$29.25 settlement reached on CVPS purchase of Vermont Marble Power Division of Omya

Tag: 上海水疗会所

first_imgCentral Vermont Public Service (NYSE-CV) today announced that it has reached a settlement with the Vermont Department of Public Service, the Town of Proctor Selectboard and Omya Inc. for the purchase of the assets of and consolidation of service territory of the Vermont Marble Power Division of Omya.The transaction has already been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates the hydro sites and transmission facilities involved in the sale, but must also be approved by the Vermont Public Service Board.Under the settlement, the purchase price of the previously announced sale will decrease from $33.2 million to approximately $29.25 million, including $28.25 million for Vermont Marble’s hydroelectric facilities and about $1 million for the other assets.  The agreement includes a five-year, six-step phase-in of residential rate changes for existing VMPD customers, which will be funded by Omya up to an amount estimated to be approximately $1.125 million.  The agreement also requires creation of a value sharing pool that provides for certain excess value received by CVPS to be split between CVPS’s customers, Omya and CVPS shareholders if energy market prices and hydro improvements create more value than anticipated.‘The Department of Public Service raised concerns about the purchase price, which led to further negotiations and a reduced price,’ CVPS Executive Chairman Bob Young said.  ‘The Town of Proctor was also helpful in suggesting ways to reduce the impact of rate changes on customers, which led to the long-term phase-in for residential customers.’CVPS’s current rates, though among the lowest of any investor-owned utility in New England, are higher than Vermont Marble’s rates because Omya has largely subsidized local electrical service in Proctor.  Absent the sale, Omya planned significant, needed infrastructure upgrades that would have affected rates.Included in the sale are rights to serve about 875 customers in Proctor, including the Omya industrial facility in Florence, which will become CV’s single-largest customer.  The sale also includes four hydroelectric facilities with a current combined capacity of 18.5 megawatts.  After the acquisition, CV will own and operate the largest fleet of hydroelectric generating stations in all of New England.‘The DPS and town leaders helped make this an even better deal for customers, both in Proctor and in the larger CVPS service territory,’ Young said.  ‘This purchase will provide economies of scale, and will allow CVPS to significantly expand renewable generation by adding the hydro facilities to our fleet, improving their performance over time, and expanding their nameplate capacity by about 3 megawatts.  That increase alone will provide enough clean energy for 3,000 homes.’CV plans to invest an estimated $15 million to upgrade the Vermont Marble facilities and operate them in consort with CV’s existing Otter Creek and East Creek hydro operations.  The company said it would also: Invest in the Vermont Marble system, immediately replacing the main substation at the Proctor hydro site and spreading the approximate $1.5 million cost over CV’s 159,000 customers rather than just Vermont Marble’s customers.Provide Proctor residents and businesses with greater resources.  For example, in the event of major storms, CV has nearly 30 line workers within an hour’s drive of Proctor.Offer choices and services Vermont Marble customers don’t have today, including automatic bill payments through CVPS Electripay, on-line bill payments, CVPS Cow Powerâ ¢, various rate choices, budget billing, on-line bill review and outage information, and in the near future, CVPS SmartPowerâ ¢, an advanced automated meter reading, outage detection and power management system. Vermont Marble’s seasonal and block-structure rate designs will be replaced with year-round flat rates.  Residential rates for existing Vermont Marble customers will be frozen at current levels initially, but will rise each January, based on pre-established rate credits, until they match CVPS’s rates.  Given the disparity between the companies’ current rates it is expected to take five years to complete the phase-in.  The rate credits become smaller each year until they reach zero.  The rate credits were developed to narrow the gap between current CVPS rates and current Vermont Marble rates while limiting the phase-in rate increases to no more than 10 percent per year.  Vermont Marble customers will also be subject to any change in CVPS rates on a going-forward basis, so combined rate changes for Vermont Marble residential customers may be more or less than 10 percent. ‘CV will represent a good value for our new customers,’ Young said.  ‘We continue to provide extremely competitive rates within the greater Northeast, and customer satisfaction and service quality remain high. CVPS is the only utility in Vermont to meet every one of its service quality standards over the pasts seven years, and reliability and customer service will remain a top priority in the years ahead.’ Source: CVPS. 3.2.2011last_img read more


Tag: 上海水疗会所

first_imgA biological motor has been found, of all places, on the seeds of wild wheat.  A team of German and Israeli scientists watched wheat seeds and found they could dig themselves into the ground.  How can a dry seed, with no muscles, nerves or circulatory system, accomplish such a feat?  It all becomes clear when you look under the awning.    You’ve probably seen the long strands attached to the seeds of grasses like wheat and oats.  These are called awns.  They’re not just decorative; they are actively involved in seed dispersal.  Once the seed drops to the ground, with awns still attached, a remarkable mechanism goes into action.  As the humidity rises and falls throughout the day and night, the awns respond by bending or twisting.    How does the bending take place?  At first, it seemed surprising anything would happen, because the tissues in cross section look uniform under an electron microscope.  The authors, though, found a remarkable feature: a “huge acoustic impedance contrast” in cross section that affects the stiffness of the awn shaft from one side to the other.  In cross section, the shaft resembles the shape of a mushroom with a cap.  The cap portion had twice the Young’s modulus as the stem – a stiffness the equivalent of spruce wood.  As humidity changes, the differential stiffness causes the entire awn to bend.  By analogy, consider how a bimetal strip, like the coil in a thermostat, bends and straightens in response to temperature.  Not only that, “silica tiles stiffen the epidermis and protect the structure as it interacts with the soil.”    So let’s follow the action in the wild.  The seed, awns and all, falls to the ground.  In real time, it might look like nothing is happening.  The seed, after all, is dead; its tissues are removed from any source of nourishment or internal energy.  A time lapse movie, however, shows the seed appearing to spring back to life.  This time, it’s a robotic life exacting its energy from the air.  The alternate bending and unbending of the awns gives a kind of “muscle” to the seed, propelling it along the ground – and even into the soil!    This mechanism for seed dispersal has been known for some time.  What’s new is that the scientists found tiny silicified hairs on the outside of the awns that act like a ratchet – they force the motion to go one way.  As a result, when oriented horizontally, the seed will swim like a frog along the ground.  (They actually said this: “The movement is reversible; thus, the humidity cycle causes a periodic movement of the awns, which resembles the swimming stroke of frog legs.”)  When oriented vertically, the seed acts like a power shovel.  The awns open and close like the handles of a post hole digger.  Meanwhile, those silicified hairs latch onto the soil particles, only allowing the seed to go down, not up.  Thus, the seed works its way deeper and deeper into the soil – safely out of the reach of predators, fire and drought.  “This suggests that the dead tissue is analogous to a motor,” they said.  “Fueled by the daily humidity cycle, the awns induce the motility required for seed dispersal.”    This mechanism is optimized, they said, for the soil environment of the Fertile Crescent, where civilization first began to farm wheat thousands of years ago.  In some kinds of domesticated wheat, the awns are no longer active.  The authors speculated that the length of time since domestication has reduced the function of the awns without removing them entirely.  Because humans now provide the muscle to plow the seeds into the soil, the awns have atrophied.  Apparently “use it or lose it” applies to seed muscle as well as the animal kind.    In their summary, the authors suggested that humans might gain additional nourishment from wheat – food for thought, that is.  The passive-muscle mechanism in wheat seeds might inspire, among other things, new ways to move weed killers where needed:The understanding of this seed dispersal mechanism may help in developing new concepts in weed control.  The microscopic mechanism found to provide motility to the seed may also serve as a model in biomimetic materials research.  Indeed, a hydration-dependent bending movement was recently reported in an artificial system consisting of nano-silicon columns embedded in a hydrogel film.  From a mechanistic point of view, we have discovered a device for movement that is composed of passive elements.  Locomotion is provided by a volume containing nonoriented cellulose crystallites that shortens on drying and pulls the awn like a muscle.  The energy source for this active movement is the daily cycle of air humidity.Maybe someday artificial muscles in robotic devices will work without batteries, extracting the energy they need from the environment – all inspired by the slender filaments on the grass at your feet.1Elbaum, Zaltzman, Burgert and Fratzl, “The Role of Wheat Awns in the Seed Dispersal Unit,” Science, 11 May 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5826, pp. 884-886, DOI: 10.1126/science.1140097.A passive muscle driven by moisture in the air—amazing.  Could a lowly grass figure out that it needed both a tissue differential with the right acoustic impedance to produce bending at the correct Young’s modulus, at the same time that it needed silicified hairs to act as a ratchet?  Without both, this “frog” would swim in place and get nowhere.  And what contractor laid the silica tiles?  Silicon is not a normal part of plant tissue; it had to be guided into place by epidermal cells while the seed was growing.  The fibrils in the awns, also, need to be arranged exactly right to produce the differential impedance.  The arrangement of all the parts needs to be complete before the mechanism will work.  Think of that – then think about the additional wonder that there are more motors, ratchets and machines at work, on a much smaller scale, inside every cell of the plant.    It was nice of the authors to spare us any evolutionary just-so stories about how this all came together by chance.  Their only use of the E word was in reference to human history: “The short evolutionary time since domestication (about 10,000 years), probably allowed the complete loss of awns in several domesticated wheat lines, but not the alteration of the awn structure.”  If so, this is a case of devolution, not evolution.  They actually used the word design twice.*  Anyone believing evolution could design this mechanism needs to eat more whole wheat to provide better nourishment to the brain.    The authors provided a couple of short time-lapse video clips to illustrate the bending action, but the best way to see this is to get a copy of the wonderful Moody Video production called Journey of Life.  The filmmakers made an eye-popping time-lapse sequence of wild oat seeds, which propel themselves by a similar mechanism, but with twisting action instead of bending.  You would swear you were looking at insects crawling along the ground instead of plant seeds.  This and many other ingenious seed-dispersal mechanisms are wonderfully illustrated in this film (also recapped in Part 1 of the trilogy Wonders of God’s Creation).**    Plants may seem passive, anchored to the ground.  In their own ways, though, they get around like world travelers: crawling, climbing, boating, ballooning, launching, helicoptering, hitchhiking and hunting (e.g., Venus flytrap), surprising us each time with their built-in ingenuity.*Anecdote:  One of the authors of the paper works for the Biotechnology Department of the Tel Hai Academic College in Upper Galilee, Israel.  This is in the vicinity where a certain Teacher told some parables about wheat and sowing (e.g., Matthew 13).  He also said, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24).  He was speaking in reference to the results His impending death would accomplish.**Project:  This article and the Moody films suggest a science project for your junior-high or high-school student.  Many video camcorders have a time-lapse function (sometimes called interval timer).  If you already own one, you have the most expensive part of a good science project.  Look for backyard weeds and grasses with awns or other external structures; for instance, the seeds of filaree (Erodium cicurarium) work like little power drills.  Suggest a hypothesis for how the shape of the seed contributes to its dispersal.  Build a terrarium where you can control the cycles of temperature and humidity using electrical timers, and use the camcorder interval timer to record the action.  Show your video clips with your display at the science fair.  This seems like a sure way to attract the attention of the judges – and the envy of the other students.  Better still, a demonstration of biological design might kindle some thoughts about a Designer. 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Tag: 上海水疗会所

first_imgFormer Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, an accused in a corruption case, was slapped with aDelhi High Court notice on a plea opposing his visit to London during the Olympics later this month.The court has also sought a response from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) within three days, and asked Kalmadi not to leave the country prior to July 26, his scheduled date of departure.The Public Interest Litigation filed by advocate Rahul Mehra on Wednesday sought the court’s direction to restrain Kalmadi from visiting London saying he was facing trial in a corruption case and could not be allowed to represent the country in an international event.A division bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, issuing notice to Kalmadi and IOA, which he heads, said: “Issue notice to respondents (IOA and Kalmadi)… He (Kalmadi) is not going to leave the country before his scheduled date of July 26.”The bench posted the matter for July 24 for further hearing.The court asked Kalmadi, who is also president of the Asian Athletes Association and member of the Council of International Association of Athletes Federation, not to advance his slated July 26 departure for Olympics.Mehra, objecting to the London trip of Kalmadi, said he was going to attend the games on public money and in violation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) code of ethics.He also alleged that Kalmadi was in jail for nine months in a criminal case and the IOC charter also prohibited such persons from attending any event organised by it.advertisementA special CBI court July 13 had allowed Kalmadi to visit London from July 26-Aug 13 for the London Olympics 2012.During the hearing countering the argument of Mehra, senior advocate Rajiv Nayyar appearing for Kalmadi, who is out on bail in a graft case related to 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, told the court that Kalmadi was leaving for London Olympics on his individual capacity and not in his official capacity as IOA president.On a court question to Nayyar as to in what capacity Kalmadi was going to London, he said: “He is not representing the government. He is going in his individual capacity as he is being invited there.”Mehra told the court that Kalmadi, as a president of IOA, had given two undertakings (in January and February) to remain on prolonged absent from IOA and not to interfere into its day-to-day affairs, following a letter from IOC to comply with its code of ethics, as he was facing a criminal case.last_img read more