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Fresh data, just off the oven, is smelling good. As much as 9,010 MW of new, ground-mounted solar power plants came into being on Indian soil in 2017-18, a record, and a shade higher than the target of 9,000 MW. Never mind the listlessness in the rooftop sub-segment (353 MW achieved against the...

Solar panels look impressive up on those roofs but how do they make a difference in our daily lives?

Well, for starters, if you live on a remote farmland, just a square metre of solar panel can help pump water for your farm and provide electricity for basic household needs such as lighting,...

Name of the Company: GEM Enviro Management Pvt Ltd

Set up in: 2013

Based in: New Delhi

Founders: Dinesh Pareekh and Sachin Sharma

Funding received: Self-funded. Plans to approach investors for scaling up

What it does: It helps convert India’s waste into resource. India generates over 9,00,000...

WILMINGTON, North Carolina—May 22, 2018—Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF) today announced that it has been awarded a long-term contract by Entergy Nuclear to continue to fuel its boiling water reactors.

The new fuel supply contract, valued at more than $250 million, runs from 2019 through 2031 and includes 10 reloads of GNF3. Entergy will be the first customer to take delivery of GNF3 in reload quantities.

“Entergy and GNF have a long successful history of working together, but it is the opportunity to support the Entergy Nuclear fleet’s bright future that makes us excited about this new agreement,” said Amir Vexler, CEO of GNF. “With this extended period of fuel reloads, we are pleased to be in a position to continue our long-standing relationship with our valued customer by fueling their BWRs for the next decade with GNF3, our newest, most advanced fuel product.”  

Based on advanced technology developed by GNF, the GNF3 fuel assembly is designed to offer customers improved fuel cycle economics, increased performance and flexibility in operation and further improve on the reliability of GNF’s previous product lines.

GNF3 lead use assemblies have been operating in several U.S. nuclear power plants, including four lead use assemblies in Entergy’s River Bend Nuclear Station in St. Francisville, Louisiana since 2015.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Global Nuclear Fuel to receive fuel for our nuclear reactors,” said John Elnitsky, senior vice president, Engineering and Technical Services, Entergy Nuclear. “Being able to use one of the newest, most advanced fuel products on the market fits well with our strategies for achieving excellence in fuel reliability and gaining efficiencies for our customers.”    

In 2019, Entergy’s River Bend nuclear facility will become the first plant in which GNF3 will be installed in reload quantities. GNF3 will be installed in reload quantities at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Port Gibson, Mississippi, in 2020. GNF has fueled Entergy’s Grand Gulf and River Bend reactors continuously since 2008.

GNF3 is fabricated with GNF’s latest technology at the company’s state-of-the-art facility in Wilmington, North Carolina.

-more-

About GNF

Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF) is a world-leading supplier of boiling water reactor fuel and fuel-related engineering services. GNF is a GE-led joint venture with Hitachi, Ltd. and operates primarily through Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas, LLC in Wilmington, N.C., and Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co., Ltd. in Kurihama, Japan.

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For more information, contact:

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Facility adds up to 1,180 MW to the national grid, enough power to meet the electricity needs of up to 2.4 million Pakistani homes

Lahore, Pakistan; May 21, 2018: Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Power (Private) Limited (QATPL), Harbin Electric International Company Limited (HEI) and GE Power (NYSE: GE) announced the completion of combined cycle commissioning activities and  the start of full-fledged commercial operations on May 20, 2018, 00:00 hours at the Bhikki Power Plant. The facility is now adding up to 1,180 megawatts (MW) of power to the national grid - the equivalent power needed to supply up to 2.4 million Pakistani homes.

The plant is owned by QATPL, HEI is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project, responsible for setting up the power plant and all commissioning activities and GE has supplied two advanced HA heavy-duty gas turbines, associated equipment and technical advisory services for the facility.

“We realize that the country’s energy needs are immediate and growing and have left no stone unturned in meeting these needs,” said Mr. Akhtar Hussain, Chief Operating Officer of QATPL. “Bhikki Power Plant is expected to run for up to 30 years and will help to power homes, villages, towns and cities across Pakistan. The selection of GE’s HA gas turbines, which have helped to deliver world record levels of combined cycle efficiency, will help ensure that the power generated at Bhikki is reliable, affordable and leaves a smaller environmental footprint than average, to the benefit of millions of Pakistanis.”

GE’s HA technology has now helped to deliver two world records - one for powering the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant, based on achieving 63.08 percent gross efficiency at Chubu Electric Nishi-Nagoya Power Plant Block-1 in Japan and another for helping EDF’s Bouchain Power Plant achieve 62.22 percent net combined cycle efficiency in France. Furthermore, the HA can ramp up or down quickly, while still meeting emissions requirements to help maintain grid stability. It thus offers an excellent flexible complement to renewable sources as Pakistan increases the proportion of solar and wind power in the energy mix, which is intermittent in nature and can fluctuate by time of day and season.  

Mr. Li Chao, Chief Operation Officer of HEI and General Director of 1st Power Division of HEI added, “The Bhikki Power Plant is a testament to our commitment to power Pakistan and fuel progress. Each stakeholder involved in this project went the extra mile to cooperate, promote and benefit from one another’s expertise to bring power online at an accelerated timeframe.”

Mr. Mohamad Ali, President & CEO of GE’s Gas Power Systems – Projects in the Middle East, Pakistan and India, added, “Uninterrupted, affordable power is a cornerstone of modern societies.  The successful completion of the Bhikki Power Plant will benefit communities, businesses and industries across Pakistan and lead the way in helping to secure the country’s energy future. We are honoured to support the government, our customer and the people of Pakistan in establishing this state-of-the-art facility.”

GE’s HA technology has completed off-grid, full-speed, full-load validation testing at extreme conditions well beyond those encountered while in service at the world’s largest, most thorough gas turbine test stand located at GE’s manufacturing facility in Greenville, South Carolina. The technology is the fastest growing fleet of heavy-duty gas turbines today, with more than 75 units ordered to date by over 25 customers across more than 15 countries, including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Pakistan, Japan, Bahrain, China, France and others. More than 20 units are already operational, clocking in over 100,000 operating hours.

“We are proud to bring GE’s industry-leading HA technology to Pakistan, which will help the country save billions of rupees over the life-cycle of the Bhikki Power Plant through better fuel utilization and greater economies of scale,” said Mr. Sarim Sheikh, President & CEO of GE Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. “I congratulate the Government of Punjab and all other stakeholders involved in bringing this critical project online.”

GE’s HA technology also equips the Haveli Bahadur Shah (HBS) and Balloki power plants. Together, HBS, Bhikki and Balloki power plants are a significant component of the government’s strategy to enhance access to electricity to over 90 percent of the population and are expected to add a total of up to 3,600 MW to Pakistan’s grid.

GE has supported the development of energy, transportation and healthcare infrastructure in Pakistan for more than 50 years. Today, GE-built technologies can generate the equivalent power needed to supply up to a quarter of the country’s electricity.

-ends-

Notes to Editor

About Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Power (Private) Limited (QATPL):

Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Power Private Limited (QATPL) is a wholly owned company of the Government of Punjab engaged in setting up the regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) Bhikki Power Plant to meet the energy demand in Pakistan.

About Harbin Electric International (HEI):

Harbin Electric International Company Limited (HEI) is an important member of the Harbin Electric Corporation, and is China’s leading large-scale enterprise in power project contracting and the export of power equipment. Established in 1983, HEI is primarily engaged in the engineering, procurement and construction of thermal, hydro and combined-cycle power plants, and the supply of complete sets of equipment; moreover, the company can be contracted to build large-scale transmission facilities and public utilities, and provides professional comprehensive after-sales service. Since 2014, HEI has expanded its business in power investment to help resolve a global shortage of electric power. http://www.china-hei.com

About GE:

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.ge.com

About GE Power:

GE Power is a world energy leader that provides technology, solutions and services across the entire energy value chain from the point of generation to consumption. We are transforming the electricity industry by uniting all the resources and scale of the world’s first Digital Industrial company. Our customers operate in more than 150 countries, and together we power more than a third of the world to illuminate cities, build economies and connect the world.

For more information, visit the company's website at www.gepower.com. Follow GE Power on Twitter @GE_Power and on LinkedIn at GE Power.

Country’s utilities and government regulators are focused on aggressive electrification, decentralization, and digitization efforts, report finds

A second structural impediment to fully realizing DER benefits is the current grid planning approach, which biases grid design toward traditional infrastructure rather than distributed alternatives, even if distributed solutions better meet grid needs. Outdated planning approaches rely on static assumptions about DER capabilities and focus primarily on mitigating potential DER integration challenges, rather than proactively harnessing these flexible assets.

Section II demonstrated how California could realize an additional $1.4 billion per year by 2020 in net benefits from the deployment of new DERs during the 2016-2020 timeframe. This state-wide methodology was then applied to the planned distribution capacity projects for California’s most recent GRC request, showing how the deployment of DERs in lieu of planned distribution capacity expansion projects in PG&E’s next rate case could save customers over $100 million. 

Motivated by the challenge faced in designing a grid appropriate to the 21st century, this report first focuses on determining the quantifiable net economic benefits that DERs can offer to society. The approach taken builds on existing avoided cost methodologies – which have already been applied to DERs by industry leaders – while introducing updated methods to hardto-quantify DER benefit categories that are excluded from traditional analyses. While the final net benefit calculation derived in this report is specific to California, the overall methodological advancements developed here are applicable across the U.S. Moreover, the ultimate conclusion from this analysis – that DERs offer a better alternative to many traditional infrastructure solutions in advancing the 21st century grid – should also hold true across the U.S., although the exact net benefits of DERs will vary across regions.

Designing the electric grid for the 21st century is one of today’s most important and exciting societal challenges. Regulators, legislators, utilities, and private industry are evaluating ways to both modernize the aging grid and decarbonize our electricity supply, while also enabling customer choice, increasing resiliency and reliability, and improving public safety, all at an affordable cost.

The share of renewables in overall power generation is rapidly increasing, both in developed and developing countries. Furthermore, many countries have ambitious targets to transform their power sector towards renewables. To achieve these objectives, the structure and operation of existing power grid infrastructures will need to be revisited as the share of renewable power generation increases.

Renewable energy technologies can be divided into two categories: dispatchable (i.e. biomass, concentrated solar power with storage, geothermal power and hydro) and non-dispatchable, also known as Variable Renewable Energy or VRE (i.e. ocean power, solar photovoltaics and wind). VRE has four characteristics that require specific measures to integrate these technologies into current power systems: 1) variability due to the temporal availability of resources; 2) uncertainty due to unexpected changes in resource availability; 3) location-specific properties due to the geographical availability of resources; and 4) low marginal costs since the resources are freely available.

A transition towards high shares of VRE requires a re-thinking of the design, operation and planning of future power systems from a technical and economic point of view. In such a system, supply and demand will be matched in a much more concerted and flexible way. From a technical perspective, VRE generation can be ideally combined with smart grid technologies, energy storage and more flexible generation technologies. From an economic perspective, the regulatory framework will need to be adjusted to account for the cost structure of VRE integration, to allow for new services and revenue channels, and to support new business models.

There are several technological options that can help to integrate VRE into the power system grid: system-friendly VREs, flexible generation, grid extension, smart grid technologies, and storage technologies. New advances in wind and solar PV technologies allow them to be used over a wider range of conditions and provide ancillary services like frequency and voltage control. Flexible generation requires changes in the energy mix to optimise production from both dispatchable and non-dispatchable resources. Smart grid technologies can act as an enabler for VRE integration, given their ability to reduce the variability in the system by allowing the integration of renewables into diverse electricity resources, including load control (e.g. Demand Side Management (DSM), Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), and enhancing the grid operation and therefore helping to efficiently manage the system’s variability by implementing advanced technologies (e.g. smart inverters, Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) and Fault Ride Through (FRT) capabilities).

Energy storage technologies can alleviate short-term variability (up to 2 Renewable Energy Integration in Power Grids | Technology Brief several hours), or longer-term variability through pumped-storage hydroelectricity, thermal energy storage or the conversion of electricity into hydrogen or gas.

Two immediate applications for deploying innovative technologies and operation modes for VRE integration are mini-grids and island systems. The high costs for power generation in these markets make VREs and grid integration technologies economically attractive since they can simultaneously improve the reliability, efficiency and performance of these power systems. This is, for example, the case of the Smart Grid demonstration project in Jeju Island, South Korea.

Furthermore, the right assessment and understanding of VRE integration costs are relevant for policy making and system planning. Any economic analysis of the transition towards renewables-based power systems should, therefore, consider all different cost components for VRE grid integration, such as grid costs (e.g. expansion and upgrading), capacity costs and balancing costs. Integration costs are due not only to the specific characteristics of VRE technologies but also to the power system and its adaptability to greater variability. Therefore, these costs should be carefully interpreted and not entirely attributed to VRE, especially when the system is not flexible enough to deal with variability (i.e. in the short-term).

Moreover, RE integration delivers broader benefits beyond purely economic ones, such as social and environmental benefits. Even though not straightforward, these externalities should be considered and quantified in order to integrate them into the decision-making process and maximise socio-economic benefits.

Due to the rapid technological progress and multiple grid integration options available, policy makers should build a framework for RE grid integration based on the current characteristic of the system, developing technological opportunities and long-term impacts and targets. In particular, policy makers should adopt a long-term vision for their transition towards renewables and set regulatory frameworks and market designs to foster both RE development and management of greater system variability. Such regulatory frameworks could include new markets for ancillary services and price signals for RE power generators that incentivise the reduction of integration costs.

Source: IEA-ETSAP and IRENA

They claim that earlier orders of KERC had made it clear there would be no change in transmission and wheeling charges till end-March 2018, and the new order breaches that promise.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, on May 15, notified the procedure for grant of connectivity to RE-based projects proposing to use the inter-state transmission system.

Power regulator Central Electricity Regulatory Commission approved the procedure for grant of connectivity through inter-state transmission system in its order on May 15, 2018.

The commission has issued detailed procedure for grant of long- and medium-term transmission access to renewable energy project that has acquired half of its land requirement and achieved financial closure.

Developers expressed fear that completed projects might not be able to start functioning because all ‘bays’ at the nearest substations are already occupied and transmission lines already carrying their full capacity.

The company said it has won a turnkey order of Rs 643 crore for construction of 765 kV D/C transmission lines in Tamil Nadu from the state's power transmission utility.

SHENZHEN, China, May 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- HTC Corporation ("HTC"), a pioneer in innovative, smart mobile and virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) technologies, today held its annual VIVE™ Ecosystem Conference (VEC2018), where it announced and demonstrated innovative advancements that show the converging of its smartphone and VR/AR businesses. The newly announced HTC U12+ flagship phone when combined with the VIVE FOCUS™ System Update 2.0 enabled seamless integration between mobile and immersive device. The event also announced a number of strategic partnerships across multiple industries. HTC is reinforcing its stated vision of Vive Reality by integrating the benefits of VR, AR, 5G and AI technologies into a new combined ecosystem, and welcoming partners from around the world to work together to realize it.

Vive Focus System Update 2.0 released

In the new System Update 2.0 released today, Vive Focus users are now able to receive messages, social notifications and take calls on their HTC smartphones without taking off their headset. This allows users to stay in touch with the outside world while immersed in VR. By updating its built-in Vive companion app, HTC U12+ users will be able to explore the first-hand experience of those integrated features, and the upgraded Vive companion app will be available in both HTC official app store and Tencent app store shortly, for all users to enable their HTC smartphones to connect with Vive Focus and PC based Vive devices.

To support the need for users to operate the device in moving vehicles, a new "Passenger Mode" is part of the system update optimized for seated VR experience or watch movies for up to four hours (originally three) without tracking constraints. With a double-click of the power button, users can activate the all new "Surroundings Mode", to browse the space around them without taking off the headset. In addition, this update enables the ability to install applications directly to their microSD card (up to 2TB), so users will never need to worry about running out of storage for their favorite applications. What's more, VIVEPORT™ M global account on the Vive Focus now supports payments from major credit cards, allowing users anywhere in the world to purchase premium applications for the device.

Moreover, HTC has empowered the Vive Focus standalone with a host of additional innovative coming features that will enable a superior user experience. HTC demonstrated multiple applications utilizing its light gesture recognition SDK for the Vive Focus giving developers the ability to bring both hands into VR applications. This gesture SDK will be released to registered Viveport developers in the coming weeks. Additionally, HTC teased the ability to upgrade Vive Focus' current 3 degree of freedom (3DoF) controller to behave like 6DoF controller without the needs for any additional hardware by leveraging the device's existing front facing cameras and its proprietary AI computer vision technology. Also highlighted in its preview video, was the ability to stream phone screen content from the HTC U12+ to the Vive Focus enabling millions of existing mobile applications, games and video content to be enjoyed on a super-size screen vs. a 6" one.

For Vive Focus users who want to access a richer library of premium VR applications at home, HTC demonstrated the ability for PC VR content from Viveport or Steam to wirelessly stream to the Vive Focus via a 5GHz Wi-Fi network. This is enabled by an optimized version of the Riftcat VRidge application that takes advantage of the higher resolution and refresh rate of the Vive Focus which can be downloaded on the Viveport M store today. Vive Focus users can now enjoy a library of hundreds of supported premium VR titles without any wires and without any special accessories. Users will be able to operate the PC VR applications interface either by using the standard Vive Focus controller or Xbox controller and third party controllers paired to the host PC.

"VEC2018 marks the beginning of a new chapter for HTC as we combine our heritage of innovation in the mobile sector with our industry leadership in the VR/AR field." said Alvin Wang Graylin, China President, HTC. "The breadth and depth of innovation demonstrated here today is a clear sign of our commitment to the industry and our many partners in building a new ecosystem around the Vive Reality pillars of VR, AR, AI and 5G. The new capabilities and experiences highlighted in the event today are solving some of the biggest concerns in the market about the VR/AR industry marking a clear step forward to increasing adoption to the masses."

Building a sustainable and expandable new ecosystem

Since the launch of the VIVE WAVE™ VR open platform last November where 12 hardware partners pledged support for the new platform, Vive Wave enabled devices have started to come to market. Among them, Pico, iQIYI and Skyworth endorsed Vive Wave by embedding it in their newly released and upcoming products. HTC is committed to uniting the fragmented mobile VR market in China and bringing even more high quality devices and content to all segments of the market.

Other than empowering the hardware market landscape, HTC is also making efforts in content developing to expand the new ecosystem. The Oasis Beta VR application currently available on Viveport is a scalable world with numerous exciting content inside. HTC disclosed it will soon be adding a full function "Avatar Creator" and "Social Area" enabling limitless possibilities to customize users' own avatars and added fun of going together to the Oasis to meet people from around the world. HTC is calling on developers around the globe to join "The Oasis Expansion" program and submit their applications for future inclusion in the world of Oasis Beta.

HTC's affiliate company, Vivedu, also showcased the potential for VR to improve education by launching its collaborative "Vive Focus Classroom". This integrated VR classroom solution supports up to a hundred simultaneous students in a shared VR classroom using the Vive Focus. The students can be located in the same physical space or join classes remotely. Virtual reality enhanced teaching combined with distanced learning enabled in a multi-user shared virtual environment can take the concept of immersive education to a new level.

Forming strategic partnerships to drive mass adoption for VR/AR

At VEC, a new partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB), the professional American baseball league, was announced onstage to kick off a series of collaborations in China, including the Baseball Park roadshow across more than 10 major cities and the "Perfect Pitch" reality TV show on the Tencent video network. Baseball has recently emerged to become a growing sport trend for post-millennials in China. MLB has found that VR helps both to increase popular interest for the sport amongst this audience and is a great training tool to help youth improve their skills.

"We are proud of this exciting new partnership with HTC that will bring virtual reality technology to two important MLB fan engagement initiatives in China," said Jim Small, MLB Vice President, Asia Pacific. "This cooperation provides MLB with important support to grow the game in China and it delivers an exciting new way for fans to enjoy MLB action."

To continue the sports theme, HTC also announced a long-term strategic partnership with the world-famous Formula One (F1) team McLaren, to jointly produce VR products and VR/AR content targeted at bringing a new level of spectatorship and participation to the enormous 500 million plus F1 fan base. The two companies will also work together on the world's first VR eSports competition linked to a real professional sport. HTC will be the official VR partner of McLaren's eSports competition, where McLaren will search the world for people who will ultimately become part of the McLaren racing team. China is one of the largest markets for McLaren car sales and is also the largest eSports market globally.

Zak Brown, Chief Executive of McLaren Racing, commented: "This is a tremendously exciting partnership for McLaren and HTC. Innovation sits at the heart of both our brands and our collaboration will enable F1 fans of today and tomorrow around the world to become more immersed and engaged in this incredible sport. As McLaren continues to develop its eSports program, HTC will help us build on and accelerate our early adoption of this platform."

Last but not least, HTC announced a partnership with Seagate, the world's leading storage solutions provider, to bring the world's first accessory device to provide both extra battery life and massive media storage designed for VR devices. The Seagate 'VR Power Drive' has been optimized to plug and play with the Vive Focus. It will allow users to bring thousands of hours of video or music, while nearly doubling the battery life of the Vive Focus. The device is also compatible with the U12+ and comes with easy to use backup software, so users won't have to worry about losing their data again. The device will ship in Q3 this year.

"We have been working together and committed to jointly developing solutions for VR devices since our partnership established. Today, we are delighted that we have devised the Seagate VR Power Drive, which is tailored to the Vive Focus, by applying Seagate's unique storage expertise to meet Vive Focus users' increasing needs for data." said Jim Murphy, executive vice president, worldwide sales & marketing, Seagate Technology. "In the years to come, we will continue to cooperate with HTC, and further optimize storage solutions according to the characteristics of VR applications to better meet the special data needs of the Vive products and bring Vive users the optimal experience at home or on the road."

Vive Focus System Update 2.0 can be downloaded on all Vive Focus devices today, and further updates are expected to release in Q3. The Vive Wave, Vive Focus  and Vive Pro SRWorks developer SDKs are all available for download on the Vive Developer website at vivedeveloper.com for all registered Viveport developers.

For videos and photos, please kindly visit: https://drive.google.com/open?id=13ms25qF2QKqbGhEQKUA1rHjxOimQrbej.

About HTC

HTC Corporation aims to bring brilliance to life. As a global innovator in smart mobile and virtual reality devices and technology, HTC has produced award-winning products and industry firsts since its inception in 1997, including the critically acclaimed HTC U and Desire lines of smartphones, and is now leading the VR industry with the Vive line of products. The pursuit of brilliance is at the heart of everything we do, inspiring best-in-class design and game-changing mobile and virtual reality experiences for consumers around the world. HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498). www.htc.com

About Vive

Vive, a subsidiary of HTC, is the creator of the unprecedented Vive PC-based virtual reality system, which was built and optimized for room-scale VR and true-to-life interactions. The Vive ecosystem has evolved around its premium VR product portfolio, supported by Vive X, the most active global VR/AR accelerator that has invested in over 80 start-ups, Viveport, a global content platform with the world's first VR subscription model that operates in more than 45 countries, and Vive Studios, Vive's VR content development and publishing initiative. Now with the Vive PC series including the Vive CE and the Vive Pro, as well as the Vive Focus standalone, Vive is delivering on the promise of VR with game-changing technology and best-in-class content, bringing VR to consumers, developers and enterprises alike. For more information on Vive, please visit www.vive.com.

© 2017 HTC Corporation. All rights reserved. HTC, HTC VIVE, VIVE are trademarks or registered trademarks of HTC Corporation. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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SOURCE HTC

Related Links

http://www.htc.com

SAN FRANCISCO, May 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- ForeFront Power and Los Altos School District (LASD) in California celebrated the completion of solar canopy systems across nine District schools today. The ceremony at Oak Avenue Elementary School also included Sunworks, the primary construction contractor, and TerraVerde Energy, the District's procurement consultant. The 1.4-megawatt (MW) portfolio is now delivering clean, renewable energy to the schools at a price below their grid rate.

LASD is receiving solar energy at no upfront cost and without the use of bond funds using a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) framework with ForeFront Power. Through a PPA, ForeFront Power is responsible for all project financing, engineering, construction, operations, and maintenance for a 20-year project term. As a result, the solar portfolio is expected to save the District over $175,000 annually and up to $2.7 million within the first ten years of operation.

"The Los Altos School District has a history of financial prudence and commitment to providing top-notch education for every single one of our students. The completion of this project immediately begins a cost savings that will contribute to quality education in all of our schools," said Superintendent, Jeff Baier.

Understanding the importance of a stable learning environment, ForeFront Power coordinated closely with LASD to construct and complete the systems during the school year with minimal impact to school activities.

"Not only were our projects successfully completed, but we also gained infrastructure for future electric vehicle charging and improved ADA compliance. The cost savings are crucial and a great benefit for our students and teachers," said LASD Chief Business Official Randy Kenyon. "The ForeFront Power team went above and beyond the original project scope."

ForeFront Power included Data Acquisition Systems (DAS) that integrate with online system performance monitoring software and flat screen televisions that were installed in the front office of each school. All schools will also receive free solar energy lesson plans and curricula through ForeFront Power's exclusive partnership with Schools Power. These lesson plans promote a technical understanding of solar energy as well as career and college readiness training to prepare the next generation of leaders for solar jobs.

"These projects highlight our desire to fully integrate solar energy into the learning environment at each school," said ForeFront Power Chief Strategy Officer, Daniel Taylor. "From shade on the playground to hands-on activities in the classroom, we hope students will understand the myriad impacts of on-site solar energy."

These nine solar projects are expected to offset the equivalent of 1,754 tons of carbon dioxide avoidance or 336 cars taken off the road for the first year of production – per the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

For more information about ForeFront Power and solar energy for schools, visit k12.forefrontpower.com.

About Los Altos School District

Los Altos School District operates seven elementary and two junior high schools and is a top-rated school district in the State of California. LASD serves more than 4,500 K-8 students from portions of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View and Palo Alto. All nine schools in LASD have been recognized as California Distinguished Schools and/or National Blue Ribbon Schools. LASD is nationally recognized as a leader in educational innovation and for its many awards. Read more about LASD programs at iLearn Blogspot and follow on Twitter @lasdk8.

About ForeFront Power

The ForeFront Power team has more than a decade of renewable industry experience, serving business, public sector, and wholesale power customers around the world. Our team has developed over 800 MW of capacity across more than 1,000 projects, targeted on assisting public sector agencies and C&I firms to deliver the most impactful behind-the-meter, off-site, and wholesale solutions. ForeFront Power is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., a global energy infrastructure and investment leader.

Forward Looking Statements

Matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements. When used in this press release, the words "anticipate", "estimate", "expect" and similar expressions identify such forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or achievements could differ from those contemplated, expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. These forward-looking statements are based largely on the expectations of the Company and are subject to various risks and uncertainties.

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SOURCE ForeFront Power

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. & TOPEKA, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP), which serves customers as KCP&L, and Westar Energy, Inc., (NYSE: WR) received final regulatory approval from the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) and Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) to combine. The stock-for-stock merger of equals creates a holding company of approximately $15 billion equity value, which will be named Evergy, Inc. (NYSE: EVRG). Its principal business will be conducted by the operating companies known today as Westar and KCP&L.

“As neighbors, KCP&L and Westar have served customers in Kansas and Missouri for more than 100 years. This merger allows us to be even more efficient as we continue providing excellent customer service while maintaining competitive prices,” said Terry Bassham, chairman and chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy, who will be president and CEO of Evergy. “We appreciate that regulators and shareholders recognize the value in combining the companies.”

The companies anticipate a closing date in early June, concluding a two-year effort to combine the two companies.

The utilities have guaranteed more than $100 million in customer bill credits with $29 million upfront for Missouri customers and $75 million for Kansas customers over the first five years after the merger closes. In addition, once currently pending rate reviews are resolved, the companies have agreed to fix their base rates for up to five years in Kansas as a result of the merger.

“Customers will benefit from bringing together two innovative teams of employees who are active in the communities we serve and take pride in providing excellent customer service. The increased scale and efficiency will deliver savings not possible without the merger,” Bassham said.

Introducing Evergy

The companies selected Evergy, Inc. (Evergy) as the name to represent their combined identity. Evergy is a blend of “ever” and “energy,” capturing the history of its predecessors as reliable, enduring sources of energy for the communities they serve and its vision to continue far into the future.

For the immediate future, the company will continue to serve its customers under the familiar Westar and KCP&L brand names. Contact information, billing and account information, program enrollment and outage reporting will remain the same for customers of KCP&L and Westar.

Financial strength

Evergy is expected to maintain a strong balance sheet and solid investment grade credit profile. In addition to customer benefits, merger efficiencies are expected to provide attractive total shareholder returns through earnings and dividend growth. The company expects to rebalance its capital structure by repurchasing about 60 million shares of its common stock over a two-year period. More information on the company’s plan to rebalance its capital structure will be provided on Evergy’s August earnings webcast.

Serving customers

The combined company will serve approximately 1.6 million customers, with a little under 1,000,000 in Kansas and 600,000 in Missouri. In addition, the combined company will own, operate and maintain more than 51,000 miles of distribution lines and 13,000 megawatts of generation.

With corporate headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., and operational headquarters in both Kansas City, Mo., and Topeka, Kan., Evergy will be the parent of Westar Energy and of KCP&L and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, which were previously part of Great Plains Energy.

Together, the company will employ about 5,000 employees across Kansas and Missouri. Company executives will be located in Topeka, Wichita, and Kansas City, and will continue to be engaged in these communities and throughout the combined service territory.

Affordable, clean energy

With its focus on renewables, Evergy will meet nearly half of the energy needs for the homes and businesses it serves with energy from zero-emission sources. Nearly one-third will come from renewable energy, making Evergy one of the largest wind energy providers in the nation. In addition, the company is developing more ways to support customers and communities with energy efficiency and additional renewable energy programs.

Continued community commitment

KCP&L and Westar have long-standing traditions of supporting the communities they serve. Evergy has committed to maintain that support. Employees currently serve on more than 300 community, charitable and volunteer boards. In addition, the companies and their employees donate more than 35,000 hours and millions of dollars to community and charitable organizations annually.

To learn more about the transaction, visit www.kcpl.com/westar or, after close, www.evergyinc.com.

About Great Plains Energy

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest. Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company use KCP&L as a brand name. More information about the companies is available on the internet at www.greatplainsenergy.com or www.kcpl.com.

About Westar Energy

Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is Kansas' largest electric utility. For more than a century, we have provided Kansans the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. Every day our team of professionals takes on projects to generate and deliver electricity, protect the environment and provide excellent service to our nearly 700,000 customers. Westar has 7,200 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by coal, uranium, natural gas, wind, sun and landfill gas. We are also a leader in electric transmission in Kansas. Our innovative customer service programs include mobile-enabled customer care, expanding use of smart meters and paving the way for electric vehicle adoption. Our employees live, volunteer and work in the communities we serve. For more information about Westar Energy, visit us on the Internet at http://www.WestarEnergy.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements made in this press release that are not based on historical facts are forward-looking, may involve risks and uncertainties, and are intended to be as of the date when made. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the anticipated merger transaction of Westar Energy, Inc. (Westar Energy) and Great Plains Energy Incorporated (Great Plains Energy), including those that relate to the expected financial and operational benefits of the merger to the companies and their shareholders (including cost savings, operational efficiencies and the impact of the anticipated merger on earnings per share), the expected timing of closing, the outcome of regulatory proceedings, cost estimates of capital projects, dividend growth, share repurchases, balance sheet and credit ratings, rebates to customers, employee issues and other matters affecting future operations. In connection with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Evergy, Inc. (Evergy), Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy are providing a number of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the provided forward-looking information. These important factors include: future economic conditions in regional, national and international markets and their effects on sales, prices and costs; prices and availability of electricity in regional and national wholesale markets; market perception of the energy industry, Evergy, Great Plains Energy, KCP&L, and Westar Energy; changes in business strategy, operations or development plans; the outcome of contract negotiations for goods and services; effects of current or proposed state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments, including, but not limited to, deregulation, re-regulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry; decisions of regulators regarding rates that the companies can charge for electricity; adverse changes in applicable laws, regulations, rules, principles or practices governing tax, accounting and environmental matters including, but not limited to, air and water quality; financial market conditions and performance including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates and credit spreads and in availability and cost of capital and the effects on derivatives and hedges, nuclear decommissioning trust and pension plan assets and costs; impairments of long-lived assets or goodwill; credit ratings; inflation rates; effectiveness of risk management policies and procedures and the ability of counterparties to satisfy their contractual commitments; impact of terrorist acts, including, but not limited to, cyber terrorism; ability to carry out marketing and sales plans; weather conditions including, but not limited to, weather-related damage and their effects on sales, prices and costs; cost, availability, quality and deliverability of fuel; the inherent uncertainties in estimating the effects of weather, economic conditions and other factors on customer consumption and financial results; ability to achieve generation goals and the occurrence and duration of planned and unplanned generation outages; delays in the anticipated in-service dates and cost increases of generation, transmission, distribution or other projects; the inherent risks associated with the ownership and operation of a nuclear facility including, but not limited to, environmental, health, safety, regulatory and financial risks; workforce risks, including, but not limited to, increased costs of retirement, health care and other benefits; the imposition of adverse conditions or costs in connection with obtaining regulatory approvals necessary to complete the anticipated merger; the risk that a condition to the closing of the anticipated merger may not be satisfied or that the anticipated merger may fail to close; the outcome of any legal proceedings, regulatory proceedings or enforcement matters that may be instituted relating to the anticipated merger; the costs incurred to consummate the anticipated merger; the possibility that the expected value creation from the anticipated merger will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; difficulties related to the integration of the two companies; the credit ratings of the combined company following the anticipated merger; disruption from the anticipated merger making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees, regulators or suppliers; the anticipated diversion of management time and attention on the anticipated merger; and other risks and uncertainties.

This list of factors is not all-inclusive because it is not possible to predict all factors. Additional risks and uncertainties are discussed in the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other materials that Great Plains Energy, Westar Energy and Evergy file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with the anticipated merger. Other risk factors are detailed from time to time in quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and annual reports on Form 10-K filed by Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy with the SEC. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of the particular statement. Evergy, Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

GLASTONBURY, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gemma Power Systems, LLC (GPS) has achieved Substantial Completion of the NTE Middletown Energy Center in Middletown, OH. Gemma constructed the state-of-the-art facility under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services contract with NTE Ohio LLC, an affiliate of NTE Energy.

Officials from Gemma joined NTE, state and local officials and representatives of major contractors on the project at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the facility on Monday, May 21. The Middletown Energy Center was certified for commercial operation and was dispatched to the grid on May 21.

The Ohio project is the sister project to the Kings Mountain Energy Center, also a 475 MW facility, located in Kings Mountain, NC. It is scheduled to be completed later this year.

“This achievement is a testament to the dedicated and talented women and men of Gemma Power Systems who worked tirelessly to deliver a complex project that exceeded all performance guarantees, while overcoming the challenges of a very tight schedule and the impact of severe weather,” said William F. Griffin, Jr., Gemma Chief Executive Officer.

“NTE Energy was a new customer for us and we appreciate the opportunity and confidence they showed in us,” Griffin said. “We congratulate NTE on the commercial operation of its first advanced technology combined cycle power project,” he said.

“We also thank the community of Middletown which was so welcoming to our company and our people,” Griffin said. “We strive to invest in the communities in which we work and live, and leave a lasting positive legacy after each project. Our support for the Atrium Medical Center Foundation’s Heal Program and completion of the hospital’s walking trail are tangible evidence of our commitment,” he said.

“The building trades’ skill and professionalism were integral to the safety and success of the Middletown project and the results of their efforts are on display throughout this facility,” Griffin said. Employees constructing the Middletown Energy Center also achieved 1.5 million safe work hours. The Middletown Energy Center project employed approximately 600 craft workers at the peak of construction and will employ approximately 25 permanent workers.

The project features an advanced Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas M501GAC combustion turbine generator, a Vogt Power International supplementary-fired heat recovery steam generator and a Toshiba America Energy Systems steam turbine generator.

About Gemma Power Systems

Gemma Power Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Argan Inc. (NYSE: AGX), is a leading Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) company providing innovative solutions for the power and renewable energy industry. Our wide-ranging and comprehensive experience includes 14,500 MW of installed capacity including combined cycle and simple cycle gas turbine generating plants, biomass, solar facilities, wind farms, biofuel plants and environmental facilities. Additional information about Gemma Power Systems can be found at www.gemmapower.com. Follow Gemma on LinkedIn and Twitter @gemma.

GLASTONBURY, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gemma Power Systems, LLC (GPS) has achieved Substantial Completion of the NTE Middletown Energy Center in Middletown, OH. Gemma constructed the state-of-the-art facility under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services contract with NTE Ohio LLC, an affiliate of NTE Energy.

Officials from Gemma joined NTE, state and local officials and representatives of major contractors on the project at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the facility on Monday, May 21. The Middletown Energy Center was certified for commercial operation and was dispatched to the grid on May 21.

The Ohio project is the sister project to the Kings Mountain Energy Center, also a 475 MW facility, located in Kings Mountain, NC. It is scheduled to be completed later this year.

“This achievement is a testament to the dedicated and talented women and men of Gemma Power Systems who worked tirelessly to deliver a complex project that exceeded all performance guarantees, while overcoming the challenges of a very tight schedule and the impact of severe weather,” said William F. Griffin, Jr., Gemma Chief Executive Officer.

“NTE Energy was a new customer for us and we appreciate the opportunity and confidence they showed in us,” Griffin said. “We congratulate NTE on the commercial operation of its first advanced technology combined cycle power project,” he said.

“We also thank the community of Middletown which was so welcoming to our company and our people,” Griffin said. “We strive to invest in the communities in which we work and live, and leave a lasting positive legacy after each project. Our support for the Atrium Medical Center Foundation’s Heal Program and completion of the hospital’s walking trail are tangible evidence of our commitment,” he said.

“The building trades’ skill and professionalism were integral to the safety and success of the Middletown project and the results of their efforts are on display throughout this facility,” Griffin said. Employees constructing the Middletown Energy Center also achieved 1.5 million safe work hours. The Middletown Energy Center project employed approximately 600 craft workers at the peak of construction and will employ approximately 25 permanent workers.

The project features an advanced Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas M501GAC combustion turbine generator, a Vogt Power International supplementary-fired heat recovery steam generator and a Toshiba America Energy Systems steam turbine generator.

About Gemma Power Systems

Gemma Power Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Argan Inc. (NYSE: AGX), is a leading Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) company providing innovative solutions for the power and renewable energy industry. Our wide-ranging and comprehensive experience includes 14,500 MW of installed capacity including combined cycle and simple cycle gas turbine generating plants, biomass, solar facilities, wind farms, biofuel plants and environmental facilities. Additional information about Gemma Power Systems can be found at www.gemmapower.com. Follow Gemma on LinkedIn and Twitter @gemma.

GLASTONBURY, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gemma Power Systems, LLC (GPS) has achieved Substantial Completion of the NTE Middletown Energy Center in Middletown, OH. Gemma constructed the state-of-the-art facility under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services contract with NTE Ohio LLC, an affiliate of NTE Energy.

Officials from Gemma joined NTE, state and local officials and representatives of major contractors on the project at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the facility on Monday, May 21. The Middletown Energy Center was certified for commercial operation and was dispatched to the grid on May 21.

The Ohio project is the sister project to the Kings Mountain Energy Center, also a 475 MW facility, located in Kings Mountain, NC. It is scheduled to be completed later this year.

“This achievement is a testament to the dedicated and talented women and men of Gemma Power Systems who worked tirelessly to deliver a complex project that exceeded all performance guarantees, while overcoming the challenges of a very tight schedule and the impact of severe weather,” said William F. Griffin, Jr., Gemma Chief Executive Officer.

“NTE Energy was a new customer for us and we appreciate the opportunity and confidence they showed in us,” Griffin said. “We congratulate NTE on the commercial operation of its first advanced technology combined cycle power project,” he said.

“We also thank the community of Middletown which was so welcoming to our company and our people,” Griffin said. “We strive to invest in the communities in which we work and live, and leave a lasting positive legacy after each project. Our support for the Atrium Medical Center Foundation’s Heal Program and completion of the hospital’s walking trail are tangible evidence of our commitment,” he said.

“The building trades’ skill and professionalism were integral to the safety and success of the Middletown project and the results of their efforts are on display throughout this facility,” Griffin said. Employees constructing the Middletown Energy Center also achieved 1.5 million safe work hours. The Middletown Energy Center project employed approximately 600 craft workers at the peak of construction and will employ approximately 25 permanent workers.

The project features an advanced Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas M501GAC combustion turbine generator, a Vogt Power International supplementary-fired heat recovery steam generator and a Toshiba America Energy Systems steam turbine generator.

About Gemma Power Systems

Gemma Power Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Argan Inc. (NYSE: AGX), is a leading Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) company providing innovative solutions for the power and renewable energy industry. Our wide-ranging and comprehensive experience includes 14,500 MW of installed capacity including combined cycle and simple cycle gas turbine generating plants, biomass, solar facilities, wind farms, biofuel plants and environmental facilities. Additional information about Gemma Power Systems can be found at www.gemmapower.com. Follow Gemma on LinkedIn and Twitter @gemma.

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WITHSTANDING HARSH OPERATING CONDITIONS

Hohhot Co., Ltd. operates a pump-storage plant (PSP) in Inner Mongolia, China, that supplements a wind farm and provides peak demand power, supplemental power capacity when production is reduced, and energy storage for stand-by emergency power and frequency regulation.

The operating conditions of the Hohhot PSP are harsh and required a specific design of pump turbines and motor-generators that includes:

Higher stability while operating over a large head range
Ability to withstand load and thermal cycles due to frequent starts and stops
Higher availability to cope with demand from the grid.


OBLIQUE ELEMENTS TO ENHANCE PERFORMANCE

GE installed four reversible, 306 MW Francis pump turbines and motor generator units at the PSP plant, and furnished technical and quality support for the unit equipment.

The motor generator’s upper bracket, rotor spider and stator frame were equipped with patented oblique elements that allow thermal expansion without moving parts, resulting in a maintenance free solution. Since this greatly reduces element fatigue and permits smaller clearances, the generators are more compact, efficient and reliable.

The maintenance-free oblique elements increase generator lifetime and—given their smaller foundation – decrease construction costs.

 

ACHIEVING DESIRED PARAMETERS

The PSP entered commercial operation in 2014 and the customer uses the plant to complement their wind farm production, as well as to provide the electrical network with power for peak demand, supplemental power for periods of reduced production, energy storage for emergency power stand-by and frequency regulation.

Courtesy GE Renewable Energy

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