Op-Ed: Montana Is Blessed With Vast Renewable Energy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Jeff L. Fox for the Billings Gazette:The Bozeman Daily Chronicle recently editorialized that it’s “Time Montana realized coal’s limitations.” Similarly, The Billings Gazette recently ran editorials claiming that “Montana can’t stake its future on coal,” and Montana’s economy and energy sector must “Diversify or die, it’s our choice.”The editorials ran in response to the state’s grappling with the reality of a shrinking coal sector. Both editorial boards correctly identified that the challenges facing Montana’s coal sector extend far beyond the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” carbon regulations. Both also correctly identified that Montana’s economy is diverse, and that further diversification will help us shrug off any coming coal losses. However, neither fully captured the opportunity that renewable energy development can play in building a brighter future for Montana.Montana is blessed with one of the best wind resources in the United States, which can help power our state and large portions of the economies of Washington, Oregon and California, just like Montana’s coal currently does. Additionally, our solar energy resource is more than adequate to meet a sizable portion of our own in-state demand, if we get serious about utilizing it.People who want to invest in and help build Montana’s renewable energy future are already here, ready to bring forward the clean energy that is in demand. Reviewing the interconnection requests on NorthWestern Energy’s system reveals every utility-scale electric energy project being actively developed (more than 50 in total on NorthWestern Energy’s system) is either a wind or solar energy project. Not every project currently being developed is likely to be successful, but the fact that all are renewable is an indicator of where we are going and where we should focus our efforts.Tallying up proposed wind projects statewide reveals there are more than 2,000 megawatts of wind energy being actively developed right now in Montana. If built, 2,000 megawatts of installed wind energy would probably represent something like $3 billion in capital investment, more than 11,000 construction job years, and more than 500 permanent jobs, based on the “Employment Effects of Clean Energy Investments in Montana” report authored by energy consulting firm Synapse Energy.Two thousand megawatts is a good starting point, but we have nearly limitless low-cost wind potential in Montana that can complement the renewable resources in neighboring states. How much wind resource we develop is really up to us, but commitment to even a modest goal could provide significant economic impact to help with our energy transition.Matching coal’s economic footprint would provide support for Montana’s rural communities, pumping tax dollars, local spending, landowner payments and, most important, jobs into small towns, without disrupting their character. A wind project in every county would help keep small town schools — the lifeblood of rural Montana communities —in good health.Meanwhile, Montana is seeing our first utility-scale solar projects being developed and community solar projects taking off with rural electric cooperatives leading the way. The rooftop solar market is experiencing sustained double-digit growth in Montana and today there are already more than 50 main street Montana-based businesses involved in selling, installing and connecting rooftop solar energy systems.Finally, large pumped hydroenergy storage projects proposed for Montana could further increase the value of wind and solar energy potential.The transition to cleaner energy is happening all across the country. It can happen here, too.Nationwide the solar industry already employs more workers than the entirety of the coal industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects wind energy technicians to be the fastest growing occupation in the nation through 2024.None of this is to suggest the challenges facing coal communities aren’t real and potentially painful. Together, we all must ensure that utilities, mine operators, and politicians do right by the workers if those jobs disappear or are phased out. But, Montana also has enormous benefits to realize in the clean energy transition, if we are open to seizing the opportunities.Guest opinion: Renewables can diversify Montana’s energy economy
The Courier-Mail previously reported that it took “four or five” people about 10 days to remove almost 100 cubic metres of “hoarder’s junk” from the property. Almost 100 cubic metres of hoarder’s junk was removed from 140 Annie St, New Farm. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours agoThe kitchen had seen better days.Mr Liddy said the winning bid was placed by a friend who was acting on behalf of an interstate buyer.“The buyers are a young couple who are not originally from Queensland but looking to turn it into their own family home,” Mr Liddy said. The house at 140 Annie St, New Farm, sold at auction for $1.3 million.AN INNER-city hoarder’s house has sold for almost 60 times what it was originally bought for.The two-level house at 140 Annie St changed hands for the first time in 45 years at an auction yesterday. There was a DIY staircase.More than 40 spectators and nine registered bidders spilt out onto the street in front of the New Farm property at 9am and bidding for the pre-war dwelling kicked off at $1 million, with Belle Property Bulimba agent and auctioneer Paul Liddy leading the way.Mr Liddy coaxed bidding upward, taking two $100,000 bids, before it broke down to bids as small as $5000.After just nine bids, the house was sold under the hammer for $1.3 million dollars.According to CoreLogic data, the property last sold for $22,000 in 1973. However, Mr Liddy said the house was built before 1946 and could not be demolished under current heritage protection legislation.“It certainly is an interesting piece of property to say the least, but it bears great bare bones,” he said. Some of the property had VJ walls and timber floorboards that could be restored.Mr Liddy said the sellers, who were understood to have inherited the property, were “delighted” with the result.“It’s a family home, so there is a lot of emotion involved, but their expectations have been well and truly exceeded,” he said.The agent said the auction was an example of the strength in the New Farm market at present.“We had an extraordinarily big crowd and nine registered bidders … and the land holding of 582sq m in this location in New Farm is extraordinary,” Mr Liddy said.“We’ve seen the market speak today about the land values in New Farm, without a doubt.”Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:34Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:34 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhy The Block has been such a success00:35
Statewide — Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) today announced 40 Indiana Main Street programs will receive a portion of $200,000 through Taking Care of Main Street. This is a new program providing operational support for Indiana Main Street organizations impacted by COVID-19.The goal of this program is to support Indiana Main Street organizations that provide leadership and services to the businesses and members, using the Main Street Approach, with special attention to organizations that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. Eligible expenses could include salaries, administrative fees, space/equipment rental, or staff development and training. Below is a summary of how the Main Street organizations from Southeastern Indiana plan to use the $5,000 funding they each received: Madison Main Street Program plans to update the Madison Main Street web page with a new space for business materials, event and workshop plans and registrations, grant information and applications, real estate listings, sponsor and donor recognition, interactive maps for business locations and inventory, community press releases and staff and business training.Main Street Brookville Inc. will use the funding to coordinate programming and provide technical assistance to help transition to an online platform by helping build a business’s website integrated with merchant services. In addition, grant funds will be used to help sustain operational costs.Main Street Greensburg will use the money to fund the salary of a new part-time assistant.Main Street Shelbyville will use their funding to bridge a gap left by the loss of sponsorships, memberships, and event income. The funding will help with continued promotion and facilitation of programming such as COVID-19 survival webinar with the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), the Downtown Highlights series, and for the administration of the downtown grant programs.