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first_imgComedy actor Jamie Demetriou has said every time he meets lettings branch staff they claim to know a real ‘Stath’, the character he plays in the second series of his ongoing Channel 4 show Stath Lets Flats.The show, which is in its second series and is on Mondays each week at 10pm until mid-September, is rapidly becoming required viewing among agents for its sometimes hysterical and occasionally accurate portrayal of a chaotic branch office.In it Demetriou plays a deeply incompetent Greek-Cypriot North London lettings agent who works for his family’s business Michael and Eagle.32-year-old Demetrious yesterday told London’s Metro newspaper that as a renter he’s been worried about being blacklisted by his real-life counterparts for his poor portrayal of the profession, and finds flat hunting mildly embarrassing when agents recognise him.Stath Lets Flats“I’ve been comforted that, when I occasionally go with friends to flat viewings to pick up titbits, I tend to get a warm response,” he says.“They tend to all know another letting agent who’s like Stath so they take comfort in that — ‘he’s like the idiot that’s in our office.’“But a lot of the time my internal monologue is saying: ‘Mmmm, no, it’s you!”Demetrious has also revealed that fans who have described the comedy as the ‘perfect pre-Brexit comedy about a fractured Britain’ are wrong.“I understand that housing and Brexit interlink in a way that sort of needs flagging up, but I don’t think this is the show to do it. It’s not a satire, it’s a family comedy about a sweet idiot,” he says.Demetrious is also due to feature in the upcoming TV series of Four Wedding and a Funeral and has also appeared in two other comedy series, Fleabag and Alan Partridge.Stath Lets Flats Jamie Demetriou Channel 4 August 28, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Revealed: Stath Lets Flats creator’s candid views on industry previous nextAgencies & PeopleRevealed: Stath Lets Flats creator’s candid views on industryJamie Demetriou has told a London paper what branch staff tell him when he’s on viewings to get ‘titbits’ for his series.Nigel Lewis28th August 20190961 Viewslast_img read more

first_img View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Earlier Equipment & technology View post tag: Naval View post tag: Navy Share this article U.S. Navy Takes Delivery of PCU California Eight Months Earlier View post tag: takes View post tag: Eight View post tag: DELIVERY The Navy took delivery of PCU California (SSN 781) from Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII–NNS), Aug. 7, more than eight months earlier than the scheduled contract delivery date. “The quality and professionalism of our Navy/shipbuilding team is evident in California’s outstanding performance during its recent sea trials and early delivery,” said Program Executive Officer for Submarines, Rear Adm. David Johnson.California required 65 months to build – five months less than the previous submarine, USS New Mexico (SSN 779), delivered by what was then Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. California, the eighth Virginia-class submarine, is the first delivered under the HII–NNS banner.Prior to delivery, California passed a battery of at-sea tests including the Board of Inspection and Survey Trials.“California’s successful run through each successive sea trial, and its early delivery, means the Navy will add another highly-capable, eagerly-anticipated Virginia-class submarine to the fleet to meet operational demands,” said Rear Adm.(Select) Michael Jabaley, Virginia-class program manager. “California, along with her sister ships, will provide unmatched capabilities to the fleet while honoring the proud traditions of her namesake state.”The next major event for California will be its commissioning Oct. 29 in Norfolk, Va. California’s commissioning is the second-to-last major acquisition milestone for the Virginia-class program in 2011. The christening ceremony for PCU Mississippi (SSN 782) will cap off the year this December, in Groton, Conn.Virginia-class submarines are designed to dominate the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine; anti-surface ship; strike; special operation forces; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. The inherent stealth, endurance, firepower, and sensor suite of these submarines enable them to support five of the six Maritime Strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.[mappress]Source: navy, August 9, 2011; View post tag: PCU View post tag: months View post tag: U.S. Back to overview,Home naval-today U.S. Navy Takes Delivery of PCU California Eight Months Earlier August 9, 2011 View post tag: Californialast_img read more

first_imgManageable caseloadsWe all understand how important manageable caseloads are to this equation. And this is why Ofsted will continue to point out where these are getting in the way of social workers doing their jobs well.In councils with manageable caseloads, we see far better quality, direct work with children. At a very basic level, social workers get to know families, and know them well. They make decisions that are timely, appropriate and that make a difference to children. Why? Because they have the time and space in which to do so. In these councils, there is less staff turnover, less reliance on agency staff and more continuity for children.And, having looked more closely at working conditions for social workers, our inspection evidence shows that these messages are being taken on board. Places like Hartlepool, Hillingdon and Rotherham have made reducing caseloads a priority, and improved their performance as a result. This shows what can be done.Despite this, the variation in caseloads between local authorities is still startlingly wide, from around 16 children in some, to more than double that in others. It sounds shocking just saying it.I think it is safe to say that no social worker joins the profession wanting to spend fleeting moments with children and families, barely skimming the surface of issues and rushing through important decisions. Please, let us make sure we do all we can to make sure they can do the job that they set out to do in the first place.Of course, it is difficult to talk about caseloads without the spectre of finances surfacing. And we are, of course, acutely aware of that context when we inspect.We do understand the difficult position that many councils are in, and the difficult choices they must make. But Ofsted’s role is to assess practice and its impact on children and families, and report on this as we find. I am sure you would expect no less.We all know inadequacy comes at a high cost. Therefore getting it right: right child, right support, right time, is the most efficient use of scarce resources.And many councils are achieving this balance, making effective decisions for children despite the tough financial climate. Maintaining a good and stable workforce is central to this.Joining the dotsI’ve talked a lot today about our approach to inspection. But despite their importance, individual inspections cannot tell the whole story.Ofsted has a unique position, a bird’s-eye view nationally, if you like, of education and children’s services. We cover the whole of childhood, and for some, all the way up to age 25.This whole-system oversight is crucial. While local authorities have the key role doing this locally, I don’t think any other single agency is better placed to ‘join the dots’ nationally. And without this oversight, our collective understanding of many children’s experiences would be fragmented. Few can disagree that an inspection system that looks at all children’s interests across the whole country is good thing.One good example of joining the dots is our local-area SEND inspections with the Care Quality Commission. An area-wide review of what works for children with special educational needs and disabilities has obvious benefits. And when we look at cumulative findings, even more so. Last year, our overview report from these inspections revealed starkly how these children are being disproportionately affected by unofficial school exclusions.I have no doubt that Ofsted can add even more value by taking a system-wide view, using its insights, triangulating individual inspection findings with existing research and evidence, and reporting on what is working well. This is why we have been building our research and evaluation function.We have a full and, dare I say – exciting – programme ahead, including projects on knife crime in schools (you may have seen some of our interim findings already), as well as a big piece of work looking at making good decisions in children’s social care. We know that these reports have real impact on policy and practice.And we continue to hear positive things from you about our programme of joint targeted area inspections. JTAIs look at how agencies are working together to support children on specific issues, such as child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, neglect and, most recently, criminal exploitation.With the input of the inspectorates for health, police and probation, these inspections paint a rounded picture of practice. Looking at a sample of areas in real depth, then feeding the insights back to the sector, I think that is a pretty powerful tool to improve practice.The results can be used by you all, to celebrate the good, stop the bad before it takes a hold and, most importantly, throw light on areas that have sometimes been neglected.Criminal exploitation of childrenAnd carrying on with the theme of children who too often go under the radar, I want to share some of the findings from our most recent set of JTAI inspections, published today.Building on our work on child sexual exploitation, these looked specifically at children who are criminally exploited, including so-called ‘county lines’.I’m sure I don’t need to tell any of you about the scale of the problem. You will all have felt its impact on your day-to-day work. But for context, the National Crime Agency reports that almost 90% of police forces they surveyed are dealing with ‘county lines’ activity. And there are estimates of some 1500 ‘county lines’ operating nationally.Despite the ages of some of those involved, make no mistake, this is organised crime. It is perpetrated by dynamic, organised and ruthless gangs. And children from all walks of life are at risk of becoming targets. We underestimate this risk at our peril.Though children who have fallen out of education are likely to be targeted, criminal exploitation isn’t a problem confined to the most deprived areas and parts of society, or the most vulnerable. All children, including those in areas of relative affluence, are fair game for these criminals. We have heard of gangs targeting private school children, for example, because they are less likely to arouse suspicion.As you would expect, our study finds that strong multi-agency work, and a system-wide approach, is the first and best line of defence. It is so important that all local partners work together, to share intelligence and identify and respond to emerging risks. And by that, I mean all, from local authority children and adult’s services, health, police, and education.All of us, in our daily lives, whether at work or outside work, may see things and report our concerns. And local businesses can be part of the problem, but also part of the solution, contributing to the flow of information that you need, as well as the community at large. But ultimately, poor practice in just one function limits the effectiveness of a whole partnership.Most of all, we must all be prepared. I am very concerned that despite the hard lessons we have all learned from past failures to pick up on child sexual exploitation, similar mistakes could be being made now.We have seen, before, the dangers of not discussing contextual or risk factors that relate to race or religion, for example. Doing so can be difficult and should always be done with care, in a way that doesn’t inflame tensions or encourage prejudice. But if we are to do what we need to do for children, they must be discussed. Openly, carefully, responsibly and at the right time.Local partners must be quick to learn, and quick to act. But not all agencies fully understand the scale of the problem in their area. And regional and national networks of exploitation of children are even less well understood. This means that agencies are not always spotting children who are at risk, let alone supporting them as victims.It is also a concern that some agencies are still not looking past the behaviour of grooming victims to get to the root cause. If we have learnt anything from past exploitation cases, it should be to see the child, not the problem.Better training will help. But a culture shift, as we saw with child sexual exploitation, is needed. Clearly, a child carrying Class A drugs or a weapon presents a child protection issue, even if they appear to be perpetrators themselves. Similarly, professionals need to stick with children who are persistently offending, even if they are difficult to engage with, and look at children’s behaviour in the context of their often troubled, chaotic, lives.Prevention, too, is better than cure. Work with children, parents, schools and local communities to raise awareness of the problem is crucial. As a parent you might sense something is wrong with your child. But how many suspect their child is being groomed? For most, it is almost inconceivable.Some areas have built on their approach to child sexual exploitation, and are incorporating all forms of child exploitation in their work. But given the nature of exploitation, and the reach of these criminals, this needs to be happening across the whole country.There is good work going on, as today’s report shows. Recent modern slavery prosecutions, linked to ‘county lines’, are a good step forward. And the newly established Coordination Centre should inform a more coordinated approach to disrupt and prevent exploitation.I would just ask you all to think about your own local response. Don’t wait until the next high-profile operation, court case, or newspaper headline. If partners are not already working together effectively, they need to do so now. Because there is a real urgency to this work. Children who are being exploited cannot wait for agencies that are lagging behind or failing to recognise the issue. And no one should be thinking “this does not happen in our area”. The mix of areas in this survey shows that.This is an area of complex crime, on a level and scale that did not exist a couple of decades ago. We are all having to get our heads around it. We have given our social care inspectors extra training, so we can be sure that they are having the right conversations with you about what is happening on your patch.We know these are messages that will resonate with you. It is not a problem that any one agency can address on their own. Those who work in children’s services have an important part to play, but are just one part of a much bigger picture.ConclusionSo to conclude. As an inspectorate, we always try to talk plainly about what works and, equally plainly, when it doesn’t. But you can be assured that we will do so responsibly, based firmly on the evidence we hold.We will speak up for the front line, and highlight what needs to happen so that everyone on it can do their jobs well. And most of all, we will carry on shining a light on those children whose voices can get lost in the system. Follow our Developments in social care blog. It has been quite some time since an Ofsted Chief Inspector has addressed this conference, so I am very grateful for the opportunity to speak to you today. And I hope that this is a marker of what can be described, these days, as an increasingly constructive relationship between Ofsted and the sector.It is no secret that my background lies in education. But when I took on the role of Chief Inspector, I was clear that every part of our work was of equal importance. And I made a commitment that I would get to know every aspect of our broad remit.So, when it came to children’s social care, understanding the issues and challenges you face has been one of my priorities. Eighteen months in, and my education is not over yet. But what I have seen, so far, has been both encouraging and inspiring.It has been a real pleasure to visit some of you in person, both, in local authorities and individual service providers. Thank you for making me so welcome, and for letting me see first-hand what you do. It is very clear that this is a sector with boundless dedication and passion to improve the lives of children.I am also lucky to be supported by equally talented social care colleagues within Ofsted, who have been invaluable in getting me up to speed. A special thank you to our new National Director for Social Care, Yvette Stanley, who has quickly made her mark too. The introduction of any new inspection framework can be tricky, for inspectorate and inspected, alike. But under her steady hand, the roll-out of our Inspections of local authority children’s services (ILACS) framework is going very well.Responsible, intelligent, focusedI will discuss the new ILACS framework later. But first, I want to talk a bit about the guiding principles of our inspection approach, across all of Ofsted’s remits.I have always said that I would use Ofsted’s power responsibly and intelligently. Not just in my own personal approach, but also in the whole way that Ofsted inspects and regulates.In practice, this means that we focus our inspections on the things that really matter for children’s education, care, and safeguarding. It means we use the evidence we gather to inform, and to advise, as well as to make inspection better. And it means our time and resources are targeted at areas, as far as possible, where they will lead to improvement.As I have said many times before, I want Ofsted to be a force for improvement across all of the areas we inspect and regulate.But going past these principles, fundamentally, Ofsted exists to shine a light where children and young people are not getting a good deal in their education or care.I know that all of you will share our concerns about outcomes for older children suffering from neglect, children in unregistered education (perhaps I should put inverted commas around that), or those unfairly and unnecessarily out of school – just a few of the issues we have put a lot of time into recently.And we will continue to use our position to speak out on behalf of vulnerable children like these, often, hidden in plain sight and in need of help and care.A new education inspection approachBut if Ofsted is to be a force for improvement, it is only right and proper that we look at how we operate, to make sure that inspection is up to the task.We are very close to a formal consultation on our new Education Inspection Framework, or (here come the acronyms!) EIF, in the new year. This is to a large extent a rebalancing of what we do at the moment, rather than turning schools on their heads.And, in this rebalancing, one significant change is increasing attention to the curriculum and to what makes the substance of a decent education. So, how are schools making sure that children get a full and rounded education?Of course, qualifications are very important. But, they are not an end in themselves. It is the education children receive that counts. I want to make sure that inspection reflects this. At Ofsted, we should be focusing on the ‘how’ and the ‘what’: the essence of what performance tables cannot capture. This will let us reward schools for doing the right thing by their pupils.This does not mean that there will be no link between the quality of education and what the published data says. They are, of course, somewhat correlated. But I see inspection as a different conversation. It should ask a different question. We want to know what is being taught and how schools are achieving a good education, not just what the results look like and whether they are likely to go up next time.By perhaps putting a bit too much weight on exam results and outcomes, we have not always sufficiently recognised all that schools are doing for their pupils. The cumulative impact of performance tables, inspections, and the consequences that hang on them, has served to increase the pressure on school leaders, teachers and indirectly on pupils, to deliver perfect data above all else.Few schools do not feel that undercurrent. We know that this pressure is what drove the popularity of certain qualifications, like the ECDL [European Computer Driving Licence]. Schools steering pupils into certain courses because they are likely to get a higher grade in them. Not really for the benefit of that pupil, more for better performance table results.Undesirable incentivesSo far, I have spoken a lot about the effect of these changes on schools. And indeed, most of you will have education responsibilities. But make no mistake, these changes are good news for children’s social care, more broadly, too.Because when schools put exam performance and league tables over the needs of individual pupils, the consequences can be dire. We all know, for example, that these undesirable incentives sometimes lie behind pupils coming off school rolls.For too many children, falling out of school is the start of a downward spiral. Their future becomes uncertain. And, for your part, these children are increasingly difficult to keep track of. We often talk about children going ‘under the radar’; a cliché, but so apt here.Once children fall out of education, their options are slim. Some will be placed in a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) or other alternative provision. Many PRUs and alternative provisions (APs) are doing well for their pupils, but many are chronically over-subscribed. Gaps are having to be filled by unregulated or unregistered education of some kind. Either option brings many challenges for wider children’s services.But attainment aside, once children are out of school, they are unlikely to be taught for as many hours a day as they would in a school. What happens to children outside this time? Who are they associating with?We know that gangs are calculating and clever. They target vulnerable children wherever they are. As the St Giles Trust recently reported, the majority of children involved in county lines exploitation seem to be outside mainstream education.And sometimes, under duress and the threat of expulsion, parents decide to home educate their child. You will know from the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) survey that these numbers are growing. This is quite understandable. What parent wants the stain of exclusion on their child’s record?The vast majority of home educators are well-intentioned and do a good job. But just as some schools struggle to cope with certain pupils, some parents struggle, too. They mostly aren’t qualified teachers and their child may have complex needs. At the other end of the scale, as we have highlighted, there are some who exploit home-schooling legislation as cover for using provision that doesn’t have to meet our national expectations for all children.The crux of all this is that it becomes incredibly difficult, for you, for local authorities, to know whether children are safe and getting a decent standard of education.That is why we have lent our weight to calls for a register of home education, run by local authorities, which would offer some assurance here. And I very much hope that the Department for Education moves quickly from its recent call for evidence to a concrete legislative solution.So to bring this back to inspection. Being in full-time education is a first line of defence, if you like. It offers protection for many vulnerable children, meaning they are firmly in the sights of the authorities. That is why off-rolling will continue to be one of Ofsted’s top priorities.We are already paying more attention to off-rolling under our existing framework. Inspectors are being given information that flags secondary schools with unusually high pupil movement, so that they can ask the right questions of school leaders. And, by shifting our looking at outcomes in context, rather than in isolation, we want to empower schools to put the child first.The education sector is increasingly diverse. But I know that you take your wider responsibilities for the children in, and indeed outside, local education provision very seriously. So please, do let us know what you think when we publish the draft framework. Your views are extremely valuable.Inspection of local authority children’s services (ILACS)But it isn’t just education inspection that is evolving. Our social care inspection has also seen some significant changes in the last year or two. We have introduced a Common Inspection Framework for most of the services we regulate and, this year, saw the roll-out of the new ILACS inspections.Both of these embody those important elements of intelligent, responsible and focused inspection that I mentioned earlier.For anyone unfamiliar with ILACS, children’s experiences and progress are still at the centre. But our overall approach is more risk-based and proportionate than what happened before. Inspectors have a wider range of tools at their disposal to address particular issues and areas.The approach is squarely aimed at supporting improvement and catching those who aren’t improving before they fall. Quite simply, we don’t want to wait until the next full inspection to find out that performance has deteriorated.And, so far, the picture is encouraging. About 60% of local authorities inspected have improved their grading and the proportion moving out of inadequate at re-inspection is similar. Of course, there is more to be done, but these are positive steps. And I want to be very clear that this is not a lowered bar: we are using the same grade descriptors and, where local authorities aren’t performing well, we will say so.I would like to offer my congratulations to the leaders and practitioners in local authorities who have improved, and to East Sussex, Bexley and North Yorkshire in particular, who all achieved the highest possible rating this year. No mean feat, as you will be well aware.So far, you are telling us that ILACS is tough, but fair, and that our renewed focus on the front line is the right one. As many of you may have noticed, these inspections are not all about scrutinising paperwork or lengthy meetings with senior managers. Inspectors now spend most of their time talking directly to social workers on the ground, hearing about their cases and children’s experiences.And that is what I believe inspection should be all about. Dialogue, feedback and professional development.Creating environments for good practice to flourishThis leads me onto another common principle across all the areas we inspect.To achieve the very best outcomes for all children, the professionals who work with them must be able to do their jobs well. This is a simple fact.Teacher or social worker, if you have mountains of paperwork to do each night, an ever-increasing caseload or lack of support, supervision or training, it is likely you won’t stay in the profession for long.And we all, whatever our professional background, want to do our very best work and make the most difference for all our children. That is why our inspections continue to emphasise the importance of creating environments where good practice can flourish.National media are constantly discussing the unacceptable attrition rates we have in the teaching profession. But what of social work? The challenges local authorities face in this area are no less acute, though they may get less attention in the press.Just as in teaching, social workers need the right conditions to do their jobs well. This includes, among other things, the right support and opportunities for professional development. And, more broadly, stable leadership that really understands what is happening on the front line – all the things you would expect in an effective, high-performing children’s services department.last_img read more

first_imgBy Dan RahnUniversity of GeorgiaYou know you look forward to the annual flourish of flowers inthe spring. Everybody does. But the brightest display of bloomsin your yard will depend on a little effort now.”Most bulbs and perennials do better if planted in the fall,”said Bob Westerfield, a University of Georgia CooperativeExtension horticulturist.If you don’t plan now and try to plant them in early spring,they’ll grow a little and try to bloom. “But you won’t get nearlythe show you would if they had all fall and winter to grow a rootsystem,” Westerfield said.Perennials and bulbs planted in the fall will spend the late falland winter developing hearty roots that will help them supportthe stress of blooming in the spring. Those planted in springwill give some blooms, but they’ll offer a bigger show a yearlater, after those roots have had more time to develop.Trees, tooThe same is true for spring-blooming trees.”Trees such as dogwood and magnolias form buds the previousseason,” said UGA Extension horticulturist Jim Midcap. For thebest roots, fall planting is best, he said.Early spring planting is usually acceptable but not preferred.”Crape myrtles, however, bloom on new growth,” Midcap said.”Getting the trees established for summer blooming makes fallplanting essential.”Midcap encourages planting all trees in the fall.”Plant broadleaf evergreens, such as magnolia, hollies andazaleas, in early fall,” he said, “because the soil is stillwarm. The broadleaf evergreens need warm soil to develop a rootsystem.”The keyWhether you’re planting bulbs or perennials, good soil is thekey, Westerfield said.”The soil must be in good shape with plenty of organic matter,”he said. “You also need to mulch them to help protect them fromcold. Mulch is good insulation. You need it to help the rootsystems grow and protect them from the cold.”For details on how to plant for spring flowering, contact your county UGAExtension agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

first_imgDuke’s Carolina solar installations total 2,500MW in past four years, more coming FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:There has been a fervent solar development march in the Carolinas by Duke energy over the past half-decade, a march which saw 565 MW of solar capacity installed in 2018.Overall, Duke has added a total of 2,500 MW of solar in the two states over the last four years. This was in the context of North Carolina becoming the second largest state in the country in terms of total installed capacity. South Carolina, while behind its northern namesake, has also seen a solar market start to take off.In addition to Duke’s development boom, the company has also been offering solar rebate programs in the two states. In North Carolina, Duke’s rebate is a 5-year, $62 million program, with those funds being used to administer a 60-cent per watt (¢/W) credit for solar residential customers have installed.The rebates stop at 10kW, or $6,000. Duke outlines that the average rooftop solar array is 8kW, meaning a $4,800 annual rebate. Businesses who apply will be eligible for a 50¢/W credit, while nonprofits are eligible for 75¢/W. These nonresidential projects cap out at 100 kW of installed capacity, meaning a maximum credit of $50,000 for businesses and $75,000 for nonprofits.In South Carolina, Duke pays $1 per watt for qualified residential customers who install systems up to 20 kW on their property and for business customers who install systems up to 1 MW on their property, a program which has led to exponential growth in the South Carolina residential solar market.At the end of the day, this is still Duke and there is development on the horizon. After growing its Carolinas installed capacity totals by 65 MW from 2017 to 2018, the company has even more ambitious views, aiming to add 680 MW of new solar capacity in 2019.More: Duke installed over 550 MW of solar in the Carolinas in 2018last_img read more

first_imgNew England municipal utilities see big benefits from battery storage projects FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:NEC Energy Solutions is building momentum with its grid battery offerings for municipal utilities in New England.Two years after a pathbreaking storage project with the Sterling Municipal Light Department in Massachusetts, NEC has added five more contracts in that state and one in Maine. The projects will add up to 20 megawatts of power capacity and more than 40 megawatt-hours of energy storage.The battery systems will help the municipal utilities reduce the consumption peaks that drive monthly transmission costs and an annual capacity charge. By predicting peaks and discharging at the right time, the storage plants save money for utility customers.The 2 megawatt/4 megawatt-hour system built in Sterling, Massachusetts, for a municipal utility with less than 4,000 customers, has already saved local ratepayers more than $1 million since December 2016, NEC said.With that project as a model, the storage manufacturer and integrator has succeeded in expanding its footprint in the growing New England storage market, where supportive state policies combine with access to wholesale market revenue to make project economics viable. “This activity is added proof of an inflection point in the adoption of energy storage in the market as municipal entities are now moving forward with projects without subsidies,” sales director Doug Alderton said via email Monday.NEC Energy Solutions, the storage unit of Japan’s NEC Corp., claims to have more than 750 megawatts of storage in place around the world.More: New England’s municipal utilities get a taste for battery storagelast_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Royal Dutch Shell is looking to slash up to 40% off the cost of producing oil and gas in a major drive to save cash so it can overhaul its business and focus more on renewable energy and power markets, sources told Reuters.Shell’s new cost-cutting review, known internally as Project Reshape and expected to be completed this year, will affect its three main divisions and any savings will come on top of a $4 billion target set in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Reducing costs is vital for Shell’s plans to move into the power sector and renewables where margins are relatively low. Competition is also likely to intensify with utilities and rival oil firms including BP and Total all battling for market share as economies around the world go green.Last year, Shell’s overall operating costs came to $38 billion and capital spending totaled $24 billion.Shell is exploring ways to reduce spending on oil and gas production, its largest division known as upstream, by 30% to 40% through cuts in operating costs and capital spending on new projects, two sources involved with the review told Reuters. Shell now wants to focus its oil and gas production on a few key hubs, including the Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria and the North Sea, the sources said.The company’s integrated gas division, which runs Shell’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations as well as some gas production, is also looking at deep cuts, the sources said.For downstream, the review is focusing on cutting costs from Shell’s network of 45,000 service stations – the world’s biggest – which is seen as one its “most high-value activities” and is expected to play a pivotal role in the transition, two more sources involved with the review told Reuters.Shell’s restructuring drive mirrors moves in recent months by European rivals BP and Eni which both plan to reduce their focus on oil and gas in the coming decade and build new low-carbon businesses.[Ron Bousso]More: Exclusive: Shell launches major cost-cutting drive to prepare for energy transition Shell launches restructuring effort to prepare for energy transitionlast_img read more

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Beware of spoilers!!For Game of Thrones fans, the phrase “All Men Must Die” has served as a brutal reminder that death is inescapable—whether the unlucky soul is a king, a knight, a hero (one of the few in Westeros) or a miscreant-turned-member of the Knight’s Watch.But the prophetic phrase isn’t interpreted—at least by the ideologues among us—to include pre-teen girls being immolated at the behest of their fathers, or a revenge-fueled kiss of death planted on an innocent bride-to-be. Neither did we ever believe it justified enlisting a small boy, barely knocking on puberty’s door, to strike a dagger into a young man’s heart, effectively dealing the death blow (or so we’re led to believe).Et tu, Olly?Goodbye, Jon Snow. Farewell, Shireen. Good knowing you, however briefly, Myrcella.The devastation heaped on characters in the recently completed season of Game of Thrones did not go unnoticed. Sure, our brains have become desensitized by the endless amount of gory films and gruesome shows on television, but the savagery this time around was intensely blood-curdling.And it wasn’t only death that had us sleeping with one-eye open at night. There was enough other atrocities to go around, even if they didn’t involve spilling copious amounts of blood.As we bid ado this season 5 of GOT, let’s take a brief look back at the ruin it unleashed.Sansa Stark (R) and Theon Greyjoy (L) form an unlikely alliance in the face of great danger. (Photo credit: HBO)This was gut-wrenching. Sansa Stark returns home to Winterfell after an incredibly distressing time in King’s Landing, only to be betrothed to the bastard Ramsey Bolton, a particularly hideous human who somehow found a way to supplant Joffrey as Westeros’ chief deviant—dead or alive.And did we mention it was Ramsey’s father Roose Bolton who betrayed the Starks? (Recalling “The Red Wedding” still gives us chills.) Upon her nuptials, Sansa was brutalized once again, raped by her new husband while Reek, formerly known as Theon Greyjoy, was forced to watch. We did not see the chilling rape on screen, instead we witnessed the horrific attack through the eyes of Reek, a battered shell of the man he once was. Disgusted fans levied harsh criticism on the series’ creators, some going as far as threatening a boycott. It was yet another rape perpetrated by a power-hungry man in a show full of such wretched misogynists. How many more are we supposed to take? Revenge can’t come soon enough. The season ended with Sansa’s fate up in the air, so to speak.Melisandre convinces Stannis that sacrificing his daughter will give him good fortune in the battles to come. (Photo credit: Helen Sloan/HBO)Poor Shireen. I can still hear the pitiful child’s ear-splitting screams. Her cries for her father remain fresh in my mind, and may haunt GOT fans for seasons to come. Why, Stannis, why?Well, we know why: Melisandre, seeking guidance from the Lord of Light, had prophesied that a human sacrifice—an individual with king’s blood, to be exact—would propel Stannis to victory in the battle for Winterfell. Stannis, consumed with Iron Throne glory, and bruised by the fiery cloak-and-dagger attack on his camp perpetrated by Ramsey, finally wilted. After a heart-warming exchange with her father’s trusted advisor, Davos, Shireen told her father that as his dutiful daughter she’d do anything to help him in his quest. She shouldn’t have. They hugged. He apologized. Then she was burned at the stake—her guttural cries falling on deaf ears. All for naught.Jon Snow flees Hardhome after white walkers slaughter hundreds of wildlings. (Photo credit: HBO)We finally got a glimpse of what winter looks like, and it’s nothing we’ve ever imagined. White Walkers, led by the Night’s King, descended on Hardhome, a Wildling camp north of the wall, and unleashed frozen hell on its inhabitants. The poor free folk had no chance.Jon Snow, the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, provided the only silver lining, shattering into pieces a frozen demon with a swift slice of his sword, Longclaw, forged with Valyrian steel. Prior to this we were led to believe that only dragon glass could kill those awful walkers. That theory was expunged rather quickly, though it appears Westeros is going to need plenty of dragon glass if it has any chance of survival. Despite the small victory, the scene was horrific in its lopsided resolution. Hundreds of wildlings were murdered, only to be risen by the Night’s King as blue-eyed zombies, adding more bodies to the largest single army in the seven kingdoms.The Sons of Harpy, an underground rebel group in Mereen, try but fail to assassinate Daenerys. (Photo credit: HBO)The Sons of Harpy, an evil cult lurking in the shadows inside Mereen, massacred dozens of Unsullied and even took the life of Daenerys’ loyal adviser, Ser Barristan Selmy. He had fought valiantly alongside Grey Worm, the commander of the Unsullied who miraculously survived the vicious assault. The Sons of Harpy, a rebel group disguised in gold masks, sought to overthrow Daenerys’ rule by following up the slayings in the narrow streets of Mereen with a well-planned attack as slaves dueled in the fighting pit. If not for Ser Jorah, whom Daenerys had banished, she may have been a goner, because he defeated his rival and plunged a spear through a rebel about to murder her from behind. Things got worse for Khaleesi and the gang, Tyrion included, but their luck turned when Daenerys summoned Drogon—her fire-breathing savior. She rode off into the sunset—only to wind up surrounded by a horde of men on horseback who may not have her best intentions in mind.“On, no. No! NOOOOO!!!” If I remember right, that was my reaction when Olly—Jon Snow’s earnest young steward, and now perhaps the second-most hated character on the entire show—lured the Lord Commander into a fatal trap. The gut-wrenching betrayal started with Olly storming into Jon’s private quarters and spewing a fake story about a Wildling possessing information about Jon’s lost uncle. Rushing outside, Snow ran right into an ambush, as one-by-one several members of the Knight’s Watch stabbed their commander with a dagger, each time telling him, “For the Watch.” Horrifically, it was Olly who dealt the final blow. Shades of Julius Caesar! Jon Snow fell to the ground as his thick blood flowed into the snow near a makeshift grave with a headstone reading “traitor.” Now we can only hope that one of the theories promoted by the books’ readers come true: that Snow is “warging” (like Bran) into his direwolf Ghost and will then be reborn with the help of the red witch Melisandre, who conveniently rode into Winterfell moments before the treacherous coup.Oh, season 6 has so much to answer for.last_img read more

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first_img Metro Sport ReporterThursday 24 Oct 2019 10:34 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.8kShares Bernd Leno has established himself as Arsenal’s No.1 goalkeeper since signing from Bayer Leverkusen in 2017 (Picture: EPA)Bernd Leno came close to joining Manchester City from Bayer Leverkusen in 2017 before Pep Guardiola opted to sign Ederson instead, a new book has revealed.Guardiola was on the lookout for a new shot-stopper in 2017 to replace Claudio Bravo after the Chilean had struggled in his debut campaign in English football while Joe Hart was also deemed surplus to requirements.According to Lu Martin and Pol Ballus’ new book ‘Pep’s City: The making of a superteam’ Guardiola had settled on a two-name shortlist to fill the problem position featuring Leno and Ederson, both of whom suited his tactical philosophy which encourages playing out from the back. Comment Pep Guardiola almost signed Arsenal star Bernd Leno for Manchester City before buying Ederson instead Advertisement Advertisement Ederson has proven to be an inspired purchase for Manchester City (Picture: Getty)Ultimately, City plumped for Ederson, landing the Brazilian international in a £35m deal from Benfica, while Leno had to wait another year to seal a switch from Leverkusen, eventually joining Arsenal last summer for £22.5mAdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTDiscussing Leno and Ederson’s merits, City’s sporting director Txiki Begiristain said: ‘They both fitted the bill.‘One was more expensive to buy, the other required a higher salary. I left it up to the coaches to choose.’Guardiola’s decision to sign Ederson in a deal that made him the world’s most expensive goalkeeper ever has certainly been vindicated with the 26-year-old playing a pivotal role in City’s success over the past couple of seasons.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityThe Brazil international has missed just one Premier League game from a possible 85 since joining City, was named in the PFA Team of the Year in his debut season and has won five major honours including two Premier League titles.While Ederson made an instant impact on English football upon his arrival, Leno had to bide his time patiently at the start of last season with Unai Emery initially preferring the now-retired Petr Cech between the sticks.However, the Germany international has since established himself as a regular first-team player for the Gunners, making 45 appearances for the club in all competitions.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenallast_img read more