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Vast Renewable-Energy Potential Across U.S. Tribal Lands

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Abby Kessler for E&E:According to a report published by the Department of Energy, reservation lands have the potential to produce about 6 percent of the nation’s renewable energy, although reservations make up just 2 percent of total U.S. land.And despite the potential, Bob Gough, secretary of the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy, or ICOUP, said “next to nothing” is being harnessed.The resources aren’t being tapped due to many factors, including hefty upfront investments required, lack of knowledge about how to plan for such a project and connectivity issues to the nation’s power grid in rural areas.During a DOE presentation last month, John Steward, acting manager for the transmission business unit at the Western Area Power Administration, estimated a feasibility study for implementing renewables would cost an estimated $10,000. A system impact study and environmental assessment would also have to be conducted, preliminary steps that would push the price of potential projects even higher.Sean Esterly, project lead at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, said funding is “definitely the biggest issue” tribes face when transitioning to renewable energy.Various financing programs are available for federally recognized tribes that provide funds and assistance to nations interested in assessing the potential for renewables on their land. DOE said that between 2002 and 2014, the agency invested $48 million in 183 tribal clean energy projects valued at about $93 million.But, Gough said, the government’s investment in renewables on tribal land is markedly smaller when dispersed among more than 500 federally recognized tribes.Funding shortages may be a concern, but Esterly said connecting tribes to those grants is an important step that is frequently overlooked. He said the tribes aren’t always aware that grant dollars are available to invest in such projects.“Unfortunately, due to capacity of some of the tribes and lack of knowledge of which of the resources they can take advantage, a lot of the opportunities are falling through the cracks,” he said.Another issue is access to the grid. Reservations typically are not well connected to the power grid, making transportation of generated energy an expensive endeavor.U.S. utilities “are operating off of 19th-century organization, 20th-century technology and 21st-century needs,” Gough said of the nation’s grid, noting the aging infrastructure is stymying the entire country’s conversion to cleaner power sources.He said the Great Plains region offers immense wind potential, while the Southwest offers ample possibilities for solar.A recent study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado, Boulder, said wind and sunshine could power most of the United States by 2030. Over large geographic regions, weather trends tend to average out, meaning spreading renewables over swaths of land could smooth highs and lows in electricity output (ClimateWire, Jan. 26).The issue is not intermittency, Gough said, rather the nation’s utility infrastructure.Full article: Renewables offer glimmer of hope for isolated reservations Vast Renewable-Energy Potential Across U.S. Tribal Landslast_img read more

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Australian Solar Installations Set Record in 2017

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Australia, one of the world’s biggest users of rooftop solar panels, likely added the most new capacity on record last year as electricity users sought to ease escalating power bills.A preliminary estimate by Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator of 1.05 gigawatts installed last year would be a record for the country, the government body said in an emailed statement Friday. While subsidies and generous feed-in tariffs helped boost growth earlier this decade, last year’s gains were driven by users seeking to sidestep a surge in the cost of electricity and a push by vendors into the commercial sector, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.“We are on track to have had the biggest year yet for installed small-scale solar capacity” in 2017, according to the regulator statement. “What we have seen is that homeowners and businesses continue to embrace solar panel systems, which is driving increased levels of capacity across Australia.”The shift to solar may have quickened as power prices spiked last year on tight supplies of coal and gas, which fuel the bulk of generation capacity on the national electricity market. BNEF estimates the cost of solar systems for residential customers has declined 44 percent since 2012.“The payback period for residential solar is now as low as it was in 2012, when super-generous feed-in tariffs and subsidies drove a massive boom in installations,” said BNEF’s Sydney-based analyst Annabel Wilton.Rooftop solar will account for as much as 24 percent of Australia’s electricity by 2040, according to BNEF’s 2017 New Energy Outlook. When combined with small-scale batteries and demand response initiatives, up to 45 percent of the country’s total power capacity will be located on owners’ properties—known as behind-the-meter-capacity—by 2040.More: Surging Power Bills Spark Rush for Household Solar in Australia Australian Solar Installations Set Record in 2017last_img read more

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Alliance CEO Craft sees need for consolidation in U.S. coal industry

first_imgAlliance CEO Craft sees need for consolidation in U.S. coal industry FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The U.S. coal industry “needs” to consolidate in the face of difficult market conditions and sinking coal demand because of the coronavirus pandemic, Alliance Resource Partners LP CEO Joe Craft said on a May 8 earnings call.“Consolidation is needed in the coal space, and we’re a consolidator,” Craft said, commenting on options available to the Oklahoma-based coal producer to survive the uncertainty in the U.S. economy and among fossil fuel industries in particular. “Nothing [is] currently being done but it needs to happen,” he said. “Whether it does or not, I can’t predict. But that needs to happen. And we are a willing participant in that.”Craft did not specify transactions that could occur in the future. In prepared remarks at the beginning of the call, he said the company believes 2020 “will provide a new foundation for future growth of our partnership” and that “we are committed to continuing this strategy.”The drop in electricity demand created by stay-at-home orders and other social distancing efforts in the U.S. appears set to accelerate the decline of the coal industry as energy markets fundamentally transform in the wake of the crisis. Though the pandemic has yet to push U.S.-based coal-fired power plants toward earlier retirements, a Trump administration official recently told virtual attendees of a fuel buyers conference the industry may perform worse than the U.S. government’s already-grim predictions and that coal plants may retire early.Sustainability-focused think tank Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concluded in a March report the U.S. coal sector would face pressure to consolidate, with the pandemic expected to exacerbate negative market conditions. Current coal production capacity in the U.S. is “unsustainable,” the think tank stated, and 2020 “will very likely see the beginning of a long-overdue rethinking of production capacity in the U.S.”For Alliance, the pandemic has meant withdrawing its full-year 2020 production guidance in late March and temporarily idling its coal mines in the Illinois Basin while reducing production at other mines. The company is now targeting coal sales and production for 2020 of approximately 28 million tonnes and 27 million tonnes, respectively, or 25%-30% lower than originally guided, with plans to draw down inventories in the second quarter and produce in the back half of the year to meet existing contractual obligations, Craft said. In line with losses expected for major coal producers, Alliance recorded a first-quarter attributable net loss of $144.8 million, falling year over year from a net income of $276.4 million.[Jacob Holzman]More: U.S. coal industry needs to consolidate in light of pandemic, Alliance CEO sayslast_img read more

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Trail Mix – Holly Bowling

first_imgClassically trained pianist Holly Bowling reimagines Phish on solo piano.To say that pianist Holly Bowling is a big fan of Phish is a bit of an understatement.Bowling, a classically trained pianist who began playing at the age of five, has attended over 300 Phish shows. Her passion for the music of the Vermont based masters of jam has spilled over into her latest musical project, a collection of fifteen classic Phish tunes reinterpreted for piano entitled Distillation of a Dream: The Music of Phish Reimagined for Solo Piano.Phish fans will revel in the solo piano treatment given to tunes like “Harry Hood,” “Waste,” and “Fly Famous Mockingbird.” Even more impressive, though, was the attention Bowling gave to the transcription of three live cuts, “Twist,” “The Wedge,” and a 37 minute “Tweezer” from the Lake Tahoe show in July of 2013.Yes, you read that right. Every note of a 37 minute “Tweezer,” painstakingly transcribed and played on solo piano. Never before has obsession so easily slipped into a maniacal beauty.I recently caught up with Holly Bowling to chat about that epic “Tweezer” and how I might get my wife to dig Phish a bit more.BRO – You’ve been to 300+ Phish shows. Favorite show of all time?HB – My favorite show is always the next one I’m going to! But I think my favorite show I’ve seen has to be 7/31/13, just for the Tahoe “Tweezer” alone. There are shows that are more complete, but the Tahoe “Tweezer” is the highest musical peak I’ve seen Phish attain, and that carries the show for me.BRO – I can’t get my wife to listen to 37 seconds of a Phish tune. You transcribed a 37 minute “Tweezer” for piano. Is there still time to help my wife “get” Phish on that level?HB – There’s definitely hope! I’ve heard from several people that Distillation of A Dream is a good way to get people into Phish who don’t “get it” yet. It’s sort of a hidden agenda with this record. You throw on this solo piano album around your family, your girlfriend, your coworker, whoever . . . and maybe they’re into it without realizing what they’re listening to. They ask you what it is and you tell them, “Ha! You’re listening to music by Phish right now and you like it!” Try it out on your wife and let me know how it goes.BRO – As a classically trained pianist, you are well familiar with the composers most of us know – Bach, Beethoven, Mozart. How do the guys in Phish stack up in comparison?HB – Oh, man. I can’t stack composers up against each other like that. But I will say this – as different as they are, I’ve had moments where Phish’s songwriting has taken me to the same inward place as listening to Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” and I’ve felt the same blissful rush of energy and loss of self while playing Beethoven’s “Waldstein Sonata” that I am always chasing at Phish shows. So they’re both able to achieve IT, and that’s what matters, as far as I’m concerned.BRO – Put together your favorite setlist for me.HB – For me, a perfect set is less about song selection and more about where the songs go once they break away from the composed structure, but my favorite songs in a live setting are “Tweezer,” “Ghost,” “Piper,” “Sand,” and”Twist,” especially the way they have been playing it this summer!! That would be a really solid five song second set right there. If I really get to design a completely unrealistic dream setlist, though, it would start with “Soundcheck Jam” and end with a “40 Minute Anything.” Maybe I’ll throw in a triple encore with with two songs I’m still chasing – “All Things Reconsidered” and “Izabella” – and top it off with “Sanity.”BRO – Page turns up sick and the band calls you to fill in. How quickly are you on the plane?HB – That would be the happiest day of my life. I’d be out the door so fast, I might even forget to put pants on.Holly Bowling will be in Colorado and California over the next couple weeks before returning to the East Coast for shows in New York and Vermont at the end of the month. For more on when and where you can catch Holly live, please check out her website.Make sure you check out Holly’s rendition of “The Squirming Coil” featured on this month’s Trail Mix, and if you are interested in ordering a copy of Distillation Of A Dream, point your browser here.last_img read more

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Rebel Yell

first_imgThe right-wing street rallies that have erupted across the South have largely focused on white supremacy and symbols of the Confederacy, but scratch the surface and you’ll also find opposition to environmental laws and public lands such as national forests and parks.The Sagebrush Rebellion, a loosely confederated political coalition that’s been around since the 1970s, opposes any public lands owned by the federal government. The Sagebrush movement saw a new push into the mainstream with the 2014 standoff at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch, and again in 2016 when Bundy’s sons led the 40-day occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. The Malheur incident set off a revival, with militias joining in to take part and show support there.Groups from the South participated in the standoffs out West, and now some of them have brought that ideology back to Eastern public lands. Those groups include the Oath Keepers, a group of current and former military and law enforcement members that claims membership of about 30,000, and the Three Percent United Patriots.“There’s no reason the federal government should own any land,” said John Pruitt, Virginia leader of the Three Percent United Patriots. “When you let the federal government own something in a state, now they have leverage over you. When they pass our laws and say, ‘Believe what we believe or we’re not going to give you money for roads or lands,’ you become a slave to the federal government. The federal government has a role to play in our nation, but it’s growing into a monster, and if we’re not getting involved, it’s going to devour us.”Sagebrush ideology and Confederate iconography both are touchpoints in militia culture, linked by their common ties to anti-federal sentiment. In western Virginia, members of the Three Percent hold an annual Confederate flag ride. The 2016 edition of the ride, known as “Rebel-lution,” was attended by Jeanette Finicum, the widow of LaVoy Finicum, a militia member who was killed at Malheur.Ryan Lenz, senior writer for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, says the anti-government Sagebrush Rebellion has a “long history of turning environmental and land-use issues into a rallying point for recruiting.”One of the forerunners of the Sagebrush Rebellion was a militia known as the Posse Comitatus, which formed in the late ’60s, refusing to recognize any authority above the county level. From the beginning, its core members also were involved with Christian Identity, a racist and anti-Semitic sect based around white supremacy.James Corcoran, an associate professor at Simmons College who has written two books about the militia movement, says there typically are three elements to a militia or patriot group: an ideological focus such as opposing the federal government or public lands or upholding white supremacy; the militaristic aspect of drilling and openly carrying arms; and a religious element based around protecting Christianity.“There’s the idea that big government is taking out land from us,” explains Corcoran. “You also have the cultural component, that the intellectuals are ruling us from Washington. There’s the perception that people are trying to take away guns and land and get rid of white Christian America.”The Sagebrush Rebellion’s anti-government, anti-public lands sentiment is especially prevalent in areas with a lot of national parks and forests. Eighty percent of North Carolina’s Swain County, for example, is owned by the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and a Cherokee Indian reservation.A 1981 New York Times story looking at whether the early Sagebrush movement might go East included this: “County residents reportedly have set fire to land in the Great Smokies as a way of harassing the Park Service. Like their angry counterparts in the West, Swain County residents talk about wanting to turn Park and Forest Service land over to state or private ownership.”The same story also reported opposition to public lands protection from residents of West Virginia’s Randolph County, about a quarter of which is national forest. Recently, twelve counties in Western North Carolina have passed anti-wilderness resolutions as part of the ongoing Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest management planning process.Ironically, many militia and Sagebrush groups use public lands for gatherings. White supremacist and militia meetings have taken place at Tennessee’s Norris Dam State Park, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Davey Crockett State Park, and Cumberland Mountain State Park. One group, American Renaissance, which according to the SPLC “promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites,” has booked facilities at Tennessee’s Montgomery Bell State Park for six years in a row.Mike Robertson, director of operations for Tennessee State Parks, said the agency is obligated to provide for public access to parkland regardless of ideology, while also providing opportunities for protesters to voice their opposition.Public lands are already under assault by the Trump Administration, which has rolled back protections and designations for national monuments. Sagebrush groups in the South—often allied with hunting organizations and state agencies—are aiming to increase privatization of public lands, especially national forests like the Pisgah-Nantahala, whose management plan is being re-written this year.So far, Sagebrush Rebellion groups are doing what many comfortable conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts have not: getting actively and personally involved in the public lands fight.last_img read more

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Outdoor Updates: Cherokee Indians can once again harvest sochan + Poachers face death penalty

first_imgWildlife poachers in Kenya could soon face the death penalty Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians can once again harvest sochan in Great Smoky Mountains National Park A historic signing of an agreement at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park returns the right for the Cherokee to pick sochan on their ancestral lands inside of the park, as they had done for centuries. Sochan is a bitter spring green that has historically been a part of the Cherokee diet and culture but picking plants inside of a national park is illegal. In 2016, a new plant gathering rule relaxed the ban to allow for enrolled members of Indian tribes to petition to harvest plants for tribal purposes. The park has found no significant impact from the harvesting and will now allow a permit-based system of sochan collection in certain areas of the park. Up to 36 Eastern Band enrolled members each year will receive a permit, which they must carry with them while gathering sochan in official collection bags approved by the park. The sochan gathering season is March- May 31. Mountain Valley Pipeline developers sue two North Carolina landowners who are refusing access to their landcenter_img Kenya’s tourism and wildlife minister, Najib Balala, has reportedly announced that poachers will face the death penalty, promising to fast track the measure into law. Balala said that the current wildlife poaching deterrents, which include life sentences or a fine of $200,000 USD, are not sufficient. Kenya is home to lions, black rhinos, ostriches, hippos, buffalos, giraffe and zebra and many other treasured species. Last year, 69 elephants and 9 rhinos were killed. Kenya’s population of rhinos is under 1,000. Earlier this month, two black rhinos and a calf were poached at Meru National Park. The ivory tusks of elephants are sold in the global east as trinkets. Rhino horns are believed to have medicinal properties even though they are made of the same substance as human fingernails. Mountain Valley Pipeline is suing two landowners in Alamance County, NC who are denying company representatives access to their land. Pipeline representatives are requesting an injunction forcing the property owners to give them access. One of the landowners owns 50 acres of land, the other 11 acres. The company says it has sent dozens of letters to the landowners and has the power of eminent domain, but that the landowners have refused access to their property. Since it’s beginning, the pipeline has been controversial. In Virginia, the pipeline has been cited for violating environmental regulations over 300 times. Opponents of the pipeline say it will be a health and environmental hazard and that the pipeline potentially abuses property rights. A hearing of the lawsuit will take place on April 1.last_img read more

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Southern Appalachians Highlands Conservancy purchases land near Roan Mountain

first_img“This spruce-fir stand is used by numerous rare high elevation species including ted Crossbill, Northern Saw-whet owl, and pygmy salamander,” Marquette Crockett, SAHC’s Roan Stewardship Director told the Citizen-Times. “It is also inhabited by federally endangered species including the Carolina northern flying squirrel and the spruce-fir moss spider. We hope that our protection of this property and restoration work will help to create a safe haven for these climate-sensitive species.” Timothy Staples, 32, a 9-year veteran of the San Bernardino sheriff’s volunteer search and rescue team, died Saturday while searching for a hiker that went missing on December 8. Staples was found dead on Mount Baldy after becoming separated from his search and rescue partner. A helicopter located Staples in “an area of ice and snow” where he was pronounced dead. Anglers are asked to submit their suggestions for fish attractor locations around Lake Norman to Troy Thompson or Casey Grieshaber with the Wildlife Resources Commission.  Staples was one of 126 people looking for missing hiker Sreenivas “Sree” Mokkapati of Irving, California. Mokkapati disappeared on December 8 after becoming separated from his group while climbing Mount Baldy. Mokkapati has not been located and the search for him has been suspended. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking anglers to provide input on the locations of 100 fish attractors it will purchase with a grant received from the Catawba-Wateree Habitat Enhancement Program. The $37,670 grant will be used to improve fish habitat on five Catawba watershed reservoirs, including Lake Norman. A portion of the funds will be used to purchase 100 Mossback fish attractors, which will be distributed at 20 different locations around the reservoir.  Southern Appalachians Highlands Conservancy purchases land near Roan Mountain NC anglers asked to weigh in on fish attractor locations California search and rescue volunteer dies while looking for missing hiker on Mount Baldy The Southern Appalachians Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) recently purchased 51 acres in the Highlands of Roan Mountain. As reported by the Citizen-Times, the land is located on a prominent ridge near the Appalachian Trail. The purchase will protect the vulnerable spruce-fir forest ecosystem, home to birds and other wildlife that are increasingly dependent upon the forest due to climate change. last_img read more

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Colombian Army Claims that FARC Surrounded Soldier’s Corpse with Explosives

first_imgBy Dialogo December 06, 2010 It’s a shame that there are people who support these barbaric acts. Life in prison for these monsters who are supposed to be democratic. You cannot achieve democracy with violence. Meanwhile the military is the one that kills the people, rapes and murders children and are the murderers and are the false positives. The FARC Colombian guerrilla group set up explosives around the corpse of a career soldier who drowned as a consequence of the strong rains that are lashing the Andean nation, making recovery of the body difficult, the Army claimed in a statement. “The soldier Alexander Valderrama disappeared on Tuesday, 16 November, in the waters of the El Toro ravine. According to what it has been possible to determine, the cause of his death is believed to have been drowning as a consequence of the torrential rains and sudden increases in water flow,” the statement indicated. According to the Army’s Ninth Brigade, headquartered in the southern department of Huila, “the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) surrounded the body of the thirty-two-year-old soldier with explosives, making quick recovery of the body difficult.” According to the armed forces, the military will pursue the incident on the international level, charging the chief Colombian guerrilla group – with around seven thousand combatants according to Defense Ministry figures – with violating international humanitarian law. The FARC have a presence in this region of Colombia. On Tuesday, a car bomb exploded in front of a police station in the municipality of Vegalarga, leaving an undetermined number of dead, according to Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera, due to the fact that the explosion scattered the victims’ remains.last_img read more

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Unmanned Aircraft to Patrol Brazilian Borders

first_img The Brazilians won’t be the first to employ UAVs to combat drug smuggling along a vast border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection currently operates six Predator drones. While their flight paths are classified, their surveillance is focused on the U.S. side of the 2,000-mile border with Mexico, U.S. officials said. Each comes as part of $18.5 million packages that include a mobile ground-control station and sensors. The drones weigh 5 tons each, are wider than five lanes of interstate highway, and can stay up for 20 hours — enough time to fly the entire border on one tank of fuel, the Chronicle reported. By Dialogo December 10, 2010 Successful trial The VT-15 underwent trials in Brazil last year, according to numerous media reports. During the trials, the planes flew under challenging and unpredictable weather conditions in one of the most difficult areas of Brazil – the state of Parana, several newspapers reported. They can fly at an altitude of 30,000 feet (9 kilometers), making for a difficult target for standard anti-aircraft weapons. The VT-15 can carry a 250 kilograms (550 pound) payload. It has a wingspan of 16.6 meters (54 feet) and weighs 1,200 kilograms (2,640 pounds). Officials in Brazil have discussed using the technology for more than just patrolling the borders. Brazilian leaders are negotiating agreements with neighbors Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Colombia to allow the VT-15s to enter the airspace of those nations to collect intelligence on illicit activities. Brazilian officials told O Globo the overflights would only map areas of drug production or other illegal activity. The photos, films and reports from those flights would be delivered to the authorities of the country in question. It would then be up to the authorities in those countries to decide what to do with the intelligence. They could design their own raids or participate in joint efforts with the Brazilian Federal Police in the border areas, Brazilian authorities told O Globo. The governments of Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia have agreed to discuss the terms of the agreement. Colombia rejected the initial proposal. The use of UAVs in Brazil and abroad is part of a major initiative that President-Elect Dilma Rousseff is expected to launch early in her administration, O Globo reported. The vulnerability of borders was one of the hottest topics in the campaign. Brazilian law enforcement officials also would like to use the VT-15 for some of the operations against drug gangs in the country’s urban areas. “We could identify criminals, see every shack where they were going in and what kind of weapons were at hand . . . we could do it all without being seen,” said an officer who spoke to O Globo on the condition of anonymity. The total cost of the 14 UAVs is reported at about RS$800 million (U.S. $471 milllion), Brazilian newspapers reported. center_img U.S.-Mexico border Going operational Brazilian federal police took delivery Dec. 1 of three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that will be used to combat drug trafficking and arms smuggling along the nation’s vast borders. The three aircraft, known as the Vant VT-15, are the first of 14 that will patrol more than 10,000 miles (16,800 kilometers) of borderlands. They will fly from five bases in border areas and one in Brasilia, according to a report in the newspaper O Globo. Brazilian authorities hope to focus its sophisticated cameras and radars on remote areas where traffickers and smugglers take advantage of dense cover to ply their trade. The cameras on the vehicle are sensitive enough to identify a kilo of cocaine from an altitude of 11,000 feet (3.3 kilometers), O Globo reported. The images are transmitted in real time to the aircraft’s base of operations and displayed on monitors. last_img read more

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Demo Humvee Burns 70 Percent Less Fuel

first_img The Army is displaying a unique fuel-efficient concept tactical vehicle to senior leaders in the nation’s capital. The Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator, dubbed ‘FED Alpha,’ has a solar panel on its rear hatch that can recharge its electrical system. It also has a custom engine, transmission and a score of other features that dramatically increase its mileage per gallon compared to other Humvees. The vehicle has all the capabilities of an up-armored Humvee, but burns about 70 percent less fuel, said Steve Kramer, an engineer with the U.S. Army Tank and Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Command, known as TARDEC, headquartered in Warren, Mich. Kramer has been involved in designing the FED Alpha for the past three years. TARDEC has been working with a British company on the testing phase of the vehicle at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland since July. The FED Alpha may never be mass produced as is, Kramer said, but added that he hopes many of the energy-saving features can be priced low enough to make it onto the next generation of tactical vehicles. “Hopefully the technology on here can get back into the force,” he said. The FED Alpha features a Cummins turbo-charged 200-horsepower 4-cylinder diesel engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and low-rolling resistance tires. The low-rolling tires alone provide an estimated 7 percent fuel reduction. While officials said that percentage may not sound like much, if applied to the Army’s entire tactical vehicle fleet, it would add up to about $45 million in fuel savings annually. The vehicle also has a gas pedal that provides the driver feedback if the vehicle exceeds the recommended fuel-efficiency speed. The pedal vibrates and provides force against the driver’s foot, but if it’s mission-essential to increase the speed, Kramer said the driver can punch through the feedback and continue the mission. The FED Alpha also has: • A high-efficiency 28-volt integrated starter-generator that enables electric accessories and 20 kW of onboard power for equipment • A lightweight aluminum structure, except for the armored cab and underbelly V-shaped blast shield • An improved driveline that uses a unique carrier and differential assembly, including non-geared hubs and isotropic super-finished gears to reduce friction The Aberdeen Test Center Roadway Simulator is validating the fuel economy of the vehicle. ATC is the world’s largest automotive test simulator and is designed to perform vehicle dynamics, powertrain performance, shock and vibration testing in a laboratory environment. It enables the FED Alpha to be tested in a controlled environment so small changes in fuel economy can be verified. ATC will test the FED Alpha in convoy operations, urban assault, cross-country trips and extended idle situations. By Dialogo October 25, 2011last_img read more