Welch about rising gas prices. ‘I commute 60 miles a day for work and $3.70 a gallon gas really eats up the budget quickly. The bottom line is that after paying to heat the house and fill my car’s tank, there really isn’t room left for much else.’Monday’s announcement marks Welch’s most recent efforts to combat rising gas prices. Last month, Welch wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to consider using the nation’s oil reserves to provide relief for working families and small businesses. The President has indicated he is considering tapping the reserves. Welch announced the following legislation Monday: The STOP ActThe Stop Tax-breaks for Oil Profiteering ACT would close a tax loophole that encourages speculation and distorts the normal supply-demand balance of the market. Under current law, financial speculators ‘ such as hedge funds ‘ pay an overall tax of 23% on profits and losses in commodities markets, while actual commercial participants ‘ such as farmers, fuel dealers or businesses ‘ pay a rate of 35%. The Enhanced SPR Act:The Enhanced Strategic Petroleum Reserve Act would direct the Department of Energy to release at least 30 million barrels of oil from the nation’s oil reserves, or about 5 percent of the current total volume. Such action has had a history of driving down prices in the past. Later on, the proceeds from the sale would be used to gradually acquire refined petroleum product, such as gasoline or diesel fuel over the next five years. Possessing refined products would ensure the effectiveness of the reserves, even in the event of a refinery outage. The Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act:The Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act would give the Federal Trade Commission the authority to investigate and punish companies that artificially inflate the price of energy. The bill sets criminal penalties for price gouging, and permits states to bring lawsuits against wholesalers or retailers who engage in gouging.Source: Welch’s office. 3.14.2011 # # #
The Clear Case for Microgrid Development in Puerto Rico FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享MicroGridKnowledge.com:With the focus now on survival, most Puerto Ricans are probably not thinking about long-term energy planning. But “there is a huge opportunity, one or two years out, for building the grid in a more sustainable way,” said Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.Kunkel is deeply familiar with Puerto Rico’s power woes, which began long before the hurricane. Brought to the island two years ago to help an environmental organization, she has been focused on utility rate and resource planning issues.Rebuilding will not be easy, she warned. The utility was besieged by debt prior to the hurricane and has an old-school grid, heavily reliant on aging, oil-fired power plants.“It was a horrible lump for them that it was the worse hurricane since 1928. That would have done damage to the best of grids,” Kunkel said.Besides lacking capital, Puerto Rico’s electricity industry struggled under competing visions for the future even before the storm, according to Kunkel. PREPA wanted to retain a centralized grid, but switch power plants from oil to liquified natural gas (LNG). Since the island has no LNG, the utility sought permission to build a terminal so that it could import the fuel.Others like Kunkel advocated for more decentralization and renewable energy to strengthen the system.No decision had been made on the LNG terminal before Hurricane Maria. Kunkel pointed out that had it been built, chances are it may have been damaged by the storm.“Hurricane Maria shows the dangers of the path PREPA was trying to go down,” she said. “The frustrating thing to me is that it’s unreasonable to say they didn’t see this coming. It is a tropical island that was in the path of hurricanes and had a decrepit grid running on a shoe string. We’re seeing the consequences of that.”But now Puerto Rico could remake itself into “the poster child for distributed energy,” she said.“If you’re talking about building a grid from scratch, I don’t know why you wouldn’t rebuild it in a much more decentralized way,” she said. “We have the technology now to do it. You certainly can set it up in a way where hospitals and emergency centers would not go dark and would not be relying on diesel fuel in an emergency. Generators are good backup, but only when they do not run out of fuel.”Microgrids typically have more than one form of generation. On a sunny island, that’s likely to include solar and batteries, along with backup generators.More: The Sky Fell in Puerto Rico. The Microgrid Argument is not Chicken Little
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The Electric Reliability Council of Texas set a new wind output record of 17,920 MW on Monday afternoon as a cold front was moving into the area with windy conditions.The new output wind record was set at 3:32 pm CST Monday and surpassed the previous record of 17,542 MW set in February, by more than 2%, according to ERCOT Wind Integration Report.High temperatures in Dallas reached the mid 40s degrees Monday, as much as 22 degrees below normal, while lows fell near the freezing point, as much as 15 degrees below normal, according to CustomWeather data.When Monday’s record was set, wind generation accounted for 40.49% of system-wide demand, which was 44,258 MW at the time, according to ERCOT data. The wind penetration record stands at 54.22%, reached October 27.Real-time prices in West Hub stayed below $10/MWh for three hours ending 6:15 am before the morning load ramp up, and stayed slightly above $10/MWh before falling below again around noon through 4:30 pm.More ($): ERCOT sets record wind output of 17,920 MW amid wintry weather Texas sets another wind power record
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ElNeuvoDia.com:Four senior officials of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) must appear in court and explain why the public corporation is allegedly refusing to provide two nonprofit organizations with information about the privatization process and the power grid.That is what San Juan Superior Court Judge Anthony Cuevas ruled. Cuevas -who presided over a follow-up hearing to the “mandamus action” that CAMBIO and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) filed last May “to obtain information about the electric power utility’s (PREPA’s) system and the ongoing privatization process.”Astrid Rodríguez (Legal Consultant), engineer Hiram Medero (Chief Strategy and Information Officer), engineer Efran Paredes (Planning and Environmental Protection Director) and Fernando Padilla (Project Management Director) are the four PREPA officials called to appear at a new hearing on September 26, with a follow-up hearing on September 30.“The Authority is trying to make it appear that there have been misinterpretations in our requests and that they are willing to provide the documents, but that is not the real experience. The real experience has been that we have to insist that the documents do exist for them to provide us those documents. The requests have been clear,” said CAMBIO co-founder and president Ingrid Vila.She added that PREPA “has refused” to provide them with documents that exist – or that should exist – invoking confidentiality clauses that, in her opinion, do not apply. Judge Cuevas ordered CAMBIO and IEEFA to present, on or before next Thursday, a list of the information that PREPA allegedly owes them.Rodríguez confirmed that the organizations insisted on “stating there is information that PREPA has not provided.” “However, they did not specify what information was missing,” she said.More: PREPA officials will be held accountable Judge orders Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority officials to explain privatization plans
New steelmaking technology could pose major threat to future demand for metallurgical coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:German manufacturing giant Thyssenkrupp has completed a successful, first-of-its-kind demonstration of running a steel furnace completely on hydrogen, a development that is likely to further dent the future prospects for the global coal industry.The company successfully demonstrated the ability for hydrogen to be used to fuel a steel blast furnace, and Thyssenkrupp sees the achievement as the first step towards transitioning the manufacturing industry towards zero-emissions steel production. The use of hydrogen to fuel the blast furnaces in steel production also provides a pathway for using renewable hydrogen, potentially eliminating the dependence of the industry on coal.“Today is a groundbreaking day for the steel industry,” chairman of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe Premal Desai told Renew Economy in an interview in Sydney. “We are doing pioneering work here. The use of hydrogen is the key lever for climate-neutral steel production. Today’s test is another step in the transformation of our production, which will culminate in green steel.As part of the demonstration conducted in its ‘furnace 9’, Thyssenkrupp fed hydrogen into one of 28 tuyeres, or nozzles, that otherwise supply coal into the blast furnace. Following the successful trial, Thyssenkrupp plans to scale up the injection to all 28 tuyeres within the furnace and aims to eventually run at least three furnaces completely on hydrogen by 2023.Thyssenkrupp is one of the world’s largest steel producers and produces around 12 million tonnes of crude steel annually. The company has committed to achieving a 30 per cent reduction in the company’s emissions by 2030. The company is also aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050.It’s a huge development in the use of zero-emissions and renewable energy supplies in the manufacture of industrial products like steel and presents a major threat to the coal industry. In conventional blast furnaces around 300 kilograms of coking coal and 200 kilograms of pulverised coal are used in the production of a tonne of pig iron.More: Another nail in coal’s coffin? German steel furnace runs on renewable hydrogen in world first
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Contura Energy Inc. is speeding up the exit of its thermal coal operations to focus on metallurgical coal as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the broader coal sector.The company recorded a second-quarter net loss of $238.3 million, or a loss of $13.02 per share, down year over year from a net profit of $24.3 million, or $1.25 per share. The company also noted a noncash asset impairment charge of $162 million. Contura, which completed its exit of the Powder River Basin earlier this year, continues to streamline operations and focus on coal used by steelmakers rather than power generators.“We recognize that the world is transitioning toward an economy that relies less on fossil fuels for power generation, and we therefore have accelerated our strategic exit from thermal coal mining,” CEO David Stetson said during an Aug. 7 earnings call. “To put a finer point on our strategic direction for the next couple of years, I expect our portfolio optimization initiatives … will make us the leading pure-play met coal company by the end of 2022.”Stetson said the transition is well underway and that once the company’s portfolio is optimized, Contura expects to be able to ship up to 14 million tons of metallurgical coal annually, with less than 1 million tons of thermal coal shipments per year.Earlier in the year, the company announced it was shortening supply agreements for coal from its Cumberland mine and would not invest in a new impoundment project at the site. Contura will continue to market the Pennsylvania thermal coal mine for sale until the end of 2022, when its customer contracts expire, and will cease production if it does not find a buyer.The company also said it plans to idle its Kielty mine and the Delbarton prep plant in West Virginia due to uneconomic pricing and cost structures. The mine is expected to cease production in the next six weeks. At the same time, the company has made progress on three of its new metallurgical coal mining operations, Stetson noted.[Taylor Kuykendall]More ($): Contura accelerates exit from thermal coal due to global pivot from fossil fuels U.S. miner Contura Energy looks to accelerate exit from thermal coal market