Big Reductions Seen in Wind-Energy Costs; Global Solar Growth Exceeds Expectations

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Vox:Solar and wind energy have been underestimated by analysts and politicians again and again and again. They have gotten cheaper and scaled up faster than even the most optimistic forecasts of a decade ago, or even a few years ago.And there’s good evidence we’re still underestimating them. In fact, two new reports — one on solar, one on wind — make the point vividly. They argue that the radical trends of the last decade are going to continue, which is all that needs to happen for the energy system to tip over from disruption into revolution.Why are models still so tepid on PV, despite its record? What are they missing? The researchers hone in on three phenomena that most models fail to properly account for:Policy support: For the most part, models can’t or don’t take into account the kinds of tech-specific, country- or state-level policies that have been crucial to PV’s growth — especially feed-in tariffs (which guarantee homeowners a fixed 20-year return on PV investments) implemented early on in Germany, Spain, Italy, and China. The US used the investment tax credits and net metering. Other countries have other tools, but almost every country has some kind of support for PV. That support has dramatically accelerated its growth and innovation.Rapid learning: The costs for solar PV modules “have decreased by 22.5% with each doubling of installed capacity,” which is a considerably more rapid learning rate than your average tech. (It’s a “steep learning curve,” in the jargon.) Faster capacity growth than expected + faster technological learning than expected = lower prices than expected.Cost increases of competing clean energy sources: Models tend to be wildly optimistic on nuclear power and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), despite the fact that, unlike PV, those technologies fall short of model projections again and again. The more decarbonization work that models assign to them, the less is left over for PV. Put more bluntly: Models stubbornly keep favoring nuclear and CCS over PV; the real world stubbornly keeps favoring PV over nuclear and CCS.The second bit of happy news comes from researchers at Atmosphere to Electrons, an R&D program for wind power at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).Their new paper is primarily about the scientific and technical challenges their team is researching — high-tech ways to further improve wind turbines and farms. But as part of the exercise, they project just how much wind costs could fall if all those high-tech solutions are implemented. It’s pretty mind-blowing.The researchers are pursuing what they call “System Management of Atmospheric Resource through Technology” (SMART) strategies — a cluster of technologies and practices that will allow next-generation wind farms to produce more energy, more reliably, for more hours of the day. Here are the four areas of innovation they are going after, translated into English:Better predicting performance through high-fidelity physics modeling (HFM) of local conditions.Better design and control at the plant level by using sensors and real-time monitoring of wind flows as they move through the turbines.Better design and control at the turbine level through “innovative rotor and drivetrain technology” and scale (i.e., taller towers and bigger blades).Smarter grid integration by giving each turbine the ability to communicate directly with the grid, play a role in its “stability and operational planning,” and offer it various extra services like voltage regulation (don’t ask).More: Wind power costs could drop 50%. Solar PV could provide up to 50% of global power. Damn. Big Reductions Seen in Wind-Energy Costs; Global Solar Growth Exceeds Expectationslast_img read more


Alliant closes Edgewater 4 coal plant

first_imgAlliant closes Edgewater 4 coal plant FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享WiscNews:With construction on a $700 million natural gas plant halfway done, Alliant Energy has shut down one of its largest coal-fired generators. Friday marked the final day for Edgewater 4, a 49-year-old plant in Sheboygan that last year burned almost 950,000 tons of Wyoming coal, generating enough electricity to power about 200,000 average Wisconsin homes. It’s the third coal plant that Alliant has shut down since 2015.The replacement, a 725-megawatt addition to Alliant’s Rock River campus in the town of Beloit, is on track to begin operation in 2020. West Riverside Energy Center will be the second-largest natural gas generating plant in Wisconsin, with nearly a third more capacity than an existing gas plant at the site.Alliant says West Riverside will generate about half the carbon dioxide as a similar-sized coal plant, while emitting 99 percent less sulfur and virtually no mercury, pollutants that require expensive equipment to remove. That will help the Madison-based utility, which serves about 960,000 electric customers in Wisconsin and Iowa, meet its goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050.And despite efforts by the Trump administration to boost coal, Alliant spokesman Scott Reigstad said the company plans to continue working to reduce carbon emissions. Reigstad said cost and pressure from investors are the main drivers. “We have a long-term strategy,” Reigstad said. “We’ve developed that independent of any federal … rules. We’re just going to keep moving.”More: Alliant swapping coal for gas to cut costs, carbon; environmental advocates push for faster transition to renewable energylast_img read more


Norway’s investment fund withdraws coal-related holdings, puts others on notice

first_imgNorway’s investment fund withdraws coal-related holdings, puts others on notice FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund is excluding some of the world’s biggest commodities firms from its portfolio, including Glencore and Anglo American, because of their use and production of coal. Underlining the growing role of climate considerations for long-term investors, the fund is also excluding German utility RWE, South African petrochemicals firm Sasol and Dutch company AGL Energy over their use of coal.Norway’s parliament agreed in June 2019 that the world’s largest fund would no longer invest in companies that mined more than 20 million tonnes of coal a year or generated more than 10 gigawatts (GW) of power from coal. Wednesday’s announcement, made in a statement issued by the fund, is the first to reveal the measure had been applied. The fund always sells holdings before any exclusions are announced to avoid excessive market movements.Another set of companies – BHP, Uniper, and Vistra Energy – were put under observation for possible exclusion later if they did not address their use or production of coal, the fund said.The fund, set up in 1996 to save for future generations Norway’s revenues that it earns from producing oil and gas, is among the world’s largest investors, owning around 1.5% of all globally listed shares. It operates under ethical guidelines set by parliament and excludes companies from its portfolio that do not respect them. Its exclusions are often followed by other funds.The fund also said it was excluding four Canadian oil firms for producing excessive greenhouse gas emissions, the first time it has used that reason to blacklist firms from its portfolio. Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Suncor Energy and Imperial Oil were excluded for “unacceptable greenhouse gas emissions,” it said.[Ismail Shakil, Terje Solsvik, Gwladys Fouche]More: World’s largest wealth fund blacklists Glencore, other giants over coal uselast_img read more


Shooting the Hooch with Robert Fuller

first_imgRobert Fuller, a professor of environmental science at the University of North Georgia, recently spent four months paddling the length of the Chattahoochee River system, from its source spring in North Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico. Then he turned around and paddled up the Etowah River system, knocking out 1,504 river miles and monitoring the water quality of the troubled Chattahoochee along the way. We talked to Fuller about eating freshwater fish, dodging wild hogs, keeping sand out of your tent.That’s a hell of an adventure. What made you decide to yo-yo these river systems?Fuller: The two rivers start so close together in North Georgia, and enter the Gulf of Mexico only 200 miles apart. A friend suggested paddling the Etowah into Alabama, but I thought it would be interesting to follow a mass of water down the Chattahoochee, then paddle the Gulf and come back home on the Etowah. It was more than I thought it would be in every sense: tougher, longer, and more rewarding.How do you follow a mass of water? Fuller: I traced a fluorescent dye going down the river from the Chattahoochee Spring, testing the temperature, pH levels, and conductivity. Conductivity tells you a lot about the dissolved minerals in the water. It shows if something is being added in the water. I saw some pristine water at the Chattahoochee Spring. As soon as you get into the suburbs of Atlanta, there’s a steady increase in conductivity, indicating the runoff of minerals, most likely fertilizer from lawns.What sort of boat were you paddling? Fuller: A Kruger Sea Wind. It’s an expedition boat made of Kevlar. It’s 17 feet, 2 inches long with a rudder. I have a sail rig built in and a comfy seat. It weighs probably 70 pounds, and I had 350 pounds of gear. It made the portages interesting. I had to make a lot of trips. One portage took me seven trips, a quarter of a mile each time.Half of your trip was upriver. That sounds insane. Fuller: It was 750 miles of upriver paddling. The most difficult paddling was when I was approaching a dam. There was one dam that was releasing so much water, I averaged paddling half a mile per hour. Typically, I can paddle four miles per hour for 12 hours with an eight-minute break for lunch. That’s how long it takes to eat Beanie Weenies and canned fruit. I ate lots of Beanie Weenies. Lots of M&Ms and dried fruit too. I ate all day long, but I still lost 20 pounds.You must have gotten into the best shape of your life. Fuller: I built a lot of muscle and lost 20 pounds, but I developed issues in my upper spine from repetitive motion. I also developed a systemic infection in one knee that was debilitating. I spent a few days laid up on a sandbar with a fever. A guy I met on the river got me into a clinic and let me stay on his houseboat for a couple of nights until I was better.What was life as a river rat like? Fuller: Cold and raining. I paddled in December, January, and February. I bathed in the river. Washed my clothes in the river. My sleeping bag built up some grunge. But you slowly get used to that. The Apalachicola River has lots of sandbars, which is nice if you like camping on sandbars. I get tired of sand in the tent. I spent 13 months in Vietnam, sleeping on the ground in a monsoon. But that was 45 years ago. I’d gotten comfortable. I kept a five-gallon bucket of water by the tent and dunked my feet in before crawling inside. It worked a little.The Apalachicola is famous for its oysters. Did you get to eat any? Fuller: I have leukemia, so I have to be careful about raw fish. But after seeing all the stuff we send down into the Apalachicola Bay, I think my days of eating raw oysters are done regardless. I’m reluctant to eat fish in general from the Chattahoochee River if it’s caught below Atlanta.Any moments from the trip that stick out? Fuller: The most wonderful experience on the entire trip was when I was sailing my canoe a mile off the shore in the Gulf of Mexico, paddling at 6mph, and suddenly I was surrounded by a pod of dolphins. They started rolling close to the boat and one rolled right in front of the canoe and slapped it. It was like a bunch of teenage boys, daring each other to get closer and closer to the boat.What’s your next adventure? Fuller: Right now I’m working on a novel about the trip. But there are big paddling trips I want to do. Tampa Bay to the Florida Keys. Then way out there on the bucket list, I’d like to paddle the headwaters of the Missouri River. It’s longer than the trip I just did, but it’s all downstream.last_img read more


A Grain of S.A.L.T.: Southern Appalachian Loop Trail Almost Reality

first_imgClick here to see larger view of map.Accessibility to public lands in the Southern Appalachians has improved the lives of millions, myself included. After eight years of calling this region my home, I’ve grown physically, mentally and spiritually stronger with access to nearby trails. Not only do these paths lead to improved health, but they also help to protect the environment and foster economic growth.Now, a new 350-mile trail circuit could benefit the health of both the people and the economy of the region. The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, a western North Carolina land trust, is working to protect and make public the final link of the Southern Appalachian Loop Trail (SALT).In the summer of 2012, I had the privilege of thru-hiking SALT, which incorporates sections of the Foothills, Bartram, Appalachian, Mountains-to-Sea and other regional trails. I chose to start the SALT from Jones Gap State Park in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area of South Carolina. I hiked in a clockwise direction towards Georgia along the Foothills Trail, which is unparalleled in its lushness and abundance of waterfalls cascading down from the Blue Ridge Escarpment. This section is deceptively rugged and remote, but swimming holes and wildflowers more than make up for its adversity.After crossing the wild and scenic Chattooga River into Georgia, the SALT hops onto the Bartram Trail and follows in the 240-year-old footsteps of famous naturalist William Bartram as it leaves the foothills and ascends ever higher into the balds of the Nantahala Mountains. Along the way, hikers find convenient provisions in Clayton, Ga. and across the state line in Franklin, N.C. Soon, the route joins up with the popular Appalachian Trail and continues north into the international biosphere reserve of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.From Clingmans Dome, the highest peak in Tennessee, the SALT leaves the A.T. for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and heads eastward down into Cherokee, N.C., which provides another resupply opportunity and immersion into a culture that precedes all others in calling this land home. The trail once again scrapes the clouds at over 6,000’ in elevation amid the high coniferous forests of the Great Balsams.A right-hand turn on the renowned Art Loeb Trail brings the sojourner to the Bracken Mountain Trail and through the blossoming outdoor city of Brevard, N.C. After a short road walk through the French Broad River valley, the SALT enters into the woods of DuPont State Recreational Forest and makes its way towards a final ascent of the Blue Wall. Here, nearly a stone’s throw away from the finish at Jones Gap State Park, public access comes to a screeching halt.It’s disheartening to think that such a perfect loop could be blocked by such a small section of privately owned land. Fortunately, the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy has been pursuing the conservation and public access of natural land between DuPont and the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area to enable a connecting trail. When this project is complete, the Southern Appalachians will be blessed with another wilderness corridor and long-distance hiking adventure.Ready to hit the Trail?1. Choose your own TerminusAs a loop, you have a choice of where to start and finish this trek. If leaving your vehicle for multiple days, seek out a safe parking location in a state park or town as opposed to a remote location. Make sure to check in with officials before tromping off into the woods.2. Research your ResupplyTowns are spaced out as far as 100+ miles, so it’s important to have your resupply strategy dialed. The Southern Appalachian Loop Trail utilizes large portions of the Foothills, Bartram, Appalachian and Mountains-to-Sea trails. To learn more about these sections and to pick up maps, or guidebooks, visit the following websites: foothillstrail.org, gabartramtrail.org, ncbartramtrail.org, appalachiantrail.org and ncmst.org. Also, you can check out the data sheet used for my 2012 trek here: goo.gl/3mQUBD3. Help Finish the LoopHelp make this route a reality by joining the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, making a donation, and/or volunteering to build trail.Bonus ChallengeGot some pep in your step? The fastest known time for this route is 9 days and 8 hours. Do you have what it takes to lower this time?EXPLORE THE MISSING LINKJoin CMLC on a hike up to the Blue Ridge Escarpment and into South Carolina along the proposed route on Sunday, January 19th. For more info, visit carolinamountain.org.last_img read more


Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns Nominee: Damascus, Virginia

first_imgLike Hot Springs, North Carolina, Damascus, Virginia is one of the official trail towns of the A.T. Situated in the shadow of the 5,729-foot Mount Rogers near the tri-state border of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, Damascus welcomes hundreds of trail-weary travelers every year as they continue their some 2,000-mile march to Maine.But the A.T. isn’t the only trail that winds through Damascus. The Iron Mountain Trail and the Virginia Creeper also find their way into the town, both taking adventure seekers on similarly scenic journeys through the windswept Virginia Highlands. Other outdoor opportunities near Damascus include Grayson Highlands State Park, the Backbone Rock Recreation Area, day hiking to the summit of Mount Rogers, and backcountry camping at Rhododendron Gap.Cudas_IB_0814_2Did you know? Last June marked the 6th annual Iron Mountain 100K MTB Race, which begins and ends in Damascus.Vote now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!last_img read more


Inaugural Cheoah River Release

first_imgWelcome back, Cheoah! The boater world has missed you. Cheoah River MapThis weekend, paddlers of the Southeast can look forward to the first release of the season for the Cheoah River in Graham County, N.C. This class IV-V river boils down to nine miles of intense, tumultuous, and wild whitewater action.The Cheoah holds a treasured spot as one of the most popular rivers in the region, but take note: this isn’t a run for the faint of heart. Over the course of its journey through the Tar Heel State, the river drops about 150 feet per mile – including a twelve-foot plummet over Bear Creek Falls – and stands as one of the steepest sections of whitewater nationwide.For those ready to take on the challenge, the Cheoah is now open for business. Get psyched, stay safe, and dive into this incredible whitewater experience.For release dates on the Cheoah, as well as other Southeast classics like the West Fork of the Tuck and the Tallulah, check out American Whitewater’s schedule here.last_img read more


How To: Deep Creek Lake, Md.

first_imgDeep Creek Lake is surrounded by state parks and forests, is home to the humble Wisp Resort, and is a hop, skip, and jump from quality paddling. There’s an eco-friendly community here, and their respect for nature shows in the beauty of Deep Creek Lake’s surrounding areas. It’s a great place to base an adventure weekend around and still have more to come back for later.PlayOn the paddling front, the closest put in is at the Youghiogheny River, right off Sang Run Road. The “Yough” has several different sections with varying difficulty so there’s something for everyone. There is also the Cheat River 50 minutes down the road, home of Cheat River Festival, and some of the most beloved whitewater this side of the Mississippi.There is plenty of biking to be had. The backroads (try Bittinger Road) have rolling hills and tree canopies for some relaxing road biking. Mountain bikes can be taken to Wisp Resort for some downhill action, Fork Run Recreation Area for some technical trail riding (and climbing!), or Big Bear Lake Trail Center for a satisfying mix. Deep Creek Lake State Park also has a great loop!Deep Creek Lake has all the classic lake sports. We highly suggest kayaking to the Lakeside Creamery, they even have a dock for you to pull up on while you’re enjoying your cold treat. There’s also plenty of places to paddleboard, wakeboard, waterski, and swim.Once you’ve got all your biking and paddling in, it’s time to get your two feet on solid ground.  Head to Swallow Falls State park for some relaxing waterfall views and negative ions. For something even more mystical, keep going past Swallow Falls and land at Snaggy Mountain Rock Maze, a large natural rock formation with narrow halls and hidden rooms.  This area is closer to Raiders of the Lost Arc than reality.Swallow Falls State ParkRock MazeStayThis “Truth Window” shows the straw bale insulation of the main building at Blue Moon Rising.We spent our time in Deep Creek Lake at Blue Moon Rising, a collection of 14 eco-friendly, unique, tiny homes. Each is designed with effect on their environment and minimalism in mind.  Switching from the van to a tiny home for a few nights was luxurious! What we liked most about this community was its emphasis on reducing carbon footprint, creating a community experience, and educating guests on what “living green” can mean for them. When building the cabins, “every material and construction decision [was] weighed against its impact on the earth.” The main building uses straw bale insulation, and both that building and the community meeting space have live, green roofs. They have 120 acres of property, with only 15 of that developed.  The rest is left wild, with trails perfect for hiking and biking, and snowshoeing in the winter. While Blue Moon Rising was our favorite option for ‘stay’ in DCL, there are other options. There is a classic campground in Deep Creek Lake State Park with 112 campsites, yurts, and even some electric hook ups.  There is lake beach access at your disposal, just make sure to clean your campground before leaving to enjoy the lake.  The black bear population in DCL is extensive, and they’ve been known to visit those who leave them presents. There are also many hotels to suit your fancy if you’re looking for something less rustic—DCL is a lake town after all!EatMoon Shadow Cafe is a great option for meat from happy animals, organic veggies, and creative dishes. The eclectic interior makes it a pleasure to dine in and the locals will all have suggestions on where to take your next adventure. They have live music on the weekends, grab a “KRJ” from the cocktail menu and have a relaxed evening. If you’re looking for something faster, try the sister grocery store, Harvest Moon Market. They have a deli counter ready to make any sammie on house-made bread, or grab groceries to make your own grub. Fireside Deli and Wine Shop has some delicious paninis, but make sure to check their hours before venturing over there.  Breakfast is best had at Canoe on the Run, where you can get fueled quickly with caffeine and calories to get out on the lake as early as possible. Like the gear we’re rockin’ ?  Check out the clothing from La Sportiva,  featured in the images above!last_img read more


Meet Our Sponsors For The 2018 Road Tour

first_imgMountain HouseIf you haven’t been by the tent during Mountain House sample time, check out our festival schedule and swing by and see us. Mountain House makes legitimately delicious dehydrated meals, and the only way we can convince you is to give you a sample to try yourself! With meals ranging from Homestyle Turkey Dinner Casserole to the classic Chilimac with Beef (try it with Fritos), there is something for every pallet. And don’t get us started on the outrageously long shelf life!We are humbled by the incredible companies that are working with us, and can’t wait to start this adventure. If you haven’t yet, take a look at our festival schedule and block off a weekend to join the gear party. We will have plenty of giveaways, answers to all your questions, and van tours for anyone interested.From the Road,Roxy+Ben Mario has Luigi, Lennon had McCartney, peanut butter has jelly, and by golly gee wiz, the Live Outside and Play road team has a whole crew of incredible sponsors helping us make the 2018 tour a huge success.This year is just getting underway and we couldn’t be more excited. If you haven’t dropped by our booth at a festival, you’re missing out. Step one: come to our booth. Step two: talk about the great outdoors and great outdoor gear. Step three: win free gear.Live Outside And Play GiveawaysOf course, there’s a lot more to our tour than winning free stuff … although free stuff is really nice! The Live Outside and Play tour is about bringing people together. We work to create an outdoor community that loves to have fun, give back to the land, and enjoy the giant playground we call the great outdoors. We host river clean-ups, group campouts, bike rides and so much more.The LOAP tour sponsors are proud to be a part of that community and that’s why they join our tour.Without further ado, we would love to introduce you to the 2018 Live Outside and Play tour sponsors. Throughout our journey, you will be able to swing by our booth and check out some of the best gear on the market.Nite IzeThe Nite Ize motto is simple: easier, simpler and more fun. How can you not be on board with that? Chances are you’ve already seen their gear around. Nite Ize products are sold in over 30 countries. And the Nite Ize warranty is unmatched. If something breaks, for any reason, they will fix it or make it right, no questions asked. And they make a TON of awesome products that you never knew you needed. Last year, we relied heavily on their gear ties (which are a lifesaver) and this year we’ve been introduced to a bunch of creative products that we can’t wait to show off.Crazy CreekCrazy Creek has been making high-quality products since 1987. They’ve outfitted us with a range of chairs for use in the back, front and side country, festivals, and beyond! If you stop by to see us at a festival, you will see our bottoms parked in some of our favorite chairs.Lowe AlpineWith bags designed for every outing in mind, it’s easy to find the perfect pack and start your adventure. One of our favorite aspects of these backpacks (besides the value for price), is that there are different and specific designs for women and men. If you start building packs in 1967, you’re bound to perfect it by 2018!National Geographic MapsNat Geo Maps are our keys to the outdoors. With these maps in hand, we know where to camp, what location to backpack to, and where to find water. They’re durable and easy to read. Nat Geo Maps is expanding the types of maps they offer every year, from specific river maps to those based around popular cities, there is a map for your adventure.LekiWhen we spoke with Leki, they made it clear they didn’t care if their products were the “coolest” or “shiniest,” they wanted their product to be the best. There aren’t any stores at the summit, so you need your product to be as strong as you are. With the only mountain running specific pole on the market, Leki is using their innovation to create quality products.HydraPakHydraPak is raising the standard for high-performance hydration. With advanced technology to make sure you have the safest, most durable and useful products on the hydration market, HydraPak stands out with their quality offerings. They have foldable water storage solutions of every size, each one ready for your lightweight adventure.Sea to SummitSea to Summit has a plethora of outstanding sleep systems. They want all aspects of your gear choices to work together, exceed reliability expectations, and keep you comfortable. Sea to Summit has our back with sleep systems, and they are also helping us out with a new camp kitchen! Their new line of hard anodized aluminum cookware is ready to bring your kitchen to your campsite. You can cook gourmet meals on a backpacking trip, and Sea to Summit is here to show you the gear that makes it possible.UCO GearUCO Gear covers old school and new school lighting with similar expertise and grace. UCO’s line ranges from romantic candle lanterns to impossibly light and rechargeable headlamps. Think comfortable strap and adjustable everything. Be sure to stop by the tent at sundown, you can see for yourself how wonderful these products are.WenzelYou know that cool party tent a few down from you at the music festival? It’s probably made by Wenzel. They make affordable, fun, jealousy-inducing, vintage-inspired tents and we can’t wait to show them off this year. With a simple one pole system, it’s easy to get your #campswagger on.Old TownOld Town by Johnson Outdoors builds their kayaks and canoes right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. The magic happens up in Maine, where these high-quality boats are manufactured, then sent all around the world. Between the Malibu Pedal (quick, easy, get out and go pedal ocean kayak) and the Castine (a comfortable cruiser), we’re certainly equipped for water adventures this season!last_img read more


“Fill the Pantry” Virtual Running Race

first_imgMain Website with complete information – https://kickitevents.com/Register – https://raceroster.com/events/2020/30956/fill-the-pantry-virtual-raceFacebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/660782611421092/ Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retailers that sell food and beverage products or pharmacy products, including dollar stores, and department stores with grocery or pharmacy operations;Medical, laboratory, and vision supply retailers;Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology;Automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers as well as automotive repair facilities;Home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply retailers;Lawn and garden equipment retailers;Beer, wine, and liquor stores;Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores;Retail located within healthcare facilities;Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions;Pet stores and feed stores;Printing and office supply stores; andLaundromats and dry cleaners. Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers;Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities;Beauty salons, barber shops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed that would not allow compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain six feet apart;Racetracks and historic horse racing facilities;Bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, public and private social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement. Retail Businesses The following retail businesses are considered essential and may remain open during normal business hours:  Kick It Events is inviting area runners (and beyond) to make their next run meaningful and join our “Fill the Pantry” virtual race. 100% of registration fees (minus processing fees) will be donated to the Asheville City Schools Food Distribution Program and families in our community hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. We realize that our city schools are not only vital for feeding kid’s minds but also their bodies and the food distribution team has been strapped fulfilling the increased needs of local families during these uncertain times.During registration, runners can choose from 5K – $5 donation, 8K – $10 donation, or a 10K – $20 donation. Participants then run whatever course they want (even on a treadmill), whenever they want up until April 1st. Working with Glory Hound Events we have pulled some ideas course maps out from races or courses that no longer exist.2013 Sunset Stampede 5k2012 Bele Chere 5k2009 Citizen Times 5k2013 Ramble Run 5k2015 Thomas Wolfe 8k2017 Band Aid 8k2019 Hot Chocolate 10kAll runners will be entered in a drawing for a FREE RACE ENTRY to one of the following Kick It Event 2020 races:Independence Day 5kSuper Hero 5k / Super Villain 10kOktoberfest 5kThomas Wolfe 8kHot Chocolate 5k/10kWe understand that many runners out there are looking to fill the void left by this seasons canceled races. This race gives them an opportunity to participate and help our community at the same time in a fun way.Additional Links: All essential retail establishments must, to the extent possible, adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and other appropriate workplace guidance from state and federal authorities.  Any brick-and-mortar retail business not listed above must limit all in-person shopping to no more than 10 patrons per establishment, adhere to social distancing recommendations, sanitize common surfaces, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities. If any such business cannot adhere to the 10-patron limit with proper social distancing requirements, it must close. Additional Guidance Professional businesses not listed above must utilize telework as much as possible. Where telework is not feasible, such businesses must adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing procedures, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities, including CDC, OSHA, and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. Businesses in violation of this order may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. Nothing in Executive Order Fifty-Three limits the provision of health care or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; the operations of the media; law enforcement agencies; or operations of government. The full text of Executive Order Fifty-Three can be found here. Additional guidance and a Frequently Asked Questions guide can be found here. Watch the video of today’s announcement here. Dining and On-Site Alcohol Establishments All dining and congregation areas in the following establishments must close to the public beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. These establishments may continue to offer delivery and/or takeout services. Establishments include:  Photo of a solo runner from Getty Images Restaurants;Dining establishments;Food courts;Farmers markets;Breweries;Microbreweries;Distilleries;Wineries; andTasting rooms.last_img read more