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Vendor Neutral

Fortnightly Magazine - July 2012

of California at Berkeley , Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) was published in the journal Nature Materials . The study showed that commonly used industrial minerals called zeolites could significantly improve the energy efficiency of carbon capture technology.

Energy Services

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) selected EnerNOC as the commissioning authority in a seven-year contract. Through a master services agreement, which lasts through March 1, 2018, EnerNOC will work closely with building construction stakeholders to ensure the City of San Francisco’s new buildings operate efficiently. The first project under this agreement is San Francisco’s new Public Safety Building, a 300,000 square-foot LEED Gold facility set to open in 2014. As commissioning authority, EnerNOC will provide documented confirmation that building systems function according to specifications to satisfy the owner’s operational needs. This typically includes HVAC, building controls, water systems, lighting controls, and renewable energy sources. In some cases work will extend to building envelopes, wastewater, security, electrical distribution, emergency generators, AV, and telecom systems.

Entergy Arkansas selected Comverge to implement a pay-for-performance, demand response (DR) program. Comverge will provide 15 MW of DR capacity to Entergy Arkansas. Comverge’s contract includes customer acquisition, program management and event control, measurement, analysis, and optimization. The program will help Entergy Arkansas meet efficiency and demand management targets mandated by the Arkansas Public Service Commission.

Enterprise Software

Hydro-Quebec and OPAL-RT Technologies entered a strategic collaboration to commercialize Hypersim, a real-time digital simulation platform developed by Hydro-Quebec’s research institute, IREQ, and designed to improve power system performance and reliability. The simulator includes a graphical interface that enables the user to create customized models; a data acquisition and processing system to view and analyze simulation results; and a test-sequence programming function.

Transactions

Alliant Energy subsidiary Wisconsin Power & Light (WPL) exercised its option to purchase the Riverside Energy Center from Calpine for about $392 million. The 600-MW gas-fired combined-cycle facility in Beloit, Wisc., began operation in 2004. WPL currently has a 500-MW purchase power agreement with the Riverside plant. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved the purchase in April. Subject to federal approvals, the transaction is expected to close by year’s end.

Western Wind Energy executed a term sheet with Champlin/GEI Wind Holdings to acquire a 4,000-MW wind energy development portfolio, with projects in California, Hawaii, Utah, and other markets with strong renewable portfolio standards and pricing. Western Wind agreed to pay $20 million in stock to acquire the portfolio.

ABB completed its acquisition of Thomas & Betts . The acquisition expands ABB’s low-voltage products division in terms of geography and product lines. In North America, the combination will double ABB’s addressable market to about $24 billion, through Thomas & Betts’ network of 6,000 distributors and wholesalers. In Europe and Asia, distribution capabilities and coverage will be expanded through ABB’s channels. 

SolarBridge Technologies, which provides micro-inverter systems for solar modules, secured $25 million in Series D funding led by Shea Ventures, along with Battery Ventures, Rho Ventures, and Osage University Partners. The company has raised more than $71 million to date.