Light Oil Spill in New Zealand: Adding Fuel to Fire
After a ship split in two struck from extreme overnight weather, a “light” oil spill now stretches some two miles off the coast of New Zealand. Though the spill was minor in comparison to the 400 tons of fuel oil spilled in October in the country, preventable slip ups involving poor infrastructure and short-cutting are becoming more commonplace in the oil industry.
In October, New Zealand's worst environmental maritime disaster in its history happened on account of a vessel that ran aground. This time, a cargo ship merely fell apart and split in two due to some bad weather, despite the use of hi-tech equipment that allows ships to predict such approaching conditions.
In other parts of the world, poor weather conditions are faced with the same Titanic-like attitude, as oil companies demand operations to force their way through dangerous waters with unwavering invincibility and a lazy approach to safety precautions. Last month, a Russian oil rig capsized in extreme weather maritime conditions, resulting in the deaths of dozens. Shell, too, messed up in a incident loading a tanker off the coast of Nigeria, causing one of the country's worst oil spills in the last decade.
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All this occurred within a matter of a few months. Oil companies are quick to apologize and assure the media that cleanup will be strategically managed, but there seems to be a lack of that same rhetoric regarding that mindset before the incidences took place. If history has taught us anything—especially after last year's Deepwater Horizon disaster—it's that safety is not a priority in the oil industry's offshore drilling or transportation operations.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.