Tag Archives: News

To Store the Wind and Sun, Energy Startups Look to Gravity

From giant earth towers to compressed-air plants, entrepreneurs are piloting systems to make renewable energy more reliable

by David Hodari and Ed Ballard February 14, 2020

In the Alpine town of Arbedo-Castione, Switzerland, an electric-blue, 400-foot-high crane with six heads lifts a block of compacted soil into the air and carefully adds it to the top of a stack.

Later, the crane will reverse that process, generating power as gravity lowers the block back toward the ground.

Energy Vault, the company that built the contraption, believes it could help the renewable-energy industry confront its most intractable problem: storing up energy against the surges and lulls that characterize renewables like wind and solar.

These options are gaining ground as alternatives to fossil fuels, but they can’t yet be relied on to generate power around the clock. Without cheap ways of getting power when it is cloudy or calm, there is a limit to how much the grid can rely on renewables.

“What you’d like to do is power the grid 100% with zero-carbon energy, and there aren’t very many ways to generate it,” says Eric Toone, an emeritus professor of chemistry at Duke University and executive managing director at Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a clean-tech venture fund that has invested in energy-storage startups.

To decarbonize the world’s power with solar and wind, storage capacity also has to grow, he says.

Researchers and entrepreneurs are attacking the challenge of storage from all angles.

Continue reading the rest of the article as WSJ.com

PWT/ FYM News for Fall 2013


I have sent out confirmations to all trained Peer Writing Tutors and Writing and Academic Mentors who have FYSE assignments. If you have not yet accepted your confirmation, please do so now.

Save the date!

Mandatory Organization Meeting for Writing and Academic Mentors: Wednesday, September 11, 4:30-6:30, CTLR
Mandatory Organization Meeting for Peer Writing Tutors: Thursday, September 12, 4:30-6:30, CTLR
You will receive an email notice of the meeting you must attend in early September.

Peer Writing Tutor/Writing and Academic Mentor 2013-201314 leadership team:

Head Tutor: Emily Colton
Head Mentor: Anna Flinchbaugh
Head Drop-in: Emily Auran

Easier event scheduling and more in Google Calendar

Google writes that: A new event page in Google Calendar has been introduced. Among the changes such as simplified layout and making the style more consistent with other Google apps, some new functionality has also been added:

  • New repeating event editor
  • New tool to help you find a time for your event and work better across time zones
  • Ability to set your default working hours for events


New collaborative highlighting in Google Documents

From the Google Apps Updates blog…

“When editing a document with other editors, you can now see the text that other editors are highlighting as they select it. This makes it much easier to collaborate on deleting and moving text items.”

Read the full article here: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2010/08/collaborative-highlighting-in-documents.html


Priority Inbox now in Gmail!

While we haven’t turned the Gmail service on for the Middlebury Google Apps instance yet, it is good to know that if/when we do, people will be able to use Gmail’s new Priority Inbox! If you haven’t tried it yet on your regular Gmail account, check it out.

“Priority Inbox (Beta) is a new view of your inbox that automatically helps you focus on your most important messages. Priority Inbox splits your inbox into three sections: “Important and unread,” “Starred,” and “Everything else”. Messages are automatically categorized as they arrive in your inbox.”

Read the full article here: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/08/email-overload-try-priority-inbox.html


EDUCAUSE Webcast: Google Apps at Brown

Everyone is welcome at Davis Family Library 105 at 1pm on Wednesday, August 18th for the re-scheduled EDUCAUSE webcast that focuses on Brown’s experience with Google Apps!

Description of the event from the EDUCAUSE website: “About a year ago, Brown deployed Google Apps to its 6,000 students and has now decided to extend the service to include faculty and staff as well. In this Webcast, we’ll hear about how these decisions were made, the options considered, difficulties surmounted, and successes to date.