Rockaways erosion failures electricity physics formulas


ROCKAWAYS EROSION FAILURE — The New York Times’ J. David Goodman: “Senior officials in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration have known for at least a year that the sands of Rockaway Beach were swiftly washing away. They heard about it at a town-hall meeting and in City Council hearings. They conducted a $200,000 study… The study results came back in November: Despite obvious erosion, the beach — which had been replenished at the start of the mayor’s first term — and its dunes were determined to be ‘wider than at almost any time in the last 100 years.’ So the city did not act. Now, days before the start of beach season, city officials have dropped a bombshell on beachgoers and business owners: A half-mile stretch of one of New York’s most popular and transit-accessible stretches of shoreline would not open for the season on Saturday… How the Rockaways got to this point is a story of inaction and finger-pointing between New York City officials and the Army Corps of Engineers, whose mission includes reducing risk in coastal areas, and which has played a large role in restoring the region’s coastline after Hurricane Sandy.” Read more here.

WAITING ON BROADBAND — Post-Star’s Gwendolyn Craig: “When it comes to internet connectivity, a cluster of houses on Vaughn Road feels like an island. Sandwiched by broadband coming from Queensbury on one side, Hudson Falls on the other, seven or eight homes have been left without, and some homeowners are wondering what they can do about it. Charlene Lemery is one of those residents, living at 940 Vaughn Road, one house away from broadband. She’s not satisfied with the 1 to 3 megabits per second DSL provides and would like access to the 100 megabits per second or so that cable can provide. For Lemery and others in similar situations, the hook-up options are slower-going than they’d like, or costly. The New York State Broadband Program Office is requiring Charter Communications, which now operates as Spectrum, to expand its infrastructure across the state, serving an additional 145,000 households by 2020. If that’s not fast enough, the state said residents in a Spectrum franchise area can pay to have an existing cable line extended to their house. Customers will eventually receive reimbursement on a pro-rated basis as new customers subscribe. When Lemery called Spectrum to see how she could hook up, one representative told her it would cost her $3,700. Another said $6,000. The estimates, she said, included 25 feet of overhead cable and 545 feet of underground cable.” Read more here.

SOLARIZE CAMPAIGN PRAISED — Journal News’ Thomas Zambito: “More than 2,400 solar energy projects have been installed or are in the works across the state of New York, growth being fueled by projects in the Hudson Valley, state officials say. Nearly half of the projects developed so far – 963 – are centered in the counties of Ulster, Dutchess, Sullivan, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester counties, state officials say. The next highest totals were in the state’s southern tier and central New York, with 277 projects apiece. While the statewide buildup has been modest – enough megawatts to power 3,241 homes — experts view it as an early sign the governor’s NY-Sun Solar Initiative is making headway. ‘This is a well-run program with solid management that is delivering real results,’ said Karl Rabago, the executive director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center in White Plains. ‘The folks in the Administration should be proud, and then get back to work to do even more.’ The initiative, called NY-Sun Solarize, is backed by $830,000 in technical and marketing support from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority, which has gone to education and outreach campaigns touting the values of solar energy.” Read more here.

DISASTER ZONES — The New York Times’ Sahil Chinoy: “In the last 16 years, parts of Louisiana have been struck by six hurricanes. Areas near San Diego were devastated by three particularly vicious wildfire seasons. And a town in eastern Kentucky has been pummeled by at least nine storms severe enough to warrant federal assistance. These places are part of a small fraction of the United States that has sustained most of the damage from major natural disasters, forming a pattern of destruction concentrated in particular areas.” Read more here.

CHEMICAL PLANTS SHOULD CONSIDER WEATHER RISK — Reuters’ Erwin Seba: “The U.S. Chemical Safety Board on Thursday urged chemical plants to weigh the risks of natural disasters just as they would the integrity of pipes and production equipment.” Read more here.

COMMUNITY SOLAR BOOM — UtilityDive’s Herman Trabish: “Utilities like big solar projects that they can own, and consumers like rooftop solar that they can own, but there is a third kind of solar emerging that may finally be ready to work for both utilities and consumers. Community solar projects are interconnected with utilities’ distribution systems in ways that give utilities the same control they get with larger projects. But they are owned or leased by individual customers like rooftop solar. And they are big enough to get economies of scale that make them more affordable than rooftop solar.” Read more here.

BAD NEWS FOR THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR — StateImpact’s Marie Cusick: “The future of Exelon’s unprofitable Three Mile Island nuclear power plant [in Pennsylvania] looks even bleaker after [the] company said [Thursday] it failed at an annual auction for the future sale of its electricity.” Read more here.

UTILITIES MAKE RENEWABLE INVESTMENTS — Greentech Media’s Emma Foehringer Merchant: “Utilities are boosting goals for emissions cuts and clean energy, but the majority of portfolios are still fossil fuels. A slate of new integrated resource plans and sustainability proposals indicate U.S. utilities are realizing the business case for clean energy technologies. But many utilities are still hedging their bets on a mix of resources.” Read more here.

EU SETTLES FOR CHEAP RUSSIAN GAS — The Wall Street Journal’s Emre Peker and Natalia Drozdiak: “The European Union settled its multiyear antitrust case against PAO Gazprom on Thursday, clinching promises of cheaper and freer natural-gas flows from Russia as President Donald Trump pressures the bloc to tap U.S. energy exports and cut its dependence on Moscow.” Read more here.