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Latest solar auction in India gets record-low price, strong interest from foreign companies

first_imgLatest solar auction in India gets record-low price, strong interest from foreign companies FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mercom India:The Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) latest auction saw a record low bid of ₹2.36 (~$0.0313)/kWh.The auction was conducted for 2 GW of the interstate transmission system (ISTS) connected solar projects (Tranche IX). This is about 3.3% lower than the previous lowest quoted tariff of ₹2.44 (~$0.032)/kWh. ACME had quoted a tariff of ₹2.44 (~$0.032)/kWh in two of SECI’s auctions; one for 3 GW and another for 2 GW of ISTS-connected solar projects held in July 2018.The L1 (lowest) tariff was quoted by Solarpack Corporacion Tecnologica SA, Avikaran Surya India Private Limited (Enel Green Power), Amp Energy Green Private Limited, Eden Renewables, and ib vogt Singapore Private Limited quoted the second-lowest tariff of ₹2.37 (~$0.0314)/kWh.AMP Energy won 100 MW of projects, while the other companies won 300 MW of projects each.A SECI official confirmed the auction results stating that “We are happy to note a few first-timers and a majority of the winners are foreign companies, which is encouraging. And of course, the tariff is low, which is very good.”The winning bidders were from seven different countries; Solarpack (Spain), Enel Green Power (Italy), Amp Energy (Canada), Eden Renewables (France), ib vogt (Germany), Ayana Renewable (United Kingdom) and ReNew Power (India).[Nithin Thomas Prasad]More: SECI’s 2 GW solar auction gets India a new record-low tariff of ₹2.36/kWhlast_img read more

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Three Great Weekend Mountain Bike Backpacking Trips

first_imgThe Southeast offers fantastic overnight mountain biking experiences. These user-friendly weekend routes are some of the region’s best.  bike packingForest service roads near Reddish Knob in the George Washington National Forest. Photo by Jess Daddio, courtesy of the TransVirginia Trail. bike packingPhoto by Leon McCarron, courtesy of the TransVirginia Trail.  The Ride: The prize run is a roughly 43-mile-long stretch that combines eight MTB trails by way of brief stints on forest roads and one annoying, but ultimately worth it, hike-a-bike. Start with the incredibly remote five-mile-long Mountain Creek trail on the periphery of the 36,977-acre Cohutta Wilderness. From there, it’s on to trails like Bear Creek, Pinhoti 1-5, and Dennis Mill, which end on the outskirts of the town of Chatsworth. Along the way, you’ll pass through Fort Mountain State Park. Scenery: In the 2,358-acre Blackwater Falls State Park, its namesake river drops about 60 feet at the head of Blackwater Canyon. The relatively little-visited national forest backcountry brings isolated high-elevation Appalachian red spruce forests and seasonal wetland areas that, during early spring and summer, attract rare species of migratory birds—like colorful cerulean warblers and red crossbill.      Learn More: For more info, including maps, visit the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association website, wvmba.com. Bonus: With lower trailheads located just 15 miles west of Interstate 81 and less than 20 miles from the city of Harrisonburg, access is incredibly convenient.  The Ride: Expect a hit-parade of about 40 miles of the area’s top trails interspersed by occasional gravel connectors. While there are some long climbs, efforts are rewarded with beautiful ridgelines and long, fast, and flowy descents. For instance, Tillman West brings 2.1 miles of modernized downhill thrills with loads of berms, rollers, and jumps. Parts of the Wild Oak Trail offer quick drops and rocky, technical sections.   Background: The northernmost portion of the 335-mile Pinhoti National Recreation Trail offers some of the region’s best mountain biking. Access begins in the southern fringes of the Cohutta Mountains, about 13 miles from the small-town MTB outpost of Ellijay.   The Ride: Pick your poison. For those that like to go big, starting at Blackwater offers an epic 38-mile loop combining trails in the park and the adjacent national forest. Known as the Rattlesnake, it’s based on the 2012 course of a longstanding annual race. (Luckily, shortening it is easy.) Cap off a day of riding with camping along the Allegheny Trail. From there, proceed to Canaan Valley Resort park, which added six miles of modern, machine-built flow trails—and a pump track—in 2019.  Camping: Options abound. You can nab a primitive site in either park, or pitch a tent between the two in the national forest. The former will run you $17 or $35, respectively. The latter is free.  Background: A 20-plus-year partnership between what is now the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition and the U.S. Forest Service has transformed the North River District of the George Washington National Forest into a mountain biking haven. Most trails were either purpose-built for bikes or retooled accordingly. Expect one of—if not the—best non lift-assisted systems in the state. Riding the Stokesville 60K route ensures a smooth, action-packed experience.   Background: Both state parks are staples of the West Virginia MTB scene and feature prominent trail networks. Both are surrounded by the Monongahela National Forest. Connect the two by way of a roughly five-mile segment of the 330-mile-long Allegheny Trail. The latter passes over the remote, high plateau of the Canaan Mountain Backcountry area, bringing 4,100-plus-foot peaks and a range of interesting habitats.  Learn More: Get trail-related info, maps and more from mulberrygap.com. Camping: Pitch a tent trailside throughout most of the riding area. Some well-established sites can be found on Reddish, Bother, and Flagpole knobs. Alternatively, the loop is designed to begin and end at the Stokesville Campground. Situated on the edge of the national forest on the banks of the North River, it’s a great basecamp for exploration.  Learn More: For trail maps and other information, visit svbcoalition.org.  photo by Chris Hunt Scenery: This section of the Shenandoah Mountain Range is highly rural and backs onto the border of West Virginia. Routes carry you into the Alleghany Mountains and some of the highest MTB terrain in the state. Peaks at Reddish Knob, for instance, bring about 4,400 feet of elevation—and panoramic views of the Shenandoah Valley. Dense forest abounds. It includes one of the last remaining stands of mature Canadian hemlocks in the Southeast.   I love the scenic immersion of long-distance backpacking—the isolated vistas and pristine ecosystems, the wildlife, the backcountry camping along walks less traveled. Yet I often end up fixating: ‘Wouldn’t these trails be great by mountain bike?’ Spot a flowy downhill run and I’m consumed by the need to thrash. It gets unbearable, quick.   Seeking resolution led me to mountain bikepacking. On one hand, it’s about trekking into beautiful wild areas in the middle of nowhere and sleeping under the stars, but getting to the remote destination includes some righteous shredding along the way.  Here we round up a trio of superlative user-friendly routes in the Blue Ridge. Each blends MTB rippers with awesome camping and backcountry experiences.   For those seeking post-ride amenities, the Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-A-Way is located about 10 miles into the ride. Sites in their primitive campground run $19 a night. Facilities include a store (with craft beer), bath house and restaurant. They also offer shuttles, from $10.   Stokesville 60K Loop (Mount Solon, Virginia) Trails are maintained by, among other organizations, the Northeast Georgia chapter of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association. Look forward to loads of contemporary fast and flowy fun. However, creek crossings, technical sections, and climbs are found throughout.   Blackwater Falls to Canaan Valley Resort State Park (West Virginia) Upper Pinhoti Trail (North Georgia) Camping: Riders can pitch a tent trailside essentially anywhere in the national forest. That said, there are a few prohibited areas, all of which are marked.  Scenery: Trails are almost entirely surrounded by the Chattahoochee National Forest. They deliver riders into densely wooded backcountry areas characterized by 2,000 to 3,500-foot ridgelines and vistas, mountain streams, rhododendron thickets, hemlock forests, and more. last_img read more

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Bank of Guyana overdraft now over $75B

first_imgꟷ despite IMF warning Govt to settle balanceGeneral and Regional Elections are creeping closer and closer and the central bank’s overdraft of public funds keeps increasing in size— with the latest figures from the Bank of Guyana showing an overdraft of over $75 billion.The Bank of GuyanaAccording to the Bank of Guyana’s statement of Assets and Liabilities, the bank had a negative balance of $76.8 billion as of November 12, 2019. This is a situation that can lead to revenues, in particular, the oil revenues, being diverted.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned about this situation since 2018, writing in its 2018 staff report that: “Staff reiterated and stressed the importance of settling these balances at the central bank, which the authorities agreed to do in the short-term through the issuance of Treasury Bills”.Public deposits at the central bank were plunged into overdraft status back in 2015 when the new coalition government ended the year with a $2.3 billion overdraft. When the Government took over in May 2015, they had met public deposits of approximately $10.4 billion.By 2016 year-end, the overdraft had grown to approximately $21.3 billion, after a year of increasing withdrawals. At the end of the 2017 fiscal year, the overdraft had reached 25.7 billion.In contrast, Bank of Guyana data shows that the bank’s public deposits were in the positive – $21.4 billion to be precise – at the end of 2014. In 2013, the bank’s deposits were $52.1 billion. And the preceding year, the funds were approximately $57.2 billion.While the drawdown on funds started under the previous administration, public deposits were built up to over $69 billion in the year 2010. Far from being built up under the current government, they have never been able to rise above the red.But with the coming oil revenue and the extra case it brings, Government has not appeared too worried about filling fiscal holes. It was previously reported that Finance Minister Winston Jordan when asked about replenishing the fallen foreign reserves, had said there was nothing to worry about with oil money coming in.Jordan had said that with the revenue the Government is expecting from first oil in 2020, the foreign reserves will be replenished. Since he made those comments in September, Exxon and its partners have started pumping oil since last year.“That is just a temporary situation, given our receipts that come in next year,” Jordan said. “And then subsequent to that. One of the reasons you have savings is that if you have need to use some, you do that and afterwards you replenish it as you pick up again.”“So essentially, I don’t know that people have to make an alarm over it. Imports are coming into the country, the exchange rate is relatively there, notwithstanding all the pressure on the regime itself.”“Despite all of that, we are still there. It would be something of a concern if we didn’t have on the horizon foreign exchange coming to replenish, stabilise and grow (the fund),” Jordan had said.last_img read more

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