21 марта, 16:49

Here's Why You Should Hold on to Itron (ITRI) Stock for Now

Itron (ITRI) expected to benefit from focus on restructuring, acquisitions and backlog strength despite elevated expenses.

09 марта, 16:29

Itron and FPL Sign Contract Renewal for Managed Services

Itron's (ITRI) seven-year contract renewal with FPL to provide managed services is expected to boost the company's backlog.

08 марта, 17:14

Itron to Grow on Silver Spring Acquisition Amid Rising Costs

The Silver Spring acquisition, focus on restructuring and backlog strength anticipated to drive Itron's (ITRI) performance in the near term despite elevated expenses.

16 января, 13:23

Энергия для XXI века. Часть 2

У EnergyNet есть еще один важный потенциал. Удачная реализация проекта в России позволит экспортировать в любые страны мира оборудование, программное обеспечение и готовые решения для сетевых операторов, городов и целых государств, что позволит нашей стране стать технологическим лидером развитого мира.

14 июля 2017, 16:13

First Solar Sells 2 Solar Projects to EDF Renewable Energy

EDF Renewable Energy announced that it acquired two solar projects from First Solar Inc. (FSLR).

08 июля 2017, 00:35

Berkshire Hathaway Subsidiary to Acquire Oncor Electric

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s (BRK.B) division Berkshire Hathaway Energy will buy Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC, per media reports.

06 июня 2017, 18:00

Tesla (TSLA) to Resume Rooftop Solar Panel Sale in Nevada

Tesla Inc. (TSLA) and Sunrun Inc. (RUN) have announced their decision to resume their rooftop panel selling business in Nevada.

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25 января 2017, 20:38

BRIEF-NV Energy Inc says co, Apple reached agreement to build 200 megawatts of additional solar energy in Nevada

* NV Energy Inc - co, apple reached an agreement to build 200 megawatts of additional solar energy in Nevada by early 2019

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17 января 2017, 00:16

Is Las Vegas Really 100% Renewable?

Las Vegas conjures up images of casinos and a hedonistic lifestyle, but the city has now been making the headlines for different reasons, in that it now boasts of powering its public facilities solely from renewable energy. The city’s clean energy mission was accomplished in December last year, through an agreement with the state investor owned utility NV Energy, where solar power will be supplied via a now operational plant from nearby Boulder City. Coupled with power provided from NV Energy, every public building, park, traffic light, and…

20 декабря 2016, 23:59

The City Of Las Vegas Is Now Powered Entirely By Renewable Energy

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); All Las Vegas city facilities ― from government buildings to streetlights ― are now running entirely on renewable energy, city officials have announced. “We can brag that the city, this city of Las Vegas, is one of the few cities in the entire world that can boast using all of its power from a green source,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said in a news conference Monday. The achievement marks the completion of the city’s nearly decade-long goal to fully transition to clean energy only ― a project that was expedited after the city partnered with public utility company NV Energy almost a year ago. Officials were able to make the announcement after Boulder Solar 1, NV Energy’s massive solar array in the southeast corner of Nevada, went on line last week. Boulder Solar 1, combined with other local sources of green energy like geothermal energy plants and solar panels placed throughout the city, will now provide 100 percent of the city’s municipal power. The shift to renewable energy started in 2008 and has since saved the city roughly $5 million annually and decreased energy consumption by more than 30 percent, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Las Vegas ― now the largest U.S. city to rely solely on renewable energy ― is helping pave the way for other cities eager to transition to carbon-free energy, despite an incoming presidential administration with a record of pushing back on progressive environmental policies. Last month, 48 mayors signed an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump, pledging to take climate action within their cities even if the federal government refuses to support their plans. The letter reads: Each of our cities is committing to ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, set climate action, regularly report on our progress, share lessons and hold each other accountable. ... As President, you will have the power to expand and accelerate these local initiatives which the people resoundingly supported. ... We ask that you lead us in expanding the renewable energy sources we need to achieve energy security, address climate change and spark a new manufacturing, energy and construction boom in America. San Francisco; San Jose, California; and Grand Rapids, Michigan are just a few of the big cities committing to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=584e9119e4b04c8e2bb07424,570eb3d2e4b08a2d32b8ec00,583469a1e4b058ce7aacf9b6 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 декабря 2016, 17:00

9 Sustainable Business Stories That Shaped 2016

In 2015, the world pivoted in a historic way toward sustainability. Debates about climate change melted away. Every country committed to action in the form of the Paris Agreement. Even the Pope spoke to the issue, reminding us that we’re all connected. It was a productive 12 months, to say the least. Then came 2016. Every year, I find big themes or specific company stories that I feel are impressive, important, or indicative of where the world is going. In 2016, two dwarf the rest: the election of Donald Trump and significant action on climate change. The context for sustainable business in 2017 may center on the competition between these two stories; that is, how will Trump and his team impact or impede progress on climate and other sustainability issues? So let’s focus on these two first, and then run quickly through seven other interesting stories. 1. Trump Shocked the World It’s not yet clear what Trump’s election means for issues that impact companies’ efforts to manage environmental and social issues. Climate change, building a clean economy, reducing inequality and raising wages, providing health care to support general wellbeing — all are big unknowns now. The early signs from the Trump team are not promising, in my view. He wants to appoint as head of the EPA a man who denies climate change and led legal battles against the EPA. His pick for Labor Secretary is staunchly opposed to covering overtime pay or increasing minimum wages (something many leading companies have been doing on their own since 2014. His choice for Secretary of State is the CEO of ExxonMobil, a company that has, for decades, attacked climate science when it knew better. A leaked memo from the Trump transition team shows an intention to move away from the Paris agreement and almost all climate and clean economy action. In response to Trump’s election and his statements doubting climate change, many countries that signed the Paris climate accords in 2015 made it clear they would power on (China in particular — see story number three, below). Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy even proposed taxing U.S. goods if the country pulled out the Paris agreement. And throwing his weight in, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg publicly declared that cities would fight on, with or without Trump. Finally, hundreds of companies signed the latest declaration from Ceres showing their support for Paris. This is all promising. For this and many other reasons, the sustainability journey in business will continue. But given Trump’s likely stance, any global progress on climate will happen in spite of headwinds from the U.S. federal government. In the U.S., the action will have to move to states, cities, and the private sector. Businesses in particular will need to lead in a way they never have before — and they will. 2. Public and Private Sector Action on Climate Change Increased For most of 2016, the world moved quickly on climate. I’ve already mentioned the historic Paris agreement, but there are more positive steps worth noting. With the support of chemical companies, more than 170 countries also agreed to phase out HFCs, the high global-warming-potential chemicals used in air-conditioners and refrigerators everywhere. The UN also agreed to slash emissions from the airline industry. Norway banned deforestation and both Norway and Germany moved toward banning fossil-fuel-powered cars. This week, Canada announced it would tax carbon nationally by 2018. In the U.S., the Obama administration started to incorporate the “social cost of carbon” in decision-making and the Pentagon made climate change a military priority. President Obama, with his counterparts in Canada and Mexico, agreed to some aggressive regional targets on renewable energy and efficiency. At the state level, New Jersey passed a big new gas tax, and Oregon, Illinois, and California developed robust energy and climate policies. All of this will affect companies of all stripes. Business itself wasn’t quiet on the climate front either. Many invested heavily in renewable energy (see number five on this list), and some big companies dove into policy debates this year. More than 100 companies called for action on the Clean Power Plan (Obama’s big move to reduce power sector emissions), with tech giants Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft even filing a legal brief in support of the policy. Nine big brands with operations in Ohio publicly pressed the state to reinstate energy efficiency and renewable energy portfolio standards. Many previously quiet companies, like food giant General Mills, spoke out about how important it was to their business to tackle climate change. Why all this progress? First, evidence of a radically altered climate system has become crystal clear. After 2015 shattered climate records, 2016 got even hotter and more extreme, creating weather events that brought physical destruction, massive economic costs, and loss of life. Second, the financial world is getting better at evaluating what’s at stake. The World Bank estimates that $158 trillion worth of assets are at risk from increased natural disasters. The London School of Economics tells us trillions of financial assets are also vulnerable. And in the U.S. alone, floods in Louisiana and North Carolina caused $10 to $20 billion in damage.  3. China Stepped Up While many countries accelerated their climate and clean economy work this year, China is a special case. Early in the year, China said it would halt new coal mine approvals, close 1,000 mines, increase wind and solar by 21% in 2016, and even eat less meat to control carbon emissions. But last month the country also indicated coal use would rise until 2020 (albeit at a slower rate than the growth of renewables). So it’s not totally clear where China’s emissions will head. But the country clearly wants to lead the world in the clean economy transition. Speaking from this year’s UN global climate meeting – which happened to coincide with the U.S. election — Chinese ministers sent a message to Trump that climate change is no hoax. Then China’s President Xi said he’ll be attending the annual bigwig gathering in Davos for the first time, with reports of China’s interest in filling trade gaps left by Brexit and possible leadership gaps on climate left by Trump. 4. Renewables Kept Growing and Getting Cheaper Renewables have been trouncing fossil fuels for a few years as the costs of the newer technologies have dropped remarkably fast. The world record for cheapest solar plant was set in Mexico… and then broken within weeks in Dubai with a bid of 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour. Countries with big investments in renewables are reaping the rewards. For four days in May, Portugal was 100% powered by renewables, and on a single windy day Denmark’s windfarms gave the country 140% of what it needed. The U.S. finally got into offshore wind near Rhode Island. In a subtle tipping point, the total global generating capacity from renewables passed coal this year. As prices dropped, companies noticed, and corporate purchases and commitments to clean energy grew. Walmart set a 50% renewable target for 2025. In the last few weeks, Microsoft and Avery Dennison announced big purchases of clean power, and GM and Google said they’d target 100% renewable energy within a year. A growing number of companies signed the RE100 commitment to go for 100%. And in Nevada, both MGM and Caesars filed papers to stop purchasing power from their utility, NV Energy, because it doesn’t support renewables. New capital is still flowing to the clean tech — Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and some other business leaders just announced a $1 billion fund to invest in “next generation energy technologies.” All of this activity convinces me that Trump can’t stop the clean economy.  5. Investors Focused on Climate, Sustainability, and Short-Termism Larry Fink, the CEO of Blackrock — the world’s largest asset owner — followed up his 2015 letter to S&P 500 CEOs with another treatise against short-term focus. He disparaged the “quarterly earnings hysteria” and asked companies to submit long-term strategy plans and address environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. BlackRock also issued a “climate change warning,” telling investors to adapt their portfolios to fight global warming. Many banks heeded the advice, pulling funding from coal. The London School of Economics also estimated that climate change could slash trillions from financial asset values. Because of this economic and systemic risk, a high-powered task force from the G20’s Financial Stability Board issued important guidelines for companies to make climate-related disclosures. To help investors evaluate their holdings, Morningstar launched sustainability ratings for 20,000 funds, and 21 stock exchanges introduced sustainability reporting standards. Finally, to educate the next generation of analysts, the CFA exam will now include a focus on ESG issues. 6. Business Defended Employees’ and Customers’ Human Rights Companies are getting more vocal on human rights issues for many reasons. For some, it’s about the commercial opportunity to appeal to a new or growing market of rights-focused consumers. Others want to attract and retain diverse talent. But in general, society is expecting companies to broaden their mission. In one survey, 78% of Americans agreed that “companies should take action to address important issues facing society.” Millennials feel even stronger. A global survey this year showed that 87% of Millennials around the world believe that “the success of business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance.” This generation — which will be 50% of the workforce by 2020 — seeks employers that share their values. And so, after a divisive U.S. election, many CEOs felt the need to email employees, restating their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Earlier in the year, when Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina passed a bizarre law to control which bathroom transgender people use, many companies spoke up. The CEOs of dozens of big brands — including Alcoa, Apple, Bank of America, Citibank, IBM, Kellogg, Marriott, PwC, and Starbucks — signed an open letter to defend “protections for LGBT people.” Paypal and Deutsche Bank canceled plans to expand and hire in the state, and the NCAA actually relocated some championship events. (In an important side note, after costing the state $600 million in business, the law is widely credited for losing McCrory his reelection bid.)  7. More Evidence Emerged That Economies Can Grow Without Increasing Carbon Emissions So far this century, more than 20 large countries, as well as 33 U.S. states, have “decoupled” GDP growth from GHGs. One energy hog, the IT sector, has managed to level off energy use in data centers. There’s serious talk again about “peak oil” — not of supply, but of demand. We’re seeing a fundamental shift in our relationship with energy for many reasons, including the improving economics of efficiency and clean tech (see #5). But companies are also getting more systematic, strategic, and fun — yes fun — in slashing energy. More organizations are using some old tools like “treasure hunts” and reimagining them as “energy marathons” (26.2 days of innovation). Others are competing to slash energy use — see Hilton and Whole Foods energy teams go head-to-head in a streaming reality show. 8. Levi’s Shared What It Knows about Water Big themes are great, but periodically a specific example of leadership seems worthy of extra attention. In this case, Levi’s had spent a decade identifying great ways to cut water use in the apparel value chain. Realizing that water issues are too big to tackle alone, Levi’s celebrated World Water Day this year by open sourcing its best practices in water management. In essence, the company decided to promote system change and even invited competitors to its innovation lab for the first time in its history. 9. The Circular Economy Inched Closer With a growing population and ever-rising demand for resources, it’s becoming necessary to find ways to eliminate waste and reuse valuable materials endlessly. We’re seeing some interesting innovation in policy and business practice. Sweden is planning to offer tax breaks for fixing things instead of throwing them away, and six EU countries started a four-year project to help small and medium-size enterprises move to circular models. A number of companies also made moves into this space. A supermarket opened in the UK filled with only food that would’ve been thrown out. IKEA is expanding its circular offerings like reselling used furniture and creating new products from leftover textiles. More than 25 companies in Minnesota, including 3M, Aveda, and Target, launched a circular initiative to share expertise. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Kering both created curricula in circular thinking for fashion and design students. And finally, the Closed Loop Fund, which invests in recycling infrastructure (using funds from some large retail and CPG brands), reported on substantial progress, including launching single stream recycling across Memphis. What’s in Store for 2017? Given how far off pundits and prognosticators were this year, I have to proceed with caution. Who really knows what a Trump presidency will bring to the U.S. and the world, or what the corporate sustainability agenda will look like with so much uncertainty? I do believe companies will expand their horizons, looking more at systems, not just their operations and value chains. They will increasingly partner to tackle big global targets like the UN’s Sustainable Development goals. Demands for more transparency about how everything is made — from consumers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders — are unlikely to slow down. The food and agriculture sectors in particular will feel even more pressure to cut carbon and food waste and simplify ingredients. And no matter who’s in charge politically, macro trends are hard to stop — a changing climate; increasing challenges around water and other resources; higher expectations of companies; rising concern about inequality and wages; and technological disruption from AI, machine learning, and autonomous everything. These trends will continue and companies will need to adapt — fast.

03 ноября 2016, 15:30

Obama Administration Announces New Actions To Accelerate The Deployment of Electrical Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure

Today’s Actions include the Designation of 48 National Electric Vehicle Charging Corridors on our Highways The Obama Administration is committed to taking responsible steps to combat climate change, increase access to clean energy technologies, and reduce our dependence on oil. Already, in the past eight years the number of plug-in electric vehicle models has increased from one to more than 20, battery costs have decreased 70 percent, and we have increased the number of electric vehicle charging stations from less than 500 in 2008 to more than 16,000 today – a 40 fold increase. But there is more work to do. That is why, today, the Administration is announcing key steps forward to accelerate the utilization of electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure needed to support them. By working together across the Federal government and with the private sector, we can ensure that electric vehicle drivers have access to charging stations at home, at work, and on the road – creating a new way of thinking about transportation that will drive America forward. Today’s announcements demonstrate a continued partnership between the Administration, states, localities, and the private sector to achieve these shared goals: For the first time, the United State Department of Transportation (DOT) is establishing 48 national electric vehicle charging corridors on our highways, these newly designated electric vehicle routes cover nearly 25,000 miles, in 35 states. 28 states, utilities, vehicle manufactures, and change organizations are committing to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure on the DOT’s corridors;  24 state and local governments are committing to partner with the Administration and increase the procurement of electric vehicles in their fleets; The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting two studies to evaluate the optimal national electric vehicle charging deployment scenarios, including along DOT’s designated fueling corridors; and  38 new businesses, non-profits, universities, and utilities are signing on to DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge and committing to provide EV charging access for their workforce. Today’s announcements build on a record of progress from multiple programs across the Administration that work to scale up EVs and fueling infrastructure, including at the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency and with the private sector. This summer, the Administration opened up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to support the commercial-scale deployment of innovative electric vehicle charging facilities and in collaboration with the Administration, nearly 50 industry members signed on to the Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure. This effort launched the beginning of a collaboration between the government and industry to increase the deployment of EV charging infrastructure that is carried forward in the announcements today. ADVANCING THE DEPLOYMENT OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE ALONG OUR HIGHWAYS Establishing 48 National Electric Vehicle Charging Corridors on our Highways: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced 55 Interstates that will serve as the basis for a national network of “alternative fuel” corridors spanning 35 states plus the District of Columbia. Today’s announcement includes designating 48  out of the 55 routes electric vehicle charging corridors, totaling almost 25,000 miles of electric vehicle routes in 35 states. To make it easier for drivers to identify and locate charging stations, states designated as “sign-ready” are authorized to use signs developed by FHWA that identify electric vehicle charging stations and other alternative fuels along the highways similar to existing signage that alerts drivers to gas stations, food, and lodging. Drivers can expect either existing or planned charging stations within every 50 miles. 28 States, Utilities, Vehicle Manufactures, and Change Organizations Commit to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Deployment on DOT’s Corridors: Today, the following organizations are committing to help accelerate the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure along the Alternative Fuel Corridors designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  These initial and future corridors will serve as a basis for a national network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to enable coast to coast zero emission mobility on our nation’s highways: Ameren Missouri Berkshire Hathaway Energy BMW ChargePoint Connecticut Green Bank Edison Electric Institute Electric Drive Transportation Association EV Connect Eversource Energy EVgo General Electric General Motors Greenlots Kansas City Power & Light MidAmerican Energy Company New York State Nissan NV Energy Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Pacific Power PlugShare Portland General Electric Public Service Company of New Mexico Rocky Mountain Power Skychargers Southern California Edison Texas-New Mexico Power Vision Ridge Partners Conducting Two Studies to Evaluate the Optimal National EV Charging Deployment Scenarios: Early next year, DOE plans to publish two studies developed with national laboratories and with input from a range of stakeholders to support broad EV charging infrastructure deployment, including along DOT’s alternative fuel corridors.  The first is a national EV infrastructure analysis that identifies the optimal number of charging stations for different EV market penetration scenarios. The second will provide best practices for EV fast charging installation, including system specifications as well as siting, power availability, and capital and maintenance cost considerations. Continuing to Partner with Stakeholders to Build Charging Infrastructure Along the National Charging Corridors: The White House will be convening key stakeholders in November 2016 to continue to encourage state and local governments and businesses to build public electric vehicle charging infrastructure along our national highways. SUPPORTING STATE AND LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS TO INCREASE THE ELECTRIC VEHICLES ON THE ROAD  Partnering with 24 State and Local Governments to Electrify our Vehicle Fleets: Building on the Administration’s policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from Federal Fleets by 30 percent by 2025, today, we are announcing twenty-four state and local governments have joined the Federal government to electrify our fleets. These new commitments will account for over 2,500 new electric vehicles in 2017 alone, and help pave a path for a sustained level of purchases into the future. By working together, Federal, state and local leadership can aggregate demand to lower purchase costs through increasing automotive manufactures’ demand certainty, promote electric vehicle innovation and adoption and expand our national electric vehicle infrastructure. The cumulative benefit of the commitments announced today include more than one million dollars and 1,211,650 gallons in potential annual fuel savings. These state and local government commitments include: States California state agencies strive to cut greenhouse gas emissions and since 2010, GHG emissions from state operations have been cut in half. Incorporating zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) into the state fleet is a central component of the state’s sustainability strategy. Fulfilling a commitment made by Governor Brown in 2012, more than 10 percent of non-public safety light duty vehicles purchased by the State of California in fiscal years 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 were zero-emission vehicles. In support of the 2016 ZEV Action Plan, the state commits to increasing the number of non-public safety light duty ZEVs to 50 percent by 2025. To reach that goal, the state will target yearly step increases of 5 percent (beginning in fiscal year 2017/2018), over its current 10 percent purchasing commitment. For 2017, the State of California commits to purchase a minimum of 150 ZEVs for its fleet, bringing the total to over 600 ZEVs in the state fleet. California commits to providing electric vehicle charging at a minimum of 5 percent of state owned parking spaces by 2020. Minnesota has developed a fleet action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that involves transitioning the state’s predominately internal combustion engine light fleet to a fleet integrating hybrid electric vehicles; plug-in electric hybrid vehicles; and zero emission vehicles. This plan will decrease petroleum consumption by 25 percent and result in a decrease in GHG emissions of 21 percent. Cost savings for fuel and maintenance is expected to be $2.5 million annually. Minnesota has set its commitment as follows: Acquire 25 PHEV/ZEVs in Fiscal Year 2017. Install 15 Level 2 charging stations in Fiscal Year 2017. Require all new vehicles have EPA ratings of 7 or higher. Achieve a fleet composition of 20 PHEV or ZEV by 2027. Montana’s State Energy Office commits to swapping out two hybrid vehicles for two plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in 2017. These vehicles will be the first plug-in electric vehicles in Montana’s state fleet and will help Montana better understand how electric vehicles can be incorporated into the fleet as well as the charging infrastructure necessary to support these vehicles. Montana commits to reaching out to local governments and universities about opportunities for electrification from the VW settlement allocation. Rhode Island commits to purchasing 25 percent of new light-duty state vehicles as electric by 2025. Vermont commits to convert 50 percent of its state motor pool to plug-in electric vehicles by the end of 2017 which far exceeds the previous level of 38 percent. Vermont is also committing to purchase 10 percent of the total State’s centralized light duty fleet, including agency and department assigned vehicles, as plug-in electric by the end of 2017 which far exceeds the 7 percent accomplished this year. And to install one dedicated charging port for each of these vehicles at the locations where they are parked and assigned to employees for state trips. Washington is committed to reducing carbon pollution from the transportation sector and deployment of electric vehicles is a critical element of the governor’s climate strategy.  Last December, Governor Inslee announced a new Washington State Electric Fleets Initiative to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles in public and private fleets. This initiative will ensure that at least 20 percent of all new annual state passenger vehicle purchases are EVs, beginning in 2017. In 2017, Washington State’s cabinet agencies commit to purchasing 250 EVs and installing 125 new level 2 charging stations. Cities The City of Atlanta has reduced GHG emissions 12.5 percent and fossil fuels by 23 percent since 2008. The City commits to further reducing GHG emissions 40 percent by 2030 through the continued addition of zero emission vehicles and electric infrastructure. The City is encouraging public adoption of electric vehicles and is installing charging stations in 100 dedicated EV parking spaces at the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport by the end of 2016. The City commits to convert 20 percent of its municipal fleet to electric vehicles by 2020 through commitments to:  Construct an additional 300 charging stations at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport by the end of 2017. Spend $3,000 dollars per electric vehicle for infrastructure installation through December 2018. Conduct an education campaign for City employees about efficient usage of electric vehicles and charging stations. Columbus, Ohio has long served as a committed pioneer of alternative fuel fleet vehicle adoption. Columbus was selected as the winner of the Smart Cities Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in June 2016. Initiatives under the program include fleet electrification, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, smart lighting and traffic signals, self-driving technology, connected vehicles, transportation apps and other initiatives to modernize Columbus’ transportation system.  Columbus commits to, Procure 200 electric vehicles for its fleets and install the appropriate charging infrastructure over the next three years. Add 1,600 new Level 1 and 300 new Level 2 charging stations in the region. Add 448 electric vehicles to city’s private fleets. The City of Fort Collins is deeply committed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and improving residents’ lives through the efficiencies and savings produced by these efforts. The City organization is trying to lead by example in its fleet composition and purchasing guidelines and taking strategic actions to reduce its transportation GHG footprint by purchasing electric and hybrid vehicles. In 2017, the City of Fort Collins commits to purchase seven new electric vehicles, some of which will replace standard gasoline engine vehicles. Fort Collins will continue to provide an electric charging station for each electric vehicle in the fleet in 2017. The City of Denver is proud to join the White House in making an ambitious commitment to incorporate plug-in electric vehicles into our operations. Denver is leading by example, with the city taking a prominent role in transitioning its operations to more sustainable fuel sources. This action will not only move Denver towards its 2020 sustainability goals and reduce costs, but inspire other businesses, cities and residents to consider how plug-in electric vehicles could work for them. Denver commits to procure and operationalize 200 Plug-in Electric Vehicles and required infrastructure by 2020. The City of Detroit is committed to modernizing its overall fleet through the use of cleaner transportation technologies.  This commitment is reflected in part by new efforts to increase the percentage of city service vehicles that are electric, develop new charging infrastructure, and join the U.S. Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge.  These activities are in-line with the City's broader sustainable transportation efforts. Detroit commits to: Purchase 10 percent of service vehicles as plug-in electric in 2017. Set an annual goal of 10 percent of light-duty replacement vehicles purchased be plug-in electric.  Use Low Speed Electric Vehicles for transit police and safety and security staff. The City of Los Angeles commits to tackle climate change and will procure 50 percent of all new light duty vehicles as battery electric vehicles by 2017 and 80 percent of municipal-fleet procurements as BEVs by 2025. LA commits to nearly triple the city’s current plug-in electric fleet from 165 BEVs and 38 PHEVs to over 400 BEVs and 155 PHEVs by the end of 2017. Of those 352, 200 will be for the LA Police Department. LA will spend $22.5 million dollars on electric vehicle charging stations by June 2018, which includes making 500 additional public electric vehicle charging stations available throughout the city by the end of 2017, for a total of 1,500. LA will launch an EV car share for disadvantaged communities by 2017. LA will electrify 10 percent of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation bus fleet by 2017. LA will test 20 near-zero emission natural gas tractors at the LA Port and plan for five zero emission plug-in battery yard tractors at the LA Port container terminal. The City of New York commits to invest in at least autonomous 30 solar power carports for charging of City EV fleet citywide and will also provide some public access as part of this initiative and implement over 200 Stealth alternative power units and batteries in City ambulances that will reduce idling and enable these units to charge up through land based EV chargers. The City of Pittsburgh commits to purchase 6 new electric vehicles annually for the next three years. The charging infrastructure for these vehicles will service the public during the day and charge Pittsburgh’s fleet vehicles at night. The City of Portland, Oregon is deeply committed to reducing carbon emissions. In 1993, Portland was the first U.S. city to develop a plan to address climate change and in 2009 a goal was established to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, with an interim goal of 40 percent by 2030.   Electrifying the transportation system is a critical piece of Portland’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions and Portland’s 2015 Climate Action Plan contains transportation-related actions including a commitment to lead by example by electrifying the City’s fleet vehicles. Portland commits to increasing the percentage of its electric and plug-in electric hybrid sedan fleet from 20 percent to 30 percent by 2020. The City of San Francisco was an early and strong proponent of coordinated urban and regional climate action across jurisdictional and national borders, including efforts to decarbonize both the transportation and energy sectors. From 1990 to 2014, carbon emissions declined 24 percent. In The City has a history of transport electrification—foremost in its public transport. San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Authority operates the City’s historic cable car lines, the nation’s largest fleet of 333 electric trolley buses, plus 151 metro streetcars and 26 historic streetcars. This fleet collectively drives 24.7 percent of the citywide passenger miles traveled and uses clean, greenhouse gas-free electricity from San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy hydropower system. To date, the City has procured over 60 electric vehicles and 130 charging stations across 20 municipal facilities. Out of San Francisco’s fleet of 5,200 vehicles, San Francisco commits to purchase a minimum of 10 percent of new Fleet vehicles annually as electric vehicles. San Francisco will continue working with the Pacific Coast Collaborative and West Cost Electric Fleets Initiative to pool resources to lower procurement costs.  The City of Seattle is nationally recognized as operating one of the greenest fleets in the country. Seattle was an early investor in fleet electrification, and now operates one of the largest municipal fleet of electric vehicles in the nation.  Drive Clean Seattle is a key piece of the City’s climate action agenda and is a comprehensive commitment to electrify transportation. Seattle commits to a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas pollution from the municipal fleet by 2025 and will achieve this in part through committing to: Purchase 100 EVs through 2017, to achieve 40 percent electrification of its current light duty fleet. Purchase 250 EVs by 2020, with a target of 400 EVs by 2023 to achieve 100 percent of light duty fleet. Install 200 electric vehicle charging stations for fleet vehicles in 2017/2018, 300 electric vehicle charging stations by 2020 and 400 electric vehicle charging stations by 2023. Work with Original Equipment Manufacturers to participate in fleet demonstrations of EV technology in medium and heavy duty vehicles over the next five years. Sign on to the U.S. DOE Workplace Charging Challenge and write a new workplace charging policy in 2017. Municipalities Arlington County, Virginia is committed to a 76 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from all sources, including transportation, by 2050. To that end, Arlington County commits to ensuring five percent of vehicle-miles traveled by County fleet sedans be in electric vehicles by 2020. Boulder County commits to: Replace 5 sedans with electric vehicles and 9 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) with hybrid SUVs by 2020. Offer aggregated purchase programs for EVs to our residents and employees in 2017 and 2018 for volume discounts. Install 4 electric charging stations by 2020. Support workplace charging, and continuing to offer our employees, residents and businesses education, incentives and advising on EVs and sustainable transportation. The Monterey County Board of Supervisors adopted a Municipal Climate Action Plan (MCAP) in 2013 outlining the Board’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 15 percent below 2005 emission levels by 2020. In Fiscal year 2015-2016 the county is at 52 percent of its GHG goal in part, through the purchasing of 12 electric vehicles. In Fiscal Year 17 Monterey County commits to installing 2 new electric vehicle charging stations. The County of Sacramento’s Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has a strong commitment to reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) in all of its operations, including a net long-term GHG emissions reduction of 90 percent from its 1990 levels by 2050.  SMUD commits to: By year-end 2017, expand electric and plug-in electric vehicle fleet to 27 sedans, 21 trouble trucks with electrified buckets and 16 electric lift trucks.  Given product availability, by 2020, have a fleet comprised of 45 BEV/PHEV sedans, 7 PHEV SUVs, 30 PHEV pickup trucks, 16 pickup trucks with zero RPM idle reduction technology, 50 trouble trucks with electrified buckets, 4 cable pullers and 26 lift trucks.  By the end of 2017, add 15 Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations and 45 Level 1. Increase workplace charging participation from 32 to 60 by the end of 2017 Increase workplace charging participation from 110 by the end of 2020 San Mateo County is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions with its vehicle purchasing policy requires that new non-specialized vehicle purchases be hybrid, alternative fuel or zero emission vehicles. In 2017, the County is making the following commitments: Purchase 10 new electric vehicles (approximately 15 percent of non-specialized vehicle purchases). Install a minimum of two new electric vehicle charging stations. In future years, the county anticipates to further green its fleet by either maintaining or accelerating the commitments outlined for 2017. Sonoma County in California is continuing its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through integrating plug-in electric vehicles into the County’s Fleet, expanding the electric vehicle charging infrastructure necessary to support these vehicles and encouraging public adoption of the technology. Since 2002 the County has achieved reductions in fuel usage of 191,417 gallons and 1,701.1 metric tons of CO2 produced.  Sonoma County commits to: Purchase 20 new electric vehicles for the County fleet by the end of 2017 and 6 new electric vehicles by the end of 2019. Install 23 new Fleet-use only electric vehicle charging ports by 2018 and 12 public electric vehicle charging ports spanning 3 different sites by 2018. Ulster County, New York, has committed to reducing GHG emissions from County government operations 25 percent by 2025. In order to reach this goal, Ulster is electrifying their fleet while simultaneously supporting the deployment of electric vehicles throughout the region. In 2015, Ulster County passed a Green Fleet Policy requiring 5 percent of the fleet be alternative fuel vehicles by 2020. Ulster County will meet its 5 percent goal in 2017, three years ahead of the 2020 target. After 2020, Ulster commits to purchase 20 percent of new fleet vehicles on an annual basis as alternative fuel or green vehicles. Toward their effort of implementing this policy, Ulster County has deployed 4 PHEV sedans and ordered 4 additional PHEVs in 2016. The county commits to purchase an additional 10 PHEVs and 1 BEV in 2017. Ulster County has been a partner in the U.S. DOE Workplace Charging Challenge since 2015 and offers free workplace charging to 97% of its employees. The County commits to continuing to support tourists and its employees and install an additional six electric vehicle charging stations in 2017. 

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22 июля 2016, 00:29

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces Federal and Private Sector Actions to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Adoption in the United States

The Obama Administration is taking responsible steps to combat climate change, increase access to clean energy technologies, and reduce our dependence on oil. That is why, today, on the heels of the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) first-ever Sustainable Transportation Summit, the Administration is announcing an unprecedented set of actions from the Federal government,  private sector, and states, as well as a new framework for collaboration for vehicle manufacturers, electric utilities, electric vehicle charging companies, and states, all geared towards accelerating the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and putting more electric vehicles on the road. The collaboration, forged by the White House in partnership with DOE and the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Airforce and the Army, and the Environmental Protection Agency, and is centered on a set of Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure that nearly 50 organizations are signing on to today. By working together across the Federal government and with the private sector, we can ensure that electric vehicle drivers have access to charging stations at home, at work, and on the road – creating a new way of thinking about transportation that will drive America forward. Today’s announcements include: Unlocking up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees and inviting applications to support the commercial-scale deployment of innovative electric vehicle charging facilities; Launching the FAST Act process to identify zero emission and alternative fuel corridors, including for electric vehicle charging across the country, and standing up an effort to develop a 2020 vision for a national network of electric vehicle fast charging stations that will help determine where along the corridors it makes the most sense to locate the fast charging infrastructure; Announcing a call for state, county, and municipal governments to partner with the Federal government to procure electric vehicle fleets at a discounted value; Leveraging the power of data and hosting an ‘Electric Vehicle Hackathon’ to discover insights and develop new solutions for electric vehicle charging; Publishing a guide to Federal funding, financing, and technical assistance for electric vehicles and charging stations; and 35 new businesses, non-profits, universities, and utilities signing on to DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge and committing to provide electric vehicle charging access for their workforce. Today’s announcements build on a record of progress from multiple programs across the Administration that are working to scale up electric vehicles and fueling infrastructure, including at the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Defense, and at the Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, in the past eight years the number of plug-in electric vehicle models increased from one to more than 20, battery costs have decreased 70 percent, and we have increased the number of electric vehicle charging stations from less than 500 in 2008 to more than 16,000 today – a 40 fold increase. UNPRECEDENTED ELECTRIC VEHICLE COALITION FORGED AMONG NEARLY 50 VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS, ELECTRIC UTILITIES, ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING COMPANIES, STATES, AND ORGANIZATIONS TO INCREASE ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE Today, in collaboration with the Administration, nearly 50 industry members are signing on to the following Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure. This commitment signifies the beginning of a collaboration between the government and industry to increase the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Building on existing partnerships among federal government, states and communities, electric vehicle and charging infrastructure manufacturers and retailers, electric utilities, national laboratories, universities, and nongovernmental organizations, we endorse the following guiding principles to enhance electric vehicle use and create a national, household, workplace, and urban charging infrastructure that is available to all Americans: Drive the market transformation to electric vehicles by making it easy for consumers to charge their vehicles with grid-connected infrastructure that is accessible, affordable, available and reliable, and interconnected with other low-carbon transportation options where feasible. Promote electric vehicle adoption by increasing access to charging infrastructure and supporting the development of plug-in electric vehicles that are as accessible, available, and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles. Promote a robust market for vehicle manufacturers, utilities, equipment service providers, and support industries that ensures a consistent user experience, customer choice, and allows for a streamlined permitting process. Enhance American manufacturing competitiveness, innovation, and the development of advanced technology.  Attract and leverage private, State, and Federal investment in electric vehicle deployment, infrastructure, research and development, and education and outreach. Enable smart charging and vehicle grid integration through solutions such as demand response, and other energy storage and load management strategies. Signatories to the Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure include the following industry members, agencies, organizations, and states: Avista Berkshire Hathaway Energy BMW California Air Resources Board ChargePoint Consumers Energy Con Edison Connecticut Green Bank Dayton Power & Light Company Duke Energy Edison Electric Institute Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) Eversource Energy EVGo Florida Power and Light Company Ford Georgia Power General Motors Greenlots Hawaiian Electric Hawai`i Electric Light Maui Electric Indianapolis Power & Light Company Kansas City Power & Light Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) National Grid NextGen Climate America New York State Nissan Orange and Rockland Portland General Electric PPL Electric Utilities Pacific Gas & Electric PNM Resources Puget Sound Energy Southern California Edison Southern Company: Alabama Power Southern Company: Georgia Power Southern Company: Gulf Power Southern Company: Mississippi Power State of California TECO Energy Tesla Westar Energy EXECUTIVE ACTIONS TO INCREASE CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE Providing Financing to Scale Up Charging Infrastructure Unlocking Up $4.5 billion in Loan Guarantees and Inviting Applications to Support Innovative Electric Vehicle Charging Facilities: Today, the DOE’s Loan Program Office (LPO) issued a supplement to its Title XVII Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy (REEE) Projects Solicitation, clarifying that certain electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities – including associated hardware and software – is now an eligible technology under the solicitation.  The solicitation can provide up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to support innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the United States. Loan guarantees can be an important tool to commercialize innovative technologies because these projects may be unable to obtain full commercial financing due to the perceived risks associated with technology that has never been deployed at commercial scale in the United States. The DOE’s LPO supports a large, diverse portfolio of more than $30 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and commitments to approximately 30 closed and committed projects nationwide, including leading edge renewable energy projects, advanced technology vehicle manufacturing facilities, and two of the first new nuclear reactors to begin construction in the United States in more than three decades. Publishing a Guide to Federal Funding, Financing and Technical Assistance for EVs and Charging Stations: DOE and DOT are publishing a guide to outline specific examples of funding programs, financing incentives, and technical assistance to help advance the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security, through the support of EVs and charging stations that reduce petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. It will also list current tax credits and incentives applicable to EV charging.  The DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center provides a comprehensive database of federal and state programs that support EVs and infrastructure. Supporting the Development of Electric Vehicle Charging Corridors Launching the Process to Designate Alternative Fuel Corridors as Part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act: Today, the DOT is soliciting nominations from State and local officials to assist in making designations for alternative fuel corridors. Section 1413 of the FAST Act requires that the Secretary of Transportation designates national EV charging, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling corridors, and the nomination process will ensure that the corridors proposed for designation will create a national network of alternative fuel facilities. In designating corridors, the DOT will (1) consider the nominated facilities, (2) incorporate existing corridors designated by States, and (3) consider the demand for, and location of, existing fueling stations and infrastructure.  DOT will also evaluate applications based on their ability to reduce emissions and collaborate across the public and private sector. Details on this program can be found here or here. Developing Criteria and Proposing a Plan for a National Network of Fast Charging Stations for EVs: DOE and DOT have agreed to partner on the development of a 2020 vision for a national network of fast charging stations for EVs in order to facilitate coast to coast, nationwide zero emissions travel.  Building upon DOT’s planned designation of alternative fuel corridors under the FAST Act, DOE and DOT, in cooperation with the DOE National Laboratories, DOT Volpe Center, and other government and industry stakeholders, will commence efforts in fiscal year 2017 to develop criteria that will help identify specific locations for siting fast charging infrastructure adjacent to the DOT-designated national and community corridors. The proposed effort will address four key areas important to evaluating the potential for a national network for fast charging including: (1) siting criteria for charging locations; (2) charging and utility infrastructure needs and cost assessment; (3) impacts of electric demand charges to consumers and utilities; and (4) potential longer-term innovations including evolution up to 350 kilowatt (kW) fast charging. The partnership will address these questions to provide the necessary information for the basis of a dialogue with stakeholders to help define public-private partnerships, funding, and financing models for implementing a national fast charging network. Along those lines, the DOE and DOT will be convening stakeholders this fall to identify critical needs for a national network of fast charging stations.  Expanding the Electric Vehicle Fleet Inviting State, County, and Municipal EV Fleets to Join Forces with the Federal Government in EV Procurement: The Office of Federal Sustainability is inviting State, county and municipal government fleets to join forces with Federal agencies to maximize their collective buying power, and aggregate their EV and charging infrastructure purchases. In doing so, governments at all levels can lower their procurement costs, expand technology availability, and increase automotive manufacturers' demand certainty. The Office of Federal Sustainability will partner with government and agency fleet purchasers to coordinate and aggregate the purchasing of EV fleets, with distinct acquisition procurement strategies to be determined. Alone, the federal government plans to purchase more than 500 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) or EVs in fiscal year 2017. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will be Signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the American Public Power Association (APPA) to Collaborate on Municipal Fleet Electrification: Through this agreement, EERE and APPA will ensure collaborative efforts to enable electrification of personal and fleet transportation in municipalities throughout the United States. EERE and APPA will provide information to increase education and awareness of the benefit of EVs to public power utilities and local officials, and develop a community action plan focused on smaller communities with fewer than 200,000 electric customers. The partnership will also work to enhance workplace charging efforts at public power utilities, study the impacts of EVs in public power communities, and share insights regarding infrastructure installation and EV interaction with the modern grid. Driving Technological Innovation and Increasing Access to Data Leveraging the Power of Data through an ‘EV Hackathon’: Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is announcing that they will host an EV hackathon this fall. Hackathons are events that bring together coders, data scientists, topic experts, and interested members of the public to discover insights and develop new solutions. The event will take place in concord with the release of anonymized data on EV charging stations to the research and software development community. The ‘EV Hackathon’ represents a unique opportunity to bring together the EV and software communities to collaborate to enhance EV deployment. Conducting a Technology Study to Explore the Feasibility for Fast Charging, up to 350 KW, for EVs: DOE will partner with industry, the National Laboratories, and other stakeholders to develop a study that will examine the vehicle, battery, infrastructure, and economic implications of direct current (DC) fast charging of up to 350 kW, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. A 350 kW charging system could charge a 200 mile range battery in less than 10 minutes.  The implementation of DC fast charging has the potential to impact many technology areas and tackle key technological barriers associated with high rate charging (50 kW and above), and fast charging increases the utility of EVs, aides in their adoption, and helps enable widespread use of EVs.  Announcing  that the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will Lead Research to Achieve the Strategic Battery500 Goal: A multi-partner team, led by PNNL as part of the Battery500 research consortium, will receive an award of up to $10 million per year for five years to drive progress on  DOE’s goal of reducing the cost of vehicle battery technologies. Battery costs exceeded $500/kWh when President Obama launched his EV Everywhere Grand Challenge goal of making EVs that are as affordable and convenient for the American family as gasoline-powered vehicles, and low-cost, high performance batteries are a key component of the strategy to attain the President’s goal. The Battery500 Consortium aims to triple the specific energy (to 500 WH/kg) relative to today's battery technology while achieving 1,000 electric vehicles cycles. This will result in a significantly smaller, lighter weight, less expensive battery pack (below $100/kWh) and more affordable EVs.  The Battery500 consortium will include four DOE National Laboratories and five universities in an effort aimed at achieving revolutionary advances in battery performance.  Consortium partners include the following: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (research partner and advisory board) Brookhaven National Laboratory Idaho National Laboratory SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Binghamton University (State University of New York) Stanford University (research partner and advisory board) University of California, San Diego University of Texas at Austin University of Washington IBM (advisory board) Tesla Motors, Inc. (advisory board) Increasing Charging Infrastructure in Our Homes and Workplaces The Standard for High Performance Green Buildings Will Consider a Revision to Encourage EV-Ready Building Practices: By employing EV-Ready building practices, multi-unit dwelling and commercial building developers can prepare a facility with electrical infrastructure to accommodate a future charging station installation, resulting in significant cost savings for building owners and tenants. To encourage more EV-Ready development in cities and states across the country, an EV-Ready building code measure has been introduced to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 189.1, a standard for high performance green buildings that in 2018 will become the basis for the International Green Construction Code. Through the adoption of this EV-Ready building practice, cities and states can align with the EV building strategies identified by Federal agencies in the 2016 Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings. Expanding DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge to Include 35 New Businesses, Non-profits, Universities, and Utilities: DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge encourages America’s employers to commit to providing EV charging access for their workforce. Vehicles are parked at homes and workplaces most of the time, making the Workplace Charging Challenge a significant opportunity to expand our nation’s charging infrastructure. In fact, charging at work can potentially double an EV driver's all-electric daily commuting range.   Participating employers include organizations that are assessing their employees’ need for charging to those who have successfully launched workplace charging programs. DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge has grown to more than 350 partners since its launch in January 2013, and is on track to meet its goal to partner with 500 United States employers by 2018. The 35 new partners announced today include:  Bates College Berkshire Hathaway Energy CenterPoint Energy, Inc. City of Seattle Clean Future, Inc. Confluence Environmental Center Con Edison Duke Energy Carolinas Duke Energy Florida Duke Energy Indiana Duke Energy Kentucky Duke Energy Ohio Duke Energy Progress Eugene Water & Electric Board Fresh Start Detail Co. Hawai`i Electric Light Company Hawaiian Electric Company Hyundai Joseph Hughes Construction Maui Electric Company Morris Energy Consulting NIKE, Inc. North American University North Coast Electric Olympic College Orange and Rockland Utilities Southern Company: Alabama Power Southern Company: Georgia Power Southern Company: Gulf Power Southern Company: Mississippi Power Southwest Clean Air Agency Sustainable Future LLC The Valley Hospital University of Oregon Utah Valley Hospital PRIVATE SECTOR COMMITMENTS TO INCREASE ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE Twelve utilities and charging companies are announcing commitments to increase deployment of EVs and charging infrastructure, and to use the Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure to work together to accelerate EV deployment. Utilities Avista commits to install electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) in its Eastern Washington service territory, as part of a two-year pilot program recently approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.  Provided full participation levels, Avista expects to install a total of 272 EVSE connection ports in approximately 200 different locations:  120 in residential homes, 50 at workplaces, and 30 in public locations, including 7 DC fast chargers to enable regional EV travel.  Florida Power and Light (FPL) is committed to the mass market adoption of EVs by working with local, state, and federal stakeholders on initiatives that will help drive EV adoption.  FPL will continue to educate and support residential and commercial customers on the benefits of EVs and work with them to remove barriers to adoption.   FPL also commits to continue to place EVs into its fleet when possible. The Hawaiian Electric Companies have committed to work with all stakeholders to support EVs as part of reaching the islands’ goal of 100 percent renewable energy for electricity by 2045. The Hawaiian Electric Companies will continue to install more DC fast charging stations, research demand management and demand response strategies in EV charging and seek new policy and infrastructure opportunities to provide reliable, clean power for EV charging. Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) commits to continuing its leadership and support of the electric transportation market by deploying 10 percent of its Clean Charge Network in underserved and low-income areas of its service territory. KCP&L believes that charging infrastructure should be available and accessible to its customers of all income levels. National Grid commits to help accelerate EV and EV charging market growth in the Northeast, by bringing forward regulatory proposals for new EV charging infrastructure development and consumer education in the territories it serves. These initiatives will build on the company’s planned efforts to demonstrate new technologies such as DC fast charging, expand workplace charging for employees, and increase plug-in vehicles and technology deployment within the company fleet. Portland General Electric (PGE), Oregon’s largest electric utility company, commits to engage stakeholders and submit a proposed plan to Oregon Public Utility Commission in 2016 defining the utility role in transportation electrification, pursuant to recently passed Oregon legislation, which identifies transportation electrification as key to meeting Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions targets.  PGE also commits to work with Federal partners, including DOT and DOE, and the Edison Electric Institute in appropriate leadership roles to continue to advance transportation electrification.  PGE will spend 5-10 percent of its corporate fleet budget on electrification, and commits to encourage and incentivize PGE employees to acquire EVs and serve as ambassadors for electrification. The Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) will provide the associated infrastructure to the City of Albuquerque for their purchase of an all-electric bus fleet for the soon to be built Albuquerque Rapid Transit system. The project is the first of its kind in New Mexico and the first all-electric Bus Rapid Transit system in the United States. Southern California Edison (SCE) will collaborate with stakeholders to develop plans to meet California Senate Bill 350 requirements for on-going, comprehensive utility programs and investments to accelerate widespread adoption of transportation electrification. SCE’s plans will complement stakeholders’ efforts to expand available charging infrastructure, deliver effective market education and outreach, encourage incentives, and improve customers’ experience. SCE will also launch its Clean Fuel Reward program in 2016 to provide incentives to residential EV owners using proceeds from California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard program. Southern Company and its electric-generating traditional operating companies – Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power – have been and will continue to be leaders in the advancement and promotion of the electric transportation market. Southern Company remains active in both the on-road and non-road markets, working with industry, municipalities, government, and the military to further the use of electric transportation and to ensure the development of necessary charging infrastructure. Southern Company is committed to consumer education through social media outreach and community charging programs as well as special concierge events provided through the REVolution program. The Southern Company Energy Innovation Center, meanwhile, continues to facilitate and encourage industry research aimed at improving the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of EV technology. The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) will work with its member electric companies and their associated state regulatory commissions to a) provide the charging infrastructure needed to scale electric transportation, b) develop measures that support the market while controlling costs and ensuring benefits are shared by all customers, and c) engage in direct outreach and education to customers. Charging Companies ChargePoint commits up to $20 million toward the deployment of a national network of high-speed charging stations as part of public-private partnerships.  This includes research and development investments, site identification, smart city deployments and DC fast charger corridors.  ChargePoint will work with the DOT, other Federal, State, and local government agencies, and private entities to determine the optimal location for such high-speed charging stations, and to secure financing from private entities and through public-private partnerships. In order to future-proof the network, ChargePoint is committed to developing a line of high-speed DC fast chargers with 125-350 kW charging capacity. ChargePoint commits to work with the broader industry to develop the standards necessary for interoperability, allowing drivers to use one account to charge at stations manufactured by multiple vendors.   ChargePoint commits to make access to its high-speed network simple, accessible and convenient through industry-leading driver services and mobile applications. ChargePoint commits to work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to make data available to help optimize their vehicle programs and better understand driver behavior. ChargePoint commits to work with utilities to make data available to help improve vehicle grid integration and better understand driver behavior. EVgo commits to invest $100 million in EV infrastructure over the next 5 years to expand its nation-leading charging network.  This investment will focus on providing customers with access to high-speed charging at charging rates significantly faster than what is available on the market today. BUILDING ON PROGRESS The above-mentioned private sector commitments announced today build on a history of progress to increase EV adoption and promote EV charging infrastructure, which is illustrated by the following: Automakers BMW Group is dedicated to improving EV technology and increasing EV adoption. In pursuit of this goal, the BMW Group has committed to producing BMW iPerformance vehicles, or plug-in hybrid versions of all of its volume models. The first model, the BMW X5 xDrive40e, was released in fall 2015, and was followed this year by the 330e Sedan and the 740e xDrive Sedan. The BMW Group is committed to advancing battery technology through research partnerships, including with the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, and will continue to support DC fast charging infrastructure in the United States. BMW successfully launched ‘project i' with the plug-in hybrid i8 and the all-electric i3 in 2014, and the inclusion of a plug-in hybrid version in all of its volume models. Ford is investing an additional $4.5 billion in electrified vehicle solutions, adding 13 new electrified vehicles to its product portfolio by 2020. More than 40 percent of Ford’s nameplates globally will be electrified by the decade’s end. General Motors will introduce the industry’s first long-range, affordable EV later this year. The Chevrolet Bolt EV will provide more than 200 miles of range on a full charge, be priced under $30,000 (net full federal tax credits) and will be produced at General Motor’s assembly plant  in Orion Township, Michigan. The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, along with the range-extended electric Chevrolet Volt, will soon be included in the General Motors and Lyft Express Drive fleets in select markets. This short-term vehicle access program will provide exposure to EVs from the largest EV fleet in ridesharing to drivers and passengers alike. General Motors also will continue investing in battery technology and expertise, including at the largest battery lab of any automaker in North America, and remain a champion of workplace charging. General Motors has installed over 500 workplace chargers for use by employees and visitors to General Motors campuses around the United States. Mercedes Benz will have 10 plug-in hybrids available by next year. Nissan has sold more than 95,000 LEAF EVs in the United States, and uses a multi-pronged approach to invest with charging partners to install EV charging infrastructure at corporate workplaces, metro communities and Nissan dealerships. Nissan has led the tenfold increase in CHAdeMO fast chargers available nationally since 2013 with now more than 1,840 fast chargers available at retail, hospitality, fueling station, and dealership locations. These fast chargers can charge an all-electric LEAF up to 80 percent in 30 minutes, greatly extending the range of the vehicle. In addition, under the ‘No Charge to Charge’ promotion, Nissan has made over 900 of these public Fast Chargers available for free to new LEAF buyers for 2 years across 38 key markets, with another 12 markets launching in 2016. As a result, Nissan’s expansion of metro-area fast charging will cover cities and communities representing 90 percent of LEAF sales. Nissan continues to work collaboratively with charging network providers, charger manufacturers, utilities, retail site hosts and importantly, other automotive OEMs to ensure the continued growth of open-standard fast charging to expand and connect Nissan’s community charging network investment across the country. Tesla will start volume deliveries of Model 3 in late 2017, which will have a range of at least 200 miles, meaning that affordable long range EVs will be available on the market sooner than analysts predicted. Tesla has already started operations at the $5 billion Gigafactory it is building outside Reno, Nevada, which will manufacture batteries, ensuring that EVs are powered by American-made, high-quality, and affordable batteries. Charging Companies ChargePoint operates the largest and most open EV charging network in the world, with more than 30,000 total charging spots and over 330 DC fast charging locations. To date, ChargePoint drivers have traveled 396,800,000 miles on the ChargePoint network. Recently, ChargePoint successfully completed the Express Corridor project, in which it deployed nearly 100 DC fast chargers along the East and West Coast, including in partnership BMW.  EVgo works closely with automakers like Nissan, BMW, and Ford to develop a vehicle-centric customer experience. These partnerships have brought customers faster charging speeds and more charging locations, allowing EVgo to operate 700 DC fast chargers in more than 35 top metro markets across the country. In 2015, EVgo's public high-speed charging network delivered more than 21 million EV miles, saving nearly 900,000 gallons of gas and offsetting nearly 10 million pounds of carbon dioxide.  Utilities Avista, in Spokane, Washington, is committed to supporting electric transportation, starting with its first installation of three public EV charging stations in 2010.  Avista followed this with a commitment to electrify its fleet with at least 5 percent of fleet budget allocated to electrification, installation of workplace charging and participation in DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge, with over 40 port connections planned at its facilities over the next four years; ongoing technical support and education for residential and commercial customers; and collaboration with regional utilities to form the Pacific Northwest Utilities Transportation Electrification Collaborative as a forum to share best practices and accelerate the transition to electric transportation.  Most recently, Avista successfully filed and received approval from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission to proceed with a pilot program to install utility-owned EV charging infrastructure at customer homes, businesses and public locations. Consumers Energy has submitted a proposal to the Michigan Public Service Commission to advance EV infrastructure in Michigan. Consumers has developed a  comprehensive program to enable EV travel across the state with the placement of DC fast chargers at 30 locations, increase the presence of Level 2 chargers by 400 units, generate Workplace Charging programs with 40 employers, and reinstate home charging incentives for 2,500 customers. This broad approach will help escalate EV adoption, expand customer transportation options, incite and support Michigan’s motivation toward smart mobility, emerging technologies, job creation, and sustainability.  Eversource Energy, with a goal of reducing the region’s carbon footprint, has created EV opportunities for its customers, and employs a multifaceted approach to reducing emissions for its fleet vehicles as well.  As of the end of 2015, there were about 6,500 EVs in the company’s service territory with over 700 publicly accessible charging stations in the region. In 2014, along with other utility members of the Edison Electric Institute, Eversource pledged to commit five percent of its annual fleet spending on EV technologies. The company’s support has funded EV rebates for about 450 vehicles in Connecticut. In Massachusetts, Eversource serves as a commissioner on the Commonwealth’s Zero Emission Vehicle Commission, which serves to study the economic and environmental benefits and costs of increased use of zero emission vehicles in the Commonwealth. Eversource is working with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources on programs to advance the EV market through a combination of studies, outreach and education, and the rate pilot program.  Eversource is committed to explore solutions that support EV owners in its service territory, while ensuring system reliability for all of its customers. Florida Power and Light (FPL) launched its EV program in late 2010 with a focus on ensuring that it meets customer EV needs, enabling the market to grow, and ensuring reliable service.  Initiatives include education and outreach, technology pilots, employee workplace charging, fleet charging, an EV website, and local, state and federal industry involvement.  The company operates a large electric fleet with over 570 HEVs and 156 PHEVs / EVs, and has installed 74 Level 1 charging stations with 139 charge ports, and 83 Level 2 stations with 160 charge ports to support both its fleet and employee vehicles.  In June 2015, the company joined DOE’s Employee Workplace Charging Challenge and saw employee ownership of EV’s increase 500 percent in 12 months.   Georgia Power, the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, launched a Get Current.Drive Electric TM initiative intended to help facilitate the adoption and use of EVs in Georgia.  This comprehensive program promotes public education, the building and operation of public/community charging stations, and the offering of promotional rebates to residential and business customers for installing EV chargers. Through this two-year program, the company estimates that more than 2,500 charging stations will be installed statewide to support current and future EV drivers.   The Hawaiian Electric Companies have provided customers with EV charging options since 2010, including discount utility rates for EV charging and partnerships to increase home and public charging opportunities.  Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light companies have installed eight DC fast charging stations on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island with more to come. The stations are strategically located to reassure the islands’ growing number of battery EV drivers struggling with range anxiety or unable to charge in their residences. A utility proposal for improved time-of-use rates at present is before regulators. And the JUMPSmartMaui is a collaborative demonstration project between Japan, Hawaii and Maui that incorporates Smart Grid, renewable energy, and all-EV solutions to achieve a cleaner future for Maui. Kansas City Power & Light is deploying over 1,100 charging stations as part of its Clean Charge Network to transform the market in Kansas City, Missouri. The Clean Charge Network is a network of ChargePoint Level 2 charging stations as well as DC fast chargers available to the public at locations throughout the KCP&L’s service territory.  Since deployment of the Clean Charge Network began in January 2015, the Kansas City metropolitan area has become number one in the United States for EV driver growth and has experienced a more than 400 percent increase in EV charging sessions, number of EV drivers, and electrical usage for EV charging. Louisville Gas & Electric Co and Kentucky Utilities Co developed a program that strives to expand EV infrastructure around the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In 2016, the Kentucky Public Service Commission approved the companies' application to install up to 20 Level 2 public charging stations in its service territories and an unlimited number of private entity sponsored stations. The companies will begin to roll out the stations in 2016. Michigan Utilities in conjunction with the Michigan Public Service Commission introduced a variety of Level 2 home charging reimbursement incentives in 2011. The incentive programs helped stimulate Michigan’s EV adoption with over 3,500 customers participating.  National Grid has supported the EV market in the Northeast since 2011 when it began installing more than 150 public charging stations, in partnership with the EVSE industry, host site customers, and state agencies.  Today, more than 3,000 drivers have used these stations, filling up at locations across Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and upstate New York.  National Grid has also installed work place charging in more than 10 different company facilities and hosted multiple “ride-n-drives” for employees. NV Energy, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy operating company, has proudly supported the electrification of transportation in Nevada since 2009.  The company embraced a three-pronged effort and various strategic partnerships to achieve its EV success.  First, it established a favorable rate structure for residential and commercial customers to charge EVs at their homes or businesses, which has the ability to lower both EV charging and overall home or business energy costs.  Second, a shared-investment program and partnership with major customers resulted in more than doubling the number of public charging stations in Nevada.  These public charging stations are providing charges to EV owners at no cost for the first five years. NV Energy’s third major initiative has been to partner with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, the DOT and rural electric associations to develop the Nevada Electric Highway, which is connecting major population centers in the state with a DC fast charging network that aligns with interconnecting highways. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) continues to expand its fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles—one of the nation’s largest among electric and gas utilities—by investing at least one-third of its annual fleet procurement on EVs, totaling more than $100 million. Portland General Electric (PGE) has demonstrated a commitment to EV charging and education on electrification, including: operation and improvement of “Electric Avenue” – which highlights colocation of 6 chargers, four of which are DC fast chargers; installation of  EV chargers at PGE workplace locations, with 51 total chargers planned; encouraging business customers’ installation of  workplace charging and their participation in the DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge; delivery of education and technical assistance on electrification to retail customers; and continued annual sponsorship of the EV Roadmap Conference that emphasizes sharing of best practices and lessons learned. PPL Electric Utilities is working to encourage the everyday use of EVs throughout its service territory in central and eastern Pennsylvania. The utility uses 15 Chevy Volt vehicles as part of its fleet, and has developed an internal car-sharing program to make the EV cars available for employees’ business use. PPL also offers free charging to employees through EV chargers installed at several locations. PPL is committed to investing more than 10 percent of its fleet budget on fleet electrification and is committed to buying only bucket trucks with electric lifts. Finally, the company has created a website to share information on cars and incentives with its 1.4 million customers. San Diego Gas & Electric recently received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to install 3,500 charging stations at 350 locations in San Diego County. Southern California Edison (SCE) recently started a pilot funded by all customers to install up to 1,500 EV charging stations and launch expanded EV market education programs; is conducting a one-year pilot at the Los Angeles Air Force Base to demonstrate vehicle-to-grid vehicles; and recently completed pilots on workplace smart charging for its employees. SCE spent 20 percent of its recent annual fleet budget on electric drive vehicles; offers seven residential and commercial rates designed for transportation electrification; includes EV charging and solar carport as part of its energy efficiency contract with Federal Aviation Administration in Palmdale California; and conducts on-going testing and evaluation of several heavy duty EVs for air districts. Southern Company launched SO Prize in 2014, an internal ideation competition that elicited nearly 1,000 innovative ideas from among the employee workforce. One of the winners of SO Prize was a proposal called REVolution, which provides for a special concierge-type service designed to help consumers pick the best EV for their lifestyle. The REVolution team has since conducted onsite events in Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City, Florida, and is exploring other ways of expanding consumer outreach through online methods. In addition, the Southern Company system’s internal fleet of cars, line trucks and other vehicles is moving toward a goal of being 10 percent electric by 2018. The Edison Electric Institute signed an MOU with the DOE last year that has since led to collaboration between utilities and the Federal government on a wide range of actions, including launching an education and outreach campaign, building analytical support for investment in EV infrastructure and technology, and providing a forum for stakeholder engagement. Westar Energy was an early adopter of EVs with 10 percent of on-road fleet being electric, and has committed more than 5 percent of annual spending on EVs.  Westar also installed 65 charging stations throughout its service territory.  Additionally, Westar has responded to the DOE Workplace Charging Challenge by making EVs available to employees through a centralized vehicle pool for business travel and by providing free workplace charging to employees who purchase EVs. ###

12 февраля 2016, 13:17

Солнечная энергетика переживает тяжелый кризис

Если 2015 год был плохим для компаний, связанных с солнечной энергетикой, то начало 2016-го выдалось просто кошмарным: за месяц с небольшим цены их акций рухнули на десятки процентов, а по сравнению с максимумами прошлого года – в несколько раз.

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28 января 2016, 23:08

BLOOMBERG: Warren Buffett controls Nevada’s legacy utility. Elon Musk is behind the solar company that’s upending the market. Let the fun begin.

By Noah Buhayar | January 28, 2016From Outside the Public Utilities Commission office, which is on the second floor of a modern, three-story building about 7 miles from the Strip in Las Vegas, a chorus of women are shouting to the tune of a Beastie Boys classic: “We’re gonna fight ... for our right ... to go soooolar!”It’s Jan. 13, a crisp desert morning with high, wispy clouds. Cars zoom by on a nearby freeway. Across the street, construction workers are leveling ground in front of a subdivision. Local TV news crews close in on the women as several hundred other protesters wave signs that read “Don’t hog the sun” and “Save our solar jobs.” Another poster takes a jab directly at the local power company: “Don’t be shady NV Energy.”Many of the protesters are employees or customers of SolarCity. Started a decade ago by Tesla Motors Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and two of his cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive, SolarCity has brought renewable energy to the masses in more than a dozen states, generating about $350 million in annual revenue. The company designs, installs, and leases rooftop solar systems at prices that allow homeowners to save on their monthly power bills—and fight climate change along the way. For a 20-year commitment, SolarCity will set customers up with panels for no money down. After starting in California and expanding to Arizona and Oregon, SolarCity began selling in Nevada in 2014 and quickly became the state’s leading installer of rooftop panels.SolarCity’s success is partly because the government provides subsidies and enables an arrangement called net metering, which allows homeowners with panels to sell back to the grid any solar energy they don’t use. This helps offset their cost of power when the sun’s not shining. Like more than 40 other U.S. states, Nevada forces utilities to buy the excess energy at rates set by regulators—usually the same rate utilities charge (hence, the net in net metering). In Nevada, it’s worked well. So well, in fact, that NV Energy, the state’s largest utility, is fighting it with everything it’s got.First, NV Energy deployed its lobbyists to limit the total amount of energy homeowners and small businesses were allowed to generate to 3 percent of peak capacity for all utilities. Then it expertly argued its case before regulators, who rewrote the rules for net-metering customers. In December it scored a major win: Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) imposed rules that not only make it more expensive to go solar, but also make it uneconomical for those who’ve already signed up. Similar regulatory skirmishes are playing out in dozens of other states, but no other has gone as far as Nevada to undermine homeowners who’ve already installed solar arrays.All this has enraged independent, free-market, and environmentally conscious Nevadans. All day on Jan. 13 people enter the hearing room to give the sole commissioner an earful. (Two more commissioners are piped in via video from Carson City, where the hearing is happening simultaneously.) The bureaucrats sit blankly behind their desks as employees from SolarCity and a competitor, Sunrun, explain that they’d been let go because the commission’s recent ruling killed their companies’ business in the state. Some of the roughly 18,000 customers who have already put solar panels on their roofs say the officials have rigged the game against the players. One homeowner threatens a $1 billion class-action lawsuit. Another compares NV Energy to King George III.“Are you getting kickbacks?” demands one woman, who asks the commission for records proving it made its ruling in the public’s interest.“Answer her,” shouts a man in the crowd.“Resign!” yells another.At one point, Mark Ruffalo shows up. The actor has flown in for the rally and makes his way into the commission office flanked by two SolarCity employees. A half-dozen camera crews follow him to the mic, and he receives a standing ovation after he calls the commission the “anti-Robin Hood” for taking from the people and giving to a monopoly. “The utility has the whole pie,” Ruffalo adds. The citizens, he says, “just want a tiny, little slice.” A local TV reporter, realizing she just got the Hulk on film for her segment, pumps her fist.None of it sways the commissioners, and at around 4:30 p.m. they make a show of cross-examining each other before voting unanimously to deny requests to delay the new rules. It’s another victory for NV Energy and its owner, Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company controlled by Warren Buffett. He didn’t respond to requests for comment.“The outcome was horrendous” in Nevada, says SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. Homeowners no longer have any financial incentive to put panels on their roofs, and those who already did may end up paying an additional $11,000 over the next two decades, he says. “We will fight this. We will fight it legally, and I’m highly confident we will win.Not that long ago, things were far more cordial between SolarCity and Nevada officials. “They sold themselves as being solar-friendly,” Rive says. “It was, ‘Hey, we are for solar. We want to make solar work.’ ” It probably didn’t hurt that SolarCity also had created scores of jobs wherever it went and that it was a no-brainer to tap the sun’s potential in a state that’s largely desert.In 2004, Rive, his wife, and Musk were in an RV on their way to Burning Man. Rive was casting about for a business idea that could “have an impact on humanity,” and Musk suggested that his cousin look into solar power. “He didn’t say how or what, but just get into the industry,” Rive told the San Jose Mercury News in December. When Rive got back from the festival, he told his brother about the conversation. They founded SolarCity on July 4, 2006. The company’s mission: to help people leave fossil fuels behind. Musk, who had made a fortune on PayPal and was dreaming up rocket ships and electric cars, put up some capital and became chairman. Musk didn’t reply to an e-mail seeking comment.SolarCity grew into one of the country’s largest solar operators in the years that followed. In the markets it entered, it hired hundreds of people to sell, maintain, and install its systems. But Rive didn’t enter Nevada. To make its contracts work, SolarCity needed the right policies in place. For years the state provided rebates for homeowners who wanted to go solar through a lottery system. The randomness turned potential customers off, he says.Nevada’s legislature had been gradually changing incentives for solar customers for years and, in 2013, it did away with the lottery for rebates, so anyone could get one. The state also set a new cap on installations—3 percent of the utility’s peak demand. Such provisions usually appease utilities and give regulators a chance to study what it means to have more small solar systems on the grid.SolarCity had begun a national search to figure out where to open a call center in late 2012 and considered Nevada. Governor Brian Sandoval’s office offered a sweetener, Rive says. Nevada had set up something called the Catalyst Fund to encourage companies to locate operations in the state. In the economic development trade, “it’s called ‘love money,’ ” says Ross Miller, a former secretary of state, who served on the board that doled out the funds. SolarCity’s grant was announced in March 2013. The company would get paid as much as $400,000 annually for three years if it met certain hiring targets. “You had me at Elon Musk,” Miller told Vegas Inc., a business news outlet, at the time.In August of that year, SolarCity had an opening ceremony for its Vegas office, which was to serve as its main call center and handle sales and administrative functions nationally. Sandoval called the opening a “watershed moment” for the state and joined with Democratic U.S. Senator Harry Reid in cutting a green ribbon with a giant pair of scissors. “Nevada is going to be your home for a long time,” Reid said. “And we’re going to do everything we can to make it one that’s a happy, happy home.”With the new net-metering and rebate policies in place, SolarCity began taking applications on May 1, 2014. Charlie Catania called that same day. Catania, who resembles Regis Philbin, came to Vegas in the 1970s and spent most of his career at Caesars Palace working in the baccarat pit. “I wanted to be a good steward of the environment,” but going solar was always too expensive, he says. By signing with SolarCity, he anticipated saving money over time, because his energy rates would be locked in for 20 years. That would help him minimize the impact of any increases NV Energy might make. “I’m 71,” he says. “If I live to 91, when my lease is up, hallelujah.”Thousands more followed Catania, signing contracts with SolarCity, Sunrun, and other providers. They were retirees, computer programmers, bartenders, young, old, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian. Most were in southern Nevada. By and large, the homeowners who went solar cared about the environment. But the thought of saving a few bucks—and sticking it to NV Energy—didn’t bother some of them, either.To meet the demand, Rive opened more operations centers in the state, where its crews of installers would grab panels and other supplies before going out on a job. The company had created something called the Chairman’s Cup—after Musk—to honor the most productive warehouse nationally. In 2015 its two locations in the Las Vegas area dominated the competition, winning almost every month.The growth was good. But another problem was looming: Rive and his staff thought their industry was about to reach the 3 percent cap.Buffett got into utilities in 1999. While many investors chased the latest Silicon Valley IPO, he bought a nice electric company in Des Moines. Building power plants and maintaining the grid offered almost endless opportunities to reinvest cash, which he had a lot of. And, as a monopoly providing an essential service, the local power company wasn’t going away anytime soon. Owning utilities isn’t “a way to get rich,” he later said. “It’s a way to stay rich.”By 2013 the energy unit at Berkshire had expanded to include power companies serving parts of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. It had also invested billions of dollars in wind farms in Iowa and giant solar arrays in California andArizona. Two months after SolarCity got its love money from Nevada, Buffett offered$5.6 billion to buy NV Energy. Soon after Berkshire completed the purchase, NV Energy accounted for about a fifth of the company’s energy revenue.Because power companies operate in a highly regulated industry, they stay close to elected officials. NV Energy’s ties in Nevada were particularly strong. Two of its lobbyists—Pete Ernaut and Greg Ferraro—have been friends with Sandoval for decades. Sandoval told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the lobbyists had first suggested he run for governor in 2010. Both ended up serving as advisers to his successful campaign and have continued to lobby him in office.The governor has tried to avoid favoritism—and, at times, has promoted policies that helped the solar industry and vetoed legislation that the utility wanted. Even Robert List, SolarCity’s lobbyist in the state, says Sandoval is “a man of total integrity.” Still, it’s difficult for the governor to get away from the perception that “he’s being influenced by them,” says Jon Ralston, the host of a political affairs show on Las Vegas’s PBS station.As the 2015 legislative session opened in Carson City last February, the rooftop solar industry was focused on lifting the 3 percent cap. Buffett’s utility was set against it. “We had numerous conversations with the NV Energy lobbyists, and they were swarming all over the building constantly,” List recalls. “Nobody could seem to find a middle ground.”On March 9, Ernaut sent a briefing document on net metering to two of Sandoval’s senior advisers, according to an e-mail that Sunrun obtained through a public records request. “Net metering is not about customer choice and competition,” it said. Rooftop solar customers, it went on, were already getting a subsidy, and it would only increase if the cap were lifted to 10 percent, as the solar industry wanted. All customers would have to pay higher rates if that were allowed, according to the document. Instead, the utility argued it would be more cost-effective to generate power from large-scale solar arrays.A month later, Rive went to see the governor. Sandoval began the meeting by handing over a printout of his Wikipedia page, Rive recalls. Someone had just inserted information about NV Energy’s lobbying on net metering in the governor’s biography and wrote—erroneously—that he could lift the cap to prevent solar companies from cutting jobs.“He was really upset, like fuming out of the ears,” Rive says. “He goes, ‘This is what you guys are doing. This is all you.’ … And I’m like, ‘Whoa. Hold on. Hold on. I’m here to talk about the solar future of the state. This is not us.’ ”“The governor did not express frustration,” Mari St. Martin, a spokeswoman for Sandoval, says of the meeting. But he “did bring up the questionable, petty tactics of some members of the rooftop solar industry, which included misleading online postings about the governor’s authority on the issue.”The debate dragged into May. SolarCity and the other installers needed a resolution. Only the state legislature could lift the cap, and the session was scheduled to end on June 1. After that, lawmakers wouldn’t convene for a regular session again until 2017. NV Energy, SolarCity, and other solar companies agreed to legislation that eliminated the cap. But it also required the utilities commission to study net-metering rates and eliminate any unreasonable shifting of costs to other customers. It set a Dec. 31 deadline for officials to review and approve new rates that the utility would submit. “We literally had a gun against our head to support it,” Rive says.NV Energy made its case to the utilities commission in late July, kicking off a five-month process that culminated with the December decision. Staff spent hundreds of hours requesting data and reviewing information. There were four days of hearings. Nowhere in all this, Rive says, was there any hint of changing rates for people who had already gone solar.Ultimately, the commission decided that everyone who put panels on their roofs should be treated the same. It also found that small commercial and residential net-metering customers were getting more than $16 million in subsidies a year from other people. To fix that, the commissioners agreed on New Year’s Eve to two rate increases and one decrease. A residential solar customer in southern Nevada, for instance, would see her monthly service charge gradually step up in annual increments from $12.75 to $38.51 in 2020. The amount she got paid for the electricity she produced would plunge by about 75 percent during the same period. She’d also get a slightly cheaper rate on the energy she drew from the grid.NV Energy tried to explain the changes by posting sample bills on its website. A southern Nevada homeowner called Jane Doe residing at (the wishfully named) 1234 Happy Dr. in Las Vegas, for instance, would end up paying $94.64 for her January bill vs. $84.66 under the old rates. NV Energy’s sample bills also account for only the first year of changes the commission approved. SolarCity’s pricing undercut NV Energy by just a little bit in Nevada before the new rates, Rive says. So he knew immediately that he could no longer do business in the state.A day after the ruling, Rive announced that SolarCity would cease sales in Nevada. Later, he said the company would have to dismiss 550 workers in the state. Sunrun and other solar companies followed suit. SolarCity still employs more than a thousand people in Las Vegas at its call center, but they mostly serve other states.Throughout the process, says Kevin Geraghty, NV Energy’s vice president for energy supply, he’d been frustrated by how the solar industry has tried “to influence what is a technical, financial analysis with emotion.” If you go solar, he adds, “you have to pay your fair share” for the grid. He says rooftop solar customers will continue to enjoy “substantial” savings on their utility bills. A homeowner’s payback on a rooftop system ultimately depends on the trajectory for NV Energy’s rates, he says. Recently, the utility has managed to cut them several times.Geraghty blames SolarCity for confusing customers. “That’s what they did in Nevada,” he says. “They’ve done it everywhere they’ve been.” The commission came out with a ruling that the solar companies didn’t like because “they didn’t challenge the facts and figures,” Geraghty says. “They rolled out the same tired, generic, rooftop solar arguments. And in the face of facts and information, they failed.”“NVE is wrong—their data was flawed, and everyone except the commission recognized this,” The power struggle in Nevada is hardly unique. Solar is booming in the U.S., in part because of a stunning drop in the price of panels. Adjusting for inflation, it cost $96 per watt for a solar module in the mid-1970s. Process improvements and a huge boost in production have brought that figure down 99 percent, to 68¢ per watt today, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Leasing from companies such as SolarCity has only sped up adoption. And a multiyear extension of the 30 percent federal solar tax credit in December has also helped.In just a decade, solar has gone from an enviro’s dream to a serious lobby that will be fighting these kinds of battles nationwide for years. More than half of U.S. states werestudying or changing their net-metering policies in the third quarter of 2015, according to the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center. Just about everywhere solar companies go, the industry has stirred up popular support, often with help from celebrities. On Jan. 24 a pro-solar group arranged for musicians Michael Franti, Bob Weir, and Sammy Hagar to play a free, acoustic concert in San Francisco.Power companies may not be winning any popularity contests, but they’re developing their own renewable energy to keep up with changing attitudes and to meet state mandates. In North Carolina, Duke Energy is spending $900 million on solar. Buffett’s company had committed $15 billion across all its operations through 2014 to all types of renewable energy. Last year it pledged to double that as part of an Obama administration climate pledge. Much of this money has gone to its Iowa utility, MidAmerican Energy, which can generate about 30 percent of its power from wind turbines.Buffett’s company has also bought renewable energy through long-term contracts. Last year, NV Energy signed up to purchase power from a giant First Solar installation outside Las Vegas for $38.70 per megawatt-hour. Analysts said at the time that it was one of the cheapest rates on record. Commissioners cited projects like that for why it made no sense to continue encouraging net metering in Nevada. If the goal is to put more solar on the grid, it’d be far cheaper for NV Energy to procure it.This, of course, is of little consolation for the Nevadans who’ve already blanketed their roofs with solar panels. The public outcry seems to have registered with NV Energy. On Jan. 25 it said it would ask the commission to allow existing net-metering customers to stick with the old system for two decades in some instances. “A fair, stable, and predictable cost environment is important to all our customers,” Paul Caudill, the utility’s president, said in a statement. The commission will soon rehear that portion of the case.Even if the utility’s proposal is accepted, it may not go far enough for the solar industry. The December decision could be challenged in court—or taken straight to voters. SolarCity and other groups are trying to get the issue on the November ballot.Caught in limbo are people such as Dale Collier. The day after the commission hearing, he showed off a 56-panel system on his home in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson. It cost him about $48,000 to install in 2011. SolarCity hadn’t yet set up shop in Nevada, so he paid for it by refinancing his house. The system took his NV Energy bill down to about $80 a month from the $330 it used to average, he says. One year, he got a $1,355 check from NV Energy because his solar power was helping the utility meet its renewable energy requirements. “It was the smartest thing I’d ever done,” he says. “Now, it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.”Collier had planned to retire from his job flying small cargo planes. But he doesn’t want to stop working until he has a better handle on his monthly bills from Buffett’s utility. “If it goes totally haywire, I’m going to look at batteries,” he says. “I’d love to just go off the grid totally, and tell them to f--- off.”—With Mark Chediak and Chris MartinWarren Buffett: 48 Empowering Lessons from Warren Buffet for Life Changing Success in Investing, Business and Life (Warren Buffett book, warren buffett way, warren buffett biography) by Anthony Clark Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2013 by Carol J. LoomisBuy new: $12.66 / Used from: $1.97Usually ships in 24 hours

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22 января 2016, 09:04

Трудная дорога к «солнцу»: новые проблемы чистой энергии

Дорога в будущее, где доминирует «чистая энергия» — выработанная без вреда для окружающей среды — никогда не была и вряд ли когда-то будет гладкой. Не проходит, кажется, года, чтобы не обнаружилось очередное препятствие. Головной болью последних двух лет были государственные субсидии: они щедро выделялись развитыми странами, сильно поспособствовали становлению домашней генерации, но должны теперь резко […]

07 января 2016, 23:10

SolarCity Cuts Jobs amid Unfavorable PUC Laws in Nevada

SolarCity Corp. (SCTY) announced that it has been compelled to cut over 550 jobs and closed its one month-old West Las Vegas training center in Nevada.

04 января 2016, 17:15

Google's Project Sunroof Could Help You Save Money On Solar Power

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The company that lets you compare air fares and translate foreign languages online wants to make it easier to weigh the costs and benefits of installing solar panels on household rooftops. Google is rolling out a new online service that quickly tallies up considerations of going solar and whether homeowners should consider buying or leasing photovoltaic panels costing thousands of dollars. Google's Project Sunroof combines the eye-in-the-sky images behind Google Earth with calculations on how much shade trees cast over a rooftop, data on local weather patterns, industry pricing and available subsidies to arrive at its bottom line. The service expanded in December to analyze properties in the Raleigh area, as well as 15 other metro areas in Arizona, Nevada, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Colorado. Interested potential customers are referred to solar-panel installers for further follow-up, cutting their marketing costs, said Carl Elkin, the senior software engineer behind the service. "We at Google believe in solar energy. The solar industry needs our help," he said. Google has invested more than $1 billion in recent years into solar energy, including $300 million earlier this year into a fund that finances residential rooftop projects installed by SolarCity Corp. Google invested $280 million in the publicly traded company in 2011. Project Sunroof launched this summer in San Francisco and Fresno, California, and Boston, where Elkin works. The metro areas were picked based on several criteria, including Google's available satellite imagery and local market conditions including government incentives, Elkin said.   Google's proposition is a faster, simpler way of sizing up possible pros and cons of solar than calling out someone for a site evaluation or using the more complex calculator offered by the U.S. Energy Department. An Associated Press reporter who plugged in his Raleigh home address was informed that installing solar panels would likely be a money-loser based on the amount of usable annual rooftop sunlight, shading from surrounding pine trees, and current household power use. But if the reporter chose to pursue the idea further, buying rather than leasing or a loan would be the better deal. Google's increased involvement in solar comes as some states begin to re-evaluate policies that have helped stimulate the rapid growth in turning the sun into electricity. All but a handful of states have laws allowing what's called "net metering" for homes or businesses — basically selling power from rooftop cells they don't use themselves, usually to the local electric utility, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In December, Mississippi became the 46th state to adopt broad rules promoting solar power. In Texas and some of the remaining states, individual utilities may offer similar solar-purchase options, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a national trade group. Solar accounts for about 1 percent of the country's total reported electricity generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. About two-thirds of that is from utility-scale solar arrays that are often spread across rural tracts. But as many as two dozen states are considering changes that would reduce the incentives for solar customers under the theory they too should pay for the broader power grid. Nevada utilities regulators last week adopted a policy to reduce by 75 percent over five years the amount Las Vegas-area electric company NV Energy pays customers for extra power their solar panels produce. The change means rooftop solar customers will pay more of the costs now shifted to non-solar customers to maintain the utility's transmission lines and power generation. ___ Follow Emery P. Dalesio at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio. His work can be found athttp://bigstory.ap.org/content/emery-p-dalesio -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

03 января 2016, 10:01

This is what will happen to solar tariffs everywhere, eventually

Interesting news from Nevada: the state now has solar feed in tariffs on a rational economic structure. It’s still not all the way there but the structure is now sensible: and this is the way that all such tariffs will end up to. Simply because it’s the only rational way, economically, to do it. Instead […]