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Frustration in Blacked-Out Puerto Rico With Electric Company’s Resistance to Change

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享GreenTech Media:Three weeks since the storm, still only about 17 percent of Puerto Rico is with electricity. The lack of power has severely exacerbated a humanitarian crisis. Food sits rotting on shelves, the majority of hospitals are relying on generators, and with 40 percent of the island still without running water, the likelihood for disease has increased.While the U.S. president has literally thrown paper towel rolls at the problem, private citizens and industries have stepped in to coordinate efforts. The renewable energy industry, for one, has seen aiding in the crisis as both a moral imperative and an opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of its technology. Though some in the renewables industry have cautioned against putting the cart before the horse when so many lives are still in peril, many have also raised questions about the future. Several companies and experts have seized on the power outages as a segue to discuss longterm resilience and the potential for distributed energy to protect island grids. Cecilio Aponte, a current fellow at the Clean Energy Leadership Institute, said the destruction has compelled him to consider a future rebuilding of Puerto Rico’s grid. When I catch up with Alejandro Uriarte, president of San Juan-based solar company New Energy, he’s just returned from a meeting with cell phone providers about how renewables might power cell towers now running solely on diesel. When Uriarte describes the status of electrical distribution on the island, he speaks of complete devastation. “Everything is gone,” he said. Renewable installations, though, fared a bit better. Uriarte said all of his solar installations sustained some damages, affecting maybe 10 to 15 percent of the panels. That’s a much better percentage than the estimated 80 percent of transmission lines taken down. But Uriarte notes that because nearly all existing renewable systems were connected to the island’s now-destroyed grid, most are still unable to produce energy.“Our work has certainly changed from selling grid interconnected solar equipment to selling storage for those systems that were already installed, or selling solar-plus-storage to be off-grid until the grid comes back,” said Uriarte. “Then we can talk about interconnecting them.”Most renewable companies with a presence on the island are in immediate repair mode. Although Puerto Rico, like all Caribbean islands, relies heavily on fossil fuels for power, the island did have 215 megawatts of solar before the storm. Companies such as Sunnova, Tesla (New Energy is a certified Tesla installer), and Sonnen have residential and small-scale projects. Sonnen said all its systems fell offline after the hurricanes. It’s working on stabilizing its existing fleet, and has started working with solar installer Pura Energía to provide new microgrid systems for sale and some for free. Sunnova was also working to repair parts of its 10,000 installed systems. Many other companies and clean energy trade associations have also pledged to divert supply to help in the short-term. After a call for coordinated efforts, the Solar Energy Industries Association received 160 responses with offers for help. The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) is coordinating micro-grid deliveries from three manufacturers with funding from United Wind. And on Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke on the phone with Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, about how the company’s solar and battery technologies can contribute to immediate relief efforts, and possibly remake the grid entirely. Clean energy manufacturers and resilience experts are asking what can be done to harden the island’s grid even in the initial stages of Puerto Rico’s recovery.“Typically, investments that are made right after a storm, almost in emergency mode, you can see ten years later those investments have remained,” said Roy Torbert, principal at the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Islands Energy program. “Ask these questions now, so the investments you make for the long term are the right way to go.”Though renewable installations on islands like Puerto Rico did sustain damage, renewable companies and advocates say distributed sources that could function apart from the grid would be easier to repair and get back online than centralized power and distribution. To brace for a storm, Torpert said nacelles on wind turbines can be tilted down and the blades turned away from the wind so they don’t overspin.Even before the storm, Puerto Rico’s electric grid was a delicate system. Its utility and sole electricity provider, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), has become notorious for its $9 billion bankruptcy and poor management. The Puerto Rico Energy Commission (PREC) enshrined its issues in a 2016 report, writing “the severe outages, deferred maintenance, and a lack of experienced staff have resulted in an increasingly brittle transmission system.” According to Torbert, the aftermath of the hurricane “requires an immediate reckoning” with PREPA’s difficulties. Almost everyone interviewed for this story expressed concerns with the functioning of the island’s utility.“The entire organization, PREPA, stem to stern, top to bottom, is incapable of carrying out its mission,” said Tom Sanzillo, director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “It’s largely a function of upper management and the toxic effect it has on morale and competencies of the workers.”Uriarte, too, expressed frustrations, specifically about the lack of commitment he sees from PREPA on transitioning to clean energy. “They have never come out against renewables,” he said. “They always say they’re friendly to renewables. But in practice, they are not.” The 2016 report from PREC notes much of PREPA’s work had become “triaging” in the place of preventative maintenance. In 2016, President Obama signed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act. That act created a board that this summer rejected a restructuring deal for PREPA’s debt.“That decision was encouraging in that it suggested support in Washington for an actual path to recovery for the power authority,” Sanzillo wrote in an opinion for the Hill. More: Can the Clean Energy Industry Protect Puerto Rico From Maria-Scale Damage? Frustration in Blacked-Out Puerto Rico With Electric Company’s Resistance to Changelast_img read more

World Marks 70th Anniversary Of End Of WW2

first_imgAs the world marks the 70th anniversary of end of World War II, Russia is set to hold one of the largest military parades ever seen.  The war between Soviet Union and Hitler’s Germany was one of the conflict’s largest theatres. The Russian version of Hitler’s defeat emphasizes the enormous, unrivalled sacrifices made by the Soviet people to end World War II, so the country has long staged a colossal military parade on May 9 to recognize Victory Day as the most important event in Russian history. The government of President Vladimir V. Putin has pledged to make the 70th anniversary celebration on Saturday the biggest ever. Yet where Russia had also used the day to acknowledge the toppling of Hitler as the high point of its cooperation with the West, this year’s version seems to emphasize their differences.For Africa, World War II began not in 1939, but in 1935 When Italian troops, backed by thousands of Eritrean colonial forces, invaded Ethiopia. Emperor Haile Selassie was forced to flee to the UK, but others, known as Patriots, fought on.last_img read more

Online Sale for Slovakia-BiH Match Tickets Began

first_imgThe match between Slovakia and BiH in Žilina, Slovenia will take place on 10 September, and the online sale of tickets began.Tickets can be bought on the websites www.futbalsfz.sk/vstupenky and www.ticketportal.sk, which requires registration, and a maximum of four tickets can be bought.(Source: klix.ba)last_img

Washington’s NFL Team Drops ‘Redskins’ Name After 87 Years

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington NFL franchise announced Monday it is dropping the “Redskins” name and Indian head logo, bowing to recent pressure from sponsors and decades of criticism that they are offensive to Native Americans.A new name must still be selected for one of the oldest and most storied teams in the National Football League, and it was unclear how soon that will happen. But for now, arguably the most polarizing name in North American professional sports is gone at a time of reckoning over racial injustice, iconography and racism in the U.S.The move came less than two weeks after owner Dan Snyder, a boyhood fan of the team who once declared he would never get rid of the name, launched a “thorough review” amid pressure from sponsors. FedEx, Nike, Pepsi and Bank of America all lined up against the name, which was given to the franchise in 1933 when the team was still based in Boston.The team said it is “retiring” the name and logo and that Snyder and coach Ron Rivera are working closely to develop a new moniker and design. The announcement came on the old letterhead with the Redskins name because the team technically retains it until a new one is chosen and approved.Native American advocates and experts have long criticized the name they call a “dictionary-defined racial slur.” Over a dozen Native leaders and organizations wrote to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week demanding an immediate end to Washington’s use of the name. Goodell, who has fielded questions on the topic for years, said he supported the review.Protests against the name predate Snyder buying the team in 1999, and, until now, he had shown no willingness to consider a change. Strong words from sponsors — including a company run by a minority stakeholder of the team — changed the equation.FedEx earlier this month became the first sponsor to announce it had asked the organization to change the name, particularly important because CEO Frederick Smith owns part of the team. FedEx paid $205 million for the long-term naming rights to the team’s stadium in Landover, Maryland.The lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027, and dropping the name keeps open various possibilities in Maryland, Virginia and Washington for the team’s new stadium and headquarters. District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser has said the name was an “obstacle” to Snyder building on the old RFK Stadium site, which is believed to be his preference.The team recently started cutting ties with racist founder George Preston Marshall, removing his name from the Ring of Fame and renaming the lower bowl at FedEx Field for the team’s first Black player, late Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell. Marshall, who renamed the Boston Braves the Redskins in 1933 and moved the team to D.C. four years later, was a segregationist and the last NFL owner to integrate his team. The current logo shows the profile of a red-faced Native American with feathers in his hair.Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves and the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks have said they have no inclination to change their names. Some advocates would like to see all Native American names, mascots and imagery out of sports.Long removed from the glory days of winning Super Bowl titles in the 1982, 1987 and 1991 seasons under coach Joe Gibbs, Washington’s NFL team has just five playoff appearances in 21 years and no postseason victories since 2005. The team has lacked a nationally marketable player since Robert Griffin III’s short-lived stardom, and the 2020 schedule features zero prime-time games for a franchise that used to be a draw.Re-branding with a new name and logo — and perhaps the same burgundy and gold colors — coupled with turning football operations over to Rivera could be a boon for Snyder on and off the field. Even if a segment of the fan base opposes the change in the name of tradition, winning would more than make up for those losses.last_img read more

Police: Teenage Girl Shot in Riviera Beach, Suspect Not in Custody

first_imgA 13-year-old girl was shot on West 16th Street Wednesday afternoon, according to Riviera Beach Police.They say she was shot inside a house and sustained non life-threatening injuries.The circumstances that may have led up to the shooting are unknown at this time.Police spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown says they do not yet have a suspect in custody.This is a developing story.last_img