Why Picking an Established and Credible Solar Installer Matters

Why Picking an Established and Credible Solar Installer Matters
With the popularity of solar increasing across the country, the number of solar installers has been multiplying. Unfortunately, many fly-by-night companies with minimal installation experience or larger national firms with little market history are trying to capitalize on the industry’s growth. In addition, the sheer volume of installation partners that consumers have to choose from can result in a great deal of buyer confusion.

More choices, more issues

As the number of solar installers has gone up, so have complaints and issues related to providers and their service. Recently, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry reached terms with Empire Solar Group LLC’s trustees, a national solar installer that went bankrupt earlier this year, leaving 45 homeowners in Minnesota with projects in various levels of incompletion. Unfortunately, they’re not alone, as many other consumers have also fallen into precarious situations after companies using high-pressure sales tactics have been unable to deliver on the work. Michael Allen, CEO of All Energy Solar, says, “He’s angered that companies go out of business and face no fines.” Allen and other established industry leaders have done their best to help out customers caught in the middle of an installer’s bankruptcy issues, but there is only so much they can do. 

What protections do consumers have?

In some cases, states have put into place protections for consumers; for example, in Minnesota, consumers stranded with uncompleted projects can get access to the state’s Contractor Recovery Fund, which receives money from licensing fees to help offset these costs. But that is of little comfort for those trying to determine what partner to choose for their project.

The best bet

When picking a solar installation partner, your best bet is to avoid those with high-pressure sales tactics, “too-good-to-be-true” pricing, or ones with little to no installation experience. Don’t simply trust the sales rep, do a little of your own research to see what other customers are saying. Looking for a record of successfully completed projects and businesses with state and national certifications can be another way to confirm credibility.

Spotlight

Saipem

Saipem is a large and international turnkey contractor in the oil & gas industry. The Company enjoys a superior competitive position for the provision of EPC/EPCI services to the oil industry both onshore and offshore with a particular focus on the toughest and most technologically challenging projects and activities in remote areas. Saipem is a global contractor, with strong local presence in strategic and emerging areas such as West Africa, North Africa, Central Asia, Middle East, and South East Asia and it employs over 48,000 people, comprising more than 125 nationalities.

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Solar+Storage

Working From Home? Solar Might Be Perfect for You

Article | June 14, 2022

The pandemic emptied out most of America’s offices as workers across the country set up home workstations. Although this looked to be a temporary situation for many, it has become clear that many workers are choosing to continue to work from home, and many businesses are embracing this concept as well. If you’re one of those individuals, you may want to consider adding solar to your home. A shift in power usage According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, “Americans spent $6 billion more on at-home power consumption from April to July 2020 than during normal times, nearly offsetting a decline in business and industrial demand.” The increase in residential consumption was fueled by increased home heating and cooling demands, workers participating in virtual meetings, running computers, printers, lamps, and other electronic devices all day long. This has resulted in a shift in energy costs from corporations to employees, with many workers seeing significant increases in their home utility bills. Capitalizing on higher demand to maximize your system size Solar can be a great way to offset the costs of your home's energy demands. Because your consumption is currently higher than it would be if you were working at your company's office, you have the ability to install a system that will more than cover your electricity needs if and when you do return to a corporate office setting. Although your increased usage means you'll need to add a more extensive solar photovoltaic system to your home to do this, it also provides you with an opportunity to maximize your system's size to meet your needs. Incentives and savings The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. However, that number falls to 22 percent in 2023 and goes away in 2024 for residential projects, while commercial projects are reduced to 10 percent ongoing. The ITC applies to both residential and commercial systems and there is no cap to the size of the system the ITC can be applied to. Making plans now to invest in a solar PV system for your home can be a great way to continue to reap the rewards of working from home without it having a significant negative impact on your monthly utility bill.

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Energy

A Guide to Going Solar For Businesses

Article | July 16, 2022

Earth has become increasingly warmer every year with rising temperatures. The burning of fossil fuels in the past 150 years for electricity, heat, transportation, and any other human activity has increased greenhouse emissions. Other natural resources are also rapidly depleting, thus giving us a cause of worry. Several homeowners and mainly businesses are, therefore, turning to renewable energy sources to become self-sustainable and self-reliant. Costs of commercial electricity are rising day by day with no end in sight. By turning to green energy, businesses can reduce operational costs and reinvest that amount back into their businesses. If your business uses electricity for lighting, HAVC, computing, or production, opting solar for businesses will significantly reduce the cost. Installing these solar panels and combining them with an appropriate energy storage system, your business can save up to 20 to 25% energy and move towards energy independence. Eligibility for Going Solar One of the major factors to consider when going solar is whether it makes sense for your business to do so. Apart from this, going solar would be ideal for organizations that: Work in states like California, Hawaii, or any state that either has expensive energy or massive Federal incentives Have enough land, rooftops, or parking lots adjoining their businesses where the solar panels can Be set up Have prioritized sustainability Have massive energy demands Market themselves as an environmentally friendly business Reasons to Use Solar Power for Businesses Growing businesses opt for investing in commercial solar power mainly to aid in offsetting additional expenses. With the expansion of the business, electricity consumption will also increase. You can also time your roof repairs or new constructions to coincide with installing new solar panels. Transforming into a business that chooses to become carbon-neutral by utilizing solar energy will enhance your business image in the community. Implementing commercial solar panels cuts down your energy consumption and helps increase your savings. Excess energy generated by these solar panels can be stored with the help of off-grid batteries. Solar energy has a major drawback. Your company won't be powered at night or in severe weather conditions as solar only works during the day. Solar energy cannot handle the sudden power surges required to handle heavy machinery. Businesses are then forced to purchase and use commercial electricity to manage these spikes. However, these spikes can prove to be expensive. Merging photovoltaic systems with storage solutions can ease these spikes. This is vital during the "shoulder" hours when the sudden surge spikes can lead to demand charges. Benefits of Going Solar Reduction in Costs The single biggest advantage of going solar is a massive reduction in electricity bills. Locations where 'net metering' is available can become another source of revenue for your business as the excess power produced can be sold to your local utility. Businesses, and companies that rely on out of date energy sources like coal, could be paying 7 to 30 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), whereas those using solar energy were paying between 2 to 12 cents per kWh. The benefits of switching to solar depend on several factors- locations, industry, and business size. The most advantageous enterprises would be the ones who have built an appropriately sized system to cover all energy requirements and enough power to fall back on during peak consumption hours. Businesses can incur additional charges due to demand and delivery. Utility services apply these charges to recover costs of purchasing energy and maintaining power lines and energy lost in the transmission system. Moving power sources closer to your business will help you avoidsuch preventable expenses. There are possibilities of ascension in solar energy projects. You can start with a smaller set of solar panels that would contribute to your daily energy needs and build it over time. You can always sell the excess energy produced to your local utility provider as a source of additional revenue. Federal Tax Incentives As of 2021, the investment tax credit (ITC) allows businesses to deduct 22 percent of the cost of installing solar energy systems from their federal tax with no cap on its value. These businesses are eligible for the tax incentive as long as they have their energy system. I'f youdon't have enough tax liability to claim the credit that year, the outstanding credits would roll over to the next year, so long the tax credit is in effect. Durability Like every other power source, solar has its limitations too. The infrastructure that can consume excess solar power is not yet up to the mark. Since solar is tied to the grid, they are interdependent. If the grid fails, solar goes down too. Therefore, it is important to add a microgrid to the energy system. Adding a micro-grid detaches your business from the utility providers and makes it independent of their services. It makes your organization what is known as an 'energy island'. The existence of these energy islands only protects your enterprise from power cuts due to natural disasters or any physical or hacking attacks. Your energy islands may also provide electricity to your local community during emergencies. Sustainability Solar energy has a massive role to play in the future of sustainability and environmental protection. By converting your business into a solar-powered business, you ensure the protection of the environment and reduce your company's carbon footprint on the planet. Studies also indicate that using solar energy for a long time also reduces utility costs. You can then invest the saved amount back into your business to promote advancements and innovations. Being a solar-powered business could be an alluring prospect for your potential business partners. Environment-inclined customers tend to turn to prefer "responsibly green" businesses, and these businesses also appease local and state regulators, governments, and hedge funds. Lower Maintenance Cost Another major reason solar power is beneficial for your business is low to zero maintenance of the installed solar panels. Agencies that provide solar panels offer a warranty of 20 to 25 years on them. Since solar panels have fewer movable parts, the chances of these parts disintegrating or rusting are highly unlikely as opposed to technology that relies on movable parts. Thus, switching to solar energy would be the appropriate step to take for your business. Things to Keep in Mind when Switching to Solar When investing in solar energy, there are a few imperatives that businesses must follow. No matter the size, your business must be located where there is adequate sunlight, a roof strong enough to sustain the panels, and be inclined to reduce the cost of all operations. There are various simple 'do-it-'yourself' kits launched in the market to entice small business owners to try and build these solar systems themselves. However, it is essential to work with a solar provider when installing solar panels to get the best outcome—as in any industrial field, consulting with a solar power expert would help you optimize costs and gain maximum benefits. Points to Explore Before Going Solar Amount of Electricity Consumed There are two main points to ponder over; "enough for one day" and "future years to come”. You could either sell excess energy produced to your local electricity supplier, which would add to your savings, or it could be stored with the help of li-ion batteries and utilized in the time of little to no sunshine. Financing Solar Power for Businesses Commercial solar power providers offer multiple business plans that would be best suited to the scale of your business. You can choose the better alternative for your business depending on how much discretionary cash you have and your solar infrastructure size. The size of the infrastructure will also depend on whether you want to gain dramatic results in terms of cost-saving or opt for low-cost start-ups and gain a more extended return on investment. Some enterprises buy solar equipment with cash or loans. This method would give you tax credits and incentives, thus offering you a higher return on investment (ROI). Another direction you could choose is going into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with a solar energy provider and purchasing electricity from them at a lesser commercial cost. In a PPA, the developer looks after designing, permissions, financing, and installing the system for a meager amount. Details of your precise business requirements are vital to analyze the cost and time of ROI of the solar energy system. It would depend on the place you are at and the size of your system. To get these exact details, hire the best solar energy consultant for your exact needs. Important Steps to Remember Step 1: Outline your goals for a stable, sustainable, and financially sound future. Make sure that going solar is beneficial for your business. Calculate whether your region's utility costs are higher and hurt your business financially; whether there is ample storage space around your business to keep all the equipment. And whether adopting a green profile improves your goodwill in your local community. Step 2: Collect data on your electricity usage of at least one year to analyze the operating cost, energy spikes, and consumption patterns. Calculating business losses will aid in understanding the need to switch to solar energy. Step 3: Tie up with a commercial solar specialist when making the switch to solar energy. Often, customers fail to recognize the importance of this step. Avoid contractors who set up solar panels as a side business as they would not understand the intricacies of the job. Check all the references before you partner up with a specialist. Step 4: Last thing to keep in mind is thatgetting a solutions provider would make things easier for you. The provider will take care of everything- designing the system, finances, grid connection, and system maintenance. Ensure that you have a provider with sound support and has a portfolio of proven experience in solar infrastructure per your business needs. Frequently Asked Questions How much does solar cost? Ten years ago, the cost of a residential solar system was upwards of $50,000 for an average of 6 kilowatt-hour. Now, with a 62% average annual decrease, it ranges anywhere between $16,200 to $21,000. How does commercial solar work? Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) panels in a grid-like pattern that captures sunlight and converts it into electricity. The PV cells are made up of silicon with a positive and negative field that creates an electric field. Are commercial solar panels worth it? Commercial solar panels have a lifespan of 25-30 years. Although solar panels cost a lot initially, over the years, utility cost of your business will go down. There are also tax credits and incentives that the government offers when installing solar panels. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How much does solar cost?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Ten years ago, the cost of a residential solar system was upwards of $50,000 for an average of 6 kilowatt-hour. Now, with a 62% average annual decrease, it ranges anywhere between $16,200 to $21,000." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How does commercial solar work?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) panels in a grid-like pattern that captures sunlight and converts it into electricity. The PV cells are made up of silicon with a positive and negative field that creates an electric field." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Are commercial solar panels worth it?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Commercial solar panels have a lifespan of 25-30 years. Although solar panels cost a lot initially, over the years, utility cost of your business will go down. There are also tax credits and incentives that the government offers when installing solar panels." } }] }

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Energy, Industry Updates

Building a Clean and Green Smart Grid

Article | July 29, 2022

The evolution of smart grid and the transformation in the power sector? The concept of a Smart Grid has taken centre stage with an evolution of Solar, Wind energy sources, advanced technologies such as AI/ML , Energy storage , introduction of Electric vehicles, sensors that transmit real time data all of which make a smarter, more efficient electrical power grid possible. In contrast the Existing grid is facing some complex challenges that include integrating renewable energy, Cyber security, high losses, unable to support large Electric vehicle penetration and empowering consumers to become power producers. It is time for India to make this paradigm shift that touches right from Generation, Transmission, Distribution and consumption. So, the first step would be the installation of smart meters and Advanced Metering infrastructure which is a key component of the smart grid. The roll out of smart meters has already started and integrating other pieces into this smart meter value chain and other building blocks. This new metering system enables two-way flow of information between consumers and utilities and improve the overall grid operations, cost efficient and support large scale penetration of Electric vehicles. A major transformation is underway and utilities need to develop their roadmap for creating a modern Smart Grid. Solar is seeing low tariffs and what one can interpret from these solar tariff trends? In the last one year, more than 10GW worth of solar projects are auctioned and tariffs discovered are between Rs2 to Rs 2.5. These low tariffs are result of many factors that include aggressive bidding, entry of foreign players, and expectation that module prices will further fall. Also this Covid pandemic has shrink the economy, thus there are fewer tenders from the govt. with more developers chasing fewer tenders to stay in the race. These low prices put enormous pressure on EPC companies and Module suppliers to deliver at these rock bottom prices. These bids take into account the low prices of Chinese imports, now with BCD (Basic custom duty) in force from April 2022 it will be challenging for power producers to continue executing projects at such low prices. Another concern is the delay in signing PPA’s (Power purchase agreements) by Discoms. PPA’s once signed are valid for the entire term of PPA which is usually 25 years. But given the tender tariffs falling every few months, Discoms prefer to wait and delay the signing or renegotiate the existing PPA, dampening the investor confidence and threatening the viability of the Projects. In these circumstances the role of regulatory oversight increases to protect the interests of all the stakeholders. However, in the coming years technology improvements with addition of energy storage and better forecasting techniques, Solar would become the major source and also the cheapest source. So sunny days ahead of solar. The decentralized solar and innovative business models and financing? In the current system of centralized power system, a large power plant produces power, transmits, and distributes it among industries and homes. This process is inefficient as some of the electricity is lost in transmission and distribution. A De-centralized solar is more efficient to generate and consume power locally. It also helps create small businesses and technicians to build and maintain these solar plants. Also as Solar and battery systems increase and become more economical Peer to Peer energy trading is possible where consumers become prosumers (both producers and consumers) and sell their excess power to their peers. This next generation Energy Management and Peer-to-Peer Energy trading facilitates buy and sell orders just like share trading stock exchange. The Energy trading platform maps the buyers and sellers as per their bids and settles the trades. By introducing Block chain technology for energy trading further reduces the transaction costs. The possible business models would be Community based Solar plants where rooftops and open spaces could be used to generate power and trade. All of this result in less losses and brings the much needed dynamism in the distribution of energy. Role of AI and data analytics in the energy sector? The Power sector generates large amounts of data from various nodes on the grid and unfortunately most of this data go unanalysed due to lack of infrastructure and domain expertise. But now with the maturity in data management systems and two-way communication enabling real time data from various components of the grid giving latest and integrated snapshot of the entire power system, it is possible through the application of AI to provide services such as Fault detection, Predictive maintenance, Power quality Monitoring, and Renewable energy forecasting. Many discoms are plagued by theft of power and Cyberattacks. The recent Cyber attack on Maharashtra power grid is an example that caused massive power outage in Mumbai last October plunging the city into darkness. By using the power of AI/ML, algorithms can be trained to detect any attack based on certain attributes. As soon as the attack is detected an alert is sent to the security engineers to bring the system to safety mode. In addition, Smart meters with pre-paid mechanism are expected to be deployed for remote meter reading and accurate billing thus preventing revenue loss. AI/ML has the potential to cut energy waste, lower energy costs, and bring more operation efficiencies for the utilities. Strategies in EV charging and integration with smart grid? EV’s are promising solution to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the cost of transportation and improving the health of citizens. The emerging business models are Public charging stations, third party owned operated charging station, and owner operated charging station. However, the ground reality is far fewer EV’s are running on road due to higher cost, Range anxiety, and long charging times. So, there is need to work closely with all the stakeholders right from utilities, Regulatory bodies, Car manufacturers, charging station operators to expedite the process of EV related infrastructure and incentivize customers to adapt to EV’s rather than convention vehicles. In your question you asked about integration with smart grid and this is a term that captures the shift from basic to smart charging. A smart grid is key to smart EV charging as large number of EV charging at same time can degrade grid performance causing voltage and frequency fluctuations and cause peak power demand or sudden drop in demand. With smart grid in place it is possible to do load balancing, adjust charging patterns and avoid peaking of power. Also one more challenge is there are 3 competing standards and India should define its own standards and enable charging of any vehicle at any charging station. This interoperability is possible by developing standards for front–end and back-end communication and signalling process between Electric vehicles and charging stations and the grid that supplies the power. Smart grid is essential for large deployments of EV’s. Investment opportunities and job creation in this transformation to clean power? Covid has changed the entire investment paradigm and made all of us Environmentally conscious. This is wake up call to prioritize a more sustainable approach to investment in companies that are high on Environmental, Social and Governance score. The recent momentum in ESG investment with more than 3,300 ESG funds is an indication that businesses that demonstrate business ethics, transparency, Sustainability benefit companies and investors and attract best talent too. The spectacular rise of share price of Tesla is a clear message from investors on clean energy and EV transportation. As the world is getting serious India has a catching up to do from the findings of Refinitiv on ESG. As Asset managers, Pension funds, Oil and Gas companies evaluate their exposure to fossil based energy sources and switch towards clean energy this is going to create new Green jobs. These new Green jobs range from retrofitting homes with solar panels, providing home based charging stations, energy efficient appliances, Solid waste mgmt, e-waste mgmt. Similarly, Smart cities, Green buildings, greening of enterprises can be achieved by training the work force on these new concepts and driving investments towards job creation and sustainability. In summary, power sector is in for a major transformation and utilities, industries need to tap the right talent to deal with this disruption and reap immense benefits.

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Energy, Industry Updates

Energy Management: An Energy Strategy for the C-Suite

Article | July 29, 2022

Every year, large corporations spend millions, if not billions, of dollars on energy—and millions more on supply chain, outsourcing, and logistical expenditures. Outside of the most energy-intensive sectors, however, the majority of businesses regard energy as just a cost to be managed. This is a strategic error that misses out on the significant potential to decrease risk, boost resilience, and generate new value. Today, energy is moving up the corporate agenda as a result of broad environmental, social, and economic developments, such as climate change and global carbon regulation, growing demands on natural resources, increased standards for corporate environmental performance, advances in energy technology and business models, and dropping costs for renewable energy sources. These major trends alter the environment in which businesses operate, exposing them to new risks and value-generating opportunities. PWC surveyed major commercial and industrial enterprises based in the United States and discovered that 72% are actively exploring new renewable energy acquisitions in order to decrease emissions (85%), produce an attractive ROI (76%), and mitigate the risks related to energy price volatility (59%). Corporate energy is a focus. Organizations in all sectors—and particularly those with large energy footprints—are encouraged to implement a C-suite strategy for energy management developed around the key points mentioned below. Make Energy Management a C-Suite Priority. If energy is to get the attention it requires in order to have an effect, its significance must be conveyed from the top down. This will require the CEO to designate energy management as one of the company's top objectives and delegate strategy development and implementation to the COO, CFO, or other executives. Embrace Renewable Energy Technologies Technology advancements, coupled with government incentives, have driven down the cost of sustainable energy. LED lighting, solar energy, wind energy, and the batteries that enable intermittent renewables, for example, have all come down in price in recent years, making these technologies more economical than before. This is significant since alternative energy solutions can provide enormous advantages to businesses, such as preparing them for future requirements, enabling them to continue operations in the case of a power loss, and strengthening their image as an environmentally conscientious brand (for CRE, this. As a result, every business energy management plan should contain a directive to adopt renewable and alternative energies at every opportunity. Strategize Using Risk and Opportunity The risk and opportunity factors connected to its sourcing and consumption should serve as the foundation for the company's energy management strategy. This calls for a comprehensive grasp of the company's present energy costs and the potential benefits of change. Therefore, while creating an energy management plan, businesses should think about how they can: Calculate and cut down on variable energy bills. Energy costs should be adjusted to improve the value and reduce expenses. Increase the amount of renewable energy they utilize. Reduce their carbon footprint. Select suppliers that exhibit a dedication to eco-friendly operations. Integrate energy strategy into the organization's goals and daily activities. Make a public strategy to achieve strict emission and energy use goals. Closing Lines Competitive edge drivers are constantly evolving. Not a long time ago, "quality" was a fringe philosophy, and IT was just a cost center. Quality is no longer optional, and understanding big data is essential. Energy is taking a similar path. What was previously buried deep inside procurement is now emerging to take its position among the fundamental drivers of corporate success.

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Spotlight

Saipem

Saipem is a large and international turnkey contractor in the oil & gas industry. The Company enjoys a superior competitive position for the provision of EPC/EPCI services to the oil industry both onshore and offshore with a particular focus on the toughest and most technologically challenging projects and activities in remote areas. Saipem is a global contractor, with strong local presence in strategic and emerging areas such as West Africa, North Africa, Central Asia, Middle East, and South East Asia and it employs over 48,000 people, comprising more than 125 nationalities.

Related News

Energy

Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure (GSI)-Led Joint Initiative with Ocean Man First Nation to Build One of the Largest Solar Projects in Canada

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure LLC (GSI), one of the renewable energy subsidiaries of Libra Group, announced that Iyuhána Solar (Iyuhána), a GSI-led partnership with Saturn Power Inc. and Ocean Man First Nation, has been awarded a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to construct and operate a 100-megawatt (MWac) utility-scale solar facility in Saskatchewan, Canada. Developed in partnership with Ocean Man First Nation, the project will be one of Canada's top 10 solar facilities by size. Under an exclusive PPA, the largest with a utility in Canada since 2015, Iyuhána plans to invest approximately $200 million (CDN) to construct the solar facility, which it will operate, supplying generated power to the principal municipal utility company, SaskPower, for 25 years. Located in the Rural Municipality of Estevan in southeast Saskatchewan, this emissions-free solar facility will produce enough power for the equivalent of approximately 25,000 homes. "We are proud to bring the transformative power of solar energy to Saskatchewan by working with partners such as Ocean Man First Nation," said Mazen Turk, CEO of GSI. "This unique collaboration shows the power of renewable energy to harness resources and empower communities responsibly. This work is core to our ethos as a Libra company, and we look forward to continuing to help support a clean energy future across Canada and beyond." As a founding partner, Ocean Man First Nation will have an ownership stake in Iyuhána Solar. Band members will also receive specialized training to maintain the solar facilities and employment opportunities with the project. Additionally, partnering with two of Saskatchewan's leading post-secondary academic institutions, Iyuhána will provide scholarships, internships, and direct research projects in clean energy to benefit the community. "Our partnership with GSI and SaskPower will bring great opportunities for Ocean Man First Nation, including employment and revenue that will provide stability and sustainability for our Band," said Chief Connie Big Eagle, Ocean Man First Nation. "We are proud that this project, which is able to generate clean power, will be known as Iyuhána Solar, which, in Nakotah translates to 'everyone' or 'all of us.' This is derived from our Nakotah belief that everyone and everything is related and therefore we must care for each other." While investment in renewable energy grows across Canada, Saskatchewan's clean power supply mix has predominantly consisted of hydro and wind. This is the first of many planned solar projects in the province; by 2035, SaskPower plans to support approximately 3000 MW of new renewable energy capacity in the region. "This new solar facility will play an important role in our path to net-zero by 2050 or sooner," said Rupen Pandya, SaskPower President and CEO. "We are proud of our ongoing collaboration with Indigenous peoples and the critical role they are playing in the successful expansion of renewable energy in our province." GSI is one of four renewable energy subsidiaries of Libra Group, a privately owned, global business group that encompasses 20 businesses in six sectors, including renewable energy, maritime, aerospace and more. The Group's renewable energy portfolio encompasses approximately 3.5 gigawatts (GW) of projects owned, developed, or pending development in 10 countries, including solar, wind, battery storage, and waste-to energy projects. This is the second partnership with an indigenous community led by a Libra Group subsidiary. "Libra Group is proud of this novel partnership, which has come together through shared values and a commitment to driving economic growth and positive outcomes for communities," said Libra Group's CEO Manos Kouligkas. "Sustainability is core to our global business, and we look forward to continuing to leverage synergies across our six sectors in 60 countries with agility and impact." Last year, GSI acquired Saturn Power Inc.'s solar and battery development portfolios, including its team of seasoned developers and an approximate 1.4-gigawatt (GW) pipeline of early- to late-stage solar and energy storage projects. Today, GSI has a footprint across Canada and in 12 U.S. states. About Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure (GSI) is one of the clean energy subsidiaries of Libra Group. GSI is a renewable energy company focused on the development, construction, and operation of distributed generation and utility-scale solar energy and battery storage projects in North America. As of January 2024, the company developed approximately 388 MW DC across 71 renewable energy projects, many of which are still owned or operated by GSI and have an additional project pipeline of 1.6 GW. GSI's seasoned team has a proven track record of investing in power assets and partnering with multiple top-tiered investors. For more information on Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure (GSI), visit: http://www.greenwoodinfra.com/ About Ocean Man First Nation The Ocean Man First Nation is a Nakota, Cree, and Saulteaux Band Government in southeast Saskatchewan. OMFN is led by Chief Connie Big Eagle & Council and features a population of 565 members. Ocean Man First Nation created a renewable energy company in 2019 called Second Wind Power. The name Second Wind Power reflects Ocean Man First Nation's history of relocating, re-establishing and starting over as a new community since 1989. About Libra Group Libra Group is a privately owned, global business group encompassing 20 businesses predominately focused on aerospace, renewable energy, maritime, real estate, hospitality, and diversified investments. With assets and operations in nearly 60 countries, the Group applies the strength of its global network and capabilities to deliver cross-sector insights and growth at scale.

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Energy

ACE Green completes successful handover of emissions-free lead recycling facility to ACME

PR Newswire | January 16, 2024

ACE Green Recycling (ACE) has successfully delivered the first of three phases of its proprietary zero-emissions modular lead battery recycling technology to ACME Metal Enterprise's facility in Keelung City, Taiwan. As part of the agreement, ACE will provide equipment and proprietary chemicals to enable ACME to produce "GreenLead™" in a safe, sustainable and economical way. This marks the second successful deployment of ACE's pioneering lead battery recycling technology. ACME is Taiwan's leading lead recycler, with over 40 years of successful operation. Through its partnership with ACE, ACME will become one of the largest producers of emissions-free lead, with a capacity to recycle 20,000 metric tonnes per year of lead batteries to produce about 12,000 metric tonnes of environmentally friendly "GreenLead™", generating nearly USD 24 million in annual revenue for the Taiwanese company. Of the deal, Linus P. Lu, Managing Director of ACME, said: "We are excited and pleased to have successfully completed the installation of ACE's lead battery recycling technology at our facility. This marks an important milestone for ACME as we build our capacity to provide sustainable lead recycling capabilities – not just for our company but for the entire lead battery ecosystem as well." Lead batteries are a key element in the automotive and telecoms industries, while also playing a crucial role in the energy transition for renewable power storage. Traditionally, lead batteries are recycled via a smelting process which involves operating temperatures of over 1,000°C, producing significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, plus toxic solid waste that must go to landfill. ACE's room temperature recycling technology replaces the smelting furnace, is electrically powered, has zero Scope 1 GHG emissions and reduces solid waste by over 85%. The process will greatly enhance ACME's profitability and minimize their operator and environmental risks. Phase I of the agreement for 2,400 metric tons per annum was successfully handed over to ACME in December 2023, with Phases II and III to increase annual capacity to around 20,000 metric tonnes, which will proceed later this year. During the 10-year contractual duration of 10 years, these facilities will enable the recycling of over 14 million scrap batteries. This will prevent the emission of nearly 120 million kilograms of CO2e, stop 18 million kilograms of solid waste from going into landfill and enable recycling of more than 14 million kilograms of plastics, while providing high-paying, sustainable green jobs for the community. This collaboration with ACME demonstrates ACE's deep commitment to the battery market. Sales of GreenLead™ from ACME's facility will reach the key markets of Taiwan and Japan, including leading battery OEMs across Asia. "It is our goal as a battery recycling technology platform to provide all players in the ecosystem a way to meet not just their commercial goals but their environmental ones as well," said ACE Green CEO Nishchay Chadha. "We develop our carbon-free recycling technologies to meet the industry's global aspirations to be responsible stakeholders in the mission of meeting net-zero targets." Lead batteries remain an essential component of global electrification. By successfully deploying its green solutions, ACE will continue to support and champion the lead industry and provide not just a profitable solution, but a sustainable one for all secondary lead producers. ACE is a market leader in both lead and lithium-ion battery recycling technologies and is partnering with companies worldwide to help them set up environmentally friendly battery recycling facilities. The company has a team of over 70 people and is dual headquartered in the US and Singapore. Forward-Looking Statements This document contains certain forward-looking statements regarding ACE's technological capabilities and future business aspirations. All statements are based upon current ACE expectations and involve a number of business and technical risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results described, implied or projected in any forward-looking statement, including, without limitation, regulatory approvals, unexpected changes in technologies, uncertainties inherent in technological development, scaling and roll out, intellectual property protection, and sources and availability of third-party financing.

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Energy

Eletopia Revolutionizes Energy Storage Solutions in the US

PR Newswire | January 15, 2024

Eletopia, a leading provider of smart energy storage solutions, is transforming the energy storage market with innovative technology. Integrating advanced battery management, energy conversion, and intelligent energy operation, Eletopia offers comprehensive solutions, redefining home energy management. In an era prioritizing energy reliability and sustainability, Eletopia's whole-house backup power solution will impact the power plans for U.S. homeowners. Providing security during outages, the H2 series Hybrid Inverter efficiently convert solar energy during low consumption periods. Through the B2 series High Voltage Battery and the mobile storage unit S36 series Portable Power Station, they stored electricity ensures uninterrupted power for essential household appliances, electronics, and systems. Eletopia's Smart Backup Unit (SBU) seamlessly switches between solar, grid, and generator power sources, ensuring continuous functionality. Eletopia's solution guarantees reliable backup power, keeping households operational. At the core of Eletopia's offering is the All-in-one Smart Energy Management System (EMS), empowering homeowners with complete control of their energy usage. Offering features like power station monitoring, AI diagnostics, AI Saving, and more, this system provides efficient energy management for every home. Eletopia prioritizes safety, efficiency, and profitability. Their solutions integrate power generation, energy storage, consumption, and operational services, amplifying the value of energy storage. Leveraging advanced battery management, energy conversion, and smart storage technology, Eletopia enables homeowners to optimize resources for a greener, sustainable future. Eletopia credits its success to a diverse team of American and global experts in the energy sector. From battery technologists to marketing specialists, their collective expertise ensures cutting-edge solutions tailored for American homeowners. Beyond innovation, Eletopia focuses on customer-centricity. Collaborating closely with clients, they address specific requirements, ensuring project success and seamless operation. This commitment, coupled with exceptional service, has established Eletopia as a trusted industry partner. About Eletopia: Eletopia specializes in comprehensive, smart energy storage solutions merging power generation, energy storage, consumption, and operational services. Our suite of cutting-edge technologies—advanced battery management, energy conversion, equipment integration, smart storage management, and operational expertise—aims to increase the value of energy storage. Committed to becoming a global leader, we serve partners and end-users seeking professional, innovative brands in smart energy management.

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Energy

Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure (GSI)-Led Joint Initiative with Ocean Man First Nation to Build One of the Largest Solar Projects in Canada

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure LLC (GSI), one of the renewable energy subsidiaries of Libra Group, announced that Iyuhána Solar (Iyuhána), a GSI-led partnership with Saturn Power Inc. and Ocean Man First Nation, has been awarded a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to construct and operate a 100-megawatt (MWac) utility-scale solar facility in Saskatchewan, Canada. Developed in partnership with Ocean Man First Nation, the project will be one of Canada's top 10 solar facilities by size. Under an exclusive PPA, the largest with a utility in Canada since 2015, Iyuhána plans to invest approximately $200 million (CDN) to construct the solar facility, which it will operate, supplying generated power to the principal municipal utility company, SaskPower, for 25 years. Located in the Rural Municipality of Estevan in southeast Saskatchewan, this emissions-free solar facility will produce enough power for the equivalent of approximately 25,000 homes. "We are proud to bring the transformative power of solar energy to Saskatchewan by working with partners such as Ocean Man First Nation," said Mazen Turk, CEO of GSI. "This unique collaboration shows the power of renewable energy to harness resources and empower communities responsibly. This work is core to our ethos as a Libra company, and we look forward to continuing to help support a clean energy future across Canada and beyond." As a founding partner, Ocean Man First Nation will have an ownership stake in Iyuhána Solar. Band members will also receive specialized training to maintain the solar facilities and employment opportunities with the project. Additionally, partnering with two of Saskatchewan's leading post-secondary academic institutions, Iyuhána will provide scholarships, internships, and direct research projects in clean energy to benefit the community. "Our partnership with GSI and SaskPower will bring great opportunities for Ocean Man First Nation, including employment and revenue that will provide stability and sustainability for our Band," said Chief Connie Big Eagle, Ocean Man First Nation. "We are proud that this project, which is able to generate clean power, will be known as Iyuhána Solar, which, in Nakotah translates to 'everyone' or 'all of us.' This is derived from our Nakotah belief that everyone and everything is related and therefore we must care for each other." While investment in renewable energy grows across Canada, Saskatchewan's clean power supply mix has predominantly consisted of hydro and wind. This is the first of many planned solar projects in the province; by 2035, SaskPower plans to support approximately 3000 MW of new renewable energy capacity in the region. "This new solar facility will play an important role in our path to net-zero by 2050 or sooner," said Rupen Pandya, SaskPower President and CEO. "We are proud of our ongoing collaboration with Indigenous peoples and the critical role they are playing in the successful expansion of renewable energy in our province." GSI is one of four renewable energy subsidiaries of Libra Group, a privately owned, global business group that encompasses 20 businesses in six sectors, including renewable energy, maritime, aerospace and more. The Group's renewable energy portfolio encompasses approximately 3.5 gigawatts (GW) of projects owned, developed, or pending development in 10 countries, including solar, wind, battery storage, and waste-to energy projects. This is the second partnership with an indigenous community led by a Libra Group subsidiary. "Libra Group is proud of this novel partnership, which has come together through shared values and a commitment to driving economic growth and positive outcomes for communities," said Libra Group's CEO Manos Kouligkas. "Sustainability is core to our global business, and we look forward to continuing to leverage synergies across our six sectors in 60 countries with agility and impact." Last year, GSI acquired Saturn Power Inc.'s solar and battery development portfolios, including its team of seasoned developers and an approximate 1.4-gigawatt (GW) pipeline of early- to late-stage solar and energy storage projects. Today, GSI has a footprint across Canada and in 12 U.S. states. About Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure (GSI) is one of the clean energy subsidiaries of Libra Group. GSI is a renewable energy company focused on the development, construction, and operation of distributed generation and utility-scale solar energy and battery storage projects in North America. As of January 2024, the company developed approximately 388 MW DC across 71 renewable energy projects, many of which are still owned or operated by GSI and have an additional project pipeline of 1.6 GW. GSI's seasoned team has a proven track record of investing in power assets and partnering with multiple top-tiered investors. For more information on Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure (GSI), visit: http://www.greenwoodinfra.com/ About Ocean Man First Nation The Ocean Man First Nation is a Nakota, Cree, and Saulteaux Band Government in southeast Saskatchewan. OMFN is led by Chief Connie Big Eagle & Council and features a population of 565 members. Ocean Man First Nation created a renewable energy company in 2019 called Second Wind Power. The name Second Wind Power reflects Ocean Man First Nation's history of relocating, re-establishing and starting over as a new community since 1989. About Libra Group Libra Group is a privately owned, global business group encompassing 20 businesses predominately focused on aerospace, renewable energy, maritime, real estate, hospitality, and diversified investments. With assets and operations in nearly 60 countries, the Group applies the strength of its global network and capabilities to deliver cross-sector insights and growth at scale.

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Energy

ACE Green completes successful handover of emissions-free lead recycling facility to ACME

PR Newswire | January 16, 2024

ACE Green Recycling (ACE) has successfully delivered the first of three phases of its proprietary zero-emissions modular lead battery recycling technology to ACME Metal Enterprise's facility in Keelung City, Taiwan. As part of the agreement, ACE will provide equipment and proprietary chemicals to enable ACME to produce "GreenLead™" in a safe, sustainable and economical way. This marks the second successful deployment of ACE's pioneering lead battery recycling technology. ACME is Taiwan's leading lead recycler, with over 40 years of successful operation. Through its partnership with ACE, ACME will become one of the largest producers of emissions-free lead, with a capacity to recycle 20,000 metric tonnes per year of lead batteries to produce about 12,000 metric tonnes of environmentally friendly "GreenLead™", generating nearly USD 24 million in annual revenue for the Taiwanese company. Of the deal, Linus P. Lu, Managing Director of ACME, said: "We are excited and pleased to have successfully completed the installation of ACE's lead battery recycling technology at our facility. This marks an important milestone for ACME as we build our capacity to provide sustainable lead recycling capabilities – not just for our company but for the entire lead battery ecosystem as well." Lead batteries are a key element in the automotive and telecoms industries, while also playing a crucial role in the energy transition for renewable power storage. Traditionally, lead batteries are recycled via a smelting process which involves operating temperatures of over 1,000°C, producing significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, plus toxic solid waste that must go to landfill. ACE's room temperature recycling technology replaces the smelting furnace, is electrically powered, has zero Scope 1 GHG emissions and reduces solid waste by over 85%. The process will greatly enhance ACME's profitability and minimize their operator and environmental risks. Phase I of the agreement for 2,400 metric tons per annum was successfully handed over to ACME in December 2023, with Phases II and III to increase annual capacity to around 20,000 metric tonnes, which will proceed later this year. During the 10-year contractual duration of 10 years, these facilities will enable the recycling of over 14 million scrap batteries. This will prevent the emission of nearly 120 million kilograms of CO2e, stop 18 million kilograms of solid waste from going into landfill and enable recycling of more than 14 million kilograms of plastics, while providing high-paying, sustainable green jobs for the community. This collaboration with ACME demonstrates ACE's deep commitment to the battery market. Sales of GreenLead™ from ACME's facility will reach the key markets of Taiwan and Japan, including leading battery OEMs across Asia. "It is our goal as a battery recycling technology platform to provide all players in the ecosystem a way to meet not just their commercial goals but their environmental ones as well," said ACE Green CEO Nishchay Chadha. "We develop our carbon-free recycling technologies to meet the industry's global aspirations to be responsible stakeholders in the mission of meeting net-zero targets." Lead batteries remain an essential component of global electrification. By successfully deploying its green solutions, ACE will continue to support and champion the lead industry and provide not just a profitable solution, but a sustainable one for all secondary lead producers. ACE is a market leader in both lead and lithium-ion battery recycling technologies and is partnering with companies worldwide to help them set up environmentally friendly battery recycling facilities. The company has a team of over 70 people and is dual headquartered in the US and Singapore. Forward-Looking Statements This document contains certain forward-looking statements regarding ACE's technological capabilities and future business aspirations. All statements are based upon current ACE expectations and involve a number of business and technical risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results described, implied or projected in any forward-looking statement, including, without limitation, regulatory approvals, unexpected changes in technologies, uncertainties inherent in technological development, scaling and roll out, intellectual property protection, and sources and availability of third-party financing.

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Energy

Eletopia Revolutionizes Energy Storage Solutions in the US

PR Newswire | January 15, 2024

Eletopia, a leading provider of smart energy storage solutions, is transforming the energy storage market with innovative technology. Integrating advanced battery management, energy conversion, and intelligent energy operation, Eletopia offers comprehensive solutions, redefining home energy management. In an era prioritizing energy reliability and sustainability, Eletopia's whole-house backup power solution will impact the power plans for U.S. homeowners. Providing security during outages, the H2 series Hybrid Inverter efficiently convert solar energy during low consumption periods. Through the B2 series High Voltage Battery and the mobile storage unit S36 series Portable Power Station, they stored electricity ensures uninterrupted power for essential household appliances, electronics, and systems. Eletopia's Smart Backup Unit (SBU) seamlessly switches between solar, grid, and generator power sources, ensuring continuous functionality. Eletopia's solution guarantees reliable backup power, keeping households operational. At the core of Eletopia's offering is the All-in-one Smart Energy Management System (EMS), empowering homeowners with complete control of their energy usage. Offering features like power station monitoring, AI diagnostics, AI Saving, and more, this system provides efficient energy management for every home. Eletopia prioritizes safety, efficiency, and profitability. Their solutions integrate power generation, energy storage, consumption, and operational services, amplifying the value of energy storage. Leveraging advanced battery management, energy conversion, and smart storage technology, Eletopia enables homeowners to optimize resources for a greener, sustainable future. Eletopia credits its success to a diverse team of American and global experts in the energy sector. From battery technologists to marketing specialists, their collective expertise ensures cutting-edge solutions tailored for American homeowners. Beyond innovation, Eletopia focuses on customer-centricity. Collaborating closely with clients, they address specific requirements, ensuring project success and seamless operation. This commitment, coupled with exceptional service, has established Eletopia as a trusted industry partner. About Eletopia: Eletopia specializes in comprehensive, smart energy storage solutions merging power generation, energy storage, consumption, and operational services. Our suite of cutting-edge technologies—advanced battery management, energy conversion, equipment integration, smart storage management, and operational expertise—aims to increase the value of energy storage. Committed to becoming a global leader, we serve partners and end-users seeking professional, innovative brands in smart energy management.

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