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In restructuring, PG&E ‘will have to cater to customers who have other ways to meet their power needs’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal:When it emerges from what is expected to be a long and complex chapter 11 reorganization, it’s likely to be a very different business—no longer the sprawling provider of natural gas and electric service to 16 million Californians.While wildfire liabilities that PG&E pegged at more than $30 billion were the main factor behind its bankruptcy filing, the San Francisco-based company faces far broader challenges. Long a utility accustomed to having a monopoly, in the future it will have to cater to customers who have other ways to meet their power needs.The traditional business model of electric utilities is under siege as homeowners, corporations and new community groups seek to generate or purchase power for themselves, a trend that is particularly advanced in California. All the while, PG&E has become deeply intertwined with California’s renewable energy and carbon-reduction goals, requiring it to sign expensive long-term contracts while also facing political pressure to keep rates from rising too fast.All options are going to be on the table in a bankruptcy proceeding, experts say. The possibilities include breaking up the company, selling off its natural-gas business or shedding some of its more than 100 hydroelectric dams. San Francisco and other cities have also said they want to explore running their own utilities in what has been PG&E territory.All options are going to be on the table in a bankruptcy proceeding, experts say. The possibilities include breaking up the company, selling off its natural-gas business or shedding some of its more than 100 hydroelectric dams. San Francisco and other cities have also said they want to explore running their own utilities in what has been PG&E territory.“There’s a larger issue at hand regarding how utilities are coping with new technology,” Mr. Peskoe said. “Maybe this is an opportunity for the industry to think about this differently.”PG&E said in the bankruptcy filing that it wants the ability to end hundreds of long-term power contracts with wind and solar farms, a move that could hurt the nation’s renewable-energy industry. PG&E has $42 billion in contractual commitments to buy electricity, more than half for wind and solar power to meet California’s aggressive renewable-energy goals. NextEra Energy Inc., a Florida utility with a large renewable-power-generation business has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to assert jurisdiction over these contracts. The commission ruled last week that it would review the matter alongside the bankruptcy judge.California Gov. Gavin Newsom has also expressed worries about the potential cancellation of the contracts, which could hurt the state’s ability to meet aggressive goals to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and combat climate change.More($): Wildfires Drove PG&E to Bankruptcy, Where Utility Must Change to Survive In restructuring, PG&E ‘will have to cater to customers who have other ways to meet their power needs’last_img read more

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Daddio keeps memory short after struggling at faceoff X against Villanova

first_img Published on March 27, 2013 at 1:44 am Contact Jacob: jmklinge@syr.edu | @Jacob_Klinger_ Chris Daddio sat down for dinner with family and friends at Varsity Pizza on March 16 to celebrate Syracuse’s 13-8 win over Johns Hopkins.One week later, Daddio stood at midfield of Villanova Stadium to explain a harrowing defeat, about 15 yards away from the spot where he lost 12-of-14 faceoffs in a loss to the Wildcats.He has to forget it and move on. It is the nature of the job — win the ball in a battle that takes milliseconds. It is what he tells the group of freshman faceoff men about the job he’s been doing since he was 7.“I always ask him questions on the sideline like, ‘Hey, what’d you do this time? What’d you do differently?’” said freshman faceoff specialist Cal Paduda.Despite owning that veteran role, Daddio, a junior, has struggled to consistently own the X against opponents. He has won 48.7 percent of faceoffs taken this season — essentially the same percentage as last year, when he won 49 percent. His up-and-down play continued against Villanova when he won just two faceoffs, a far cry from his taking 20-of-33 in SU’s season-opener against Albany. He has taken the most faceoffs for Syracuse in all but one game this year, and appears to still be its go-to faceoff specialist seven games into the year.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDaddio took his first faceoff when he was a second-grader in the Loudon County youth league in Virginia. His older brother, Kyle, began playing lacrosse and taking faceoffs as an eighth- and ninth-grader. Kyle Daddio, who went on to play for Mount St. Mary’s, passed on everything he learned to his younger brother.So Daddio learned moves his peers had no idea how to do, and won the ball in ways they couldn’t.“I like the idea of having the pressure put on me,” Daddio said. “You being the guy to get your team the ball.”On Saturday, he couldn’t. His brother was there, and he reminded Daddio of the faceoff man’s mantra: “Every faceoff’s a new game.”Assistant coach Lelan Rogers grounds Daddio with criticism after almost every faceoff, sometimes telling him he does not have “it.”“It” happens when a faceoff specialist hits a streak, when he’s tuned into the referee’s whistle seemingly before it happens. Momentum builds with each win as they keep piling up.When that happens, Rogers says nothing.When a faceoff specialist is on a hot streak like that, Paduda said it feels like his hands are “floating.” Like he is gone before the whistle.In reality, it is timely anticipation.On days like the one Daddio had against Villanova, it’s the opposite.Daddio is admittedly at his best popping the ball out quickly and breaking the other way. But when he is too slow by tenths of a second, it can be too late. The abysmal performance at the faceoff X against Villanova was hard to watch for Paduda, who learns from Daddio daily.“You always just feel you can’t buy a faceoff, like everything’s going wrong,” Paduda said. “It’s almost like the more you try, the more you’re losing.”But as Daddio tries to bounce back from his worst performance of the season, he is going back to his roots. He is searching for the same drive that brought him to the sport as a 7-year-old, and the short memory of a faceoff specialist.Said Daddio: “We want to get over the hiccup and get back to this year, what we’ve been doing well.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Desert birds fly more than 2000 kilometers to find ephemeral lakes

first_imgA species of Australian shorebird can detect and then quickly fly to short-lived lakes that form in the middle of the desert after a significant rainfall, new research suggests. The bird, known as the banded stilt (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus), is slightly bigger than the largest sandpipers and typically lives along Australia’s southern coast. But it occasionally flocks inland to breed and raise chicks around the waters that accumulate on salt flats after rains that sometimes occur only once every 2 or 3 years. In a first-of-its-kind study, scientists strapped tracking devices to 21 birds and monitored their movements, in some cases for up to 13 months. The gadgets—about half the size of a matchbox (shown on bird in image above) and powered by solar cells the size of a postage stamp—were programmed to record data for 10 hours and then save energy by shutting down during the 16 hours that followed. The results were surprising: In some instances, birds left two widely separated locations and crossed deserts along very different routes to converge on the same remote inland lake, the researchers report online today in Biology Letters. One of these migrations covered more than 2200 kilometers in 2.5 days, a movement nearly twice as long and twice as rapid as those previously known for other desert waterbirds, the researchers say. Just as surprising was the timing of some of these trips: Whereas some migrations commenced just after the distant rainfalls occurred, several others didn’t begin until weeks after the lake-generating rains had come and gone. Therefore, it isn’t clear what cues the straggling birds used to discern and then home in on the lakes: It’s not likely to have been the long-gone weather patterns associated with the storms that dumped the rainfall, but it could have been smells emanating from the flooded salt lakes or their newly revived bounty of brine shrimp, the team suggests.last_img read more