Ørsted signs world’s largest corporate renewable PPA with Taiwan’s TSMC FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ReNews.biz:Ørsted and Taiwan-based TSMC have signed a corporate power purchase agreement (CPPA) for all the production from Ørsted’s 920MW Greater Changhua 2b & 4 offshore wind farm. The Danish energy giant said this makes it the largest-ever contract of its kind within renewable energy.The 20-year fixed-price contract period starts once Greater Changhua 2b & 4 reach commercial operations in 2025/2026, subject to grid availability and Ørsted’s final investment decision.Under the agreement with TSMC, the Greater Changhua 2b & 4 offshore wind farm will receive a price for power including T-RECs (Taiwan renewable energy certificate) during the 20-year contract period that is higher than the feed-in-tariff which was originally secured via Taiwan’s first offshore wind auction in June 2018.Ørsted said the PPA improves the project’s financial viability and helps it mature Greater Changhua 2b & 4 towards a final investment decision.Ørsted Asia-Pacific president Matthias Bausenwein added: “The agreement between Ørsted and TSMC signed today underlines Ørsted’s pioneering role in the development of renewable energy in the Asia Pacific. In Taiwan, we are already constructing the Greater Changhua 1 & 2a offshore wind farm. Combined with our Greater Changhua 2b & 4 project, which is now one step closer to a final investment decision, we are making offshore wind a cornerstone in Taiwan’s transition from fossil-based to renewable energy.”More: Ørsted signs ‘world’s largest’ renewables PPA in Taiwan
3 State 3 Mountain ChallengeChattanooga, Tenn., May 3Cruise through Tennesee, Alabama, and Georgia during this grueling century ride. Beginning in Chattanooga and heading south, racers should be ready for a number of steep climbs and fast, technical descents. They’ll go up and down three burly mountains – Raccoon, Sand, and Lookout – before catching a break on the new flat homestretch back into Chattanooga. This year, retired professional road cycler George Hincapie and his crew will be returning to lead the ride. chattbike.comWintergreen AscentRoseland, Va., May 3That’s right folks, this course is all up and no down. Convene at Devils Backbone Brewing Company and follow the road for six miles up the mountain. Ranging from 7.4 – 14 percent grade incline, this route is a thigh buster for sure. The course will gain 2,626 feet in elevation before the finish line; anyone who starts down the mountain before then will be immediately disqualified. If you work hard during the race, you can always refuel on those extra calories by drinking hard later at the brewery. vacycling.orgAssault on Mt. MitchellSpartanburg, S.C., May 19Since its modest beginning in 1975 by a group of local riders, this century race has quickly grown to become one of the most iconic rides in the region. Starting in South Carolina, the course cruises along the state’s backcountry roads before connecting with the Blue Ridge Parkway and heading into North Carolina to climb Mount Mitchell. With 10,357 feet of elevation gain, be prepared in particular for the last 25-mile stretch: you are, after all, trying to pedal up the highest peak in the East. freewheelers.infoBlood Sweat and Gears CenturyValle Crucis, N.C., June 28This fully supported road race is an Old North State classic. Winding through the heart of North Carolina’s High Country, the BSG is defined by its hilly terrain and curvy back roads that climb 8,800 feet. The course highlights include 21 scenic miles along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 4,500-foot climb over Snake Mountain, and a well-deserved 10-mile flat stretch on US-421. bloodsweatgears.orgSix Gap Century & Three Gap FiftyDahlonega, Ga., September 28Whether you’re pedaling over three mountains in the 50-miler or six mountains (yes, six) in the century, if you participate in these Georgia classics, you’re going to be climbing some steep stuff. For over 104 miles, the Six Gap course features 11,200 feet of vertical climbing with one incredibly trying climb in particular: Hogpen. This seven-mile stretch averages a 7 percent grade with some parts as steep as 15 percent. cyclenorthgeorgia.comBest of the RestSnowball CriteriumChesapeake, Va., March • bikereg.comFouche Gap Road RaceRome, Ga., March 30 • romevelo.netJJ The Rooster Memorial Road RaceMillington, Tenn., April 5 • buildpeakcompete.comTour of Georgia Gran FondoClayton, Ga., April 13 • granfondonationalchampionshipseries.comRough Roubaix 109-MileHarrisonburg, Va., April 19 • mtntouring.comSunny King CriteriumAnniston, Ala., April 20 • sunnykingcriterium.comAthens Twilight CriteriumAthens, Ga., April 25-26 • athenstwilight.comStorming of Thunder RidgeLynchburg, Va., May 18 • stormingofthunderridge.orgThe Georgia 400 Hospitality Highway CenturyRoswell, Ga., June 29 • ga400century.comHot Doggett 100Mars Hill, N.C., July 12 • hotdoggett.mhc.eduBlue Ridge BreakawayWaynesville, N.C., August 16 • blueridgebreakaway.comRide Like a ProWhen professional cyclist Jeremiah Bishop moved to Harrisonburg, Va., he actively sought out training rides that would push him to his limits and offer a sizable challenge. Having toured the world cycling in the industry’s most prominent races, Bishop knew what made a good course. Wanting to start and end in town, he eventually wandered far enough into West Virginia and back out again with a route that covered 107 miles of some of the most scenic and challenging terrain he had ever encountered.“You pop out into these alpine meadows and it really reminds me of my time racing in Europe,” Bishop says. “I named it the Alpine Loop and since then it’s become an annual pilgrimage of sorts, but at first, no one did it. I couldn’t talk anyone into riding it.”Bishop eventually let himself “get talked into” hosting an event, something he knew would require a lot of time, effort, and resources. With the help of a number of local volunteers and the town-wide support in Harrisonburg, Va., and Franklin, W.Va., the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo has seen remarkable growth and stands as one of the most respected achievements in the road cycling community. The event also promotes awareness about prostate cancer, giving cyclists an even better reason to come out and support this grassroots race.With three different course options (32, 75, and 107 miles) the Gran Fondo annually brings cyclists of every caliber to the Shenandoah Valley. The big ride challenges even the most experienced riders with its 12,000 feet of climbing and 17 miles of rough, dirt roads.When Bishop isn’t training on the Shenandoah Valley backcountry roads, he’s tearing it up on the trail. If off-road is more your style, Bishop recommends the Pisgah Stage Race (the toughest race in the Southeast), Fool’s Gold 100 (his favorite 100-miler), and the Iron Mountain 100K._______________Check Out Our Other Race Ahead GuidesTrail RunningRoad RunningRoad BikingMountain BikingClimbingPaddlingMultisportsSnowsports
Hold your ground! Hold your ground!Sons of Charlottesville, of Albemarle, my brothers,I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.A day may come when the courage of men fails,when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of ridership,but tomorrow is not that day.An hour of slick trails and shattered dreams,when the age of grown men comes crashing down,but tomorrow is not that day!Tomorrow we fight!!By all that you hold dear on this good Earth,I bid you stand, Men of the FOOF!!!– Lord of the Two Knobby TiresYes, the 2015 Heard’s Mountain Classic danced on the precipice of collapse due to April showers, but cooler heads and hearty spirits prevailed. The Heard’s Mountain Classic continued for a third year, in a little known mountain hamlet on the outskirts of Charlottesville, Virginia.An event like this doesn’t just materialize out of thin air, but rather is the hard work of driven individuals making their dreams, and ours, a reality. Captain Hoy and Porter are the masterminds behind this one day Spring Classic. Not only do they wrangle together 20 some riders, but for years they have tirelessly been putting in miles of incredible backcountry single right out their front doors. Hats off to these gentlemen!Waking up to 40 degree temperatures and steady rain the morning of the race wasn’t ideal, but reputations and glory were on the line. Figuring the dreary weather was nothing coffee couldn’t fix; I gathered my supplies and headed south to Hoy HQ. I was greeted with a bonfire, my fellow riders, and more coffee—not to mention a break in the weather—and things were looking up.“5 Minutes!” shouted the Director. Gathering around the fire, we listened in to the pre-race meeting. Armed with a detailed map drawn on the back of a pizza box, we got the low down on the coming events.“We’re going to pedal over here and race a bit. Pedal over there and race a bit. Pedal over yonder and race a bit. Then come back for beer and food. Sound good? Great, let’s roll!”I won’t bore you with an explanation of each timed section, but just imagine multiple 15 minute or less timed sections at an all-out effort. There were downhills, uphills, multiple xc loops, and a team time trial that gave the winning team members a 10 second bonus. Arguably the TTT is the best event and allows for spectacular spectating and shit talking. 5 hours later after the dust settled Dave Tevendale emerged victorious. After relentless attacks, calculated moves, and mostly following directions, Dave laced it all up to get the trophy and the glory.But don’t fret, as a BRO athlete I know my reputation was on the line, especially after flatting out at my last event. So I managed to snag third place, just getting edged out by Chris Cunningham. Pretty psyched on the result, especially after riding the 4 days up to the event, and hopefully I can keep the good mojo rolling!While the Heard’s Mountain Classic isn’t an open event, it doesn’t mean you can’t go start your own grassroots classic. Get your friends together, link up some sweet trail, maybe time a few sections if you’re so inclined, and you have yourself a classic…just don’t forget the post-race beers!
5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Cheryl Vickers, a retired vice president for the $603 million Houston Police Federal Credit Union, was charged Tuesday in U.S. District Court with embezzling more than $1.2 million over 18 years by allegedly cashing unclaimed checks.Though Vickers pleaded not guilty to one felony count of embezzlement from a federally insured credit union, her lawyer said he is working on a plea deal with federal prosecutors. continue reading »
1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mike Gallagher Mr. Gallagher spent 17 years promoting CPI as the marketing director for State National. He is currently consulting with credit unions: [email protected] Details As I have said in past articles, when it comes to dealing with borrowers who can’t or won’t comply with the terms of their auto loan agreement, collateral protection insurance (CPI) might just be your best strategy for protection, and that there are several top vendors in the country doing it well.But in this article let me switch gears and help you evaluate if indeed a CPI program is right for your credit union. I’ll start with a discussion of the intangibles, the inherent hassles for your staff and borrowers. And I’ll finish with some tips on evaluating the financial benefit of a CPI program. Is it worth it to your credit union? Do the claims dollars you receive outweigh the hassle factors? Let’s start with those.The Intangible: The ongoing hassle of having a CPI programManaging your CPI program, and your vendor, has a real cost. For the former, it can be hard to measure besides the salaries of any dedicated FTEs, but there are most certainly costs. Everyone who works daily with a CPI program knows the issues associated with a program, issues that have to be dealt with continuously. Some include:Dealing with the unavoidable member ‘noise’ created by the insurance requirement lettersPulling loan history and locating other information to file claimsCajoling your IT department to tweak the loan file and make the returning file play nice with your core systemAdding premium to loan balances, and then refunding the lion’s share of itHandling one-off issues that arise week after weekActually collecting the premium, which is only going to get harder (and probably more gut wrenching)And all the while, wondering if your program’s performance is good, bad or ugly compared to your peer’s numbers.Vendor oversight takes time and if you go to bid every three years, as you should, it is a long, resource-eating process. Each of the large vendors is adept at putting their best foot forward while credibly implying their competitors are way-behind the times. Weeding through the hype, even by issuing an RFP or side-by-side matrix, in an attempt to establish an apples-to-apples comparison is almost impossible (believe me, I’ve worked on more of these than I can count). Maybe you’re getting a well-run program, maybe a different one would work better.The Tangible. The Financial Benefit –and what it would look like without CPI Time for some math! First, get a current 12-month statement from your vendor, one that indicates claims paid, by type of coverage. It’s best to get the last full calendar year (2019) report because you want to compare with select fields in your 5300 Call Report. The time periods will be comparable.Once you have the claims report, subtract out all premium deficiency claim dollars from the 12-month total. Take out both premium deficiency ‘loss’ and ‘no loss’ (note: a ‘loss’ to your vendor represents a claim paid to you) claims. If you didn’t have a CPI program, you wouldn’t have a claim for ‘deficient’ premium, so subtract out those numbers and you’re left with a ‘true figure’ of the claims dollars you’ve received.For perspective, compare that number to your non-interest income, as a percentage, for the year. When I last looked at it, the average for dozens of large credit unions I studied was 2.5%, but many individual credit unions averaged less than 1%, which might be enough to start to question the overall value of a CPI program to your credit union.Also look at your net auto charge-offs for the previous year (make sure you add back auto recoveries to get the net) and compare that with the ‘true figure’ of claims paid to you. You should also calculate how much higher your net auto charge-offs would have been without your CPI program. For some credit unions, this figure can exceed 30%, but then for others, the percentage is well below 10%. Again, your number might be low enough to question the value of your program –looking at the losses from physical damage (without a CPI program in place) as just a cost of being in the auto lending business.And this only scratches the surface. Obviously, we are entering a period of a new normal and only you can determine if the benefits of your CPI program outweigh the cost and hassle factors, and really make economic sense for your portfolio. Hopefully, this helps a bit. And, certainly, you’d like to talk through your numbers, feel free to drop me a line.In ensuing articles I’m going to discuss the unique economics of CPI: who pays, who benefits; the various ways vendors earn premium; the marginal cost of tracking insurance for one additional loan, especially with new technologies, and what it should mean for your loss ratio.Stay tuned and thanks for reading.
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Tedros announced that the WHO was launching a coronavirus Solidarity Response Fund. This would to allow people and organizations to contribute to help fund masks, gloves, gowns and goggles for heath workers, as well as diagnostic kits and investment in research and development, including for vaccines.Facebook will match up to $10 million in donations, while Alphabet Inc’s Google will donate $5 million, the WHO and UN Foundation later announced in a joint statement.Social distancing, where people avoid close proximity or touching, is a “tried and tested method” to slow the spread of a virus but “not a panacea” that will stop transmission, the WHO’s top emergency expert Dr. Mike Ryan said.Each country must decide on its own measures to protect its population, he said, adding: “But we’ve also consistently said that blanket travel measures in their own right will do nothing to protect an individual state.” Europe has now become the epicenter of a coronavirus pandemic that has claimed 5,000 lives around the world, “a tragic milestone”, the World Health Organization said on Friday.More than 132,000 cases of the virus have been reported in 123 countries since it emerged in December in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference.”Europe has now become the epicenter of the pandemic with more reported cases and deaths than the rest of world combined apart from China,” he said in Geneva. Detection and isolation of infected people, as well as tracing their contacts and wider testing, must be part of a comprehensive strategy, Ryan said.”As part of an overall comprehensive strategy, there is a place – particularly inside national borders – for potentially restricting movement between zones, as we’ve seen in certain places,” he said.”But there is rarely a justification for blanket bans, unless of course the context and the risk defines that.”US President Donald Trump has announced sweeping travel restrictions to prevent people from 26 European countries – except for Britain and Ireland – from travelling to the United States in a bid to limit the virus spread.A number of other countries in recent days have announced stepped up border checks, and cancelled flights to other countries, in an effort to contain the spread.Trump on Friday declared a national emergency over the fast-spreading coronavirus, opening the door to providing what he said was about $50 billion in federal aid to fight the disease. Topics :
The new collective defined contribution (CDC) pension funds of banc-assurer ING and asset manager NN Investment Partners have replaced part of their listed real estate portfolios with investments in Dutch rented housing.In their fourth-quarter report, the CDC schemes – established in 2014, in the wake of the division of ING Group – said rented-housing income was inflation-proof and better matched its long-term liabilities.They made the housing investments through the Woningfonds of insurer ASR. Last year, SPF, the €800m occupational scheme for physiotherapists, invested €50m in the housing fund, after ASR opened it to institutional investors. Six institutional investors, including ASR, have invested €820m in total in ASR’s DCRF, with ASR having a 81% stake.The company declined to provide details on the fund’s intended volume.The fund focuses on residential property in the unregulated part of the market, with monthly rental prices of more than €710.ASR said it was aiming for an internal rate of return of 6-8%, with a direct return of at least 4%.Meanwhile, the €575m ING CDC Pensioenfonds announced an annual result of 1.4% for 2015, highlighting the 9.3% performance of its 33% return portfolio of equities and property.Its matching portfolio – predominantly euro-denominated government bonds – generated 0.1%.The €194m NN CDC scheme reported a 1.1% return for 2015 and said it made a 0.2% loss on its matching portfolio.It return holdings generated 9.3%.Both pension funds said they lost 1.3% on their currency hedge.During the fourth quarter, the ING CDC Pensioenfonds delivered a 0.2% return, while its NN counterpart produced a positive result of 0.1%.Both schemes reported quarterly returns of 5.9% and -1.9%, respectively, on their return and matching portfolios.The CDC schemes of ING and NN IP have 17,600 and 7,200 participants, respectively.Since the start of this year, Armin Becker, former director of the Pensioenfonds Arcadis, has been chief executive at both CDC schemes.
“We’re strengthening a number of areas of our team and partnering with Charles River gives us access to core technology which supports our operations and compliance arrangements,” he added. According to Charles River, its investment management solution is designed to automate and simplify institutional investment processes across asset classes, “from portfolio management and risk analytics through trading and post-trade settlement, with integrated compliance and managed data throughout”.13 local authorities seek shared admin, actuarial and consultancy servicesNorfolk County Council, the administering authority for the Norfolk Pension Fund, has issued a notice of prior information for a multi-provider framework agreement for the provision of actuarial services, governance and administration support and consultancy services.The notice is on behalf of the Norfolk Pension Fund and 12 other local authorities and their respective pension funds: West Midlands Pension Fund, Essex Pension Fund, Clwyd Pension Fund, Hackney Pension Fund, Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Lincolnshire Pension Fund, Suffolk Pension Fund, Hampshire County Council Pension Fund, Tyne and Wear Pension Fund, Teesside Pension Fund, Environment Agency Pension Fund and Surrey Pension Fund.The notice stated that the framework may also be used by the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme and Police Pension Schemes and any of their participating employing authorities, the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee, and the board of the Pension Protection Fund.The official tender notice is expected to be published on 19 March. The framework will be for a period of four years. To express an interest applicants must first register on Norfolk’s procurement system.TPR fines financial regulator’s pension planThe Pensions Regulator has issued the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA’s) Pension Plan with a £2,000 (€2,369) fine because its 2018 defined contribution (DC) governance statement did not include all the information it should have.Non-compliant DC governance statements, or chair’s statements, are subject to a mandatory fine of between £500 and £2,000, with the amount dependent on the number of the members in the scheme with DC benefits.According to a FCA spokesperson, TPR reviewed the governance statement when considering the FCA Pension Plan’s application to become an authorised master trust, which has since been approved.“The FCA Pension Plan Trustee has apologised to members of the Plan, and reviewed systems and processes to ensure all the required information is available to members and the 2019 governance statement (provided in October) was fully compliant,” the spokesperson added. The pension plan is a self-administered occupational pension scheme. It has £1.3bn in assets under management as at the end of the third quarter, including £966m in a defined benefit section. Lothian Pension Fund, the Edinburgh-based local government pension scheme provider, has implemented a solution to help strengthen its investment processes and provide capacity for expansion of its third-party services.The £8.5bn (€10bn) pension fund is unique in Scotland in being regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which allows it to manage a large share of assets internally and to provide advisory services to third parties.It has adopted an investment management solution offered by Charles River, a State Street company, that covers portfolio management, trade order and execution capabilities. Doug Heron, Lothian’s chief executive officer, said the fund was looking to increase its internal investment capability and to eliminate the gap between the scheme and the quality managers in the market.
James Courtney was the 2010 Supercars Champion and is returning for his eighth year with a reinvented Walkinshaw Andretti Autosport. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images.When a V8 Supercar driver splits from his wife, the fallout is massive, this one coming with a six-figure price tag.V8 Supercar driver James Courtney and wife Carys are unravelling a life they built together after announcing their separation last year. Among the loose ends is their property portfolio, which while not the biggest built up by Queensland celebrities, does do something special – giving back to the troops via property.The pair have two defence housing properties as investments, both of which are four bedders.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours agoOne — that they’ve owned in Eaton’s Hill in Carys’ name since 2010 – has just hit the market while the other in James’ name at Albany Creek since 2012 is still sitting pretty.Mrs Courtney, who announced the couple’s separation on Instagram last year, has listed the Eatons Hill property for $610,000.The Courtneys had paid $495,000 for the property nine years ago. The couple’s home in Hope Island is registered under Carys’ name as well and it too is a four bedder — though one that has five bathrooms, a massive eight carparking capacity and a 1,876sq m block.The couple sold their earlier forever home in Helensvale for $1.23m just over three years ago In her Instagram announcement of the shock split, Carys said: “After 16 years together James and I have decided to separate. We share two amazing children and our priority is and always will be our children. My hope now is that we will continue to grow into a relationship as positive co-parents for Zara and Cadel.”