National Science Bowl returns

Western regions are preparing again for the annual National Science Bowl, a Department of Energy led competition that pits teams of high school and middle school students against one another in the fields of science and math.

Four-person teams first compete at a regional level, and winners advance to compete nationally at an annual event in Washington, D.C. This year, the national competition is April 26-30. Last year, the Mira Loma High School team from the Western-sponsored Sacramento Regional Science Bowl in California won 1st place.

Admission to the regional events is free, and everyone is encouraged to attend and cheer on their local schools. Additionally, regional competitions are always looking for volunteers to help with timekeeping, asking questions, scoring and other tasks.

So check out your local regional competition hosted by Western:

South Dakota Regional Science Bowl – Jan. 21
Sacramento Regional Science Bowl – Feb. 4
Rocky Mountain Regional Science Bowl – Feb. 4
North Dakota Science Bowl – Feb. 4
Big Sky Regional Science Bowl – Feb. 4
Arizona Regional Science Bowl – March 3

Good luck teams!

Enbridge takes up MATL line construction

Renewable Energy Systems Americas employees continue work on the MATL line Jan. 12 near Sweetgrass, Mont. (Photo courtesy of Enbridge)

Taking another step toward bringing renewable energy to market, this month contractors got back to work on the Montana Alberta Tie Limited project.

After receiving a notice to proceed on construction Jan. 10, Renewable Energy Systems Americas employees, hired by Enbridge, got boots on the ground quickly and began remediation work on some existing structures and line near Sweetgrass, Mont.

With 60 percent of the transmission line and substations already completed, Enbridge and RES are continuing to make progress on the line north of Marias River.

Funded partially through Western Area Power Administration’s Transmission Infrastructure Program, Enbridge expects to complete the 214-mile, 230-kilovolt line in 2012.

“Enbridge is committed to quality construction of the line and timely completion of the project,” said Vi Michaelis, Western’s project manager for MATL. “We are very encouraged by the construction restart.”

Once completed, MATL will interconnect the 189-megawatt Rim Rock wind power project, which announced its notice to proceed on construction Jan. 9.