Iowa Utilities’ Strategy Seen as Effort to Curb Solar FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Karen Uhlenhuth for Midwest Energy News:Five months after state regulators strongly urged them to develop pilot projects that would “expand renewable (distributed generation) in Iowa,” Iowa’s two largest utilities have proposed new rate systems that critics contend would do just the opposite.“It’s now official,” said Andy Johnson, a clean-energy advocate and the director of the Winneshiek Energy District. “MidAmerican and Alliant are presenting road maps to move away from net metering in Iowa.”On Monday, the utilities filed documents with the Iowa Utilities Board, outlining in fairly general terms how they might modify the way they treat distributed wind and solar generators owned by customers.“Our company is making a thoughtful move towards using cleaner energy,” said Justin Foss, speaking for Alliant. “We have listened to customers and there is growing interest in having a direct connection with renewable energy generation. Our goal is to create program options that make it easier for customers to access solar energy.”Both utilities said they intend to develop community solar arrays, which they would own. And MidAmerican said it intends to install a one-megawatt battery in conjunction with its community solar system, to better understand how to integrate storage with the grid.“I think that’s a positive,” said Josh Mandelbaum, a lawyer for the Environmental Law & Policy Center who generally advocates for more renewable energy. “Coupling generation with battery technology allows you to capture the full benefits of distributed generation.”Johnson was less impressed with the utilities’ plans to build their own solar generation.“There’s nothing wrong with utilities owning renewables,” he said. “We think they should own more solar – and faster. But don’t try to exclude the rest of us from building or owning wind or solar and getting just compensation.“That’s what this docket is about…but the utilities are trying to take it towards utility ownership and towards policies that disallow and penalize customer and community ownership.”Full article: Iowa utilities propose to ‘pilot’ a rate hike for solar customers
By Dialogo July 10, 2009 Panama City, July 8 (EFE).- The Panamanian police confiscated 2.3 tons of cocaine and detained two Mexicans and one Panamanian linked to smuggling during two operations carried out in the province of Colón and in La Chorrera, west of the capital, the director of the police, Gustavo Pérez, announced today. Pérez stated to the press that “Kamboya Operation” in the town of Río Veraguas, in Colón, in the Caribbean region, and “Llano Operation” in the district of La Chorrera, were carried out yesterday in cooperation with the Public Prosecutor’s Office. In “Kamboya Operation,” 200 kilos of cocaine and a long-range rifle with a 24-shot cartridge were confiscated, but there were no arrests. The Chief Public Prosecutor for Drugs, Javier Caraballo, explained that the drugs were found hidden in the underbrush and packed in around eighty-seven bags. According to the official, the authorities believe that the drug traffickers were in the middle of refueling when the police action took place. “Two individuals were seen in the area at the time of the operation, but they fled,” specified Caraballo, who indicated that, although the final destination of the drugs is also unknown for certain, “they’re generally headed to the countries to the north.” He indicated that the Atlantic corridor, the area where the bags were found, is used for international drug trafficking, “especially by speedboats that leave Colombia and generally head for Mexico or the United States.” In “Llano Operation,” besides confiscating 2.1 tons of cocaine, the police arrested two Mexican citizens who had been released on bond while awaiting trial on similar charges, and one Panamanian. The drugs were found hidden in a truck that had a metal false bottom in its roof, according to the authorities, who did not release the names of the persons implicated. Two other vehicles, one of which had a false bottom, a sealed tank of gas for an outboard motor, and welding materials, were also seized in the operation.
Topics : He said the company would hire 2,500 local workers in the first phase. These workers would become smelter operators, which were priority positions that VDNI needed filled. Indrayanto did not detail the successive phases.Indrayanto also said the company had brought in 261 out of the 500 Chinese workers as of Thursday. The remaining third batch was supposed to arrive last week but the arrival was delayed due to local protests.Virtue Dragon, which is developing Indonesia’s largest nickel smelter, plays a key role in realizing the central government’s ambition of transforming mineral-rich Indonesia from a commodity-driven economy to an industrial economy.The smelter, last valued at US$1.4 billion, is slated to produce 600,000 tons of nickel pig iron (NPI) each year once fully completed in 2021. Chinese-backed mining company PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry (VDNI) has promised to hire 5,000 locals amid protests over the employment of 500 Chinese workers for nickel smelter projects in Konawe regency, Southeast Sulawesi.VDNI signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the matter with the Konawe administration on Wednesday. The company agreed to absorb the workforce while the administration agreed to headhunt workers, who will start working once the smelter installation was finished.“We are committed to employing local workers. But recruitment will be done in stages, as needed,” VDNI spokesman Indrayanto told The Jakarta Post from nickel-rich Southeast Sulawesi on Thursday. Indrayanto argued that the employment of Chinese workers was essential to install the smelter. While there had been a delay in the arrival of foreign workers, he was optimistic the project would still run on time, at the end of the year.“The development of the [smelter] is still ongoing but it will just be slower,” he said.In April, Southeast Sulawesi Governor Ali Mazi and the Southeast Sulawesi Legislative Council had refused entry to the foreign workers, supposedly due to concerns over COVID-19 transmission. Ali then turned around and green lighted the arrival amid the backlash.Manpower Minister Ida Fauziah previously stated in June that allowing foreign employment would eventually result in more jobs for local workers after they learned to use the technology used in the projects.With the sizeable investment for the project, the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister has also stated that it would oversee the local worker recruitment process, says a spokesman.“With this deal, we hope all employment-related policy making and problem solving in the area can be handled faster and better,” Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister spokesman Jodi Mahardi said in a statement on Wednesday.Locals were seen up in arms near Haluoleo Kendari Airport in South Konawe on June 23 as the first batch of 152 Chinese workers landed. Protesters raised concerns over local unemployment rates, COVID-19 infections and the workers’ visa statuses, while also blaring religious and racially-charged statements.As of May 27, more than 1.79 million people have lost their jobs as many nonessential businesses shut down to comply with government restrictions, according to data from the Manpower Ministry. The government predicts up to 5.5 million workers could lose their jobs, while 4 million could fall below the poverty line.