First Solar Power Plant in Chile is World’s First to Deliver Grid ServicesChile’s ISO licenses Luz del Norte power plant to supply ancillary services

Globenewswire | August 20, 2020

First Solar, Inc. today announced that its 141-megawatt (MW)AC Luz del Norte photovoltaic (PV) power plant is the world’s first known utility-scale solar facility licensed to deliver ancillary grid services commercially. Chile’s independent system operator (ISO), Coordinador Eléctrico Nacional, recently added Luz del Norte to its portfolio of large-scale power generators that are approved to deliver a range of grid services, including automatic generation control (AGC). The facility, located in Copiapó, Chile, is now being used by the ISO to manage the frequency of the country’s electricity system, helping ensure the grid’s reliability and stability, in addition to generating clean, renewable energy. This follows an extensive audit, jointly conducted by Coordinador Eléctrico Nacional, Laborelec Latam, and First Solar, to evaluate the plant’s capabilities. Until now, grid operators around the world had to rely exclusively on thermoelectric or hydroelectric power plants to respond to changes in load by balancing generation.

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SOLAR+STORAGE

Quidnet Achieves Major Milestones in US Department of Energy Contracts

Quidnet Energy | April 20, 2021

Houston, TX – Quidnet Energy (Quidnet) today announced it has achieved two key milestones in its projects with the US Department of Energy’s Water Power Technology Office (WPTO) and Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), to commercialize the company’s Geomechanical Pumped Storage (GPS) technology. Quidnet pumps water underground and stores it in-between layers of rock. The natural elasticity of the rock performs like a spring and holds the water under pressure until it is needed, at which time it is released through a hydroelectric turbine to produce electricity to send back to the grid. Quidnet partnered with the WPTO through its HydroWIRES Initiative to develop an innovative reversible injector-generator that will enable deployment of modular hydropower conversion in high-pressure pumped hydro applications such as for Quidnet’s GPS technology. The milestone was achieved by the completion of system-level design and engineering as well as testing of key operating components in an industrial machining facility in New York State. Quidnet is working with ARPA-E through their Duration Addition to electricitY Storage (DAYS) program to develop the GPS resource in key power markets across the US by planning and executing exploratory wells to characterize, evaluate, and validate this geologic resource. This milestone is marked by the completion of project development of the exploration well sites – including sites that reuse inactive O&G wells – and achieving resource performance targets during exploration well hydraulic testing. Analogous work was performed by DOE in the early 2000s to similarly characterize North American wind resources. “WPTO and ARPA-E have been vital partners in the development of our long duration energy storage technology,” said Joe Zhou, Quidnet CEO. “These leading energy technology organizations have brought valuable resources and oversight to the development process, helping steward our technology toward commercialization. Their experience, guidance and partnership are very much appreciated.” “Long duration storage technologies such as Quidnet’s can play a crucial role in advancing our transition to a zero-carbon electric grid,” said Jenn Garson, WPTO Acting Outreach, Engagement & Analysis Manager. “Based on the strong results we have seen to date, we are optimistic about Quidnet’s contribution to our energy future.” “Quidnet Energy, as well as the rest of ARPA-E’s DAYS teams, are working to develop innovative long-duration energy storage systems and create new technologies to increase grid resilience and performance,” said ARPA-E DAYS Program Director Dr. Scott Litzelman. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with Quidnet as they continue to design energy storage solutions of the future.” Quidnet’s technology operates in a closed loop configuration, powered by excess grid electricity. Because most of the process is subsurface, projects have a relatively small footprint (well head, pump/generator building, and holding pond), allowing farmers and landowners to generate significant new lease revenue with minor impact. Quidnet utilizes much of the same subsurface knowledge, workforce, and supply chains as the oil and gas industry, making it a seamless opportunity to re-channel thousands of displaced workers—and the supply chains they operate--toward accelerating a clean energy future. Early resource investigations project sufficient North American geologic resources to provide multiple times the long duration energy storage needed by the grid. “The very talented, dedicated and rapidly-growing Quidnet team is hyper-focused on ensuring a reliable energy transition,” said Quidnet CEO Joe Zhou. “We are committed to being a major part of the solution.” Contact: Steven C. Sullivan 518-441-7272 sullivan@quidnetenergy.com

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ENERGY

Austin’s Whisper Valley GeoGrid Proves to be Resilient Sustainable Energy Solution After Extreme Weather and Grid Events

EcoSmart Solution | February 04, 2022

EcoSmart Solution (EcoSmart), a green energy service provider (Green ESP) designing and delivering innovative geothermal infrastructure for zero-energy capable communities, has proven its flagship Whisper Valley community successfully weathered the February 15, 2021 winter storm that overwhelmed the state’s electricity infrastructure and caused massive power outages across Texas. EcoSmart, an affiliate of Taurus Investment Holdings, and its EcoSmart GeoGrid used 54% less electricity to power Whisper Valley homes when compared to typical Texas homes because, among other reasons, the GeoGrid™ is located underground, where it is naturally winterized and able to avoid the freeze problems that occurred with other energy sources, demonstrating further that it can be an innovative energy solution across all regions and climates. As the one-year anniversary of the storm approaches, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the State of Texas are working to introduce long term plans to avoid an energy failure like what was experienced last February. Taurus and EcoSmart’s Whisper Valley is a practical solution for delivering affordable and resilient energy no matter the weather. “Homes in Whisper Valley are designed to consume less energy which naturally reduces the overall energy required and puts less strain on the state’s electric grid,” said Wesley Brinkmeyer, Manager of Energy Services for Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative. Whisper Valley is a first-of-its-kind eco-community with an innovative EcoSmart GeoGrid, which delivers geothermal heating and cooling to homes, reducing energy consumption by up to 65%. When combined with solar panels that generate electricity, the result is a zero-energy capable home. This sustainable, renewable energy system could greatly reduce energy consumption on a mass scale if implemented in new residential and commercial developments across the state and country, helping to offset the energy requirements needed for future climate-related grid constraints. During last February’s unprecedented storm, our GeoGrid performed beyond admirably in extreme conditions, which further proves that it is a revolutionary energy solution, that can be applied to various geographical regions. Through EcoSmart’s state-of-the-art efficiency monitoring tools, we knew exactly how the heat pumps were performing at all times during the winter storm and are pleased to report there were no weather-related damages to our customers' homes in Whisper Valley.” John Towle, CEO of EcoSmart The GeoGrid is a hybrid loop system that stores thermal energy in the Earth during hot months, and then uses the stored thermal energy in the winter to heat homes much more efficiently than traditional systems. It does this with the use of a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) that takes the place of a conventional HVAC system. The EcoSmart program also includes smart home technology and an energy monitoring system in every home to maximize the energy efficiency of the homes. An already proven home heating and cooling solution, EcoSmart and Taurus are the only developers to offer a GeoGrid solution at the scale of Whisper Valley. The EcoSmart geothermal equipped home is already less energy intensive than a conventional home. The physics of the geothermal system enable a house to use one unit of energy to deliver approximately four units of temperature conditioning, resulting in far less energy draw than a conventional house. This lowers peak demands on the utility and minimizes the amount of onsite energy production or storage a house needs, lessening dependence on the power grid. About Taurus Investment Holdings, LLC Established in 1976, Taurus is a global real estate private equity firm with over 45 years of experience as a general partner, investor, and operator. By empowering and combining the strength of in-house experts in the fields of multifamily, office, logistics, mixed-use, and renewable energy, the firm has created targeted, scalable investments into value-add, core-plus, and development opportunities. Taurus is focused on using innovative energy efficient technologies to make the extensive infrastructure investments required to decarbonize residential and commercial buildings through its EcoSmart Solution and RENU Communities affiliates. Throughout North America and Europe, Taurus is consistently recognized as one of the premier owners of both directly managed and joint venture commercial real estate. To date, Taurus has purchased and developed more than 65 million square feet of residential, office, industrial, retail and other commercial real estate assets throughout the world with a total acquisition value of over $9.25 billion. About EcoSmart Solution EcoSmart Solution is an affiliate of global real estate investment firm Taurus Investment Holdings (TIH) and a green energy services provider (Green ESP), designing and delivering innovative geothermal infrastructure combined with a comprehensive suite of distributed energy resources; enabling developers and builders of large-scale new construction neighborhoods to create energy efficient communities and homes, providing new homeowners affordable, comfortable, and sustainable living.

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SUSTAINABILITY

PDI Acquires GreenPrint to Offer More Retailers Loyalty-Based Carbon Offset Programs, Establishing PDI Sustainability Solutions

Professional Datasolutions, Inc. | March 02, 2022

PDI, a global provider of leading enterprise management software for the convenience retail and petroleum wholesale industries, has acquired GreenPrint, the corporate sustainability solutions leader. GreenPrint will become the foundation of the newly established PDI Sustainability Solutions practice, leveraging the company's expertise to continue building a portfolio that improves business results through eco-minded innovations. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, GreenPrint provides "sustainability as a service" to increase consumer loyalty, sales, and profitability for clients around the world. As innovators of carbon offset programs, GreenPrint offers both turnkey and custom solutions that help companies meet their sustainability goals while enhancing their brand value. PDI retail customers can now offer consumers an opportunity to reduce their environmental footprint while fueling, as GreenPrint programs award carbon offsets based on the purchase of petroleum at the pump through a proprietary processing and reporting portal. Participating consumers will see their sustainable contribution and impact grow over time, as the loyalty-based program makes an ongoing investment in verified carbon offset efforts such as reforestation, landfill gas capture, renewable energy, and other green initiatives. GreenPrint carbon offset programs follow industry-leading certifications and standards. To add further credibility and effectiveness, all calculations and offsetting claims are certified by a top-five global accounting firm. The acquisition of GreenPrint, with the proven, tangible impact its programs make, is a meaningful addition that will help our customers advance their sustainability objectives. By investing in GreenPrint and other forward-looking innovations under the umbrella of PDI Sustainability Solutions, we can connect brands and retailers with consumers who share a vision for an environmentally responsible future." Linnea Geiss, Chief Operating Officer at PDI PDI Sustainability Solutions will include existing technologies built by PDI, such as EV charge price optimization algorithms, to support the evolution of the c-store and wholesale petroleum industries. PDI is also developing integration opportunities for GreenPrint across its Consumer Engagement solutions, including the Fuel Rewards program, GasBuddy app, and the PDI portfolio of white label loyalty programs. "When PDI looked at ways it could support consumers in sustainable actions at the pump and in the c-store, GreenPrint rose to the top," revealed Mark Coffey, SVP and General Manager of Consumer Programs at PDI. "GreenPrint is recognized for making sustainability actions simple and effective. This creates a strong sense of consumer goodwill and loyalty that aligns powerfully with the leading loyalty programs PDI currently provides." Together with PDI, GreenPrint will continue as the sustainability partner behind reduced emissions programs for brands that include Marathon, Stop & Shop, Twice Daily, Maxol, The GIANT Company, and many others. Today, GreenPrint helps reduce emissions on over one billion gallons of fuel annually across thousands of retail locations and over 100,000 corporate and municipal fleets in 15 countries. "GreenPrint is a pioneer in purpose-driven loyalty and invented the concept of offering carbon offset gasoline at the pump as a bridge to the future and a way to build consumer loyalty," said Pete Davis, Co-Founder and CEO at GreenPrint. "Today, we are thrilled to join PDI to expand and extend our efforts." Before co-founding GreenPrint, Davis founded and led numerous other loyalty and rewards programs across the retail, hospitality, and payments sectors and is renowned as an innovator of retail and rewards technology. Davis, GreenPrint Co-Founder and President Trenton Spindler, and the GreenPrint team will join PDI as part of the acquisition, where they will remain focused on sustainability and loyalty. Berenson & Company and Citizens M&A Advisory served as financial advisors to PDI and GreenPrint, respectively, in connection with the transaction. About PDI Professional Datasolutions, Inc. (PDI) software helps businesses and brands increase sales, operate more efficiently and securely, and improve critical decision-making. Since 1983, PDI has proudly served the convenience retail and petroleum wholesale industries. Over 1,500 companies, representing more than 200,000 locations worldwide, count on PDI solutions and expertise to deliver convenience and energy to the world. About GreenPrint GreenPrint is a global environmental technology company, offering sustainability as a service with patent-protected programs that deliver environmental impact and bottom-line results. An Inc. 5000 company and a member of 1% for the Planet, GreenPrint's turnkey offerings help companies meet sustainability goals while increasing brand value and customer loyalty— making it easy for businesses to do well by doing good. GreenPrint, A Public Benefit Corporation, is on pace to offset over 30 million metric tons of carbon by 2025.

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PRODUCTS

CSA Group Becomes First Canadian Provider of Testing, Inspection and Certification for Medical-Grade PPE

CSA Group | October 27, 2020

As demand for medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to increase in the fight against COVID-19, the need to ensure that this equipment is available and safe within Canada is becoming critically important. Until now, there have been no domestic providers of testing and certification services for medical-grade PPE. Today, CSA Group has announced the opening of an accredited, special-purpose laboratory dedicated to testing and certifying the safety of medical-grade PPE. This new laboratory will be based at CSA Group headquarters in Toronto. It will provide testing and certification of medical-grade PPE, including masks, filtering facepiece respirators, medical gloves, protective drapes and apparel such as surgical and isolation gowns, intended for use across Canada.

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