I was not aware this existed. Rivals the original.

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Charleston Gazzette-Mail (West Virginia):

Trump administration officials have told the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to halt a review of the increased public health risks faced by Appalachian residents who live near mountaintop removal coal-mining sites, the academies revealed in a statement issued Monday.

Word of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement order was disclosed by the academies just hours before the scientific panel conducting the study was scheduled to hear from coalfield residents at a public meeting Monday evening in Hazard, Kentucky, and then hold two days of business meetings in Lexington.

Academies spokesman William Kearney said in a statement that the OSM told the academies in a letter Friday to “cease all work” on the mountaintop removal study. The letter indicated that Interior had begun “an agency-wide review” of grants and cooperative agreements in excess of $100,000, “largely as a result of the Department’s changing budget situation,” the academies said.
“The National Academies believes this is an important study and we stand ready to resume it as soon as the Department of the Interior review is completed,” the statement from Kearney said.

Last year, the OSM committed to providing more than $1 million for the study, in response to growing pressure from citizen groups and requests from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the state Bureau for Public Health in understanding studies by experts at West Virginia University and other institutions that found increased risks of birth defects, cancer, other illnesses and premature death among residents living near mountaintop removal sites in Southern West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky.

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solar_eclipse

San Diego Union-Tribune:

The sun may have gone into eclipse mode Monday but the California electric grid did not.

Power system officials across the state reported no major reliability issues, even though solar power took a dramatic dip as the moon obscured a large portion of the sun Monday morning.

That provided a real challenge for California grid operators, given that Monday marked the first eclipse seen throughout the contiguous United States since 1979, when solar power represented just a blip on the nation’s energy landscape.

The California Independent System Operator oversees the operation of about 80 percent of the state’s electric power system, transmission lines and electricity market and the CAISO control room was ground zero Monday to see how the power system would react.

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Adjustment will be a pretty simple matter that most people will not notice.

Reuters:

HOUSTON (Reuters) – As Monday’s total solar eclipse sweeps from Oregon to South Carolina, U.S. electric power and grid operators will be glued to their monitoring systems in what for them represents the biggest test of the renewable energy era.

Utilities and grid operators have been planning for the event for years, calculating the timing and drop in output from solar, running simulations of the potential impact on demand, and lining up standby power sources. It promises a critical test of their ability to manage a sizeable swing in renewable power.

Solar energy now accounts for more than 42,600 megawatts (MW), about 5 percent of the U.S.’s peak demand, up from 5 MW in 2000, according to the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC), a group formed to improve the nation’s power system in the wake of a 1964 blackout. When the next eclipse comes to the United States in 2024, solar will account for 14 percent of the nation’s power, estimates NERC.

For utilities and solar farms, the eclipse represents an opportunity to see how well prepared their systems are to respond to rapid swings in an era where variable energy sources such as solar and wind are climbing in scale and importance.

Power companies view Monday’s event as a “test bed” on how power systems can manage a major change in supply, said John Moura, director of reliability assessment and system analysis at the North American Electric Reliability Corp.

    “It has been tested before, just not at this magnitude,” adds Steven Greenlee, a spokesman for the California Independent System Operator (CISO), which controls routing power in the nation’s most populous state.

CISO estimates that at the peak of the eclipse, the state’s normal solar output of about 8,800 MW will be reduced to 3,100 MW and then surge to more than 9,000 MW when the sun returns.

    CISO’s preparation includes studying how German utilities dealt with a 2015 eclipse in that country. Its review prompted the grid overseer to add an additional 200 MW to its normal 250 MW power reserves.

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Mike does a nice job explaining in simple terms for an Australian morning show.

 

Vox:

If recent forecasts are accurate, the electric vehicle market is about to take off. The latest research on EVs from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) — which gets more optimistic every year — now estimates “that EVs will account for 54% of new car sales by 2040, not 35% as previously forecast,” which means that “a third of the global light-duty vehicle fleet will be electrified by 2040.”

That means tens of millions of batteries floating around, storing electricity while the cars aren’t in use and releasing it when they are.

Theoretically, all that energy storage could be very useful to the grid, which needs all the storage it can get in order to integrate more variable renewable energy. It needs big, steady, long-term storage, for monthly or yearly variations in sun and wind, but it also needs fast, responsive, short-term storage, to smooth out smaller variations of seconds, minutes, or hours — to provide “voltage regulation,” “frequency response,” and other grid services (many of which are now typically provided by natural gas plants, which will have to go soon).

The hope among EV enthusiasts is that, when they are not in use (remember, the average car is parked 90 to 95 percent of the time), all those EV batteries will be able to hook up to, and communicate with, the grid. If the grid could communicate simultaneously with thousands or millions of distributed EV batteries, it could treat them as one big virtual battery, capable of storing or producing electricity as circumstances require, serving that vital short-term storage role.

That would both help the grid, smoothing out variations in renewable energy, and increase the value of EV batteries, stimulating EV markets.

It’s called vehicle-to-grid, or V2G, and if it works, it will be a win-win.

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Greenland by Drone

August 20, 2017

One new tool I took to the Greenland ice this summer – a drone.

Game changer.