Tono Solar project taking shape at closed TransAlta coal mine in Washington

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Technica:The TransAlta power plant’s three tall stacks still generate electricity from coal. But coal-fired energy will only be a memory at TransAlta by 2025—with a first burner to cease operation sooner, in 2020. It’s all part of Washington state’s larger plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels in less than 2 years from now. Yes, the power plant, located in Centralia, contributes 10% of the state’s total greenhouse gases — as much as the emissions from 1.75 million cars. But what will happen when the power plant’s smokestacks shut down forever? How will the state offset the loss of 1,340 megawatts of energy?Once a terraced, open-to-the-sky strip mine—the state’s largest coal pit—TransAlta is in the process of repurposing 1,000 acres of the former mine site to a solar farm.The Tono Solar project involves the construction of a 180 MW solar power plant on 405 hectares of land. It includes the construction of a substation and related infrastructure, the installation of solar panels and transformers, and the laying of transmission lines.Tono Solar, which is expected to start producing clean energy as soon as late 2020, won’t fully make up for the power generated by the Centralia coal-fired plant—it’s expected to provide 180 megawatts of electricity. Utilities and corporate buyers are willing to buy electricity from local providers like Tono Solar.In 2006, the TransAlta coal mine was the last in Washington state to be closed. The coal mining terraforming was so severe that the former town site is currently dominated by two massive ponds.TransAlta says that it plans to completely eliminate coal from its portfolio by 2030. More: Washington state coal-fired plant converts barren landscape into solar farm Tono Solar project taking shape at closed TransAlta coal mine in Washingtonlast_img read more

Direct marketing still works in an electronic world

first_imgCo-authored by; Candice Reed a award-winning journalist, author, and PR consultant. She has written for the Credit Union Times, Credit Union Journal and many more publications. There’s no denying that the world has dramatically shifted toward electronic communication, so many people wonder if direct marketing still works.The answer is a resounding yes, mainly because direct mail has an 80 percent-plus open rate!Google, the world’s most popular search engine, regularly uses snail mail marketing to promote coupons for its AdWords programs and other services. Credit unions are also finding that direct snail mail marketing is helping them grow their loan portfolios, including mortgages and home equity loans, as the real estate market continues to gain positive traction.While the huge demand for email marketing services continues, credit unions have seen success from direct marketing mailers, postcards and letters. Credit unions have felt a resurgence of sorts in their return on investment (ROI) when it comes to direct mail marketing.Direct mail response rates took a tremendous leap in 2016 with a 5.3 percent response rate to house lists and 2.9 percent to prospect lists. These are the highest levels the DMA has tracked since 2003. For comparison, in 2015 the rates were 3.7 percent and 1.0 percent respectively. In 2010 it was 3.4 percent and 1.4 percent.“Some people say that direct mail is dead or it doesn’t work, but we’ve seen just the opposite,” said Jackson Hunt, Vice President of Marketing at Ser Technology. “When you customize the direct marketing pieces, members feel they are part of the credit union. We have seen personalization outpace standard direct marketing pieces without any personalization. There’s plenty of research out there on the effectiveness of this.”One advantage of direct mail campaigns is that they can be far more cost-effective than mass marketing initiatives for small and midsize credit unions, allowing them to cross-sell, deepen relationships with members, loan growth and member retention. Almost any type of marketing campaign has two interrelated objectives — produce accounts and balances, and have a positive impact of underlying customer relationship. The credit unions that do manage to track campaigns focus almost exclusively on counting accounts and balances in promoted products. However, without the broader relationship component, they may be missing a material portion of the profit generated by a campaignAccording to the Direct Marketing Association, Industries with the highest use of direct mail are Financial Services — Banks or credit unions at 71 percent, Consumer Packaged Goods at 63 percent, Retail at 55 percent, Travel or Hospitality at 55 percent, and Publishing or Media at 54 percent. Furthermore, 48 percent of people prefer direct mail for receiving marketing from credit unions, and it’s not just the mid-life members who want the information sent to their actual mailbox. A study fielded by Experian shows that nearly every Millennial (ages18-35) owns a smartphone, and 43 percent say that they now access the internet more through their phone than a computer, compared with just 20 percent of adults ages 35 and older. However, despite their hyper-wired digital connectedness, Millennials as a group report that the last time they responded to direct mail campaign was within 2.4 months. That’s less than the average response time for all respondents. Similarly, Millennials open the direct mail they receive at the same high rate of 66 percent as recipients overall. To be successful, your direct marketing campaign should enable a high degree of variability to service end consumer recipients with information that is highly relevant and personalized to their needs, ultimately leading to an improved customer experience. “Direct marketing is an incredible tool that can add tremendously to the advertising plans of most Credit Unions,” Hunt explained. “Today’s world may be more digital than ever, but consumers still very much appreciate having tangible products in their hands.” 415SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Shana Richardson Shana Richardson began her career in financial technology with the Texas Credit Union League. Here, she managed the turnkey, pre-screen Auto Loan Recapture™ program, and later assumed broader responsibilities as … Web: www.sertech.com Detailslast_img read more

Brisbane suburbs that buyers love so much it will take decades for them to leave

first_img 0-5km Herston 17.9South Brisbane 15.9Herston 14.9West End 14.5Auchenflower 14.4Geebung 14.1Petrie Terrace 14 5-10km More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North2 hours agoNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Eagle Farm 18.5Mansfield 16.5Nathan 15.1McDowall 14.6Tennyson 14.4Bethania 14.2Everton Park 14.0 11-15km Robertson 15.9Macgregor 15.6Bunya 15.5Darra 15.5Wishart 15.3Upper Mount Gravatt 15.2 16-20km Ellen Grove 16Rochedale South 13.7Woodridge 13.4Springwood 12.9Capalaba 12.6 BRISBANE COUNCIL TIGHTEST HELD: Eagle Farm 18.5 years Herston 17.9 yearsMansfield 16.5 yearsEllen Grove 16 years Robertson 15.9 years South Brisbane 15.9 yearsMacgregor 15.6 years (Source: CoreLogic) Ron and Donna Payne have lived in Greater Brisbane’s Bahrs Scrub for over 25 years and only just decided to downsize to the coast. Picture: Annette DewTHESE are the Brisbane suburbs that buyers love the most – where once they get a foothold, it takes about a quarter of a century for them to leave.Two-thirds of suburbs in the Queensland capital region were so tightly held they averaged 10.9 years before their owners put their homes up for sale, with the longest coming out of Bahrs Scrub, 23km from the Brisbane CBD.The suburbs were diverse from inner-ring suburbs of Eagle Farm and Herston to Mansfield, Sheldon, Ellen Grove, Park Ridge and Robertson across the wide middle ring.For those who have been sitting on property for as long as several decades, there could be a windfall ahead though, with land so tight, developers have come knocking in sleepy suburbs.“Changes in zoning can be a motivating factor for developers to start knocking on doors,” Mr Pressley said.Houses in high demand South Brisbane were also among the hardest to get hold of, averaging 15.9 years before owners let them go – which was exactly the same holding period as Coochie Mudlo 32km from the CBD.Buyers agent Simon Pressley of Propertyology said emotion was the strongest driver in those markets – though in some places like the much-maligned Coochie Mudlo market it was more about resale potential.“Mostly people have a strong emotional connection,” he said. “For a person who really aspires to an acreage lifestyle in the capital city, having pursued that dream and achieved it, something really significant has to happen in their life for them to let go of that.”He said for somewhere like Eagle Farm where the average hold period was 18.5 years, it was about lifestyle.“It’s often something they’ve always aspired for and it will take a heck of a lot of effort given multimillion-dollar construction all around and they will stay there until retired.”Ron and Donna Payne were among those who have spent a quarter of a century in one place, buying acreage in Bahrs Scrub 25 years ago. Mr Payne said having children leave home was good timing to put their six bedroom home on the market – complete with tennis court, pool and stunning scenery.Their agent Quy Early of QMT Realty said development was rapidly arriving to the area which had the last acreage between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.“On the other side of the motorway you’ve got huge developments happening with normal suburban blocks and these acreage blocks will be in big demand in future.”He said culture might be playing a role in boosting hold periods in some suburbs, including Mansfield, Macgregor, Wishart and Darra.“Those are everyday, run-of-the-mill Brisbane suburbs. They have the same characteristics north, south and west of the CBD with no unique features. You can’t put finger as to why they’re held longer. Sometimes people of different cultures can stick together but we can’t be certain.”The shortest hold period for property in Brisbane was two years out of Yarrabilba in Logan and 1.8 years at Springfield Central, both places where substantial new development has taken place in recent years. GREATER BRISBANE SUBURBS RESIDENTS DON’T WANT TO LEAVE: Bahrs Scrub (Logan) 25.5 yearsEagle Farm (Brisbane) 18.5 yearsHerston (Brisbane) 17.9 yearsMansfield (Brisbane) 16.5 yearsSheldon (Redland) 16.3 yearsEllen Grove (Brisbane) 16 yearsPark Ridge (Logan) 15.9 yearsRobertson (Brisbane) 15.9 yearsSouth Brisbane (Brisbane) 15.9 yearsCoochie Mudlo Island (Redland) 15.9 yearsMacgregor (Brisbane) 15.6 yearsBunya (Moreton Bay) 15.5 yearsDarra (Brisbane) 15.5 years (Source: CoreLogic)center_img 21-25km Bahrs Scrub 25.5Sheldon 16.3Logan Central 13.5Daisy Hill 12.7Boronia Heights 12.4 (Source: CoreLogic)last_img read more

‘Casillas is the pride of Real Madrid’ – Del Bosque

first_imgIker Casillas is the “pride of Real Madrid”, according to Spain boss and former Blancos coach Vicente del Bosque.The 143-cap international was controversially left out of Jose Mourinho’s starting line-up for the trip to Malaga recently in favour of Antonio Adan.The Spanish champions went on to lose 3-2 in Andalusia but the 61-year-old has backed his skipper to bounce back.“Iker arrived at the age of 10,” he was quoted as saying by Marca.“His parents deserve a lot of merit, having brought him to the training centre, and I don’t think the were made of money.“Iker is the pride of Real Madrid. He is the only one to have come through the youth team, and it would be good to recognise what he was done as he’s done a lot. “He carries the values of Real Madrid.”last_img read more