WESCO (WCC) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.
Via Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog, Virtue-signaling doesn't signal virtue--it signals decline and collapse. There are many reasons why Imperial Rome declined, but two primary causes that get relatively little attention are moral decay and soaring wealth inequality. The two are of course intimately connected: once the morals of the ruling Elites degrade, the status quo seeks to mask its self-serving rot behind high-minded "virtue-signaling" appeals to past glories and cost-free idealism. Virtue signaling is defined as "the conspicuous expression of moral values by an individual done primarily with the intent of enhancing that person's standing within a social group," "the practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one's good character or the moral correctness of one's position on a particular issue" and "Saying you love or hate something to show off what a virtuous person you are, instead of actually trying to fix the problem." Yes, yes and yes. "Virtue-signaling" expresses two other key characteristics of an empire in terminal decline: complacency and intellectual sclerosis. Michael Grant described these manifestations of decline in his excellent account The Fall of the Roman Empire, a short book I have been recommending since 2009: There was no room at all, in these ways of thinking, for the novel, apocalyptic situation which had now arisen, a situation which needed solutions as radical as itself. (The Status Quo) attitude is a complacent acceptance of things as they are, without a single new idea. This acceptance was accompanied by greatly excessive optimism about the present and future. Even when the end was only sixty years away, and the Empire was already crumbling fast, Rutilius continued to address the spirit of Rome with the same supreme assurance. This blind adherence to the ideas of the past ranks high among the principal causes of the downfall of Rome. If you were sufficiently lulled by these traditional fictions, there was no call to take any practical first-aid measures at all. What are those "resisting Trump" proposing as solutions to the profound structural ills afflicting the empire? Gender-neutral bathrooms? A continuation of a dysfunctional immigration policy? Blaming Russia to mask the catastrophic failure of the past 25 years of neocon imperial over-reach? Cost-free "virtue-signaling" proclamations in support of diversity? "Safe places" on college campuses paid for by student loans crushing a vast indentured class of debt-serfs? These status quo policies and cost-free diversions are the acme of a profound complacency and intellectual sclerosis that serve to defend a self-serving, morally corrupt political and financial elite. Virtue-signaling pronouncements lack any recognition of the moral, political, social and financial crises facing the American empire, and are devoid of any practical, politically/financially painful first-aid measures to staunch the decline. Glenn Stehle, commenting on 9/16/15 on a thread in the excellent website peakoilbarrel.com (operated by the estimable Ron Patterson) made a number of excellent points that I am taking the liberty of excerpting: (with thanks to correspondent Paul S.) The set of values developed by the early Romans called mos maiorum, Peter Turchin explains in War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires, was gradually replaced by one of personal greed and pursuit of self-interest. “Probably the most important value was virtus (virtue), which derived from the word vir (man) and embodied all the qualities of a true man as a member of society,” explains Turchin. “Virtus included the ability to distinguish between good and evil and to act in ways that promoted good, and especially the common good. Unlike Greeks, Romans did not stress individual prowess, as exhibited by Homeric heroes or Olympic champions. The ideal of hero was one whose courage, wisdom, and self-sacrifice saved his country in time of peril,” Turchin adds. And as Turchin goes on to explain: "Unlike the selfish elites of the later periods, the aristocracy of the early Republic did not spare its blood or treasure in the service of the common interest. When 50,000 Romans, a staggering one fifth of Rome’s total manpower, perished in the battle of Cannae, as mentioned previously, the senate lost almost one third of its membership. This suggests that the senatorial aristocracy was more likely to be killed in wars than the average citizen…. The wealthy classes were also the first to volunteer extra taxes when they were needed… A graduated scale was used in which the senators paid the most, followed by the knights, and then other citizens. In addition, officers and centurions (but not common soldiers!) served without pay, saving the state 20 percent of the legion’s payroll…. The richest 1 percent of the Romans during the early Republic was only 10 to 20 times as wealthy as an average Roman citizen." Now compare that to the situation in Late Antiquity when "an average Roman noble of senatorial class had property valued in the neighborhood of 20,000 Roman pounds of gold. There was no “middle class” comparable to the small landholders of the third century B.C.; the huge majority of the population was made up of landless peasants working land that belonged to nobles. These peasants had hardly any property at all, but if we estimate it (very generously) at one tenth of a pound of gold, the wealth differential would be 200,000! Inequality grew both as a result of the rich getting richer (late imperial senators were 100 times wealthier than their Republican predecessors) and those of the middling wealth becoming poor." Do you see any similarities with the present-day realities depicted in these charts? A self-serving class of Technocrats and bureaucratic Nomenklatura have garnered all the gains, while the bottom 90% have lost ground in wages, wealth and financial security. This Technocrat/Nomenklatura class controls both private and public powers (media, finance, trade, industry, governance and institutions) which serve its own interests. What we have now is a self-serving "virtue-signaling" technocrat class that works for a self-serving political/financial elite that avoids the imperial burdens of military service and taxes while imposing what amounts to an economic military conscription on the working class. This Imperial elite sends these military conscripts around the globe to defend their Imperial interests. Virtue-signaling doesn't signal virtue--it signals decline and collapse. Just as in 5th century Rome--an empire careening toward collapse--those reaping the gains are complacently confident in their moral superiority while their hubris-soaked intellectual sclerosis blinds them to the systemic banquet of consequences that will soon choke their precious self-serving status quo.
WESCO International, Inc.'s (WCC) fourth-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 96 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.1% or 2 cents.
Акционеры Государственной энергетической корпорации Греции (Public Power Corp., PPC) одобрили вчера, 17 января с.г., передачу 51% акций сетевого оператора ADMIE в рамках схемы "спин-офф", что является важнейшим условием в программе финансовой помощи Греции. В соответствии с законодательно утвержденной схемой, направленной на удержание ADMIE под контролем государства, РРС продаст 24% акций Китайской State Grid за 320 миллионов евро и создаст специальный инструмент для безвозмездной передачи 51% акций государству и существующим частным акционерам. "Внеочередное собрание акционеров РРС утвердило процедуру спин-офф ADMIE," - говорится в заявлении Министерства энергетики. 16 комментариев
The president-elect's control over conventional economic policy could be worth more money than any conflict of interest.
As America enters the Age of Trump, it is important to recognize that what's happening is not just about Trump, and not just about America. Forces kindred to Trump have lately been ascendant around the world. We see different manifestations of this same ascendant force that has borne Trump into the presidency in Putin's Russia, in Erdogan's Turkey, in Britain's Brexit movement, in right-wing ethno-nationalist parties across Europe (France, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, etc.), in Netanyahu's Israel, and in Duterte's Philippines. Trump himself recognizes this kinship. And one can see a degree of de facto alliance forming among the leaders who embody this dark spirit.* [NOTE below] The global nature of this rising spirit has important implications for how it can be defeated. Although each nation faces its own challenges and its own unique circumstances, a dangerous global phenomenon like this calls for an effective global response. Those who face a common threat always do better to coordinate their resistance. "Stronger together" may not have prevailed in the American elections, but the principle is valid nonetheless. Of course, it is also true that, in each nation, the forces of resistance must do the political work of organizing to win elections within their boundaries. An essential part of the battle, therefore, is at the level of electoral politics within sovereign entities. But clearly, the very fact of the global nature of the ascendancy of this dark force shows that national politics is not the only level involved. When electorates in very different nations are empowering such a dark force, something has been percolating in today's civilization at the level of ideas and passions. Accordingly, it is at that level that part of the battle against this force must be conducted. What is needed, in other words, is a transnational movement to win over the "hearts and minds" of the citizenry of the democratic (or once democratic) nations whose future is threatened by that rising dark force. A global movement at the level of the spirit --dedicated to the values that uplift the human world -- can provide fuel to power the partisan political combat against those in each nation who are channeling this ascendant, dark. transnational force. To envision the nature of what is required of such a movement, we can begin by asking: What is it that this battle is being fought over? And to answer that, we can start with the question: What is the nature of the force (or spirit) that Trump and these others represent. Not all the manifestations - Russia, Turkey, Europe, Israel, Trump's America etc. - are identical. But they all have a common set of directions: Erdogan in Turkey has locked up thousands whom he sees as opposed to him. (Putin, too, has used the force of the state to crush his opposition.) With Trump, there are at this point only hints and threats pointing in such a direction. Across Europe, hatreds against the outsiders have been stirred up. Trump's signature issue, of course, was the demonization of Muslims and immigrants from Mexico. Duterte in the Philippines - with his encouragement of vilgilantism -- has discarded the rule of law. With Trump, once again, who has not yet even come to power, we see signs pointing ominously in that direction, what with his continuous display of disregard for what the law, or even the Constitution, says. In Putin's Russia - and now also in Trump's appointments to his Cabinet - we see a melding of the forces of private wealth with the institutions of public power. The government for and by the people becomes a government of the people but for and by the wealthy and the corporate system. And in most of these regimes, truth is if not the first then at least an early casualty. The killing of journalists in Russia connects with Trump's continual stream of falsehoods, and his evident intention to intimidate the press. (Though each of the different nations show their own mix and degree of such pathologies, the question for all our democracies - most definitely including the United States - is how far in the direction of darkness will they evolve in the years to come if the current battle against this rising force is not won. **) What do these pathologies add up to? One might call it "The Rule of the Thug." I would suggest that the best single designation for this dark thing we see ascendant around the globe is "The Rise of Fascism." Or "The Rise of the Fascistic Spirit." (A similar mix of ethno-nationalism, economic distress and insecurity, and an overweening lust for power gave rise to a similar transnational dark force in the 1930s.) All of which points toward what might be an effective strategy a global movement to help counter the global rise of this dark spirit. For starters, what is needed in such a movement is that it awakens the peoples of the democratic nations to the nature of this battle. People need to see the forest, and not just the trees. People should be helped to see the various political struggles in their own nation (and in others around the world) in a unified, coherent way. They should be helped to see how (almost) every issue (arising in the political sphere) fits into the general rubric of fascistic vs. democratic values. The many specific political battles, in other words, are manifestations of one larger, deeper battle. Whether it is fomenting intergroup hostilities versus a spirit of inclusion; the rule of the few over the many versus the democratic spirit of equality; taking money from those with less to give to those with more versus a concern for the well-being of all; conflict versus cooperation; the use of law to serve power versus using law to serve justice; trashing our planet for short-term corporate profits versus preserving it for the good of all; cruelty vs. kindness and compassion; the subordination of the good of the nation to the ego needs of the ruler versus government for the people; the domination of discourse by the rulers' propagandists versus the free flow of information and ideas; the pursuit of power as the overriding value versus a respect for the demands of justice; all of them are manifestations of the same fundamental choice --between two fundamentally opposed spirits-- with which human civilization is now (again) being confronted. That should lay the foundation for achieving the second purpose of such a transnational movement: to inspire the peoples of the nations to rise to the defense of those values under threat from this fascistic spirit. For too long, those basic values of freedom and of human decency have been taken for granted, and thus have lost their power. Part of the vulnerability of Western democracies to the rise of the fascistic spirit - and this certainly includes the United States - is a result of an attenuation of the passion for the deep values that underlay the emergence of decent democratic societies in the first place. A global movement should work to rekindle those passions, employing all the tools (writings, speeches, rallies, advertisements, etc.) generally useful to social movements: mobilizing the motivated, motivating the tepid, and calling as many as possible of those now aligned with the spirit of fascism to the better angels of their nature. Two fundamentally different visions of the human world are now competing. One of them is now ascendant. It is time for the other, better vision to present itself more powerfully in order to advance those human possibilities that are eminently worth fighting for. More to come about why a global movement can constitute a vital part of an overall anti-fascist political battle, and about how this proposed global movement might work to inspire the people to stand up for civilization's best values. ******************* NOTES: * Trump has shown that he recognizes this kinship in his widely noted bromance with Putin. But he's also shown it in other ways: in his endorsement - at least as claimed by the Philippine leader - of Duterte's handling of the drug problem (with several thousand extra-judicial killings); in Trump's making his first meeting with a British official with ..., the leader of the Brexit movement (and requesting that he be made the U.K.'s ambassador to the U.S.); with his unprecedented meddling in the foreign policy of the man who is still president, in order to support the worst tendencies of Netanyahu's government in Israel (the accelerated expansion of Israeli settlements in the territories that would become Palestianian in any two-state solution). ** For example: Israel is still a vibrant democracy in a way that Putin's Russia is not. One has a free press and independent courts, while in the other these have been brought under the control of an authoritarian regime. But if this force continues to rise, who can say where things may end up? So also in America, unlike in Russia, we have a free press. But with Trump's assault on the media - even before taking power - we are already on unfamiliar territory. How far down that path might we go? In those nations with long-standing and therefore well-established democratic institutions, the process of dismantling them takes longer than in nations - like Russia - in which their venture into democracy was still new when Putin undertook to take it down. But the condition of our American democracy has already been considerably eroded over the past generation, even before Trump managed to win the power of the presidency. As the election of Trump makes clear, it is wise to heed the warnings of distant thunder before they become a storm raging around us. We should not have ever come to this point, and now, having come to this point, we should not make any assumptions about how this is as far down the path toward darkness that things could possibly go. -- 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.
Ormat Technologies, Inc. (ORA) announced that one of its affiliate has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA)
FT Calhoun Station Entry Sign - Photo by Rod Adams Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) completed the final requirements for permanently withdrawing Ft. Calhoun Station's electricity generation from the Southwest Power Pool. According to an email from Kim Tracy, the Corporate Secretary Executive Division OPPD, the board of directors pressed forward [...]
Constance Douris Security, Greece has honored it promises to its creditors by implementing economic reforms Greece has implemented financial reforms, and now it is time to restructure Athens’ debt to allow its struggling economy to grow. Sustainable debt would increase investor confidence, improve the country’s credit rating, and play a significant role as to whether Athens reaches its 2017 budget targets. President Barack Obama will emphasize Greece’s need for debt relief during his visit to the country today. The Greek government has demonstrated that it is committed to implementing reforms by revamping its pension system, setting fixed social security contributions and increasing tax rates. Privatization of state assets has also occurred. The Public Power Corporation, Inc. (PPC), Greece’s state controlled power company, sold 24% of the country’s electricity grid operator to China for €320 million. China Cosco Holdings Co. purchased 51% of Greece’s largest port, Piraeus, earlier this year, and an agreement with PPC and China Machinery Engineering Corporation to build a €1 billion power plant in Greece has been signed. Greece has transferred the control of public utilities, the state-run power and water companies, to an asset fund created by international creditors, called the Hellenic Company of Assets and Participations. The fund is also taking control of the state-owned subway operator in Athens, a military vehicle maker and a public property management fund. The Hellenic Company of Assets and Participations is led by an official chosen by creditors and Greece’s Finance Ministry will retain overall control. The fund will control public utilities and other assets for 99 years. Creditors believe that consolidating Athens’ assets under one umbrella will encourage privatization and speed up asset sales. Read full article
YES, THIS IS A POINT I MADE IN MY LAST USA TODAY COLUMN: Holman Jenkins: Hillary, Once Peddled As The Safe Choice, Is Now The High-Risk Candidate. Donald Trump (or any candidate) may not be a solution in himself, but an outsider at least can be an instrument to dislodge an elite and replace it, […]
WESCO International Inc.'s (WCC) adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 1.05 lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.7% or 6 cents. Revenues of $1.86 billion also missed the consensus mark of $1.91 billion.
Президент китайской машиностроительной инжиниринговой корпорации CMEC Чжан Чунь (?hang Chun) во главе делегации высшего руководства компании приедет в понедельник в Грецию для обсуждения и подписания с руководством государственной энергетической компании DEI (Public Power Corporation, PPC) соглашения о стратегическом сотрудничестве в стране и регионе, сообщила греческая корпорация. Подробнее читайте на нашем сайте www.oilru.com
From across the nation an army of men, and a few women, is on the move. They are deployed with tools and gauges, maps and their own know-how in a critical battle. They are shock troops fighting the flooding in North and South Carolina. They are electricity linemen. When disaster strikes, the nation's electric utilities spring into action, sending equipment -- which can range from temporary lighting to the familiar bucket trucks -- hundreds and thousands of miles to the battle. When these first responders reach the site of disaster, they go to work down manholes and up poles, struggle with knotted wires and fallen trees. The work is hard and the conditions are dangerous, but there is a camaraderie that binds linemen from different localities in a common purpose and danger. Those who more usually might rely on a bucket truck, in fine conditions, take out their climbing gear and up the pole they go. The constant danger is electricity itself: the threat of electrocution. Up the pole, there are many other dangers. The pole may be weakened and critters seeking safety may be up there, from raccoons to venomous snakes. When the lights go off, life as most of us know stops. It does not grind to a slow halt, it stops. Elevators, air conditioners, heating systems, ovens, refrigerators, televisions and computers are stranded. Even the pumps for removing water from a flooded basement need electricity. Everyone knows that in an emergency, it is vital to restore the juice. The linemen, often several sleeping in a single motel room or in their trucks, are the heroes who work as many as 19 hours straight to do that. It is rewarding, exacting and well-paid work. A spokesman for the American Public Power Association explains that pay varies, depending on the part of the country, but $100,000 a year is common and earnings shoot up with overtime, as in emergencies. The association represents more than 2,000 publicly owned utilities, serving about 14 percent of the nation's electricity consumers. So it is astounding that for a number of years both the publicly owned and the large, investor-owned utilities, which the Edison Electric Institute represents and account for 80 percent of the power supply, have been having a devil of a time finding workers prepared for a very secure life that has its moments of high drama -- as is the case right now with the crews restoring power to areas devastated by Hurricane Matthew. The problem is that even the most enthusiastic young person cannot just go up a pole without a lot of training: four years of training. In the world of labor, electric utilities are not the only ones gasping for help. There is an artisan labor shortage and it is worsening. One truck operator reckons there are vacancies for at least 50,000 truck drivers. Similar shortages exist for electricians, pipe-fitters, sheet metal workers, stone masons, welders and many other skilled artisans. If all the manufacturing jobs that politicians say they would like to bring back to the United States were to arrive next year, there would be no workers to build the factories, nor a trained workforce to make the goods. The unemployment crisis -- so emphasized in this election year -- is with the unskilled. Part of the artisan problem may be that too many young men and women are being herded into colleges without any knowledge of alternatives for which they might have more aptitude and interest. More college is always seen as a virtue. But who needs four years of college to become an Uber driver? When the APPA tried recruiting in high schools with a video, they found teachers trashed the video. Schools are rated on how many graduates go on to college, not on to training in trades offering job security and satisfaction. There is a future up the pole. -- For InsideSources -- 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.
8point3 Energy Partners LP (CAFD) declared a hike in the quarterly distribution for Class A shares for the third quarter of 2016, bringing the annualized payout to 96.24 cents from 93 cents per share
ATHENS, Sept 14 (Reuters) - China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday with Greece's leading utility Public Power Corp. (PPC) to build a coal-fired plant in northern Greece.
FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces Federal and Private Sector Actions on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets
President Obama believes in the need to transition to a cleaner, more reliable, and affordable 21st century power grid. Under his leadership, transformations in how we produce and consume electricity are decreasing carbon pollution, scaling up renewable energy, and generating savings on consumers’ energy bills. Since 2009, renewable energy generation has increased at a record pace, while costs have decreased dramatically. Building on this progress, smart electricity market reforms, enhanced transparency, and flexible energy resources such as storage and demand response have the potential to further accelerate the development of a cleaner and smarter grid. In fact, in 2015 alone, the United States doubled the installed capacity of advanced energy storage to 500 megawatts (MW) and deployment of this key resource is projected to continue to expand. With this dynamic progress as the backdrop, today the White House is hosting a Summit on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets. The Summit brings together regulators, power companies, municipalities, and energy developers that are leading efforts to promote smart electricity markets and greater grid integration of renewable energy and flexible resources such as energy storage. The Administration is announcing new executive actions and 33 state and private sector commitments that will accelerate the grid integration of renewable energy and storage. Together, these announcements are expected to result in at least 1.3 gigawatts of additional storage procurement or deployment in the next five years. These actions include: A new report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers on the technical and economic considerations and opportunities relating to the grid integration of renewable energy resources. The federal government committing to increasing its storage and microgrid capacity through programs that will make our federal and military bases more resilient and provide funding for microgrids in rural communities. The U.S. Department of Energy promoting access to and standardization of energy data. Sixteen developers and power companies in at least eight states announcing new storage procurement and deployment targets for the next five years. Investors announcing $130 million in new funding commitments for energy storage. In aggregate, these new procurement, deployment, and investment commitments announced today could lead to approximately $1 billion in investments in energy storage. Power companies and developers committing to deploy smart water heaters, smart meters, and demand response programs. Federal Executive Actions on Smart Markets and Energy Storage White House Council of Economic Advisers is releasing a report titled “Incorporating Renewables into the Grid: Expanding Opportunities for Smart Markets and Energy Storage.” One of the report’s key findings is that current and projected levels of variable renewable energy resources are opening up opportunities for technologies such as energy storage and demand response to ensure the reliable and cost-effective supply of electricity. The report also finds that wholesale market reforms are already helping to enable these technologies to participate in some markets. Ongoing cost reductions and advancements in communication infrastructure are expected to further enhance the potential for these technologies going forward. Increasing the Federal Government’s Storage Capacity: U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announces that it intends to issue a Request for Information about building-level energy storage to explore a number of possible storage solutions, in particular for emergency back-up (potentially to replace diesel generators), for enhancing resiliency, and for aiding in demand response management of peak loads. Making Our Military Facilities More Resilient: The Navy’s Renewable Energy Program Office (REPO) and U.S. Air Force announce the following new projects and activities: U.S. Navy: A new 50-100 MW grid-scale battery project that will be developed by a third-party developer at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach in California. A new 7 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) system with a 6 MW (18 MWh) battery system that will be developed by a third-party developer on the local grid at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) in California. The project will serve NBVC during electric outages, covering over 65% of the base’s peak loads for up to 3 hours. A battery second use (B2U) pilot project in Indiana with Naval Support Activity Crane, Duke Energy, and other stakeholders. The project will repurpose the Navy’s fleet of decommissioned submarine batteries into distributed energy resources to serve mission-critical loads. If the battery fleet is repurposed rather than recycled, the Navy’s overall battery capacity is projected to grow to 44 MWh by 2019. U.S. Air Force The Air Force’s Resilient Energy Demonstration Initiative (REDI) announces the release of a Request for Information to energy developers and technology companies to provide energy assurance services to critical facilities at Beale Air Force Base (AFB) in California. Concurrently, the REDI program is announcing the launch of a new energy assurance collaboration with industry at Beale AFB. The REDI program, which develops and deploys innovative energy resilience technologies and business models, will create a comprehensive energy assurance plan for Beale AFB by the end of 2016. The Air Force Research Laboratory and the Hawaii Air National Guard announce the launch of the design phase of a new distributed energy microgrid project at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The project will demonstrate the ability to integrate and demonstrate multiple renewable energy and energy storage technologies, and provide the ability to power critical mission assets during energy disruptions. The Air Force announces the launch of the Forward Operating Base of the Future project at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA). The project will integrate renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage technologies into a simulated deployed environment. The project is expected to reduce the amount of fuel required to power forward operating bases by more than 85%. Promoting Microgrids in Rural Communities: Navy’s Office of Naval Research announces funding for the Alaska Microgrid Innovation and Commercialization project at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The project will develop practical and cost-effective solutions for operating microgrids that incorporate significant renewable power generation, with a focus on the Arctic and other remote locations and austere conditions. This project builds on the Administration’s Clean Energy Solutions for Remote Communities initiative. Enhancing Data Access and Sharing: The Department of Energy (DOE) announces the following pilots, studies, partnerships and other actions to continue enhancing data sharing and access for utilities and consumers: DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, in keeping with the Administration's commitment to Smart Disclosure, will undertake an analysis of the private sector Green Button Alliance effort to ensure the pilot program is responsive to the consumer protection and privacy principles embodied in the DataGuard energy data privacy program. This analysis will promote confidence among customers who consent to contribute their data to the effort that their wishes for anonymity are respected, and among participating utilities that customer data privacy is part of the fundamental design of the program. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a sophisticated model of the Eastern Interconnection to understand power system operations with hundreds of gigawatts of wind and solar meeting 30% of electricity needs. NREL commits to releasing in August 2016 the results of its study, including the power system model and visualization tools to enable academia and industry to explore the transition to renewable energy with more resolution than ever before. NREL also announces that it recently established the Utility Rate Data Working Group (URDWG), which will identify an appropriate machine-readable data standard for utility rate data and potentially demonstrate a proof of concept in collaboration with utilities, data users, and other relevant stakeholders. The URDWG will leverage the foundational work of the Utility Rate Database (URDB), which is produced by NREL on behalf of DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Program and includes more than 39,000 rates for over 3,700 utilities. The development of an easy-to-use machine-readable data solution will make it easier to update utility rates as they change over time, and also make utility rate information more accessible for utilities, energy companies, consumers, researchers and policymakers across the country. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) released, in April 2016, Phase I of a study for the California Public Utilities Commission leveraging smart meter data to estimate the potential for demand response and advanced behind-the-meter storage to provide cost-effective resources as part of California’s future electricity system. LBNL will continue to support research and analysis on grid modernization across the United States and is expanding on its Phase I with a Phase II report in the fall of 2016. The Phase II report will explore the potential for demand response and distributed energy resources to meet capacity, ancillary services, ramping, and flexibility needs in California. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently joined San Diego Gas & Electric’s Green Button Connect program, in which residential and commercial customers in San Diego can name EIA as an electronic recipient of their daily energy consumption data. EIA will use this to test direct data collection protocols that could be deployed on a larger scale. EIA will also launch a pilot collection in 2017 to sub meter and record consumption by end use consuming devices within typical American homes. Emerging sub metering technology will provide direct measurements of electric, natural gas, and water consumption and more accurate estimates of household demand than current modeling efforts allow. State, Power Company and Non-Profit Announcements Today, 16 leading grid operators, power companies, and community organizations in at least eight states are announcing new storage projects, procurement targets, pilot projects, and partnerships. California Independent System Operator (CAISO) recently released draft study results demonstrating that a regional market would promote more renewable energy at a lower cost in the Western United States. CAISO commits to exploring the possibility of expanding its balancing authority across a larger geographic footprint to more efficiently optimize the grid and integrate renewable energy resources. CAISO also commits to developing business rules and procedures to coordinate operation of the transmission system with distribution systems operators that are experiencing a proliferation of distributed energy resources. California Public Utilities Commission commits to developing a regulatory framework that enables a flexible, efficient, clean and reliable power grid. To accomplish this goal, California will continue to allow customers to effectively and efficiently choose from an array of distributed energy resources and promote the collection, analysis, and, where consistent with customer privacy protections, dissemination of smart meter and grid condition data. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts announces, as part of its Energy Storage Initiative, an initial $10 million investment for demonstration projects and a comprehensive study in order to identify the potential benefits of incorporating advanced storage technologies into the state’s energy portfolio. Conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the study seeks to analyze the national and Massachusetts storage industry landscape, review economic development and market opportunities for energy storage, and examine potential policies and programs that could be implemented to better support energy storage deployment. Following the release of this study in mid-2016, DOER and MassCEC will work with stakeholders to begin testing and implementing both the regulatory and the policy recommendations detailed therein, including grant opportunities to begin demonstration projects to further test the viability of energy storage technology and innovations in the Massachusetts energy market. Community Storage Initiative (CSI) announces that it has been joined by over 40 organizations, including utilities, manufacturers, and technology suppliers. CSI was launched in February 2016 by the American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Peak Load Management Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The CSI also announces the Inaugural CSI Leadership Forum on July 20 and 21, 2016 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Over 100 leading practitioners will meet to exchange their experiences in and ideas for coordinating distributed energy storage resources that are located throughout a community. Con Edison announces a new partnership with Siemens to use data from Con Edison’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure rollout, which will cover 4.8 million customers, to enable consumers to benefit from cost-effective renewable energy integration. The new system will make available detailed data for use by consumers and renewable energy providers for planning and economic analysis purposes, as well as time-varying price signals for when renewable energy production is most valuable to the grid. The initiative includes implementing Green Button Connect to allow customers to share data with third parties. Duke Energy commits to deploy at least five megawatts of energy storage in the Asheville region of North Carolina. Energy storage, coupled with more efficient natural gas generation, solar power, and innovative customer solutions, will enable Duke Energy to maintain a high degree of energy reliability while also reducing its carbon footprint by closing all of its coal-fired power plants in the Asheville community. Green Button Alliance announces its commitment to explore a pilot program to provide aggregated and anonymous energy usage information for research and the public benefit. The potential energy usage data pilot would entail a database of anonymous energy-use information from participating utilities that would be collected from smart meter deployments. By customer consent, the data would be made available in the standardized Green Button format to universities and research entities to study energy use patterns which could then be used for grid reliability and forecasting, infrastructure planning, or integration of distributed energy resources. Participants considering the viability of a potential pilot include Green Button Alliance founding utilities: Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and London Hydro. Green Mountain Power (GMP), building on its eHomes program, announces its partnership with Vermont's Energy Efficiency Utility, Efficiency Vermont, and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation to pilot a community-scale comprehensive energy transformation in Panton, Vermont in June 2016. The year-long project is expected to decrease energy usage, energy costs and carbon pollution. It will include town buildings, local businesses, 80% of the homes in Panton, and utility-scale solar paired with battery storage to microgrid parts of the town. Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), an AES Company, announces the commercial operation of a 20 MW energy storage array. This is the first grid-scale battery energy storage system in the 15-state Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region. It is also the first grid-scale energy storage system in the United States that will be used to provide primary frequency response, an essential reliability service. IPL’s energy storage will enhance system reliability and help reduce costs and emissions across the electric system. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) plans to procure 24 MW of energy storage by 2016 and commits to a target of 178 MW by 2021. LADWP also plans to procure 60 MW of demand response by 2016 and commits to target the procurement of 200 to 500 MW by 2026. LADWP will dedicate up to $2.9 million in funding for its Interval Data for Energy Efficiency effort in order to identify approximately 40 GWh in actionable savings at commercial and industrial customer sites. LADWP will also deploy its Sustainability Analytics Tool to premier accounts and major customers over the next year. NextEra Energy’s Florida Power & Light (FPL) announces a pilot project to test storage technology applications under real-life conditions. FPL will install different types of battery systems in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties to research energy storage benefits, including: improved reliability for isolated areas and microgrid foundations via a battery back-up system to be built at the southern tip of Everglades National Park; reuse of electric vehicle batteries and “peak shaving” via small-scale installations in residential areas in Miami and repurposing “second-life” batteries from more than 200 electric vehicles; and mobile storage capacity to prevent power interruptions at major economically important events via a portable system to be tested during the 2017 Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key Biscayne. These applications will also help with renewable integration as FPL continues to expand its use of solar energy to serve its 4.8 million customers. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) plans to invest approximately $3 billion a year through 2020 to make the grid more resilient and facilitate its vision of a grid that will integrate distributed solar, energy storage, electric vehicles and other low-carbon technologies. To facilitate the integration of distributed energy resources (DERs), PG&E is proposing five pilot projects to demonstrate: Dynamic Integrated Capacity Analysis methodology for integrating all line sections or nodes within a specific distribution planning area (DPA); Optimal Location Benefit Analysis methodology for a DPA that has one near-term and one longer-term distribution infrastructure project that can be deferred due to DER integration; DER locational benefits; distribution operations at high penetrations of DERs; and DER dispatch to meet reliability needs. Portland General Electric (PGE) commits to implementing a new standard communication interface for smart water heaters that will enable customer-friendly and affordable large-scale residential demand response. PGE, Oregon’s largest electric utility company, is co-leading a market transformation effort with the Bonneville Power Administration that would replace the region’s 3.5 million water heaters with smart water heaters, creating a 10,000 MWh “battery” for less than $40/kWh, and will launch a mass-market water heater program pilot including these new technologies in 2017. PGE also commits to investing $366,000 in 2016 in energy storage research and development and early-stage technology deployment and to using smart meter data and distributed energy resources in its resource planning and investment decisions, including launching a second generation energy information system by the end of 2016. PGE is also announcing a pilot on time-variant prices for residential customers. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), as part of a pilot program, is planning to install 3,500 electric vehicle charging stations at businesses, in multi-family communities, and in underserved neighborhoods, all while maximizing the use of renewable energy to charge the cars. SDG&E recently signed a contract for a 20-MW energy storage facility, which would be the largest in the San Diego region, and expects to reach 165 MW of storage capacity by 2020. Southern California Edison (SCE) commits to procuring at least 580 MW of energy storage projects by 2020 (which must be operational by 2024) to support grid optimization, renewable energy integration, and greenhouse gas reduction. SCE is also committing to offset local load growth through an additional planned procurement in 2016 of a minimum of 100 MW of clean energy resources. SCE will launch requests for offers for energy storage projects in 2016, including projects that could help maintain grid reliability to mitigate risks of outages caused by the limited operation of the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Facility. U.S. Green Building Council and its sister organization Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), in partnership with Urban Ingenuity, announce a public-private convening on July 11 to support the District of Columbia’s efforts to encourage microgrid development. GBCI and the National Association of State Energy Offices commit to co-sponsoring at least two regional webinars in 2016 to engage utility and state stakeholders on smart grid development using PEER – the first ever rating system for power system performance – to advance innovative, more flexible, and affordable grids. Developer, Manufacturer, and Investor Announcements Today, 17 leading developers, companies, manufacturers and investors are announcing new pilot projects, storage and smart meter deployment targets and investment commitments. Aclara commits to deploy 500,000 smart meters in partnership with utilities and customers with distributed solar by 2025 to provide data and communications infrastructure to enable the optimal grid integration of solar. Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) commits to deploy 500 MWh of advanced energy storage by 2020. AMS projects will provide advanced energy storage, demand side management software, and microgrid control technologies. AMS’s projects include the first fleet of hybrid-electric buildings, providing 60 MWh of reliable capacity to the distribution system, as well as power quality, voltage support and demand management services to ratepayers. DBL Partners commits to a goal of helping to create and grow at least three new significant energy storage companies over the next 7 years. Energy Impact Partners LP (EIP) commits to investing an aggregate amount of up to $30 million in the energy storage sector. EIP and its utility partners, Southern Company, National Grid and Xcel are also announcing the launch of a multi-utility working group to assess innovation and investment opportunities in the energy storage sector. EnerNOC commits to piloting Green Button Connect My Data by the end of 2016. This standard has the potential to automate data collection and facilitate the delivery of Energy Intelligence Software and demand response to a broader customer base. EnerNOC is also committing to leverage accessible smart meter data in order to scale its operations, optimize its demand response portfolio, facilitate the integration of renewable energy resources, and support efficient and reliable grid operations. Hannon Armstrong commits to invest up to $100 million in commercial scale, proven battery-based energy storage projects by 2017. Ice Energy announces the launch of a new ice-based home cooling system based on the company’s ice battery for commercial and industrial AC systems. Ice Energy’s home cooling system is intended to replace the conventional home AC compressor and can cool a home for 4 hours without using any electricity to create cooling, thereby removing AC load during peak hours and reducing peak demand. Invenergy commits to double its total deployment of advanced energy storage from 68 MW in 2015 to 136 MW by 2020. IPKeys commits to develop and co-fund a pilot for using smart meter data as measurement and verification inputs to various server and end point technologies certified by OpenADR 2.0, the U.S. Smart Grid standard supported by DOE and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Microsoft and Primus Power announce a pilot program to advance energy storage at Microsoft’s datacenters globally. The program will be carried out in collaboration with NRG Energy, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and battery technology providers including Primus Power. Microsoft's global operations purchase approximately 3,500 GWh of electricity per year, 100% of which is met with renewable energy. This new initiative will test storage technologies that use batteries to act as grid resources to improve reliability, energy efficiency and usability of renewable energy. Opower commits to leverage smart meter data to scale its behavioral demand response operations to 200,000 additional households and drive $1 million in additional customer benefits over the next year. These programs will enhance customer awareness around the importance of peak load management and support more efficient and reliable grid operations. RES Americas commits to deploying 450MW of new energy storage in wholesale and distributed markets for grid stabilization, utility infrastructure, renewables integration, and peak energy/load shifting applications by 2020. sonnen, Inc. commits to deploying 20,000 behind-the-meter, distributed commercial and residential energy storage systems in the next three years throughout the United States. Stem commits to deploy energy storage systems for up to 100 commercial facilities totaling 4 MW (16 MWh) in Northern California through an innovative new smart grid program by the end of 2017. These installations will automatically reduce energy bills for these buildings and provide flexible, on-demand energy to strengthen the overall distribution grid. Sunrun commits to expanding its home solar plus energy storage offering from Hawaii to three states within three years, with the goal of deploying storage plus solar in the majority of its systems within five years. UniEnergy Technologies (UET) commits to expanding tenfold the manufacturing capacity of its factory near Seattle, WA, from 10MW (40MWh) per year today to 100MW (400MWh) per year by 2020. Vaughn Thermal Corporation announces the introduction of a collaborative water heater leasing business model that can effectively remove the first-cost hurdle for homeowners and utilities. The business model provides immediate access to grid-enabled Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) water heaters through participation in a mutually-beneficial, utility-sponsored water heater leasing program. Instead of facing emergency 'out-of-pocket' replacement costs, the homeowner has the 'least cost' option of an affordable lease on a long-life, high-efficiency grid-enabled ETS water heater that can be controlled by the local electric utility for the purposes of load management, demand response, and renewable energy storage.