We’re increasing our carbon fee as we double down on sustainability

Since 2009, Microsoft has made and met a series of commitments to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. While we’ve made progress toward our goal of cutting our operational carbon emissions by 75 percent by 2030, the magnitude and speed of the world’s environmental changes have made it increasingly clear that we must do more. And we are taking new steps to do just that. Today, we are announcing that we will nearly double our internal carbon fee to $15 per metric ton on all carbon emissions.

Spotlight

OnForce Solar

OnForce Solar is a vertically integrated alternative energy company committed to providing its customers with the most intelligently designed, efficient, and cost effective energy systems available. OnForce Solar is the largest New York-based turnkey solar provider that owns and installs solar photovoltaic systems for residential, commercial, and utility scale projects. The company has been responsible for the sale, design, financial structure, and installation of hundreds of solar energy projects. Every solar system installation is designed to maximize energy potential while providing the highest possible return on investment.

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Solar+Storage

Indigenous lands can be ground zero for a wind energy boom

Article | June 14, 2022

It all started about four years ago, when SUVs and pickup trucks drove uninvited onto their lands, remembers Olimpia Palmar, a member of the Indigenous Wayúu peoples, who historically have occupied the La Guajira desert in northern Colombia and Venezuela. "We started seeing these arijunas [Wayuúunaiki for non-native peoples] wearing construction helmets and boots and vests, getting out of the cars, checking the desert, and then leaving," she recalls. Word soon began circulating across the Guajira Peninsula, from the rancherías — the community’s rural settlements — to the few urban centers: The arijunas were offering money to those who would let them plant tall, slim towers on their lands to measure the wind. On La Guajira’s dusty earth, where few things grow, towers began to sprout. By 2019, at least 30 wind-measuring towers had risen on Wayúu land, according to a report by Indepaz, a nonprofit research center.

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Strategy and Best Practices

How viable is Underground Hydrogen Storage?

Article | July 8, 2022

Cleaner energy resources are the dire need of the hour and this is a known fact. While scientists and experts across the planet are striving hard to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, our energy needs have never faced a downfall- thanks to rapid industrialization and urbanization. Although renewable resources like solar, wind, and hydro-electric power are the most popular alternatives, these are seasonal energy sources and the energy production from the same will not be similar all around the year. The fluctuations in production hence cannot always meet the energy demand of the population, and this makes the renewable energy sources not completely reliable. Solar Production v/s Demand of the same in a year What and How H2 is produced? Now, this is where Hydrogen- the first element of the periodic table comes to the spotlight with a solution. Being a gas, hydrogen fuel can very well cater to our energy needs and is produced from techniques including Thermochemical, Solar-Water splitting, electrolytic and biological processes. While the production of this cleaner energy source leaves a carbon footprint of about 830 million tonnes in the form of CO2 annually, the result being a zero-emission fuel is what makes H2’s future bright. Storage of H2 – the million-dollar question: Having almost cleared the need and methods of producing hydrogen fuel, we will be looking at an area that is usually not given much thought about and that is the storage of H2. As already mentioned, for time being let us consider hydrogen as an alternative to renewable resources which is utilized when the energy demand increases drastically. While producing the fuel in the nick of time is obviously undoable, sufficient storage of H2 anticipating the demand is the best choice. Like Natural Gas, Hydrogen is also compressed before storing to achieve lower volume and also because liquid hydrogen demands a 64% higher amount of energy for storage than its compressed gaseous counterpart. Storage tanks v/s Geological landforms: Compressed Hydrogen can be stored in surface storage vessels (like steel composite concrete vessels and in wind turbine towers) or in geological landforms like (salt caverns, depleted O&G reservoirs, and aquifers). Nevertheless, unlike the underground geological landforms which offer huge storage capacity owing to their sheer scale, the storage tanks which can range in size from a small bottle to a huge tank require high amounts of pressure to store an appreciable amount of H2 in it. Since these storage tanks are usually constructed on the surface, the pressure conditions in these tanks need to be artificially stimulated and thereby mount huge upfront costs when compared to their geological storage counterpart. H2 storage prices in Geological Landforms v/s Storage Vessels (in $/kg) The above is a table comparing the prices of Hydrogen storage in Geological landforms and Storage Vessels at different pressure conditions. It is visible from the table that it's about 218 times cheaper to store the same amount of hydrogen in Geological landforms than in storage vessels. Is geological storage truly a better option? Like any other storage option geological storage too has its pros and cons. From the erosion of pipelines to the tedious task of injecting the gas and maintaining it at apt pressure conditions, geological storage has its limitations. However, the important prerequisite is the availability of the suitable landform itself. While most of the Depleted O&G Reservoirs have already met all the requirements for a suitable Underground Hydrogen Storage (UHS) system, the presence of unrecoverable remnant fluids in it makes it both a boon and a bane. This is because the presence of remnant fluids like oil and gas satisfies the cushion gas need for efficient storage of H2 in the reservoir, chances of contamination of H2 by the same is also high. This is the reason why Aquifers too aren’t favorable underground landforms when it comes to hydrogen storage. Salt Caverns- the best UHS System? The problem of Hydrogen contamination in Depleted Oil & Gas reservoirs and aquifers leaves us to the next big suitable subsurface landform- salt caverns. Unlike the other two landforms, the problem of contamination can be prevented in these dome-like structures formed due to the upliftment of salt deposits and it is also found that about 98% of its storage efficiency can be used to store Hydrogen here. The reason behind its relatively expensive nature when compared to its other two counterparts is due to the process of salt removing or leaching that must be done before storing to ensure that the contamination of the gas is unheard of at least here. Suitable Conditions of UHS: As per Stefan Iglauer, the maximum amount of H2 can be stored at a depth of 1100m beneath the Earth’s surface and the capacity gradually decreases up until 3700 m depth beyond which the wettability of the gas increases as it percolates through the rocks and hence cannot be permanently immobilized. Conclusively it is found that suitable landforms formed at 1km depth can store up to 2.0 Mt of H2. Comparing this 2 MT storage capacity of Salt Caverns with the currently available storage tanks which can store about 800 kg of H2 in it, it is visible that geological landforms have a clear upper hand at least when it comes to storage capacity. Future of UHS: With demands for Hydrogen fuel estimated to grow at 5.48 % annually and the need for a suitable storage system of the same at 5.8% annually, the field of Underground Hydrogen Storage systems indeed has a bright scope. Moreover, to meet the large-scale needs of Industries, there is an imminent need to level up the storage capacity of H2 and by exploring suitable geological landforms across the globe, the estimated industrial need of 1200 kT/ year in 2050 can be met.

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Energy

Renewable Fuels Will Help Pave the Way to a 100% Renewable Energy

Article | July 15, 2022

The need to reduce carbon emissions is real. In 2018, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that global emissions would need to reach net-zero (or carbon-neutral) by 2050 to prevent severe climate change impacts. Electricity is a major contributor—electricity generation was responsible for approximately 33% of total CO2 emissions in the U.S. in 2018. Electric utilities stand to play a critical role in reducing carbon emissions. Many are up to the task of decarbonizing their operations and supplying carbon-free or carbon-neutral energy to their customers.

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Solar+Storage

Solar Panel Direction, Orientation and Tilt Factors

Article | May 25, 2021

For anyone who has owned solar panels in the past, or even many considering solar power installation in the near future, it’s generally understood that direction is important in this field. Specifically, the ability of solar panels to point south, where they will receive the maximum possible sunlight and therefore create the maximum amount of energy, is vital for many solar panel installations – but it’s important to realize that the simple direction of the panels is not the only important variable here. At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we’re happy to offer both commercial and residential solar panel installation services, including the utilization of the Tesla Powerwall battery backup. We assist our clients with every part of solar panel installation, including important directional and related themes that will play a role in how much sunlight your panels are able to soak up. Today we’ll focus on some of the important variables here, including why south-facing panels are the optimal approach plus several other basic factors to keep in mind when it comes to maximizing panel positioning and direction.

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Spotlight

OnForce Solar

OnForce Solar is a vertically integrated alternative energy company committed to providing its customers with the most intelligently designed, efficient, and cost effective energy systems available. OnForce Solar is the largest New York-based turnkey solar provider that owns and installs solar photovoltaic systems for residential, commercial, and utility scale projects. The company has been responsible for the sale, design, financial structure, and installation of hundreds of solar energy projects. Every solar system installation is designed to maximize energy potential while providing the highest possible return on investment.

Related News

Solar+Storage

Bidgely and GridX Partner to Optimize Electricity Costs for a Clean Energy Future

businesswire | August 02, 2023

Bidgely, the leading provider of AI-powered energy intelligence solutions, and GridX, the leading enterprise rate platform provider to modern utilities, have announced a partnership to deliver enhanced energy cost accuracy and control for utilities and their customers. By combining behind-the-meter consumption insights with highly accurate cost insights, utilities can implement grid management initiatives, such as cost-based load shifting and time-varying rates, that keep energy reliable and affordable for consumers. "Motivating consumers to make smarter energy decisions is paramount to achieving utility decarbonization goals,” said Chris Black, CEO of GridX. “Through our partnership with Bidgely, we are further reducing the mystery of how a consumer's energy choices correspond to their energy bills or grid impact. This results in a win for everyone. Customers get lower bills, utilities get more life out of their existing infrastructure, and customers and utilities are in sync in achieving their decarbonization goals.” Bidgely’s UtilityAI™ Platform, which provides hour-by-hour energy insights into customers’ usage patterns at the appliance level, combined with GridX’s industry-leading rate engine enables utilities to execute demand-side management strategies critical for supporting decarbonization and electrification goals. This integration enables utilities to: Improve rate analytics for tailoring new and existing plans to customer needs and utility objectives. Give customers rate comparisons that project the detailed impact to their bill across different rate options. Personalize cost simulations that inform customers on how potential changes impact future bills, for example: EV purchases, HVAC upgrades, solar PV and Time-of-Use enrollment. Deliver accurate appliance-level cost breakdowns across the bill cycle and hourly levels. Unlocking behind-the-meter cost savings opportunities also bolsters satisfaction and trust among utility customers. Through highly precise bill projections, rate comparisons and energy efficiency recommendations, consumers can understand how their individual usage affects bill statements and better control their energy costs. “Restructuring rate plans for better load shifting has become an imperative utility initiative, especially as electric vehicles, appliance electrification and weather-related grid strains become more prolific. By partnering with GridX, we are teaching consumers that when they use energy is as important as how much energy is used, and we are giving every kilowatt-hour consumed a dollar value to help drive simple and actionable behavioral changes,” said Abhay Gupta, CEO of Bidgely. About Bidgely Bidgely is an AI-powered SaaS Company accelerating a clean energy future by enabling energy companies and consumers to make data-driven energy-related decisions. Powered by our unique patented technology, Bidgely's UtilityAI™ Platform transforms multiple dimensions of customer data - such as energy consumption, demographic, and interactions - into deeply accurate and actionable consumer energy insights. We leverage these insights to empower each customer with personalized recommendations, tailored to their individual personality and lifestyle, usage attributes, behavioral patterns, purchase propensity, and beyond. From a Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and Grid Edge perspective, Bidgely is advancing smart meter innovation with data-driven solutions for solar PVs, EV detection, EV behavioral load shifting and managed charging, energy theft, short-term load forecasting, grid analytics, and TOU rate designs. Bidgely’s UtilityAI™ energy analytics provides deep visibility into generation, consumption for better peak load shaping and grid planning, and delivers targeted recommendations for new value-added products and services. With roots in Silicon Valley, Bidgely has over 17 energy patents, $75M+ in funding, retains 30+ data scientists, and brings a passion for AI to utilities serving residential and commercial customers around the world. About GridX, Inc GridX partners with utilities and energy suppliers to transform their businesses and accelerate the clean energy transition. The company’s Enterprise Rate Platform helps these organizations to develop new products and business models to achieve their clean energy goals; quickly operationalize new offerings in their billing and settlement processes; and better engage with their customers for broader program adoption. GridX’s platform is used by leading utilities, retail energy suppliers and energy ecosystem OEMs to serve more than 25 million homes and businesses.

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Energy

Nexamp Named #1 Community Solar Company by Solar Power World Magazine

prnewswire | July 31, 2023

Nexamp, a leading clean energy solutions provider, has been awarded the prestigious title of "#1 Community Solar Company" by Solar Power World magazine. This recognition highlights Nexamp's foundational commitment to advancing renewable energy accessibility, environmental stewardship, and community empowerment. Since its inception, Nexamp has set out to transform the way individuals, businesses, and communities access and utilize solar energy. By developing innovative solar projects nationwide, the company has consistently broken barriers and created opportunities for a greener future. The company's extensive portfolio of community solar installations stands as a testament to its vision of a cleaner, more sustainable grid. The Solar Power World list is developed each year to honor the work of solar companies in the United States. Solar firms in the utility, community solar, and residential markets are ranked by the number of kilowatts they installed in the previous year. Companies are grouped and listed by specific services, markets, and states. "Earning the top spot on this list is an honor," said Zaid Ashai, CEO of Nexamp, "and as always, it shows our commitment to our mission. With an industry-leading community solar program and our growing suite of decarbonization services, we are proud of the way we continue to revolutionize the grid by developing, building, owning, and operating the solar and storage solutions of tomorrow." 2023 so far has been one of the busiest in Nexamp's history, surpassing the company's previous single-year record for megawatts of new projects turned on in just the first two quarters. Since its founding in 2007, Nexamp has installed more than a gigawatt of solar capacity. "Renewable energy accounts for a quarter of U.S. electrical generation, now far exceeding electricity produced by burning coal," said Kelsey Misbrener, managing editor of Solar Power World. "Solar power is an important member of that renewable makeup, and companies on the Top Solar Contractors List are all contributing to our country's shift to cleaner electricity. We are honored to recognize them each year for their necessary work putting green kilowatts on roofs, over parking lots, in desert locations, and across water reservoirs. Every project is making a difference." The United States reported its strongest first-quarter ever in Q1 2023 for solar installed, and industry analysts expect the solar market to triple in size over the next five years. The industry will continue to lead the way in rebuilding our infrastructure to ensure a cleaner grid. AboutNexamp Nexamp is leading the transformation to the new energy economy with proven solutions for the deployment and operation of solar energy assets. Our comprehensive capabilities span the entire solar project lifecycle – from project development, design and construction, through financing, operations, and maintenance. Our integrated, best-in-class solutions make solar energy simple and profitable for our clients and partners and make an impact every day. With a rapidly expanding network of property owners, businesses, communities, and residents benefitting from our growing portfolio of solar assets across the US, Nexamp is laying the groundwork for a cleaner, more secure energy future.

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Solar+Storage

Silfab Solar Modules Secure Top Performance Ranking from RETC

businesswire | July 28, 2023

Silfab Solar, North America’s leading PV module manufacturer, has been recognized by the Renewable Energy Test Center (RETC) as a “high achiever” in module performance, the company announced today. The rating, given by an internationally recognized independent testing authority, continues Silfab’s year-over-year string of awards and rankings that place the company among the most trusted solar module manufacturer for residential and commercial applications. “Sustained power performance is the result of Silfab’s unwavering commitment to designing and manufacturing premium quality, North American-made solar products that remain a solid investment for long-term energy reliability,” said Paolo Maccario, Silfab President and CEO. “The latest RETC report is a reflection of our more than 40 years of solar experience and our commitment to delivering the best performing products with leading-edge designs from our North American facilities.” RETC’s PV Module Index Report (PVMI) summarizes 12 months of testing that measures a variety of module performance indicators simulating environmental conditions, such as high temperatures and strong winds, that a module might experience in the real world. In addition to lab testing, Silfab’s products have decades of proven results “in the field” with its panels delivering consistent power outputs across North America. Customer demand for Silfab products remains strong and the company continues to strategically increase production capacity. About Silfab Solar Inc. Silfab Solaris the North American leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-efficiency, premium quality PV modules. Silfab leverages more than 40 years of solar experience and best-in-class technologies to produce the highest- rated solar modules from facilities in the state of Washington and Toronto, Canada. Each facility features multiple automated production lines, an ISO 9001:2015-accredited Quality Management System, and just-in-time manufacturing to deliver Buy American approved PV modules specifically designed for and dedicated to the North American market.

Read More

Solar+Storage

Bidgely and GridX Partner to Optimize Electricity Costs for a Clean Energy Future

businesswire | August 02, 2023

Bidgely, the leading provider of AI-powered energy intelligence solutions, and GridX, the leading enterprise rate platform provider to modern utilities, have announced a partnership to deliver enhanced energy cost accuracy and control for utilities and their customers. By combining behind-the-meter consumption insights with highly accurate cost insights, utilities can implement grid management initiatives, such as cost-based load shifting and time-varying rates, that keep energy reliable and affordable for consumers. "Motivating consumers to make smarter energy decisions is paramount to achieving utility decarbonization goals,” said Chris Black, CEO of GridX. “Through our partnership with Bidgely, we are further reducing the mystery of how a consumer's energy choices correspond to their energy bills or grid impact. This results in a win for everyone. Customers get lower bills, utilities get more life out of their existing infrastructure, and customers and utilities are in sync in achieving their decarbonization goals.” Bidgely’s UtilityAI™ Platform, which provides hour-by-hour energy insights into customers’ usage patterns at the appliance level, combined with GridX’s industry-leading rate engine enables utilities to execute demand-side management strategies critical for supporting decarbonization and electrification goals. This integration enables utilities to: Improve rate analytics for tailoring new and existing plans to customer needs and utility objectives. Give customers rate comparisons that project the detailed impact to their bill across different rate options. Personalize cost simulations that inform customers on how potential changes impact future bills, for example: EV purchases, HVAC upgrades, solar PV and Time-of-Use enrollment. Deliver accurate appliance-level cost breakdowns across the bill cycle and hourly levels. Unlocking behind-the-meter cost savings opportunities also bolsters satisfaction and trust among utility customers. Through highly precise bill projections, rate comparisons and energy efficiency recommendations, consumers can understand how their individual usage affects bill statements and better control their energy costs. “Restructuring rate plans for better load shifting has become an imperative utility initiative, especially as electric vehicles, appliance electrification and weather-related grid strains become more prolific. By partnering with GridX, we are teaching consumers that when they use energy is as important as how much energy is used, and we are giving every kilowatt-hour consumed a dollar value to help drive simple and actionable behavioral changes,” said Abhay Gupta, CEO of Bidgely. About Bidgely Bidgely is an AI-powered SaaS Company accelerating a clean energy future by enabling energy companies and consumers to make data-driven energy-related decisions. Powered by our unique patented technology, Bidgely's UtilityAI™ Platform transforms multiple dimensions of customer data - such as energy consumption, demographic, and interactions - into deeply accurate and actionable consumer energy insights. We leverage these insights to empower each customer with personalized recommendations, tailored to their individual personality and lifestyle, usage attributes, behavioral patterns, purchase propensity, and beyond. From a Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and Grid Edge perspective, Bidgely is advancing smart meter innovation with data-driven solutions for solar PVs, EV detection, EV behavioral load shifting and managed charging, energy theft, short-term load forecasting, grid analytics, and TOU rate designs. Bidgely’s UtilityAI™ energy analytics provides deep visibility into generation, consumption for better peak load shaping and grid planning, and delivers targeted recommendations for new value-added products and services. With roots in Silicon Valley, Bidgely has over 17 energy patents, $75M+ in funding, retains 30+ data scientists, and brings a passion for AI to utilities serving residential and commercial customers around the world. About GridX, Inc GridX partners with utilities and energy suppliers to transform their businesses and accelerate the clean energy transition. The company’s Enterprise Rate Platform helps these organizations to develop new products and business models to achieve their clean energy goals; quickly operationalize new offerings in their billing and settlement processes; and better engage with their customers for broader program adoption. GridX’s platform is used by leading utilities, retail energy suppliers and energy ecosystem OEMs to serve more than 25 million homes and businesses.

Read More

Energy

Nexamp Named #1 Community Solar Company by Solar Power World Magazine

prnewswire | July 31, 2023

Nexamp, a leading clean energy solutions provider, has been awarded the prestigious title of "#1 Community Solar Company" by Solar Power World magazine. This recognition highlights Nexamp's foundational commitment to advancing renewable energy accessibility, environmental stewardship, and community empowerment. Since its inception, Nexamp has set out to transform the way individuals, businesses, and communities access and utilize solar energy. By developing innovative solar projects nationwide, the company has consistently broken barriers and created opportunities for a greener future. The company's extensive portfolio of community solar installations stands as a testament to its vision of a cleaner, more sustainable grid. The Solar Power World list is developed each year to honor the work of solar companies in the United States. Solar firms in the utility, community solar, and residential markets are ranked by the number of kilowatts they installed in the previous year. Companies are grouped and listed by specific services, markets, and states. "Earning the top spot on this list is an honor," said Zaid Ashai, CEO of Nexamp, "and as always, it shows our commitment to our mission. With an industry-leading community solar program and our growing suite of decarbonization services, we are proud of the way we continue to revolutionize the grid by developing, building, owning, and operating the solar and storage solutions of tomorrow." 2023 so far has been one of the busiest in Nexamp's history, surpassing the company's previous single-year record for megawatts of new projects turned on in just the first two quarters. Since its founding in 2007, Nexamp has installed more than a gigawatt of solar capacity. "Renewable energy accounts for a quarter of U.S. electrical generation, now far exceeding electricity produced by burning coal," said Kelsey Misbrener, managing editor of Solar Power World. "Solar power is an important member of that renewable makeup, and companies on the Top Solar Contractors List are all contributing to our country's shift to cleaner electricity. We are honored to recognize them each year for their necessary work putting green kilowatts on roofs, over parking lots, in desert locations, and across water reservoirs. Every project is making a difference." The United States reported its strongest first-quarter ever in Q1 2023 for solar installed, and industry analysts expect the solar market to triple in size over the next five years. The industry will continue to lead the way in rebuilding our infrastructure to ensure a cleaner grid. AboutNexamp Nexamp is leading the transformation to the new energy economy with proven solutions for the deployment and operation of solar energy assets. Our comprehensive capabilities span the entire solar project lifecycle – from project development, design and construction, through financing, operations, and maintenance. Our integrated, best-in-class solutions make solar energy simple and profitable for our clients and partners and make an impact every day. With a rapidly expanding network of property owners, businesses, communities, and residents benefitting from our growing portfolio of solar assets across the US, Nexamp is laying the groundwork for a cleaner, more secure energy future.

Read More

Solar+Storage

Silfab Solar Modules Secure Top Performance Ranking from RETC

businesswire | July 28, 2023

Silfab Solar, North America’s leading PV module manufacturer, has been recognized by the Renewable Energy Test Center (RETC) as a “high achiever” in module performance, the company announced today. The rating, given by an internationally recognized independent testing authority, continues Silfab’s year-over-year string of awards and rankings that place the company among the most trusted solar module manufacturer for residential and commercial applications. “Sustained power performance is the result of Silfab’s unwavering commitment to designing and manufacturing premium quality, North American-made solar products that remain a solid investment for long-term energy reliability,” said Paolo Maccario, Silfab President and CEO. “The latest RETC report is a reflection of our more than 40 years of solar experience and our commitment to delivering the best performing products with leading-edge designs from our North American facilities.” RETC’s PV Module Index Report (PVMI) summarizes 12 months of testing that measures a variety of module performance indicators simulating environmental conditions, such as high temperatures and strong winds, that a module might experience in the real world. In addition to lab testing, Silfab’s products have decades of proven results “in the field” with its panels delivering consistent power outputs across North America. Customer demand for Silfab products remains strong and the company continues to strategically increase production capacity. About Silfab Solar Inc. Silfab Solaris the North American leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-efficiency, premium quality PV modules. Silfab leverages more than 40 years of solar experience and best-in-class technologies to produce the highest- rated solar modules from facilities in the state of Washington and Toronto, Canada. Each facility features multiple automated production lines, an ISO 9001:2015-accredited Quality Management System, and just-in-time manufacturing to deliver Buy American approved PV modules specifically designed for and dedicated to the North American market.

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Events