Friday, November 14, 2014

This blog is no longer updated. Many thanks to all who viewed and contributed feedback. Feel free to contact me regarding my past posts.

- Chad

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Google Signs 407 MW Wind Energy Deal For Its Data Center

It’s Earth Day, so there isn’t a company on the Internet that isn’t trying to brandish its green image. Apple led the charge earlier this week and today, Google announced that it has inked a deal with MidAmerican Energy to supply its $1.5 billion Iowa data center with up to 407 megawatts of 100 percent renewable wind energy.

This is the company’s sixth and largest green energy power purchase agreement so far and brings its total amount of contracted renewable energy to over 1,000 MW. MidAmerican Energy will supply Google’s data center with power from a number of its wind farms, including its new Wind VIII site, which — once construction wraps up next year — will consist of 448 wind turbines.

“Google’s significant and growing presence within our service area, along with its long and demonstrated commitment to renewable energy, have been important factors in MidAmerican Energy’s pursuit of renewable power,” said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy, in a statement today. “In addition to increasing Google’s access to renewable energy, this agreement also reduces energy costs for our customers.”

Google previously signed a very similar agreement with an Oklahoma utility in 2012 and earlier this year, it announced that it had come to a similar agreement with a Swedish utility to power its Finnish data center. The company has also invested about $1 billion in 15 green energy projects around the world.


Monday, April 14, 2014

What every engineer needs to know about NI 43-101

By Chad Eggerman and Kevin Sorochan

This article originally appeared in the April 18, 2014, issue of The Lawyers Weekly published by LexisNexis Canada Inc.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

German nuclear plant shutdown ruled unlawful by German courts - utility likely to sue for significant damages

The forced closure of RWE’s Biblis nuclear power plant after the Fukushima accident was unlawful, the German Supreme Administrative Court has ruled. The utility is now likely to sue for considerable damages while the decision may set a precedent for the other shutdown reactors.

Germany’s reaction to the Fukushima accident in 2011 was extreme, with Chancellor Angela Merkel making two decisions: one to order a shutdown of eight units that started operation in or before 1980 for a three-month moratorium period; and subsequently that those units may not be allowed to restart. Without consultation or reference to independent regulatory advice on the safety of the plants, the orders were executed by the German states which are home to the reactors.

Today the state of Hesse was told it acted illegally by enforcing the decisions on the Biblis nuclear power plant sited in the state. The ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court in Leipzig is legally binding and cannot be appealed. It backs up a decision made last year by the Administrative Court of Hesse, which was appealed by the federal government.

Efforts to force the shutdowns were “formally unlawful because [RWE] had not been consulted and this constituted a substantial procedural error,” said the court.

Plant owner RWE can now sue for compensation over the loss of the Biblis units as an asset. The plant has two reactors, Biblis A and B, which are boiling water reactors rated at 1167 MWe and 1240 MWe respectively and which had been licensed to operate until 2016 and 2018. The company has previously said it suffered losses of over €1 billion ($1.3 billion) in 2011 alone due to the Biblis shutdown.

The same shutdown orders hit Germany’s other nuclear operators, EOn, Vattenfall and EnBW, although EnBW is 45% owned by the Green-governed state of Baden-Wurttemburg and is not contesting the shutdown or appealing a ruling that upheld the fuel tax. EOn and RWE contest both the shutdown and the fuel tax, which German courts have now referred to the European Court of Justice. Sweden-owned Vattenfall is contesting the shutdown via international arbitrartion.

Collectively the utilities lost 8336 MWe of nuclear generating capacity, closing Biblis A and B, Neckarwestheim 1, Brunsbuttel, Isar 1, Unterweser, and Phillipsburg 1. Despite only starting operation built in 1984, Krummel was not brought back from long-term shutdown.

Source (researched and written): World Nuclear News -