Asteroid 2016 HO3 has an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
As it orbits the sun, this new asteroid, designated 2016 HO3, appears to circle around Earth as well. It is too distant to be considered a true satellite of our planet, but it is the best and most stable example to date of a near-Earth companion, or "quasi-satellite."
"Since 2016 HO3 loops around our planet, but never ventures very far away as we both go around the sun, we refer to it as a quasi-satellite of Earth," said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object (NEO) Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "One other asteroid -- 2003 YN107 -- followed a similar orbital pattern for a while over 10 years ago, but it has since departed our vicinity. This new asteroid is much more locked onto us. Our calculations indicate 2016 HO3 has been a stable quasi-satellite of Earth for almost a century, and it will continue to follow this pattern as Earth's companion for centuries to come."
The “Week That Was” was something else – The “shall we stay or shall we go” UK referendum regarding the EU is now history. The UK has voted to leave the European Union and the UK, the EU and rest of the world is adjusting to the news. In the coming weeks, there will be prognostications from Pundits all sides. Most companies are in the process of absorbing the news and tell us that it will take some time to analyze how this is going to affect industry. The financial markets have not reacted well to the news and oil prices have fallen.
Meanwhile in the U.S., in West Virginia massive floods sent raging waters across West Virginia, killing at least 23 people and leaving hundreds stranded, officials said. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced 14 deaths at a news conference Friday afternoon. By that night, the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management had increased the death toll to 23.
Trees and power lines fell as heavy rains sent creeks and rivers out of their banks late Thursday and early Friday, leaving many stranded residents waiting to be rescued
Wild fires are raging in California and the Forest Service says the agency is at a tipping point. Climate change has led to fire seasons that are now on average 78 days longer than in 1970. The U.S. burns twice as many acres as three decades ago and Forest Service scientists believe the acreage burned may double again by mid-century. Increasing development in fire-prone areas also puts more stress on the Forest Service’s suppression efforts. While the Forest Service and its firefighting partners are able to suppress or manage 98 percent of fires, catastrophic mega-fires burn through the agencies resources: 1–2 percent of fires consume 30 percent or more of annual costs. Last year, the Forest Service’s 10 largest fires cost more than $320 million dollars. The cost of fire suppression is predicted to increase to nearly $1.8 billion by 2025. This trend of rising fire suppression costs is predicted to continue as long as the 10-year average serves as the funding model and presents a significant threat to the viability of all other services that support our national forests.
However, the smart energy industry continues to be vibrant and there is much news to report……………………….
The New Grid
All public schools in the Hawaiian Electric service territory are receiving new, intelligent, energy-monitoring devices and software - Stem And Hawaiian Electric Partner To Bring Energy Monitoring To Public Schools / Smart Grid
NorthWestern Energy submitted an “emergency request” to the Commission, asking for the suspension of the current QF-1 standard rate for solar projects of 100 kilowatts to 3 megawatts in size, citing a deluge of proposed projects that could generate significant additional costs for their customers - Montana PSC Asks NorthWestern Energy To Negotiate Solar Energy Contracts / Renewables
For the Netherlands, this means that cheaper, sustainable electricity from Germany may be imported, leading to lower market prices - TenneT Starts Expansion Of The Interconnector Between The Netherlands And Germany / Smart Grid
The ruling comes on the heels of a 2015 FERC ruling that declared DMEA must buy from renewable generation projects at negotiated rates under PURPA - Major Victory For Local Renewable Energy /Renewables
Under the terms of this Joint Proposal, PG&E will retire Diablo Canyon at the expiration of its current operating licenses. The parties will jointly propose and support the orderly replacement of Diablo Canyon with GHG-free resources - PG&E And Environmental Groups Plan To Phase Out Diablo NPP And Replace With Renewables / Utility
Transmission constraints and other challenges limit additional wind resources from northern New England and additional hydro imports from Canada - Clean Energy Options For Massachusetts / Renewables
Millennials are more concerned about shifting to cleaner sources of energy, are more willing to pay for this shift through a surcharge in their electricity bills - Millennials Increasingly Driving Force Behind Electric Utility Transformation / Spotlight
States may choose between mass-based standards, which impose an absolute cap on the amount of CO2 allowances, or rate-based standards, which limit the amount of CO2 per unit of electricity generated - Clean Power Plan Implementation Decisions Affect CO2 Emissions And Electricity Prices / Utility
The platform provides business customers opportunities to lower their energy bills by adjusting their energy consumption with NextEra DR software - NextEra Energy Teams Up with AutoGrid to offer New Demand Response in PJM / Utility
Hybrid Energy Storage System which combines standard battery storage with power-to-heat technology to reduce the total cost of energy storage operation - AEG Power Solutions Launches its Hybrid Energy Storage Solution / Renewables
Participating customers will be required to pay a one-time upfront Subscription Fee and in return will receive a monthly bill for their designated share of the energy produced from the array - Idaho Power Seeks Approval Of Community Solar Pilot / Smart Grid
The new California Interconnection Model creates incentives for energy developers and utilities to gather and use detailed data about energy projects and the grid to create more predictability about the costs - CPUC Acts To Provide Cost Certainty To Entities Connecting To Electric Grid / Utility
CPUC authorizes a 2016 revenue requirement of $1.79 billion for SDG&E’s combined operations; adopts a 2016 revenue requirement of $2.20 billion for SoCalGas, which is $127 million lower than requested - CPUC Adopts Settlements In SDG&E And SoCalGas Rate Cases / Utility
Not only would the dangerous waste pose safety concerns for those living nearby, but because it would be shipped by rail to Texas from reactors throughout the country, it would pose a hazard to people nationwide - Residents Tell Federal Government: ‘We Don’t Consent to High-Level Radioactive Waste Dump in Our Region’ / Utility
US electric and gas utility capital expenditures soared from $69 billion in 2008, to an all-time high estimated for 2016—about $115 billion, as grid enhancements accelerate - The Changing Capital Focus Of The US Utility Sector / Utility
The CMA has found that customers have been paying £1.4 billion a year more than they would in a fully competitive market - UK’s CMA Energy Market Reforms / Spotlight
Study found low incidences of tumors in the brains and hearts of male rats, but not in female rats. Studies in mice are continuing - Effects of Cell Phone Radiation / Smart Grid
FERC is eliminating the exemptions for wind generators from the requirement to provide reactive power by revising the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement - Reactive Power Requirements for Non-Synchronous Generation / Utility / Feature
Batteries capable of providing power to whole villages, “socially aware” robots and new generation solar panels, could soon be playing a role in tackling the world’s most pressing challenges - Battery-Powered Villages, Sociable Robots Rank among Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2016 / Smart Grid/Feature