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New 800-Mile Midwestern Power Line Expands U.S. Wind Market

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Midwest Energy News:Finished in late September after more than a decade of planning and construction, the 800-mile-long CapX2020 transmission project has prompted more than 3,600 megawatts of clean energy project proposals, according to Xcel Energy.While not all the proposals are likely to be approved by regulators, the flood of applications represents the tangible impact of CapX2020 in moving electrons from windier parts of the Midwest to dense population centers to the east.“There’s a high preponderance of generators in the interconnection queues which are wind developers, with some solar, too,” said Teresa Mogensen, senior vice president for transmission at Xcel Energy, the utility which, along with Great River Energy, led the development.A recently completed 70-mile stretch of CapX in South Dakota has resulted in proposals for nine wind projects and one natural gas plant together totaling more than 2,000 MW. One of those is the largest wind project in South Dakota’s history, Xcel Energy’s 600 MW Crown Ridge.Developers have submitted plans for 10 wind projects totaling 1,900 MW on another segment from Brookings, South Dakota to Hampton, Minnesota. More projects are expected to come from North Dakota, too.The high level of interest does not surprise Wind on The Wires executive director Beth Soholt, an early supporter of CapX.“It’s a big deal,” she said. “It’s created a road to market for wind, allowed benefits to accrue to communities where wind can be developed.”The line allows greater flexibility to bring large volumes of wind energy onto the grid when it is available, a key to incorporating more renewable energy into the marketplace, she added.If the 3,600 MW of wind projects currently proposed get built, royalty payments to landowners will top $15 million annually, added Xcel Energy’s Tim Carlsgaard.The more than $2 billion project stands as one of the largest investments in energy infrastructure in Minnesota history, with 5,000 transmission structures on the six sections of the project.What started out as a project to improve the grid’s reliability and improve the Upper Midwest’s economic stability has created a clean energy superhighway, Mogensen said.It was one of the first “multi-value projects,” or MVPs, to receive approval from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO. That designation allowed some of the costs of several CapX lines to be spread among MISO’s footprint, which extends throughout the Midwest, Manitoba, and parts of the South. MVPs in other states have similarly been credited for facilitating new wind development.“By adding these CapX lines we’ve multiplied the network capacity of what used to be there both because we have more lines and higher capacity,” Mogensen said. “It’s like putting in a highway where before you just had local roads. You can carry a lot more traffic a lot farther and a lot faster on that freeway structure … we can move a lot more power from west to east because of that.”As outlined in a University of Minnesota report sponsored by CapX and written by researchers at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the transmission project was jumpstarted by federal and state legislation.In 1999 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order calling for states to create regional transmission plans.Second, new renewable energy projects began to come online, especially wind, to meet renewable portfolio standards of Minnesota and other Midwest states.Third, there was a sense among utility executives that the transmission grid, which had not been improved since the 1970s, was due for an expansion.More: Utilities say CapX2020 transmission project prompting wind energy growth New 800-Mile Midwestern Power Line Expands U.S. Wind Marketlast_img read more

Angels’ top prospect Jo Adell tabbed for Arizona Fall League

first_img Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Simmons returned just in time to wear a Players’ Weekend jersey with his nickname, Simba. In past years he had been advised that there might be some copyright issues with the Lion King, so he used “Simon” instead. This year, Simmons said “they gave me the OK, so I’m going with it.”ALSORelief pitcher Keynan Middleton, whose rehab outing on Wednesday night was also rained out, was scheduled to pitch on Friday and Sunday, Ausmus said. Middleton is almost finished with his rehab from Tommy John surgery. …Catcher Kevan Smith, who is out with back spasms, worked out on the field and could be activated within a day or two, Ausmus said. …The Angels designated Wilfredo Tovar for assignment to create a spot for Simmons on the 25-man roster.UP NEXTAngels (LHP Dillon Peters, 3-1, 3.92 ERA) at Astros (RHP Wade Miley, 12-4, 3.18), Saturday, 4:10 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield center_img Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter HOUSTON — Whether or not Jo Adell gets a shot to play in the majors in September, he’s still going to experience a new level.Adell was selected to play in the Arizona Fall League, which will allow the Angels’ top prospect to hit against many other top pitching prospects in the game’s premier showcase of minor league talent.Adell, who is considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball, will likely be the headline prospect for the entire league. The AFL announced via Twitter that Adell would be in the league, but the rest of the league’s participants have not been released yet.Adell will play for the Mesa Solar Sox, whose season starts Sept. 18 and runs through early November. Adell, 20, has hit .285 with 10 home runs and an .842 OPS this season, playing at Class-A, Double-A and Triple-A. Since moving to Triple-A, he has hit .241 in 18 games. His first two homers at Triple-A were both erased when the game was called because of rain before it became official on Wednesday.SIMMONS RETURNSShortstop Andrelton Simmons was activated from the injured list after being out with a sprained ankle and bone bruise for about three weeks.Simmons faced live pitching in a simulated game setting, but he did not play any minor league games in his rehab.Simmons was out earlier this season with a sprained ankle, and he returned quicker than expected. He said on Friday that he doesn’t believe he came back too early the first time.“I wouldn’t do it any different,” Simmons said. “It’s unfortunate that I got hurt again, but it is what it is. Things happen.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

About Town

first_imgMIDDLETOWNChangeALife Uganda will host a music and charity festival from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at Knightsbridge Farm, 181 Whipperwill Valley Road, off Chapel Hill Road.The festival celebrates the many people who helped the nonprofit open a health clinic, expand a school, sponsor 280 children, change 80 lives through microfinance, and drill for water – and find it!ChangeALife Uganda founder Father Lawrence Kizito Kimbowa will provide the inspiration with an update on how “hand in hand” they are empowering the poor. One of the organization’s goals is to complete the water project, which needs $30,000 for the pipework that will link the health clinic and school to the well which has been built by ChangeALife Uganda.The event will feature local musicians Sam Sims, Ardvark Smile, NY5, and other special guests, as well as food, beverages, pony rides, soccer, African dancing and s’mores under the stars.Tickets are $50 per adult or $20 per student and can be purchased online at www.changealifeuganda.org, on the ChangeALife Uganda Facebook page or at the event.ChangeALife Uganda is a nonprofit, nondenominational 501c3 tax-exempt organization dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned and disadvantaged children and their families in Uganda through quality education and health care. ChangeA Life currently helps children and their families in Nabbingo and Migyera, Uganda.Its focus is to change the lives of disadvantaged children through education and to prepare them to be agents of Change – for their families and for their country – to continue the cycle of giving back so others can also benefit. RED BANKRed Bank Regional High School (RBR) will kick off its 2013 athletic season with its annual “Buc Backer Bash” to be held 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Knights of Columbus, 200 Fair Haven Road in Fair Haven.Tickets are $30. The event will feature lively music, sports tournament fun, food and nominally priced drinks. Participants must be age 21 or older.The event is sponsored by the RBR Booster Club with all proceeds to directly benefit all RBR athletics.For more information and to order tickets, contact Judy Bonanno at 732-530-4780 or send checks to 11 Samara Drive, Shrewsbury, NJ, 07702, or email [email protected] FAIR HAVENThe Garden Club of Fair Haven will be meeting at noon, Wednesday, Sept. 4, at the Fair Haven Youth Center on Fisk Street. The guest speaker will be Bruce Crawford, director of Rutgers Gardens who will speak about the art of pruning.In October, the club will hold its small standard flower show, featuring member-grown horticulture and floral design exhibits.The organization meets monthly on the first Wednesday of each month.Those interested in learning more about horticulture, gardening and flower arranging, beautifying the town and serving the community to foster interest in gardening are welcome to contact membership chair, Debbie Harris at 732-741-3506 or email [email protected] ATLANTIC HIGHLANDSThe Atlantic Highlands Historical Society will hold its 36th annual Outdoor Flea Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Atlantic Highlands Marina, located off First Avenue. The rain date is Sept. 14.There will be more than a 100 vendors offering a variety of antiques and collectibles, crafts and new and second time around items. An eclectic array of bargains can always be found at the society’s Treasures Or Table, as well as a variety of food and baked goods.Those interested in securing a space at the flea market or donating something for the sale can contact Bette at 732-291-4313 or Carmen at 732-291-9337.Arrangements for donations to be picked up can be made or items can be dropped at the historical society’s table on the day of the market. All proceeds are used for the restoration of the society’s Strauss Mansion as well as educational programs throughout the year. * * * * *Three sessions of Yoga for Beginners will be held beginning 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Atlantic Highlands branch of the Monmouth County Library.Attendees are asked to bring a mat. Those registering must be at least 18 years old.Registration for the free program is required and may be completed by visiting the library at 100 First Ave. or calling 732-291-1956.last_img read more

Taking the plunge for our rhinos

first_imgSince the start of 2012, a shocking 281 rhinos have been killed by poachers in South Africa.(Image: Hartford House) South African celebrities will journey to Rustenburg to skydive in the name of rhinos.(Image: Skydive Robertson) Shamwari Game Reserve opened the Ian Player Rhino Awareness Centre in early June this year, with Player as a guest of honour.(Image: The Wilderness Foundation)MEDIA CONTACTS • The African Conservation Trust+27 33 342 2844RELATED ARTICLES• Musos pitch in to save rhinos• Team South Africa gets rhino mascot• New Kenyan home for black rhinos• Rhinos to get revenge on poachersCadine PillayAn anti-poaching campaign will see South African television stars jumping out of a plane in the North West town of Rustenburg on the last weekend of July. The aim is to raise R10-million (US$1.2-million) for the protection of the country’s rhinos.Some cast members of popular series The Wild, including Michelle Bradshaw, Faye Peters and Ty Keogh, will participate, along with evergreen rock band WONDERBoom’s frontman Cito.Since the start of 2012, a shocking 281 rhinos have been killed by poachers in South Africa. The hardest hit regions are the Kruger National Park (164), Limpopo (40), KwaZulu-Natal (30) and the North West (26).Skydive for Rhinos is a year-long campaign by the African Conservation Trust that aims to improve anti-poaching strategies across the country. All profits from skydiving will be donated to the trust. In a few days’ time, 61 people will take their first dive in the name of rhinos. They will be joined by 30 members of the skydiving community.“When I was approached a little while ago to get involved with the project, I jumped at the chance.” said Cito.  “I’ve always had a deep love and respect for rhinos and am appalled at the ongoing desecration of this incredible creature.”While the government has criminalised poaching, he added, they are ineffective in enforcing the laws, and this is where action should come from.Bradshaw shares his sentiments: “A beast that has survived 50-million years is about to be eradicated by human greed, leaving us bereft of an icon of Africa.“This is an assault on everything I hold dear,” she said.Ordinary people doing extraordinary thingsThe campaign, according to its organisers, is based on the ideal of ordinary people doing something extraordinary to protect the country’s rhino population and encourages even the business community to get involved.“I believe we can become a lot more pro-active by getting involved with wonderful organisations and projects that are doing their best to respond to the rhino poaching crisis,” said Cito.“I am an adrenalin junkie, and now I will link two of my passions together – skydiving and rhinos – what a combination! I can’t wait!”After the first run on 28 and 29 July, the campaign moves to KwaZulu-Natal in August and then on to Port Elizabeth for the first weekend of September. It concludes in the Western Cape on World Rhino Day, 22 September.By the end, 448 people will have dived – one for every rhino killed by poachers during 2011.Members of the public who would like to take part in the skydiving campaign can contact the African Conservation Trust on +27 33 342 2844.Ian Player Rhino Awareness CentreWhile celebrities take to the skies to show their support, another effort is taking shape on the grounds of Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape town of Port Elizabeth, thanks to the hard work of Dr Ian Player, a veteran in conservation circles and founder of the Wilderness Foundation.Shamwari opened the Ian Player Rhino Awareness Centre in early June this year, where Player was a guest of honour.The centre, which is open only for Shamwari guests, educates them about the growing problem of rhino poaching. It also complements the Born Free Foundation, which has a rehabilitation centre at the reserve.The awareness centre was launched as part of the Forever Wild campaign, which was started in 2011. The campaign aims to gather support from the public and various stakeholders to help fight rhino poaching in South Africa and save the rhino from extinction.“It is only through a global campaign and political will that we can save this remnant of the dinosaur age – the rhino,” said Player.Guests staying at the Shamwari game lodges donate R100 ($12) per person and in return receive a special lower rate for each night’s stay. In turn Shamwari will donate R500 ($60) to the Wilderness Foundation for every room night sold.The micro-chipping revolutionThe opening of the centre coincided with a rhino micro-chipping and DNA capturing exercise led by veterinarian Dr Johan Joubert.The animals were darted for the collection of DNA samples and ear notching for easy identification. DNA samples were then taken from the tail hair and horns. Guests got involved in collecting the samples, measuring the horns and extracting keratin samples from them. They also got to insert microchips in the horns for accurate tracking, before the samples were taken off site for safe keeping.Shamwari experienced one of the first rhino poaching incidents in the country in 2008 and since then has taken all measures possible to prevent it from happening again.“That first rhino was named Junior, and I was working for the reserve when he was born,” said Joubert.“I watched him grow into a very large, strong bull, and he was like one of my own kids. Getting the call to say that Junior was dead was devastating.”At the launch of the centre, a cheque for R182 800 ($21 600) was presented by Shamwari to the Wilderness Foundation. The money will be used by the foundation to raise public awareness on the on-going rhino poaching crisis.last_img read more

Dairy price outlook

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest What is ahead for the markets?How much safety in the Margin Protection Program (MPP) safety net?MPP margin forecast for 2015-2016As I write this, the market focus in squarely on the international markets.  Right at this moment, the turmoil in the U.S. equity market driven by concerns over the economic prospects for China is paramount.  Economic growth rate for China has slowed from double digits to around 7%.  While the rest of the developed countries would love a 7% growth rate, this is a much reduced level for China which needs a rate of economic growth in the range of 10 to 12% to manage its huge economy.  The equity market in China has declined by 35%.  Troubles with the China economy are certainly causing troubles for the rest of the world economies and only time will tell how this will all play out for the rest of us.To the U.S. dairy industry, China’s economic impact on world markets is well understood.  Just a year ago, we all were jubilant as aggressive commodity buying by China in world dairy markets, particularly for whole and skim milk powders, was driving milk prices to record levels.   In the U.S., dairy production was a bit slow to take off, but as usual, it did expand, reaching full potential just as the international market made a sudden shift.  First, Russia, as a retaliatory political move, imposed a near 100% ban on imports of key dairy products from the European Union countries, Oceana, and the U.S.   Unable to sell cheese and butter to Russia, the European Union and Oceana moved aggressively into the milk powder market.  This was the dropping of shoe number one.The other shoe dropped when China began to pull back dramatically on import purchases in the milk powder markets.  After importing a vast inventory of whole and skim milk powder in 2013 and 2014, China buying slowed considerably.  With a glut of milk on the market, dairy product prices had nowhere to go but down, and down, and down.  After peaking in the first quarter of 2014, nonfat and skim milk powders, whey, cheese, and butter prices on the international markets have fallen to levels not reached since 2009 to 2010.  So how have U.S. dairy product prices faired during this period? First off, nonfat and skim milk, and whey prices have followed international prices right on down.  After peaking near $2.10/lb in the first quarter of 2014, nonfat and skim prices have fallen to $0.80/lb.  Whey price hit its high at the end of the second quarter of 2014 near $0.70/lb and has declined to near $0.35/lb.However, two key U.S. dairy commodity prices are showing signs of domestic strength driven by a strong U.S. retail economy and the assistance of the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) export assistance program.  The CWT program has provided export assistance for an equivalent 1.294 billion pounds of milk in the form of cheese (45.3 billion lb, butter 28 billion lb, and whole milk powder 33.4 billion lb).  As a result the U.S. cheese price, while trending down with world markets, appears to have found a floor near the $1.70/lb.  The U.S. butter price appears to be a market disconnected from the international scene.  While butter prices in Europe and Oceana have tumbled to the $1.10 to $1.30/lb range, the U.S. butter price has gone up from its recent 2015 low of $1.50/lb to the level of $1.90/lb now.So how does all of this translate into farm level prices in the U.S. versus the EU and Oceana?  In the August 2015 podcast  by dairy economists Mark Stephenson and Bob Cropp, they show a slide depicting equivalent farm level prices (go to this site to listen to the podcast: http://dairymarkets.org/PubPod/Podcast/Outlook/).  The current U.S. milk price, at $18.38/cwt compares to an EU price of $13.61/cwt and a Oceana (NZ) price of $10.61/cwt.  Clearly, the economic impact is being felt much more strongly by dairy farmers in the EU and Oceana.  How quickly the excess supply adjusts to the relative level of demand will depend for the most part on rapid the adjustment in milk production coming from the EU and Oceana rather than the U.S.  From my reading of the international news, their economic pain is significant and the draw back could be rather swift.  Some good news is that latest Global Dairy Trade Index, a composite price index of the eight traded dairy commodities, trading on September 1, is up 10.1% and this follows a 15% increase from the August 18th trading event.  Perhaps a bottom to the international market has arrived.The value of the U.S. dollar remains historically high.  This makes it much more difficult for export products from the U.S. to be price competitive in international markets.  The current turmoil across the international economic landscape will only serve to add strength to the U.S. dollar in coming months.  The strong U.S. dollar also has a positive side in that it limits international demand for U.S. grain exports and helps keep the prices of feed lower.  Prices in the key grain and feed commodity markets are at five year lows.  Cash corn remains below $4/bu, with the futures market forecasting this level well into 2016. Soybeans are under $10/bu and soybean meal, while strengthening a bit, remains under $375/ton.  Alfalfa hay is under $180/ton.A natural question to ask is: “How long will the down turn in market prices last and when will prices reach bottom and turn upward? “ I do not know.  A couple of dairy economists who have put their collective efforts to understanding the milk price cycle have an informative paper on the topic available on the Dairy Markets and Policy website.  To read the information paper, go to Stephenson and Nicholson at: http://dairy.wisc.edu/PubPod/Pubs/IL15-03.pdf. As their conclusion, these two dairy economists state “Forecasts for the margins during the current cycle through 2017 vary  from  quite  optimistic–‐–‐a  short  cycle  with  a  limited  number  of  months  with  an  MPP  margin  below  $8.00/cwt  (the  statistical  forecast) — to  a  cycle  close  to  the  average  length  of  40  months,  with  a  prolonged  period  of  where  the  MPP  margin  is  below  $8.00/cwt  (the  simulation  model).  Futures  market  forecasts  are  similar  to  the  statistical  forecasts  through  early  next  year,  then  shows  more  moderated  increases.”  This puts the bottom of the price cycle sometime between January 2016 (statistical and futures market models) and January 2017 (dynamic simulation model).Using the current (6/02/2015) futures market price data on milk and feed input prices, the USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA) Decision tool for MPP (http://dairymarkets.org/MPP/Tool/)  shows an anticipated July-August margin of $7.71/cwt.  Anticipated margins for the remaining two calculation periods are: September – October ($8.67/cwt) and November – December ($8.88/cwt).  Looking out into 2016, the USDA/FSA tool shows anticipated margins staying above $8/cwt for the first half of 2016 and then increasing to the upper $9.00/cwt level in the last quarter of 2016.  With the 2016 sign up period for MPP ending on September 30, 2015, now is the time to pay close attention to the market forecasts.  Use the Decision Tool to work out your best option if you intend to purchase up from the $4/cwt level.  Remember, the MPP is not a price or margin risk management program, rather it is a catastrophic loss safety-net program, operating much like a way out-of-the-money PUT option with premiums that do not adjust to market conditions.  As a national program, there is neither consideration for management style, scale of dairy, nor geographic location.  While the national average price for milk has fallen from the peak, so have feed prices, and by the logic of MPP, this does not qualify as a ‘catastrophic loss event’.  If you are looking to manage price risk volatility, you should look to the Livestock Gross Margin-(LGM) Dairy program and the futures and options markets.  If you have already signed-on to the MPP, then LGM-Dairy is off the table and then the futures and options markets remain as a viable price risk management tool that can be used along with MPP.So what is the ‘glass half full’ take on all of this?  If the U.S. economy can shake off the China troubles, gasoline prices fall as forecasted to the $2/gal mark, and U.S. retail demand remains strong for cheese and butter, then the U.S. milk price will remain substantially above that of our competitors out in the international markets.  Significant production pull back will come not from the U.S. but from the EU and Oceana.  And the ‘glass is half empty’ view?  We become infected by the China contagion, the U.S. equity market turns to a bearish market, and retail demand weakens as U.S. consumers pull back.  Cheese and butter prices move down by $0.50/lb or more, and with these, the farm price for milk declines by another $2/cwt.For up-to-date market and policy information on the Ohio dairy industry, as well as informative charts, research papers on many industry issues, and for useful links to other sites, please visit and bookmark the Dairy Markets and Policy website: http://dairymarkets.org/ to which I contribute.last_img read more

Grange reaffirms the Government’s commitment to developing Jamaica’s Special Olympics programme

first_imgThe Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has reaffirmed the Government of Jamaica’s commitment towards the development of the country’s Special Olympics programme.Minister Grange said that, over the years, the government, through the Sports Development Foundation has provided financial support to Special Olympics Jamaica by way of a monthly subvention of $292,400 and additional funding to help with preparations for the Winter Games.In her message read by the Honourable Alando Terrelonge, Minister of State in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, at a ceremony to welcome Mary Davis, CEO of Special Olympics International to Jamaica, at the Multipurpose Court, Independence Park on Tuesday (April 10), Minister Grange said, “Through the Special Olympics programme, abilities are emphasised rather than disabilities and each athlete is encouraged to give of their best.”The Minister said that through the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan, the Government continues to make significant contribution towards the health and wellbeing of all Special Olympians.“I am pleased to note that all 71 athletes in your programme are registered as part of the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan, which provides Group Health, Group Life and Personal Accident Coverage. The value of our contribution is approximately $241,000 monthly in premiums,” Minister Grange said.Minister Grange also used the opportunity to laud the management team, coaches and support staff for their “stellar efforts” in working with the Special Olympics athletes. She commended them on their “ability to organise athletes of all ages from the fourteen parishes to participate in various sporting activities.”“We have realised that the Special Olympics programme continues to grow and so we will be paying close attention to how the programme expands and the required skill sets that will be needed to support your continued development,” Minister Grange said.last_img read more