Thursday, February 26, 2015

Panasonic to Introduce Solar-Powered "Green Towers" for Cell and WIFI Service

NEWARK, N.J --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Panasonic Eco Solutions will introduce its Green Tower comprehensive energy solution for cellular tower and Wi-Fi hotspot sites at the Mobile World Congress, taking place March 2-5 in Barcelona, Spain. Panasonic and its partner, PowerOasis, will unveil a Lithium Ion-based hybrid power solution, combining Panasonic's powerful Lithium Ion battery and solar technology expertise with PowerOasis' industry-leading telecommunications energy management platform.

Panasonic's solution targets cellular towers operating on legacy infrastructure and demonstrates how they can be retro-fitted with solar energy generation and advanced energy storage equipment. Green Tower offers the tower operator the benefits of energy efficiency, reduced operating costs and enhanced reliability. The system is designed for a range of telecommunications sites having loads that range from 50W to 3kW, and is easily deployed in off-grid, unreliable grid or on-grid locations as either a primary or back-up power solution.

"Panasonic is driving a paradigm shift across the industry through its comprehensive energy solution and its Energy-as-a-Service model, offering telecom carriers the ability to finally address energy and operating costs with an innovative solution," said Jamie Evans, who leads Panasonic's U.S. Eco Solutions business. "The Green Tower energy solution concept marks a shift from traditional static power infrastructure to efficient, remotely managed systems that reduce costs and create new profit centers for wireless carriers."

Electricity costs in mature markets can account for up to 15% of total cellular network operating expenditures. In developing markets, these costs can increase up to 50%, due to unreliable grid supply and a heavy reliance on diesel-powered generators that are also subject to fuel theft. The outsourced, end-to-end Green Tower solution is paid for by performance enhancements and operational savings, requiring virtually no capital outlay. Within certain markets, the concept also offers an opportunity for smart grid energy arbitrage. It uses predictive algorithms to show actual load compared to market demand and can send unused energy from on-site assets back to the local grid.  Other benefits include satellite connectivity and wireless equipment monitoring.

"This turn-key solution highlights the significant benefits mobile operators can achieve by incorporating an integrated energy management platform and Lithium Ion battery technology into their network energy strategy," said John O'Donohue, Chief Executive Officer of PowerOasis.

The Green Tower comprehensive energy solution incorporates best-in-class Panasonic components including Li-ion batteries and HIT solar modules, in combination with technology from PowerOasis.  Panasonic and PowerOasis representatives will be available to demonstrate the Green Tower smart energy solution in the "Green Pavilion" at Booth 7M28, Hall 7 for the duration of Mobile World Congress 2015.

Solar Powered Full-Scale Demonstration Hyperloop Planned for California

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the heels of announcing a public offering and Elon Musk’s offer to build an open source test track in Texas, JumpStartFund’s Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has announced a formal agreement with the developers of Quay Valley, California, to develop an installation of the Hyperloop along a five-mile stretch of the town running alongside the Interstate 5 freeway. With construction beginning in 2016, this will be the first working passenger-ready Hyperloop in an urban area.

“With Quay Valley, we’re creating a community built on economical, environmental and social sustainability, and part of this is seeking to reduce car dependency,” said Quay Hays, CEO of GROW Holdings, Inc. (Green Renewable Organic & Water), the master developer of Quay Valley. “For these reasons, the Hyperloop is the ideal clean community transit system for Quay Valley.”

“Our agreement with Quay Valley is a major milestone in the advancement of the Hyperloop project,” said Hyperloop Transportation Technologies CEO Dirk Ahlborn. “This installation will allow us to demonstrate all systems on a full scale and immediately begin generating revenues for our shareholders through actual operations.”

The Quay Valley Hyperloop track will be built using HTT’s tube, capsule, and station models. It will be instrumental in optimizing passenger system needs--such as loading, departure and safety considerations--to ensure Hyperloop is ready for larger-scale operation. Running speed will be reduced on the shortened track from Hyperloop’s full potential.

In the past two years, JumpStartFund assembled a team of nearly 200 core team professionals who have worked to bring the Hyperloop to reality by completing extensive technological and financial feasibility studies. On February 13, 2015, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced the company was moving towards a public offering near the end of 2015. The offering is planned to be an auction with the goal of raising $100 million.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SunEdison To Bring Electricity To 20 Million People By 2020

BELMONT, CA --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- SunEdison, the world's largest renewable energy development company, today announced an ambitious plan to electrify 20 million people in underserved communities around the world. The initiative will be led by SunEdison Social Innovations, a global group focused on developing new business models and new technologies which make renewable energy in rural communities economically sustainable over the long term, while also contributing to social and environmental benefits to the community.

"Billions of people worldwide don't have access to electricity," said Ahmad Chatila, President and Chief Executive Officer at SunEdison. "Without electricity they can't access many of the things we take for granted - health clinics with vaccines, or schools with computers and fans. But by applying a mix of new business models, new technology, and charitable donations, we are tackling the issue head on. We are committing to bringing electricity to one million people by the end of 2015, and are targeting to help 20 million people gain access to electricity by 2020."

The Social Innovations team has already started working toward its goal and has helped more than 250,000 people worldwide through strategic partnerships focused on three key areas: new business models, new technology, and charitable donations.

New business models

SunEdison is developing new ways to bring electricity to the people who need it most through a series of partnerships and innovative business models.

In India, SunEdison and Omnigrid Micropower Company (OMC) are electrifying rural villages by pairing commercial solar customers with local villagers.  Telecom companies need their cellular towers powered. Villagers need electricity. A solar electric mini grid providing electricity for both of them is the answer. The mini grid is first built to power the tower – the tower becomes the anchor for the project. With this in place, SunEdison and OMC develop additional mini grid capacity that can be sold to the local villagers. By pairing high credit telecom companies with low to no credit villagers the entire project becomes bankable. It is a mutually beneficial relationship – the telecom companies save money by powering their telecom towers with cost effective solar energy, while the hundreds of families that live around each tower get access to electricity that can be used for lights, fans and mobile phone chargers. With a target of 5,000 solar power plants to be developed over the next 5 years, the SunEdison-OMC partnership expects to help more than 10 million people.

In Nepal, SunEdison is partnering with SunFarmer to amplify the benefits of electricity by providing solar systems to remote hospitals, health clinics, and schools. Their latest innovation is a five to seven year rent-to-own loan. The loan was designed to fit the needs of less affluent organizations by spreading the cost of the solar system over a longer term than is typically available. Financed in this way, solar delivers lower cost energy than diesel generators and brings with it the certainty that the energy prices are not going to fluctuate.

To date, SunFarmer and SunEdison have positively impacted 250,000 people to date through this program and are set to expand to geographic regions beyond Nepal, with the goal of bringing electricity to 7 million people by 2020.

New Technology

The new Outdoor Microstation is now available for deployment. The Outdoor Microstation is a stand-alone power generation unit that provides renewable and reliable electricity for a variety of off-grid applications in hard-to-service remote areas.

It can be used to quickly and cost effectively power households and small businesses, illuminate public places, supply energy to clinics and health centers, power water pumps or irrigation systems, or provide electricity to telecommunications systems. These systems can be deployed quickly - in less than a day, a village that was dark the night before can experience electricity by sundown  As an added benefit, the Outdoor Microstation protects against rising and fluctuating diesel fuel costs.

The Outdoor Microstation comes in two versions: a 3,500 volt-amperes version and a 650 volt-amperes version. The Outdoor Microstation 3500 unit can provide power for a rural community of up to 25 households, including street lighting, for 5 hours each night. The 650 volt-amperes unit can provide electricity for up to 10 households for five hours each night. Both models are equipped with high capacity batteries that can provide three days of autonomy under any weather condition. The system is low maintenance and is designed to ensure steady operation under almost any conditions, thanks to its quality components and its rugged weatherproof design.

To view the new SunEdison Outdoor Microstation video please visit: youtu.be/KEFlpqpE8NE.

Charitable Donations

SunEdison and the SunEdison Foundation are engaged in a variety of charitable initiatives dedicated to empowering people and improving lives. To maximize the benefits of electrification in the local community, the SunEdison Foundation focuses on providing clean energy solutions for health clinics and schools.

"We have donated and installed 344 kilowatts of solar systems for 28 schools and clinics to date, which has positively impacted more than 16,000 people," said Alakesh Chetia, President of Social Innovations at SunEdison. "Our latest donation is a 5.2 kilowatt system installed at a school on the off-grid island of Gilutongan, in the Philippines. This system is the largest system ever donated to an island in the Philippines. The school had no access to electricity during the day to power the 11 computers owned by the school. By donating a solar system to the school, we have given these children a means to learn with computers.  This will improve computer literacy for the area, which will have a powerful economic impact further down the road as the children enter the job market."

Recently, the SunEdison Foundation made a charitable donation to the Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) to help salt farmers in the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat purchase solar water pumps. The pilot phase of the program has been very successful; the donation has enabled the purchase of 200 solar water pumps.  SunEdison hopes to move all 17,000 SEWA members from diesel to solar water pumps over the next 5 years by bringing in additional funding from finance partners.

Mr. Chetia concluded: "Bringing electricity to 20 million people by 2020 will require not only new business models, new technologies, and charitable work, but also partnerships. We all benefit when we work together. At SunEdison we're committed and engaged, and we want to magnify our efforts by connecting with others who are equally engaged."

To find out more about SunEdison Social Innovations and our mission please visit www.sunedison.com/social_innovations.

About SunEdison

SunEdison is the world's largest renewable energy development company and is transforming the way energy is generated, distributed, and owned around the globe. The company manufactures solar technology and develops, finances, installs, owns and operates wind and solar power plants, delivering predictably priced electricity to its residential, commercial, government and utility customers.  SunEdison is one of the world's largest renewable energy asset managers and provides asset management, operations and maintenance, monitoring and reporting services for its renewable energy customers around the world. Corporate headquarters are in the United States, with additional offices around the world. SunEdison's common stock is listed on the New York Stock

Vivint Solar Now Offering Residential Solar Leases in Utah

LEHI, UT--(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Vivint Solar, a leading provider of residential solar systems in the United States, announced today that it is now offering residential solar leases to homeowners in the State of Utah. Headquartered in Lehi, Utah, the company currently employs nearly 1,000 in its corporate offices and plans to hire approximately 60 additional employees on sales, installation and operations team to support Utah homeowners. The company is approaching 3,000 employees nationwide.

"Vivint Solar is proud to call Utah its home as we have become the second largest installer of residential solar energy in the United States," said Greg Butterfield, CEO of Vivint Solar. "We are now providing energy consumers in the State of Utah with the opportunity to change the way they create and consume electricity, by affordably connecting homes and businesses to the sun through our solar lease and cash purchase programs."

With a Vivint Solar lease, Utah homeowners can lock in a fixed monthly lease payment for a rooftop solar energy system with no down payment or upfront costs for installation and permitting. Vivint Solar leases include a solar energy production guarantee. As a result, the electricity generated by the solar energy system provides Utah homeowners with electricity costs that are typically below the prevailing electric utility rates. To schedule a solar assessment for your home, call 1-855-353-4829.

In addition to opening a new warehouse facility in American Fork, the company will officially break ground on a new 163,000 square foot corporate headquarters in Lehi on Friday, February 27. The company continues to hire sales representatives, permitting staff, CAD designers, install technicians, electricians and corporate support staff. Visit vivintsolar.com to see a list of available job descriptions.

PG&E Commits $250,000 for Solar Energy Projects by Local High Schools

SAN JOSE, CA--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Pacific Gas and Electric announced at today’s We Day California event a $250,000 sponsorship that will provide sustainable energy project opportunities for several local high schools. Students will build portable solar units, share their commitment to sustainability by participating in local projects and have a chance to make a global impact.

The solar suitcase is a small, portable photovoltaic lighting system, powerful enough to illuminate a small room. PG&E will provide 100 solar suitcase units to high schools throughout Northern and Central California, supplied by the nonprofit Green Tech. The schools who receive the solar suitcases will be trained by Green Tech on assembly of the portable kits and will learn firsthand the basic principles of clean energy technical education.

“PG&E is a champion of education, providing nearly $70 million to local schools throughout Northern and Central California over the last decade. By pairing that commitment with our focus on clean energy sources like solar, we can help educate students and inspire them to create lasting and sustainable action,” said Chris Johns, president of PG&E.

Encouraging students to “act locally and think globally,” PG&E’s program includes a local community service sustainable activity component as well as an international opportunity. Part of the program involves students’ participation in local sustainability projects of their own choosing, such as park cleanups, water and energy conservation teams, or community gardens.

“PG&E believes in a cleaner energy future that includes solar. Students like those invited to We Day California—who are already deeply invested in improving their local communities—are exactly the type of young leaders who will drive a clean, sustainable energy future. These passionate young Californians are on a profound path to forever change the lives of others in their local communities and around the world. We're excited to share the potential of solar with them,” said Helen Burt, senior vice president of corporate affairs for PG&E.

Participating students can submit videos of their own local sustainability project success stories to earn a chance to be one of four participants selected for a humanitarian solar suitcase delivery mission to orphanages, schools and medical clinics in Kenya with international charity Free the Children. This unique global opportunity for local high school students adds a new dimension to PG&E’s commitment to education and renewable energy.