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latest news Op-Ed: California batteries kept the lights on during the heatwave

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Latest News Op-Ed: California Batteries Kept The Lights On During The Heatwave
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California just watched its most extreme September heat event in history and survived better than expected – thanks in part to a new system of huge grid-connected batteries.

The severity and duration of this latest climate-induced heat has challenged the state’s power grid like never before, setting records for electricity demand that have pushed supply to its limits. But the system held. The lights stayed on.

Additional testing is forthcoming, for California and other states and nations. But after this cycle, California has a clear lesson for the world: battery storage is a powerful tool for networks facing new stresses from heat, cold, fires, floods, or aging networks. And just as important, batteries are the key to the zero-carbon future we need to avoid even greater stresses down the line.

Californians delivered big time this month when asked to cut consumption at critical times in the crisis. But without the storage capacity of the new battery systems, the reduction in demand might not have been sufficient and many consumers would have faced painful outages.

To be clear, the batteries that saved California this month aren’t like the ones in your phone, tablet, and laptop, or even the biggest batteries in some homes ready to supply power for failures. The batteries that saved California are big – big industrial. Individual units weigh tens of thousands of pounds and entire systems can be larger than a football field.

Many are installed in utility-scale solar fields, while “stand-alone” systems are strategically located throughout the state. They are not small additions to our power grid — they act as large power plants. In fact, some of the largest batteries literally occupy real estate and buildings that once housed fossil fuel generators. And California has more batteries than anywhere else in the world, having grown its fleet more than 10-fold in the past two years alone. Altogether, California’s batteries are now its largest power plant.

For the vast majority of the year, these batteries play a critical role in stabilizing the grid, smoothing power flows, and balancing variable power. They also play an important role in leveling wholesale energy prices by recharging when electricity is cheap – typically during the midday “solar peak” – then offloading the energy to the grid later in the year. day when prices are higher, a practice that keeps the market in check and reduces energy costs for Californians. But at the start of this month, these batteries went from everyday workhorses to crisis saviors.

During a critical peak on the evening of September 5, as the grid rapidly approached capacity, California batteries provided more power – more than 3,360 megawatts – than the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, the largest generator state power plant, which peaks at 2,250. From 5:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. that Monday, when threats of mandatory outages were at their peak, state batteries pumped out 2,000 megawatts or more continuously in the network, i.e. three full hours of energy saving on the network. The batteries provided approximately 4% of supply during peak demand, helping to avoid power outages.

No power grid in history, anywhere in the world, has experienced such a thing. When the state experienced an electricity crisis during an August 2020 heat wave, power outages occurred over several days, leaving many Californians in the dark, without electricity for cooling and d other basic needs. At that time, California’s grid-connected power plant batteries were few and small, and provided an average of only 50 megawatts of electricity for two hours.

What a difference two years have made – an amazing difference that challenges what most energy experts think they know. But the numbers are there. In just two years, California has strategically built a battery bank capable of self-discharge 150 times more energy at the height of the crisis on September 5 than the batteries on August 14, 2020.

And the batteries are just getting started. Every month more and more battery systems are connected to the California grid. Over the next few years, the state battery fleet will more than double. Every new large-scale solar project is now installed with batteries, making all new solar power “dispatchable”, meaning power can be used when it’s needed most and not just when the sun is shining. In fact, much of the energy distributed by the batteries during the critical evening hours of the last California power crisis was solar energy stored earlier in the day.

Due to unprecedented declines over the past decade in the costs of solar panels and lithium batteries, more dispatchable solar storage is now beating new fossil fuel power plants on the cost of electricity.

None of this happened by accident. California began investing in solar energy more than 20 years ago and passed Assembly Bill 2514, the first legislative term for grid energy storage, in 2010. Governor Gavin Newsom also pushed for more clean energy assets on the state grid. These long-term efforts are paying off for California and have shown the world what is possible.

Mike Ferry is director of research at the Center for Energy Research at UC San Diego.

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Funding India’s airline growth plans and why an overhaul is needed

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Funding India'S Airline Growth Plans And Why An Overhaul Is Needed
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With interest rates rising, the rupee depreciating and yields falling, some airlines are facing a real challenge. Namely, finance growth. The old ways won’t hold up. An overhaul is needed, writes aviation expert Satyendra Pandey

The past decade has seen voluminous aircraft orders by Indian airlines. Collectively, Indian airlines operate a fleet of around 600 aircraft. More than 80% of this fleet is rented. Add to that an aircraft order pipeline of 850 aircraft that need to be funded and deployed. For weaker players without the support of a strong parent company or balance sheet, deploying and funding these assets slowly becomes a challenge. And with interest rates rising, the rupee depreciating and yields falling, some airlines are facing a real challenge. Namely, finance growth. The old ways won’t hold up. A reflection is necessary.

Overreliance on sale-and-leaseback

The sale-leaseback model was made popular by Indigo and guided by the three pillars of planning, volumes and pricing. Specifically, Indigo focused on two years of extensive planning, including contingencies; a large order of 100 aircraft in 2005 with several subsequent orders; and asset pricing that was expertly negotiated. Together, these elements have helped the airline to establish itself firmly in the Indian market. Other airlines quickly saw proof of this success and moved forward with their own large orders. But they only focused on one or at best two pillars of the Indigo model. Sale-leasebacks were the main method of financing orders.

A sale and leaseback (SLB) model is where the airline acquires the aircraft at an attractive price and sells it to a lessor – ideally at a profit – and leases it for its own use. SLBs are important because they generate cash and also help the airline manage its fleet flexibility. Additionally, as the airline introduces new aircraft, operating costs, including maintenance costs, remain competitive. Shorter fleet replacement cycles also allow the airline to introduce new technologies more quickly. But the flip side is that airlines end up with thin asset balance sheets, over time they end up paying more for the asset. And when clauses are not fully provisioned, it causes difficulties for both the airline and the lessor. This is a fact that is gradually emerging.

The end of the last decade saw an era of low interest rates, smooth aircraft orders and a highly competitive leasing industry. With several new lessors eager to do business, airlines were offered very attractive terms without the solvency that would normally be required. But unfortunately, that’s just not the case with the industry today.

Structural issues, including balance sheet strength, continue to be overlooked

With changing macro-economic and geopolitical conditions, the aircraft finance market, particularly the sale-leaseback market, has seen marked changes. Donors are reviewing risk profiles and there is a flight to quality. Add to that the fact that the cost of capital across the globe is rising, and in the aircraft leasing space, lessor consolidation is underway. In the Indian market, this means that the strongest and best capitalized airlines are able to negotiate fairly competitive deals while the weaker ones struggle. Some airlines are considering a scenario where planes have been ordered, but other aspects such as maintenance, lease terms and asset recycling are not where they need to be. Competitive funding for these is simply not to be found.

Worse, due to weak balance sheets, some airlines are entering into financing deals, including sale-leasebacks, to free up working capital. Add to that the fact that the airline then finds itself with an additional aircraft to deploy and it has an impact on industry returns. And therefore the capacity and tariff wars which will intensify in the short term to the detriment of cash flow and profitability. Capital calls are almost certain.

As of this writing, structural issues, including balance sheet strength, continue to be overlooked. The pandemic laid bare the loopholes and for lenders looking for assets on the balance sheet, they were rare. So came cash flow liens, promises of future funding, and continual deferral, delay, renegotiation, and demands. And for some fault lines were never quite addressed. This situation is untenable to say the least and only postpones the inevitable to a future date.

Diversification of funding needed

For the future, a diversification of funding sources is necessary. Both because sale-and-leaseback without aligning all the fundamentals remains a very expensive form of financing and also because management needs to focus on balance sheets. Otherwise, cash flow liens, emergency lines of credit or, at worst, closure will be the norm and not the reality. And any airline closure is very painful and the scars of the closure continue for years. Indeed, no discussion of Indian aviation is complete without a mention of Kingfisher and the former Jet Airways. Not to mention a host of smaller airlines that have come and gone.

Despite the talk of traffic growth and market potential, when Indian airlines are viewed through the lens of profitability, very few succeed. Consistent profitability that provides an adequate return on capital is lacking. And aircraft being the largest investment costs for airlines, they must be planned, negotiated and deployed with risk in mind. All hopes cannot simply rest on growth. Because when that growth stalls, there’s simply no recourse.

As the market matures, aircraft financing is also set to evolve. Airlines are well advised to look at structures that allow them to have the right to the asset at the right costs and terms. Finance leases and asset purchases that were once avoided could very well be the way forward. Likewise, structures that are fit for purpose and designed for the Indian market taking into consideration market risk, currency risk and credit risk can be the way to go. But these require focused, deliberate and decisive planning. And some departments find themselves so intensely involved in day-to-day firefighting that these are left out.

For Indian aviation, demand is certainly well oriented. And capacity will follow. But this capacity must be financed. And funding Indian airlines’ growth plans is a task in itself. And a reflection is necessary.

—Satyendra Pandey is the managing partner of aviation consultancy AT-TV. Opinions expressed are personal

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College Football Playoff Picks After Week 4

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College Football Playoff Picks After Week 4
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Next week, the college football schedule switches to October, which means about a third of the season has been played, but even less has been settled.

Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State had previously split – unanimous selections every four weeks – but several teams are vying for fourth place.

USC and Clemson became the leaders of this group.

The Trojans struggled for most of Saturday’s game at Oregon State, trailing for the first time this season. USC didn’t take its first lead until early in the fourth quarter and it took a touchdown pass from Caleb Williams to Jordan Addison with 1:13 to give them the final margin.

Clemson survived a Wake Forest-record six touchdown passes from Sam Hartman to beat the Demon Deacons in double overtime and continues to be a playoff factor.

Tennessee earned its first playoff consideration of the season after a 38-33 win over Florida. The Vols are off to their first 4-0 start since 2016, also the last time they defeated the Gators.

Ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll, Michigan has yet to convince ESPN voters of its legitimacy. The Woverines’ first three opponents have had no FBS wins at this point and Michigan had their hands full at home against previously undefeated Maryland on Saturday.

With all that in mind, here’s how ESPN’s college football reporters view the current playoff picture.


Andrea Adelson: 1. Georgia 2. Alabama 3. Ohio State 4. Clemson
Blake Baumgartner: 1. Georgia 2. Alabama 3. Ohio State 4. Clemson
Kyle Bonagura: 1. Georgia 2. Alabama 3. Ohio State 4. Clemson
Bill Connell: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Alabama 4. Michigan
Heather Dinich: 1. Ohio State 2. Georgia 3. Alabama 4. USC
David Hall: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Alabama 4. Washington
Harry Lyles Jr.: 1. Georgia 2. Alabama 3. Ohio State 4. USC
Chris Low: 1. Georgia 2. Alabama 3. Ohio State 4. Tennessee
Ryan McGee: 1. Georgia 2. Alabama 3. Ohio State 4. Oregon
Adam Rittenberg: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Alabama 4. Clemson
Alex Scarborough: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Alabama 4. USC
Mark Schlabach: 1. Georgia 2. Alabama 3. Ohio State 4. Clemson
Paulo Uggetti: 1. Georgia 2. Alabama 3. Ohio State 4. USC
Tom VanHaaren: 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 3. Alabama 4. USC
David Wilson: 1. Georgia 2. Alabama 3. Ohio State 4. Clemson

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Paris Hilton showcases her signature style as the show returns to Milan

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Paris Hilton Showcases Her Signature Style As The Show Returns To Milan
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It’s hot.

On September 23, Paris Hilton returned to the catwalks for the first time in a year, closing Versace’s Spring/Summer 2023 show during Milan Fashion Week. The simple life alum showcased an ultra-glamorous take on her signature look seen in the early 2000s, wearing a plunging, shimmering pink mini dress paired with hot pink fingerless gloves and a matching veil and stilettos.

“Live on the catwalk and close the show for @Versace Spring/Summer 2023,” Paris wrote on Instagram. “Thank you @Donatella_Versace for this iconic night! #It’s hot #Sliving #Versace #MFW #Barbiecore.”

The Paris in love The star, who last walked on a catwalk at the Blonds’ NYFW show in September 2021, was joined at the Versace presentation by other runway models Emily Ratajkowski, Irina Sheikhand Bella Hadid and sister Gigi Hadid. Seated in the front row were other celebrities such as the model Camila Morrone—including ex-boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio was recently romantically linked to Gigi, Norman, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Graham.

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Hilaria Baldwin gives birth to her 7th child with Alec Baldwin, ‘Ilaria Catalina Irena’

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Hilaria Baldwin Gives Birth To Her 7Th Child With Alec Baldwin, 'Ilaria Catalina Irena'
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Sept. 24 (UPI) — Hilaria Baldwin gave birth Thursday to Ilaria Catalina Irena Baldwin, her seventh child with Alec Baldwin and her eighth, she announced on Instagram Saturday.

” She’s there ! We are thrilled to present our little dream come true,” Hilaria Baldwin wrote in the caption of her post.

“She and I are happy and healthy. Her Baldwinito siblings spend the day bonding and welcoming her into our home. Lots of love to you all. We are very happy to celebrate this wonderful news with you.

Ilaria, weighing 6lb 13oz, is now the couple’s youngest child after Carmen, 9; Raphael, 7 years old; Leonard, 5 years old; Romeo, 4 years old; and Eduardo and Lucia — who are both under 2 years old.

The mother explained how Lucia, just six months younger than her brother Eduardo, was born via surrogate in an Instagram post in August 2021.

“Whenever I meet people and they ask me the age of my children, I wait for their awkward moment when they calculate the age difference of my last two babies. I have not yet found the transparent way to explain it,” Hilaria Baldwin said at the time.

“What I do know is that I’m so existential now, becoming a mom, what makes us family, bonds, communities… what makes us belong. The paths and nuances may be different, but meaning is what gives meaning to our existence.

Alec Baldwin, 64, shares another child, Ireland Baldwin, 26, with ex-wife Kim Basinger.

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Nestlé to invest Rs 5,000 Crore by 2025 in capacity and brand building in India: CEO Mark Schneider

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Nestlé To Invest Rs 5,000 Crore By 2025 In Capacity And Brand Building In India: Ceo Mark Schneider
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This was Schneider’s first visit to a global market since the Covid-19 pandemic hit as well as the first board meeting in an international market, which is an indication of the importance of India, he told Storyboard18 – CNBC-TV18, in an exclusive interview.

Nestle, the world’s largest food company, has ambitions to invest Rs 5,000 crore in India by 2025, CEO Mark Schneider said during his week-long visit to the country, which is the Nestlé’s tenth global market. The new investments will help the company accelerate its core business in the country and take advantage of new growth opportunities in established and emerging categories.

It was Schneider’s second visit to the country since joining the Swiss food and beverage group from healthcare group Fresenius in 2017, where he was chief executive. This is also its first visit to a global market since the Covid-19 pandemic hit as well as the first board meeting in an international market, which is an indication of the importance and India’s impact on Nestlé’s global agenda, Schneider shared during an exclusive high-profile interview with Storyboard18’s Delshad Irani on CNBC-TV18.

Schneider also said the investment would focus on capital expenditures, expanding and improving Nestlé India’s brand portfolio, acquisitions in emerging segments and establishing new factories.

Today, 99% of what Nestlé sells in India is made in India and the company also has a global R&D center in the country.

Nestlé owns over 2,000 brands globally and is the maker of iconic household brands such as Kit-Kat, Nescafe and Maggi, which is a staple in the Indian pantry and one of the country’s most beloved brands.
Maggi, the undisputed market leader, made a dramatic turnaround when it came back from the brink after the lead crisis in 2015. Packages were pulled from shelves and over 22,000 tons of Maggi had to be destroyed to an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore. In the years since, the company has redoubled its efforts to restore trust in the brand and has seen Maggi regain its leading position in the market. But there is increasing competition from established and new players and the challenge of constantly changing tastes and preferences.

The company has also stepped up its sustainability efforts to address the many challenges it faces today, with a focus on the new bottom line – People, Planet, Profits.

In India, initiatives under Nestlé’s “Commitment to Society” relate to the areas of nutrition awareness with the Nestlé Healthy Kids program (launched in 2009) and the Jagriti project to encourage good nutrition practices and food and encourage the use of public health services. In rural development, Nestlé leads Dairy Development (1961) and the Nescafé Plan (2012) to improve the quality and sustainability of coffee sourcing and production. Others include the Spice plan, the Vriddhi project and the Hilldaari project to promote better management of waste collection and segregation.

Nestlé has had a presence in India for over a century and Schneider shared that in the past 60 years since Nestlé started manufacturing in India, it has invested over Rs 8,000 crore in its operations here.

“In 1961 we started our first manufacturing site and so throughout that period it has been Rs 8,000 crore and now in the next three years it will be Rs 5,000 crore,” Schneider told a panel discussion with the media. The investment, subject to board approval, is intended to accelerate core business and increase capital expenditure, development work and brand building with sustainability as one of the main pivots.

Don’t miss the full interview on CNBC-TV18.

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‘The Watcher’ Trailer: Ryan Murphy’s New Netflix Show Looks Super Scary

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'The Watcher' Trailer: Ryan Murphy'S New Netflix Show Looks Super Scary
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A couple move into their dream home in upcoming Netflix series The Watcher, but things quickly turn into a nightmare when disturbing letters start appearing in their mailbox. “Your house is my obsession, and now you are too,” intones a voice in the new trailer that dropped during Netflix Tudum Fan Event Saturday. ” Who am I ? It might not scare you yet, but it will.

Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story, Glee) co-created the limited series based on the true unsolved mystery of the Broaddus family’s disturbing experience at their new Dutch Colonial in Westfield, New Jersey. Current residents of the town apparently don’t like to talk much about the “Watcher House”, so named because the unidentified correspondent signed the letters “The Watcher”.

Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale play the new owners of the Brannocks. “Can you keep us safe?” the Brannocks’ son asks his father in the disturbing new trailer featuring strange neighbors and sinister threats. Dad doesn’t look too confident.

Mia Farrow and Richard Kind also appear in the series, which premieres on Netflix on October 13, just in time for Halloween. The White Lotus’ Jennifer Coolidge plays real estate agent Karen Calhoun and has previously appeared as the character in a short teaser in which she points out the house’s perks, including the vintage freight elevator. “I tell you,” she said. “You could accommodate a person there.”

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