Google signs its first renewable energy power purchase agreement in Asia

first_imgGoogle signs its first renewable energy power purchase agreement in Asia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Tech Crunch:Google has launched its first clean energy project in Asia. The company announced today that it struck a long-term agreement to buy the output of a 10-megawatt solar array in Tainan City, Taiwan, about 100 km south of its data center in the country. Google already has solar and wind projects across North and South America, as well as Europe.The agreement is a collaboration between Google, several Taiwanese energy companies, and the country’s government, which recently revised Taiwan’s Electricity Act to enable non-utility companies to purchase renewable energy directly. The revisions are part of Taiwan’s new energy policy, aimed at phasing out nuclear energy by 2025 and increasing the share of electricity generated from renewable sources to 20 percent.Google is the first corporate power buyers to take advantage of the revised law. Its development partners are Diode Ventures, Taiyen Green Energy, J&V Energy, and New Green Power.The solar array will be connected to the same regional power grid at Google’s Chuanghua County data center, one of two in Asia (the other is in Singapore). The poles supporting the solar panels will be mounted into commercial fishing ponds, an arrangement that Marsden Hanna, Google’s senior lead of energy and infrastructure, said in a blog post will maximize land-use efficiency and respect the local ecology because “fish and solar panels can coexist peacefully.” Fishing pond owners will also be compensated for hosting the panels.The agreement means Google will get a long-term, fixed electricity price for its operations in Taiwan.More: Google launches clean energy project in Taiwan, its first in Asialast_img read more

SOUTHCOM: Much More than Wishing Storms Away

first_imgBy Dialogo April 12, 2013 The Peruvian city of Chiclayo is highlighted with a red dot recently drawn on the map at the United States Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Humanitarian Assistance Program office. A Disaster Management Center was inaugurated there in March, joining a long list of projects that SOUTHCOM developed for nations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean to enhance their regional response capacity in case of natural disasters. Comprised of an Emergency Operation Center, a disaster relief warehouse, and a search and rescue training center, the complex is the result of joint efforts between SOUTHCOM, the government of the Lambayeque region (where Chiclayo is situated), local authorities, the Peruvian National Institute of Civil Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The project cost $1.2 million, granted by SOUTHCOM. However, Chiclayo is only one of many colored dots with which the team from SOUTHCOM’s Humanitarian Assistance Program monitors the progress of activities it executes throughout the Western Hemisphere. In total, SOUTHCOM completed 108 collaborative projects in the field of humanitarian assistance and disaster response during the 2012 fiscal year only, with a budget of $15.8 million. “Our team’s mission is to collaborate with each of these countries so that they are better prepared to cope with natural disasters,” program director William Clark stated. According to Clark, the command’s participation in this sort of activity can be traced back to the 60s, with the most significant moment being the paramount response by SOUTHCOM after the 2010 earthquake that ravaged Haiti. Operation Unified Response, as the effort was called, included mobilizing 22,000 U.S. troops, 33 U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels, 262 fixed-wing aircraft, and 57 helicopters to the Caribbean nation. In only a few hours, food, water, tents, generators, and medical supplies arrived in the Haitian capital Port-Au-Prince. The U.S. agency in charge of responding to aid requests from nations affected by natural disasters is USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). It is up to OFDA’s coordinated efforts with the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, foreign governments, and other institutions to determine if U.S. Military support is, in fact, needed. In addition to providing aid when disasters wreak havoc, SOUTHCOM permanently works on three fundamental areas: building facilities, training rescuers and medical first responders, and supplying material resources, such as ambulances, fire trucks, communication radios, and global positioning systems (GPS), among others. Where Does Help Go? During 2012, one of the most important endeavors was the inauguration of a Disaster Relief Warehouse in the Costa Rican Pacific coast’s Parrilla district. Built at a cost of $650,000, the facility will serve as a central point for aid distribution to other Costa Rican cities. Other projects took place in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Nevertheless, the country that continues to receive the most assistance is Haiti. “Since 2010, we have invested $35 million to construct emergency operation centers, warehouses, and fire stations in each department,” Clark states, pointing to the southwest Haitian port city of Les Cayes on the map. Between 2011 and 2012, four humanitarian assistance clusters were built in Les Cayes for the population displaced by the earthquake. Each humanitarian assistance cluster features a school; a clinic with dental facilities, a pharmacy and a lab; a community center that can serve as a shelter; and a well, essential to a nation where access to drinking water is a highly-valued asset. “We also do some really off the wall stuff,” Clark adds, explaining that one of the initiatives developed by his group emerged from lessons learned after another devastating earthquake, this time in Chile, in February 2010. Blocked roads, destroyed phone lines, and collapsed cell phone towers made it impossible to access the places most shaken by nature. “With that experience, and building on FEMA’s [U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency] response vehicles, we provided Chile with 11 vehicles that can be loaded onto their C-130 aircraft and transported to the most affected locations,” he says. Equipped with UHF, VHF, HF radios and satellites, as well as computers for four operators, these vehicles work as mobile emergency operation centers performing similar functions to those of the emergency operation centers like the one at the Disaster Management Complex recently opened in Chiclayo. “Activities are being coordinated with SOUTHCOM to enhance the regional governments’ capabilities, and even though several emergency operation centers have been built in Peru, the Chiclayo project is the only one that has three elements in one,” states Retired Peruvian Army General Alfredo Murgueytío Espinoza, director of the National Institute of Civil Defense in the South American country. Last February, when streets, homes, and businesses were destroyed by copious rain in several locations of Arequipa province, one of the emergency operations centers donated by SOUTHCOM served as the liaison between regional and national authorities. “The information received through the center in Arequipa allowed the national government to declare a state of emergency there and send the help they needed,” he states. General Murgueytío also said that SOUTHCOM’s Humanitarian Assistance Program is currently working in coordination with the Peruvian National Institute of Civil Defense in order to develop emergency operation centers, disaster relief warehouses, and search and rescue centers in Cuzco, San Martín, Puno, Ayacucho, Piura, Huaraz, Huancavelica, Loreto, Junín and Tacna. The inauguration of several projects in a myriad locations are scheduled for 2013. For instance, a National Emergency Operations Center will be inaugurated in Nejapa, El Salvador. With regard to the possibility of U.S. budget cuts affecting future endeavors, Clark simply states that his team will continue to work just as before. “By the way,” he adds, “we have not had to respond to a disaster in the last two years. I would like to believe this is because our partner nations have more resources to confront an earthquake, a tropical storm, or a low-scale hurricane. This lauds our partners’ accomplishments, as well as those of our program.”last_img read more

Oceanside Man Gets 15 Years for $3.5M Mortgage Scam

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An Oceanside man was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in federal prison for leading a loan modification scheme that conned distressed homeowners out of a combined $3.5 million over a five-year span.David Gotterup pleaded guilty in June at Brooklyn federal court to conspiring to commit wire, mail and bank fraud.Prosecutors said the 37-year-old directed his telemarketers and salespeople to make false promises to convince more than 1,000 homeowners seeking relief through government mortgage modification programs to pay thousands of dollars each in fees to his companies from 2008 to ‘12.He and his co-conspirators told victims that they were “preapproved” for loan modifications, that they were retaining a “law firm” and an “attorney” that would complete their mortgage relief applications and negotiate with the banks to modify the terms of their loans, but Gotterup and his companies did little or no work for the money they were paid, authorities said.The companies involved included Express Modifications, Express Home Solutions, True Credit Empire, LLC, Green Group Today, Inc., The Green Law Group, Inc. and JG Group, according to investigators.Gotterup was arrested in 2015 and has been jailed ever since. Judge Nicholas Garaufis ordered Gotterup to forfeit $2,500,050. The amount of restitution he will be ordered to pay to his victims will be decided at a later date.last_img read more

2020 Learning: Wherever, whenever and on the device you prefer

first_imgHave you seen the YouTube video of the baby using its pudgy little fingers to try to expand the pages of a magazine, as if it were an iPad? (If not, watch it here.)This very young person’s expectations for how things work—and for how content will be provided to her—are different from what many of us expected at the same age.Think about the fact that she could be a future credit union leader. And consider what that means about how we’ll need to help her learn.With the wave of upcoming retirements in our industry already breaking on the shore (read my January CU Insight column about this, Readying the Next Wave of CEOs), CUES has been working to meet the next generation of credit union leaders where they want to be with professional development—giving them the choice to learn where and when they want, and through the device they want to use, while still getting the highest quality education.Enter CUES Elite Access. Introduced last year, the offering leverages the remote education delivery system and the top-notch professors of Cornell University, our long-time partner in offering CEO Institute II: Organizational Effectiveness.This year’s CUES Elite Access courses—Strategic HR Leadership, Leadership Brand and Shadow and Women Who Lead—will begin in May. Participants can access the program from their office desktop machine, from a laptop on a plane or from their smartphones on the beach.Importantly CUES Elite Access is much more than a series of webinars. It enables two-way exchanges with the professor, opportunities to connect with other participants, and individual and group project work. A participant in last year’s Leadership Brand and Shadow found the course’s executive coaching sessions especially notable.“The customization of one-on-one attention from the coach was a vital component, and that’s something that’s not available through any other online course or webinar,” said Melissa Christian, member solutions manager for $579 million Corporate America Family Credit Union, Elgin, Ill.For those of you sponsoring the younger set’s desire to learn, CUES Elite Access offers some real perks. Hotel rates are going up, but this program doesn’t require travel and overnight stays. And that also means less time away from other duties at the credit union.While I’m at CUES Symposium: A CEO/Chairman Exchange this week, I’m expecting an orange student desk chair (the one that’s illustrating this story) to appear here and there—in a conference room, at dinner, maybe even at the beach. The chair, which you’ll also see in our ads for CUES Elite Access, represents the idea that this offering lets people learn where and when they want—whether that’s on their commutes, at their kids’ soccer games or sitting by the ocean.Interested in learning more about this move toward 2020 education? Read “Compare Your ‘Leadership Brand’ to Your CU’s Culture” and “Tool Helps Leaders Make Career Decisions” on the CUES Skybox blog. 34SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Charles Fagan Charles E. “Chuck” Fagan, III is President and CEO of PSCU, a credit union service organization that leverages the cooperative model to better serve credit unions and their members through … Web: www.pscu.com Detailslast_img read more

Will The Marketplace Lending Bubble Pop When Interest Rates Increase?

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has indicated that the Fed will consider raising interest rates at its December meeting for the first time since 2006. Her confidence appears to stem primarily from strong, consistent employment growth, though other key factors such as global market performance and terrorism threats are in the decision-making mix. Market players and market makers are watching closely, knowing the stock market ride might be coming to a close. One caveat to whatever reaction to a rate hike ensues is that investors have historically taken gains off the table in December only to drive the market upward in January, so I wouldn’t place too much credence in market behavior, assuming Yellen decides to test the waters with an increase tomorrow. Click here for a guide to the Federal Reserve powers and what happens when rates move. While some market reactions are more predictable than others, the relatively new phenomenon of marketplace (peer-to-peer) lending has yet to weather a rate hike. As a practical matter, we’re likely only talking about 25 basis points, which is hardly a shock to the system. This should be seen as more of a test, with the understanding that Yellen can halt further increases or even reverse her decision at the next meeting in the event of a sustained negative reaction in the markets or unforeseen external threats to the US economy. Most economists and market players appear to believe the ramifications of a slight increase can be effectively sustained. Goldman Sachs has even ventured to predict multiple increases in 2016.But it’s worth exploring the issue of liquidity, and where exactly capital in marketplace lending is being derived. Marketplace (Alternative) Lending OverviewFirst, it’s important to draw a distinction between the major players in this arena. Companies such as Prosper and Lending Club are the most well-known among the peer-to-peer lenders in the consumer loan space. (Click here for a list of marketplace lending definitions.) These companies are essentially exchanges that pair investors—both private and institutional—and borrowers. Think of it as “crowd-funding” consumer loans. Borrowers on these exchanges submit an application through an automated decisioning process that runs their credit and identifies certain risk factors before placing their requests on the exchange. Portions of their loan request, or in some cases the entire loan, can be purchased by an investor on the other side of the exchange. OnDeck, the largest US company in the small business space, provides a similar borrowing experience for small business owners in need of capital. There are hundreds of companies that have entered both the consumer and small business lending space but are considered “direct lenders.” These are companies that evaluate applications and decide whether or not to fund them directly. Here again, many are using institutional funds from banks, hedge funds or investment pools to fund loans. Some loans move entirely to the investors or are “participated” out in packaged investments. There are, however, “balance sheet lenders” who maintain the entire portfolio, thereby assuming all of the investment risk. Because the lending criteria is more automated and unsecured, rates on these investments are typically much higher than rates offered by traditional lenders. Consumers with compromised credit looking to pay down student loans or credit card debt are typically the prime targets for the consumer exchanges and direct lenders. Likewise, small businesses that have been locked out of the capital markets, regardless of their creditworthiness, have found a haven in this type of lending arrangement. Searching For YieldThe growth of marketplace lenders such as Prosper, Lending Club and OnDeck has caught the attention of Wall Street in a major way. Projected returns for loans on the exchanges are typically in the high teens, and reported default rates (though there is debate about the efficacy of these numbers) hover between 4 percent and 8 percent. We know that consumer default rates are the lowest in a decade, since the run-up to the banking crisis beginning in 2008. Recent reports indicate this trend may be in jeopardy, but the numbers are still remarkably low compared to the height of the crisis. Given the low cost of capital and relatively stable consumer default environment, investors have been able to toy with marketplace lending with relative comfort. The same logic has applied to the dramatic recovery in the stock market, as institutional investors have been able to essentially participate in quasi-riskless arbitrage, borrowing cheap money and investing for substantial gains in equities. Yet because the equity market is still highly volatile compared to the seemingly consistent yields in marketplace lending, investors have been willing to provide liquidity to the exchanges. Now that the Federal Reserve is emboldened enough by the employment recovery and is testing the waters with a rate increase, it calls the above strategy into question. The increase the Fed is considering is on the interbank lending rate, which is the cost at which banks borrow funds. While 25 basis points isn’t likely to disrupt very much, it will give pause to some institutional investors and cause them to re-evaluate their strategies going forward. Because the consumer exchanges rely so heavily on institutional investment dollars and the space is relatively new, there’s a chance that some of the more conservative investors will pull back and seek higher ground. Hedge funds will no doubt continue to play a significant capital role on the exchanges, however. Perhaps the more important trend to watch is consumer default rates. Employment growth has certainly been good for the economy and lower daily costs, such as gas prices, have provided some spending flexibility. But wage growth remains frustratingly low, which means the consumer is far from out of the woods. The UpshotThe combination of higher borrowing costs and increasing default rates will challenge the marketplace lending model over the next 18 to 36 months. It’s likely that direct lenders with stricter underwriting policies will be better positioned to withstand market forces than the exchanges.Tags & Sources: Federal Reserve Rate Increase, Janet Yellen, New York Times, Financial Times, Marketplace Lending, Prosper, OnDeck, Lending Club, Mayava Capital, Goldman Sachs, Peer-to-peer lending, alternative online lending, Consumer lending bubble, business loan consolidation, Business Loan Today, credit card lending, student debt, small business loans, consumer lending(Photo: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen)last_img read more

NBA Draft 2019: Zion Williamson plans to seek LeBron James’ advice

first_imgWilliamson, 18, had long been considered the top prospect of the 2019 class, and James was asked in March if he would be available to help the projected star. “I’ve got a lot of advice,” James said. “It’s not hard to find me if you want to get it.” Related News NBA Draft 2019: Zion Williamson at a loss for words after being selected by Pelicans NBA Draft 2019: 3 takeaways from trade-filled night NBA Draft 2019: The best and worst picks of the first round “I just trusted Adrien [Sauvage, fashion designer] with this suit,” he said. “He said, ‘Your skin will pop in this color.’ I don’t know about that.”But he’s been in the fashion business for a long time and he trusts my game, ‘So all right, I guess we’ll do the cream-white suit.'”And when I saw it in person, I was like, ‘You know what, I actually might look good.'”center_img NBA Draft 2019: Zion Williamson and 3 other instant-impact picks And Williamson intends to follow up on those comments, telling a post-draft news conference: “I actually did see that interview.”Yeah, I probably will hit him up. Hopefully he responds to me.”My questions would probably be, ‘What do I have to do to maintain? What do I have to do to just try to make my way to the top?'”I’m going to shock the world #Believeit— Zion Williamson (@Zionwilliamson) June 22, 2016Williamson also emulated James at his own 2003 draft night by wearing an all-white suit Thursday. Zion Williamson plans to take up LeBron James’ offer of advice after being picked first overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.Williamson was selected by the Pelicans with the No. 1 overall pick Thursday, following in the footsteps of James, the NBA great who entered the league in 2003 with the Cavaliers but is now with the Lakers.last_img read more

Lorens Listo Champion of the Old Bridge Diving Competition for the 10th Time!

first_imgThe 450th Old Bridge Diving Competition in Mostar ended. Lorens Listo again justified the role of the favorite and won his tenth title in diving.Second place was won by Dino Bajrić from Sarajeva, while the third was Vedad Bašić from Mostar. Listo and Bajrić had equal number of votes. However, after another round of voting which was private, the jury reached a decision to give the title to Listo.In the category of jumping, Edi Fink from Mostar won the first place for the first time, and this was his seventh performance. The second one was Igor Kazić and the third one was Mugdim Obad, all coming from Mostar.In total, 53 competitors applied for the competition (24 jumpers and 29 divers).(Source: klix.ba/photo: faktor.ba)last_img read more

WALT’s shuttle bus service is here to help those who need a ride

first_imgUnited Healthcare – to schedule a ride contact LogistiCare (877)644-4623Out of County TripsOut of county trips are available with advance notice. Please call for details.WALT Cards$20 WALT card provides 12 one-way rides per cardHalf Fare ProgramIndividuals 60 years or older can enroll in this program and receive half price rides. Call for details.Transporting ChildrenChildren 6 years old and younger ride for free and must be accompanied by an adult .Children 8 years old or older can ride unaccompanied.We are happy to help transport your child home from school, to activities and practices, to the babysitters, etc.Our vehicles are equipped with 5-point harnesses. All children younger than 8 years old or weighing less than 80 lbs. must use a 5-point harness.Curb-to-Curb ServiceWALT operates on Demand Response and transports passengers as they call in.If a passenger has an appointment, they are asked to make arrangements one hour prior to the appointment time.Please be prepared to load the bus as it arrives.If the trip is cancelled prior to the bus’ arrival, you will not be charged.WALT does NOT transport passengers through drive-thru restaurants or banks.Just call 620-326-9996 or email us at deneer@futures-unlimited.org. Also, like us on Facebook! Sunflower State – to schedule a ride contact LogistiCare (877)644-4623 Submitted to Sumner Newscow — Sometimes the difference between living independently and giving up that freedom is having a dependable ride once in awhile. Futures Unlimited’ WALT —Wellington Area Local Transit is here and willing to help! Call 620-326-9996 for more information.WALT  – Community-wide shuttle bus services. Call them for a ride: 326-9996For the general public.$2 per ride, per person.Hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. -8:30 p.m., Sat 9 a.m. -2 p.m.Aides ride free.Wheelchair accessible.Children welcome – 5-point harness equipped.Let us help get your kids from point A to point B.Transportation for eligible children in our programs.Specialized transportation for groups.Non-emergency Medical Transportation provided by KanCareRiders may choose between three providers. Advance notification is required.Amerigroup – to schedule a ride contact Acess2Care at (855)345-6943last_img read more