PJM: Ohio’s nuclear and coal subsidy bill likely to cost more than forecast

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Energy News Network:A bill to subsidize FirstEnergy Solutions’ two Ohio nuclear plants could cost customers even more than the hundreds of millions of dollars in direct charges proposed to prop up those plus two older coal plants.A new analysis from grid operator PJM concludes that keeping FirstEnergy’s nuclear plants open could also cost ratepayers as much as $16 million a year in lost savings by discouraging cheaper gas generation from coming online.House Bill 6 passed in the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 53-43 on May 29. Under the current version, all retail consumers in the state would pay 50 cents per month for the first year and then $1 per month for the next six years to subsidize FirstEnergy Solutions’ Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear power plants. FirstEnergy Solutions and other FirstEnergy generation subsidiaries are currently in bankruptcy. The bill would also subsidize 1950s-era coal plants and gut Ohio’s clean energy standards.PJM’s analysis contradicts an earlier statement by FirstEnergy Solutions Vice President David Griffing, who claimed that closing the nuclear plants would cost Ohioans an average of $35 per year between 2022 and 2029. Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Bruce Weston responded by asking PJM for a fact check on the projected effects on wholesale and retail electric prices if the two Ohio nuclear plants close.Yet the PJM analysis may still underestimate costs to consumers. “While useful, the analysis looks only at the energy market, which is an important shortcoming,” said Dan Sawmiller, Ohio energy policy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. PJM’s report said that it didn’t consider impacts on longer-term capacity markets because of time constraints.Ohio Public Utilities Commission Chair Sam Randazzo also testified Wednesday before the Ohio Senate committee. By his estimate, the annual out-of-pocket costs to ratepayers are slightly more than a third of a billion dollars. Before his appointment to the commission this year, Randazzo had long represented Industrial Energy Users-Ohio, which has consistently opposed the state’s clean energy standards.More: Costs of FirstEnergy nuclear bailout bill could exceed out-of-pocket subsidies PJM: Ohio’s nuclear and coal subsidy bill likely to cost more than forecastlast_img read more

Enel executive: Market forces speeding up transition away from coal worldwide

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Commodity markets are stripping away the case for coal in Europe, moving quicker than government efforts to close the most polluting power plants.A plunge in natural gas prices along with an increase in the cost of releasing carbon dioxide emissions shifted the profitability of generating electricity away from burning coal, according to data compiled by BloombergNEF. The trend is evident in Italy, Spain, Germany and the U.K., each of which have cut the proportion of coal in their power mixes this year.Shifting economics in the power business are complementing the efforts of the European Union to slash greenhouse gases and make good on commitments in the Paris Agreement on climate change. It’s made utilities from RWE AG in Germany and Italy’s Enel SpA change their calculations about the pace the region will be able to reduce carbon pollution.“It’s a magical alignment that’s igniting and accelerating a transition that, without the economics, would be much harder,” said Antonello Cammisecra, who is in charge of Enel’s gas, coal, oil and green power generation worldwide. “We have an alignment of economics, of saying switch to gas and most importantly switch to renewables because it’s cheaper, safer and easier.”The shift in Europe is part of a global trend. Abundant supplies of cheap gas are cutting in on coal’s market share in the U.S., where plants burning the dirtiest fossil fuel closed at near record rates last year. New export terminals are exporting cheap American gas worldwide, prompting countries across Asia, especially China and Pakistan, to buy LNG as an alternative to coal for power generation.“The exit from coal is finally driven by the market,” said Claudia Kemfert, a professor of energy economics at the DIW research institute in Berlin. “The repair of emissions trading has worked.”More: Coal’s demise quickens in Europe as market shift idles plants Enel executive: Market forces speeding up transition away from coal worldwidelast_img read more

Shifting markets, renewables put the kibosh on a 1,000MW Rhode Island gas plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:After days of hearings this summer, Rhode Island regulators voted to deny Invenergy a key permit and made clear they thought a new gas plant is unnecessary. But the written order issued Tuesday provides more insight into the decision, including the delays caused by the company. During the time Invenergy’s application was pending, regulators said there was a reduction in peak load due to efficiency, along with growth of renewables and storage and offshore wind procurements in the region.Experts “presented strong and credible evidence demonstrating that the need for this type of facility would likely decrease in the coming decade” the board said. And reports that were referenced during testimony on the plant “revealed plans forecasting a significant increase in renewables and a continued decrease in peak load.”“The market changes that accrued over the four forward capacity auctions conducted during the pendency of Invenergy’s application undercut the credibility of Invenergy’s original arguments on the issue of need.”The Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) on Tuesday issued a final order denying a new gas-fired power plant proposed by Invenergy, pointing to lengthy delays in the proceeding that allowed market changes and the growth of renewable energy to overtake any need for the project.Regulators pointed to the New England ISO’s decision in September 2018 to terminate a capacity supply obligation with Invenergy for one of the plant’s units, calling it “an extraordinary choice” the grid operator had never before made.The EFSB initially rejected the 850-1,000 MW plant in June; company officials say they are reviewing the final order and mulling next steps. The decision can be appealed to the Rhode Island Supreme Court.More: Renewables growth, market changes tanked Invenergy’s Rhode Island gas plant, regulators say Shifting markets, renewables put the kibosh on a 1,000MW Rhode Island gas plantlast_img read more

Corporate buyers a big reason behind Australia’s renewable energy boom

first_imgCorporate buyers a big reason behind Australia’s renewable energy boom FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Corporate energy users have supported renewable energy development across Australia to the tune of 5.2GW of new capacity and procured nearly 2.3GW of mostly solar and wind powered electricity in just three years, a new report has found. The report – a State of the Market report for corporate renewable PPAs – was released on Tuesday for the first time by the Business Renewables Centre Australia (BRC-A).In total, there have been 58 publicly confirmed corporate renewable PPAs since 2016, which have contracted nearly 2.3GW of renewable electricity and supported 5.2GW of project capacity, most of this (60 per cent) new solar and wind farms.Renew Economy, too, has watched this market boom, with major Australian utility Origin Energy recently conceding that the shift to renewables by Australian businesses was taking a noticeable chunk out of the gen-tailer’s commercial electricity volumes.“Until recently, solar and wind farms needed a power purchase agreement with a retailer to get built, but the growth of corporate renewable PPAs has opened up a vital new source of investment,” said Christopher Briggs, BRC-A’s technical director and research principal at the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF). “The emergence of corporate PPAs is proving crucial in driving the energy transition in Australia and helping to realise the nation’s climate change targets.”Jonathan Prendergast, a research consultant at the ISF – one part of the team that makes up the BRC-A, alongside the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Australia and Climate-KIC Australia – said what impressed him most was how these deals had diversified the large-scale renewable energy market. “(Renewable energy investment) used to be really one-dimensional. It’s great that there are now multiple ways that investors and project developers can get their projects financed,” he told RE on Monday.And the corporate buyers are a diverse bunch, too. “While large corporate buyers led the way in the early deals, there has also been a series of deals with smaller and mid-sized buyers – like schools, vineyards and even the Sydney Opera House,” Briggs said.More: Business demand is helping drive the energy transition to wind and solarlast_img read more

Australia’s FIRB clears Iberdrola’s takeover bid for Infigen Energy

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:The Aussie unit of Iberdrola SA has secured approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to proceed with its proposed acquisition of renewables company Infigen Energy and its installed wind assets totaling 670 MW.The Spanish renewable energy giant announced the milestone on Tuesday.Iberdrola is offering AUD 0.89 (USD 0.62/EUR 0.55) per share for the Aussie wind developer in what has turned into a fierce battle with UAC Energy Holdings Pty Ltd (UAC). The latter, owned by Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corporation’s AC Energy and Hong Kong-based UPC Renewables Group, at the start of June bought a 12.82% stake in Infigen and made an offer of AUD 0.80 per share for the rest of the stock.Later in June, the group raised its bid to AUD 0.86 per share, thus matching the initial one made by Iberdrola and freed the offer from all conditions apart from the FIRB review. Iberdrola responded by making a counter proposal of AUD 0.89 per share, representing a 3.5% premium to the UAC offer.Infigen’s board has advised investors to reject the UAC bid and take no action in respect of the offer but to support the proposal of Iberdrola. The minimum acceptance condition that calls for Iberdrola to acquire more than 50% of Infigen’s stapled securities has to be met before Iberdrola’s bid expires on July 30.Infigen owns about 670 MW of installed onshore wind capacity along with 268 MW of conventional generation and energy storage firming assets plus 246 MW of additional renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) with third parties. Also, the company has a 1-GW-plus portfolio of wind and solar projects in different stages of development.[Veselina Petrova]More: Iberdrola gets FIRB clearance for takeover of Aussie Infigen Australia’s FIRB clears Iberdrola’s takeover bid for Infigen Energylast_img read more

Bayer signs corporate PPA for output from Iberdrola’s 590MW Pizarro solar project

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Power Technology:Spanish renewables developer Iberdrola has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with pharmaceutical company Bayer to supply 100% renewable electricity. According to the agreement, Iberdrola will supply clean energy generated by its solar photovoltaic (PV) Francisco Pizarro plant to nine Bayer sites in Spain.Bayer’s three factories, five research and development (R&D) centres and the company’s headquarters for Iberia will be powered with clean energy.With an installed capacity of 590MWp, the Francisco Pizarro facility is spread across 1,300ha between the municipalities of Torrecillas de la Tiesa and Aldeacentenera. Claimed to be one of the largest solar facilities in Europe, Francisco Pizarro is expected to become operational next year. Once operational, the plant is expected to annually generate enough clean energy for a population of 375,000 people while offsetting 245,000tpa of carbon emissions.The ten-year PPA agreement will be effective from 2022.The two companies have also signed a PPA in Mexico, under which, Iberdrola agreed to supply clean energy to Bayer from the 105MW Santiago onshore wind farm in the state of Guanajuato.More: Iberdrola to supply green energy to Bayer facilities in Spain Bayer signs corporate PPA for output from Iberdrola’s 590MW Pizarro solar projectlast_img read more

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Resistance Ride

first_imgVirginia residents are up in arms after Dominion Power Company—one of the nation’s largest energy producers—proposed plans to build a 550-mile, 42-inch natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina.According to the Friends of Nelson County, “Dominion will have to seize private property through eminent domain, uproot farms and families, and disrupt businesses and lives in their attempt to complete the project.”Opposition to Dominion’s proposed pipe line project has been building since August of 2014. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has expressed his support for the project, but on April 16, Virginia 5th District Representative Robert Hurt contacted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to request more time for public comment.Starting this weekend, students from the University of Virginia will be cycling along the route of ACP in an effort to show support for residents and land owners within the proposed pipeline’s path and draw attention to climate change.11069372_934535756596973_4955324676179316542_n“This is a way for us to voice our opposition to this disastrous project,” said Hannah Beaman, one of the primary organizers of the resistance ride. “We are not property owners, but we do have a vested interest in seeing this sacred portion of Virginia preserved, and we’ll do everything we can to stop the ACP.”The ride will begin today and continue through May 19th.Beaman is hopeful that the resistance ride will have a positive impact, but she realizes the power that Domion wields in the state of Virginia.“Dominion is an incredibly powerful entity, and they contribute a lot of money to both political parties in our state,” she said. “But people are rising up against their plan to seize private property through eminent domain. No one stands to benefit here except for Dominion and its shareholders.”Beaman says she and numerous other students will gather the stories of those within the pipeline’s path during their ride and take them to an annual Dominion shareholder’s party in Richmond.“At the culmination of our trip we will be stopping in Richmond at Dominion’s annual shareholder’s party and letting them know exactly how this pipeline is going to effect the Virginia residents in its path,” she said. “We’ll also be pointing out the devastating effects that this project will have on Virginia’s wildlife species and forest habitat.”For more information about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Resistance Ride visit their blog or check them out on Facebook. You can also support the project here.last_img read more

Meet Our Olympians

first_imgAthletes who reach the Olympic Games are heralded as being the best in their disciplines, but that journey isn’t always paved with gold. A fear of water initially impeded whitewater slalom kayaker Michal Smolen. Open-water swimmer Sean Ryan struggled at first to cover 25 yards in a pool. Track cyclist Matt Baranoski delayed his college studies to chase the Olympic dream. Rower Matt Miller overcame physical and mental challenges as he transitioned to national team training. Whitewater slalom kayaker Ashley Nee shook off two failed Olympic attempts, and triathlete Katie Zaferes overcame her share of challenges to reach the Games. These six first-time Olympians and regional natives will join more than 500 other U.S. athletes next month in Brazil, all hoping years spent perfecting their craft will culminate in a podium finish.Matt Baranoski, Track CyclistPerkasie, PennsylvaniaMatt Baranoski’s track cycling saga began at age six, when his parents enrolled him in classes at Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Breinigsville, Pa. He soon began racing, and said recently, it’s “escalated into the crazy life that it is now.” Baranoski, who rides for Custom Velo, will compete in the keirin. The sport challenges six cyclists to circuit a track for eight laps. The field follows an electric pace bike for the first five-and-a-half laps, but when the pacer exits, it’s an all-out sprint to the finish.The race is short—about two kilometers—and a completely “different animal” from road or mountain bike events, said Baranoski. Riding a bike that lacks brakes, the 22-year-old sprinter can coast at 50 miles per hour around a track with 45-degree curves. Track cycling “is one of the weird things where you’re doing something that is relatively out of control, but you’re completely in control doing it,” he said.At age 17, Baranoski became the youngest U.S. elite track cycling national champion, and Union Cycliste Internationale currently ranks him 19th in the world for the keirin. He also holds more than 30 USA Cycling national championships. Attaining these feats hasn’t been without sacrifice. Baranoski took a two-year leave from college to chase his Olympic dream. He’s set to graduate this year from Penn State with an electrical engineering degree. “The decision to leave school…to chase something that might or might not work out was huge,” he said. That decision proved worthwhile when, after a two-year qualifying period, he secured his berth to Rio. Baranoski, who writes the word “Believe” on his handlebars, never looked back. “It’s been a long two years,” he said, but that “whirlwind” journey seems well worth the toil. “It’s really cool to have finally made it and be an Olympian.”Matt Miller, RowerSpringfield, VirginiaRowing demands diversity. This mix of strategy, coordination, and physical exertion has kept Matt Miller hooked since high school.The Springfield, Va. native is making his Olympic debut as part of the United States’ four-man rowing team. Miller, now 27, began rowing his freshman year of high school at the suggestion of a neighbor. He competed through high school and later at the University of Virginia. Following college, he rowed for two years with the Potomac Boat Club in Washington D.C. Selected in January 2014 to train with the U.S. national team, Miller left the club, quit his full-time job and moved to California for winter training.He is now at the US Rowing Training Center in Princeton, N.J. Most of Miller’s career has been spent in the eight-man boat—he was part of the national team that won gold at the 2014 World Rowing Cup II. He also won gold at this year’s World Rowing Cup I as part of the four-man team. “I love the competitive aspect of it,” he said. To train for a 2,000 meter race, you need a lot of aerobic capacities,” including stamina, “strength, power, and sprinting ability.”Miller’s journey toward Rio has demanded perseverance. Upon joining the national team, he switched the rowing technique he was accustomed to and more than doubled the distance he rowed daily. Miller told himself it would get easier, that his body would adapt. “At the time it was discouraging because I wasn’t doing well, I was worn down and beaten at practice day-in and day-out and finishing last. That was part of the difficulty of it.” Miller knew his aerobic capacity and physiology were why he had been recruited, so he kept telling himself that he’d eventually conquer the steep learning curve. That drive has paid off as Miller makes his Olympic debut.Ashley Nee, Whitewater Slalom KayakerBethesda, MarylandThird time’s a charm for Ashley Nee. Rio serves as her third Olympics attempt, a journey that began eight years ago.Nee, now 27, qualified for a women’s kayak spot at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but a shoulder injury placed her out of contention at the team trials. Four years later, Nee scored enough points to secure a 2012 team slot but lost that berth on a tiebreaker that instead sent Caroline Queen to London. “This is my third attempt at becoming an Olympian and I still can’t really believe that I have accomplished it,” said Nee. “It was really hard getting hurt right before the Olympic Trials in 2008 and then coming back only to lose in a tie for the 2012 Games.” Nee’s optimism outweighs past frustration, though. “I believe everything happens for a reason. Representing the U.S. in the Olympic Games is a lofty goal, and having to try three times makes me respect the athletes that came before me even more.”Nee (Tom Dunning)_FIXFollowing her shoulder injury, Nee took a paddling hiatus. A recent high school graduate, she instead turned her focus to college and career options. “I had been paddling since I was ten and I wanted to see what it was like to have my life revolve around something other than paddling, so I moved to Honolulu.” A year and a half later—during which time Nee picked up longboarding and dabbled in street art—her shoulder had almost healed, and she refocused on paddling.Nee’s most recent Olympic pursuit has also been challenging. At this year’s two team trial legs in North Carolina and Oklahoma, she finished first and second, respectively. Tied with fellow athlete Dana Mann, Nee received the Olympic spot based on her performance at last year’s Pan American Games in Toronto. “The women’s kayak final (at Pan Am) was an epic race,” she recalled. The top three women—Nee took bronze, Canada took gold, and Brazil took silver—were separated by just .03 seconds. “It was an awesome race to be a part of, but it was an Olympic qualifier and it wasn’t clear if we would get an Olympic berth for the U.S.”Nee began kayaking at age ten during summer camp at Valley Mill Camp in Seneca, Md. Seventeen years later, she now works as a kayaking instructor for Liquid Adventures in Maryland and loves the reward of watching someone “get better and better.” Slalom racing is not easy, but Nee remains confident “anyone can do it” and advises young athletes to “dream big.” Also sound advice? Her father’s words to “be good, be safe, and have fun.”There are no practice runs in a race, and Nee said she responds by treating each course as a puzzle. “Seeing how fast I can solve that course is my inspiration.” The next puzzle Nee likely wants to solve? How to bring home gold this summer.Sean Ryan, Open-Water SwimmerChattanooga, TennesseeWhen Sean Ryan joined his first swim team, he struggled at covering 25 yards. Now the 23-year-old will compete in marathon swimming at the Games, a competition that challenges athletes to swim a six-mile open water course.A fourth place finish at last year’s FINA World Championships earned Ryan his Olympic berth. Finishing in slightly over 1 hour, 50 minutes, Ryan said he was pinching himself after the race. “There were seven people right behind me, and I wouldn’t let myself look backwards. To finish and see that I had finished fourth was something special.”Sean Ryan (photo: Mike Lewis)Ryan rebounded after not qualifying for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. He needed a top ten finish at the 2011 FINA World Championships for an automatic berth but finished 25th. His attempts a year later to qualify for the pool team also fell short. He didn’t give up. “I came back after that and really tried to take a new approach and really enjoy the process and enjoy training and other things in my life outside swimming. That has overall paid off.”Ryan, who began swimming competitively at age five, recalled how his mother contemplated whether to register him for swim lessons or the swim team. When she asked if he could swim across a 25-yard pool, Ryan responded, “definitely.” That response solidified the team option, but Ryan soon discovered swimming that distance was harder than it appeared. Still, he stuck with it. That dedication led to his first Olympic Team Trials in 2008 for the 1,500-meter freestyle. He’s also made several national team rosters in open water and the 1,500 and earned multiple medals in both national and international competitions. Ryan, a former member of the University of Michigan men’s swimming and diving program, recently finished his master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He lives and trains in Michigan but said his favorite open-water swimming spot remains the Tennessee River near downtown Chattanooga. “It’s one of the most scenic places to swim. You’re looking down river and into the mountains and tree lines.”Michal Smolen, Whitewater Slalom KayakerGastonia, North CarolinaMichal Smolen sat frozen in a kayak in the middle of the Nantahala River near the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Oversized kayaking gear engulfed his slight, eight-year-old frame. A desire to follow in his father’s footsteps had brought him to this moment, his first kayaking attempt during a summer visit to the United States.Smolen (Chris Worrall)_FIXSmolen emigrated from Poland at age nine. His father—a former member of the Polish National Team and whitewater slalom alternate for Poland at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games—accepted a coaching job in 2000 with the Nantahala Racing Club. He now serves as USA Canoe/Kayak’s slalom national development and coaching manager and is his son’s coach.Michal Smolen, 22, initially hesitated to embrace his father’s sport. Being alone in the water overwhelmed him, and Smolen vowed against attempting the sport again. “I didn’t know how to swim when I went kayaking the first time. I was scared of flipping over and not being able to come back up and not being able to swim in the river.” Ironically, he chose competitive swimming instead, a sport he continued until, at age 13, he began eyeing whitewater kayaking.This wasn’t the only obstacle Smolen overcame to attain his Olympic dream. About the time he returned to kayaking, Smolen was diagnosed with epilepsy. “I was afraid when it happened that I wouldn’t be able to paddle.” He was eventually cleared to keep paddling but suffered yet another setback before the 2012 Games. Smolen won the men’s kayak single U.S. national team trials in 2011, bolstering his chances at representing the United States in London. The Polish-born athlete was not yet a U.S. citizen, though, and efforts to lobby Congress to fast-track his citizenship were unsuccessful. Smolen didn’t receive his citizenship until seven months following the Games. “I was just so upset and now I don’t see it that way anymore. I’ve had a lot of experience in the last four years and really prepared . . . and I think that going to Rio I can do well.”As he readies for the Games, Smolen offered advice for athletes beginning to climb the ranks. “Make sure you definitely have your goals and are competitive, but at the same time don’t forget to have fun. You must always remind yourself of why you’re doing it.”TriathleteKatie Zaferes, TriathleteHampstead, MarylandKatie Zaferes lettered in five high school sports and holds records at Syracuse University in both the outdoor 3,000-meter steeplechase and indoor 5,000 meters. It wasn’t until she began competing in triathlons that Zaferes, 27, ever thought she could be “that caliber of athlete” who could reach the Olympics. A week following her selection as the U.S. women’s final and third triathlete, Zaferes’ enthusiasm was still evident. “I’m so excited, happily overwhelmed, proud and relieved,” she wrote via email. “It’s been a goal that has been sitting there for two years now . . . it’s crazy to think come August 20th I’ll get to call myself an Olympian!!” Zaferes, who now lives in California, joins Gwen Jorgensen and Sarah True, both of whom solidified their Olympic berths last August. Zaferes locked down her team spot following a sixth place finish in May at a world triathlon event in Japan.Zaferes (Delly Carr-ITU)_FIXZaferes was tapped by USA Triathlon’s Collegiate Recruitment Program in 2012, though her introduction to the sport came about five years earlier when she ran a triathlon alongside her father, Bill. Zaferes, then a high school senior, didn’t foresee a future in triathlon at that time, especially given her recent commitment to running at Syracuse. Now, Zaferes can’t imagine focusing all her energy on just one sport. “There are so many things I love about triathlon,” she said. Training for three varied disciplines keeps it “exciting and fun,” and she loves how the sport has introduced her to new places and people.Being a part of an All-American podium alongside True and Jorgensen twice last year has been among Zaferes’ most memorable moments. The toughest moments have been mental, pushing through flashes of “doubt” or “frustration” and shaking off pressures associated with competing at the elite level. “The great part is that none of those moments have lasted too long, and I have an awesome support network to make those cloudy days better.” She advises future Olympic hopefuls to enjoy the journey and push through those trying times. “There will be days where it’s hard and it seems like you’re never going to perfect a particular skill, but enjoy the process and keep working on it over time,” she said. “Always give yourself credit for those small victories and take the time to be proud of yourself.”thrasher-headshotGinny Thrasher, 10M Air Rifle/ Three-Position RifleSpringfield, Va.A product of West Springfield High School in Virginia, Thrasher shot for her high school rifle team, but her love of shooting first came after hunting with her grandfather. At West Virginia University, Thrasher has quickly taken her skills to the next level.As a freshman, she earned five medals at the 2015 USA Shooting National Championships, and she led all rifle competitors in the country with the top air rifle score of 599/600 that she shot on two separate occasions.  She became the first freshman rifle shooter ever to win both individual titles in air and smallbore while leading WVU to their fourth-straight, and 18th overall, NCAA team title.Success didn’t end there for the 19-year-old, however. She went to Olympic Team Trials three weeks later and pulled out a decisive victory in the Three-Position event over a seasoned and talented field. She earned a nine-point win having never competed in the event internationally.  From NCAA Champion to Olympian, the teenager from WVU has her sights on a medal in Rio.Joe MorrisJoe Morris, SailorAnnapolis, Md.Elite sailor Joe Morris qualified for the Olympic team as part of the two-person crew for the 49er—a high-performance dinghy. It’s a dangerous boat with little margin for error; if you make a mistake, you flip.Morris was working for a technology company in Switzerland when his former Yale Sailing teammate Thomas Barrows called him looking for a partner on the 49er. They spent a month sailing in the Virgin Islands and decided to commit themselves to pursuing an Olympic berth.Though they started as underdogs, they quickly ascended the ranks and placed well in national competitions. US Regatta announced this spring that Barrows and Morris would represent the U.S. in the 49er competition in Rio.last_img read more

America’s Toughest Road Marathon – April 18, 2020

first_imgFeatured in Runner’s World story on “World’s Most Brutal Races 2019” Choose your challenge- Notorious double marathon (sells out each year), the signature Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon, the half marathon, Anthem 10k, 4-person relay and Family 1 Miler. Blue Ridge added the Sunday Slow-K in 2019 dubbed “America’s Slowest 5k” as a recovery and camaraderie event to socialize with race friends. The fun run features coffee, donuts, group stretches & a mimosa bar. center_img The Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon has more elevation change than any road race in the US, offering tough terrain with breathtaking overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The full marathon tackles three mountains, while the double marathon tackles six.  If you’re not a masochist you can still test your grit on the half marathon, 10k or 4-person relay. Join this three-day running celebration with a free Friday welcome party, live music all weekend, and a coffee & donuts recovery “Slow-K”. REGISTER NOW Voted “Toughest Race”, “Best Marathon”, “Best Running Event” numerous times by Blue Ridge Outdoor Readers. Hear from a few… REGISTER NOWlast_img read more

Chamomile and Whiskey Releases New Song, “Never Live Up”

first_imgChamomile and Whiskey get candidly introspective in the new song “Never Live Up,” a first look at the Virginia-based group’s upcoming album Red Clay Heart. The follow-up to the 2017 full-length effort Sweet Afton is expected to arrive in late spring or early summer this year.  While the band’s expansive alt-country sound often blends expressive fiddle lines with dusty, jangly electric riffs, “Never Live Up” is a sparse, porch-style ballad. The group’s main singer-songwriter Koda Kerl strums an acoustic and with his husky voice accepts love lost in the pensive lines, “Even if I could go back/would it do any good?/I’ll never live up to what you deserve/but I don’t think anyone could.” “I wrote this song just before we started making the record,” Kerl said in a statement. “I guess it’s one of those heart-broken-in-love, looking out the window kind of tunes. We arranged and recorded it on the fly in the studio and it became one of our favorites.” center_img Chamomile and Whiskey will start a spring tour on March 14 at the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, Va. Additional dates include stops at Isis Music Hall in Asheville, N.C., on April 2 and the Muddy Creek Café and Music Hall in Sparta, N.C., on April 3. The band is also on the bill at Roosterwalk, which takes place over Memorial Day weekend at Pop’s Farm in Martinsville, Va. Footage of the live take on “Never Live Up” was filmed at Cartoon Moon Studio in Nashville, where the band made their new album with producer Ken Coomer (formerly of Wilco and Uncle Tupelo). Kerl said other songs on the new effort aren’t so subdued: “This record is a little more raw and a bit heavier than our last couple and almost feels ‘Southern Gothic’ to me.”last_img read more

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