Sceye | June 20, 2022
Sceye, a manufacturer of High-Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS), announced today that it reached the stratosphere with the aim of demonstrating the ability to stay over an area of operation for months at a time using renewable energy sources. The milestone test launch, which is using patented solar and battery power, puts Sceye on track to expand internet access to remote populations, monitor greenhouse gasses down to individual emitters, and detect natural disasters as they begin. The company also announced additional test flights for Q3 and Q4 2022.
Sceye’s HAPS launched at 6:55 AM MDT from the company’s hangar at the Roswell International Airport.
“Today’s test flight holds extraordinary potential for stratospheric discovery,” said Sceye founder and CEO, Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen. “By maintaining position in the stratosphere for extended periods of time, we can begin realizing the promises of the stratosphere for life on Earth. Universal internet access, methane monitoring, and wildfire detection are all at our fingertips.”
Today’s launch objectives were to:
Test durability and performance of renewable power systems in the stratosphere
Demonstrate the ability to stay over an area of operation
Maintain a constant float altitude in the stratosphere
Sceye’s HAPS design, in the form of an enhanced balloon, can lift a variety of payloads for connectivity, earth observation, and scientific research. Its hull fabric can manage the extreme environment of the stratosphere, and optimizes strength, helium retention, and thermal management. High-performance batteries and solar panels close the power loop: enough power storage to last until sunrise, and efficient solar cells to collect energy during the day.
“We are thrilled to see years of research and development culminating in this milestone moment, It is the very best application of material science pushing the boundaries of near space.”
-David Kim, Sceye’s Chief Technology Officer.
“This launch is the second of six in our test program this year intended to verify payload and automated flight while ensuring safe operations. We’re excited to learn more from upcoming flight tests planned for late summer and fall.”
-Chief of Mission Operations, Stephanie Luongo
In October 2021, Sceye was the first to connect a Massive MIMO antenna with 3D beamforming from the stratosphere directly to smartphones on the ground over a 140 km distance — a world record in Open RAN. In March 2022, Sceye successfully validated its automated flight software which increases the reliability of its HAPS during its most critical phases of flight – launch and ascent.
Sceye has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), New Mexico Economic Development Department, and New Mexico Environment Department on a five-year study to monitor air quality in the State of New Mexico. Sceye’s HAPS will track methane emissions with a sub 1-m resolution, allowing them to determine pollution levels as well as pinpoint individual emitters.
Sceye is a material science company founded in 2014 to unleash the possibilities in the stratosphere by uplifting and connecting all people, and protecting our planet. The company has developed a new generation of stratospheric platforms to provide universal and equitable connectivity, improve climate change monitoring, natural resource stewardship, forest fire monitoring and better detect and contain disasters before they spiral out of control. Sceye continues the humanitarian work of founder and CEO Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen. As owner and former CEO of the public health companies Vestergaard and LifeStraw, he led innovations in material science that have saved millions of lives. LifeStraw water filters have helped nearly eradicate Guinea worm disease, and PermaNet, bed nets made from innovative fibers that release microscopic doses of insecticide, have helped reduce global malaria deaths by more than half.
Onward Energy | July 06, 2022
Onward Energy today announced that it has entered into a binding agreement to purchase 100% of the cash equity interests in a 1,171 MW operating solar portfolio from Global Atlantic Financial Group ("Global Atlantic"). The portfolio includes 11 projects in 8 states and will be the largest renewable investment in Onward Energy's history, further expanding the company's portfolio to over 6 GW of diverse power generation assets.
"We believe that this acquisition of high quality solar assets is a strong fit with our existing portfolio, consistent with our view of the energy transition and complementary to our growth strategy. Working with Global Atlantic and their exemplary team, we were able to sign the agreement quickly and seamlessly."Anup Agarwal, Chief Investment Officer of Global Atlantic, said: "This portfolio is part of a diverse set of solar investments that we're proud to have built over the past seven years, and we believe that Onward Energy will be an excellent steward of these assets. We were pleased to reach an agreement and are committed to building our presence in this space as global demand for clean power continues to rise."
-Steve Doyon, Onward Energy's Chief Executive Officer
Onpeak Capital LLC served as financial advisor and Mayer Brown LLP served as legal advisor to Global Atlantic. Milbank LLP served as legal adviser to Onward.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.
About Onward Energy
Onward Energy is an independent power generator that currently owns and operates over 5 GW of solar, wind, and gas generation projects in the U.S. With 45 projects in 18 states, Onward Energy is a national leader in the clean energy transition, investing in the next generation of reliable, clean technologies that will enable our customers and communities to meet their decarbonization goals faster.
About Global Atlantic
Global Atlantic Financial Group is a leader in the U.S. life insurance and annuity industry, serving the needs of individuals and institutions. With differentiated investment and risk management capabilities, deep client relationships, and a strong financial foundation, the company has established a track record of delivering proven, value-added solutions and long-term growth. Global Atlantic is a majority-owned subsidiary of KKR, a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management across multiple strategies and capital markets solutions. KKR's parent company is KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR).
Koch Separation Solutions | June 27, 2022
Koch Separation Solutions (KSS) announced the acquisition of LIONEX technology from Chemionex Inc. The acquisition serves as the foundation for the launch of their Li-PRO™ process featuring a proprietary global solution for Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE).
"The launch of the Li-PRO process, coupled with the broader EPC capabilities of our parent, Koch Engineered Solutions, will deliver complete end-to-end solutions for DLE customers, The innovative and patent-pending aspects of the Li-PRO solution will be synergistic with KSS' world-class capabilities in ion exchange and sorptive technologies, membrane filtration, and thermal separations. This combination will deliver superior lithium recovery and purity, chemical consumption, water efficiency, and simplified system configurations, optimizing CAPEX and OPEX to lithium producers"
- Manny Singh, President of KSS.
The Li-PRO™ process is an optimized DLE process configuration combining specialized lithium selective extraction media and leading KSS equipment including robust PURON® membrane-based pretreatment, Recoflo® packed bed lithium extraction, Recoflo softening, and high-recovery reverse osmosis (RO) concentration operations to generate a purified lithium chloride solution. The solution is geared towards customers seeking an optimized solution to developing lithium battery materials to keep up with the growing demand for lithium batteries, primarily in electric vehicles.
KSS will offer the Li-PRO process as a complete offering or as standalone separation processes, depending on customers' unique needs. Their team will initially engage developers in a piloting phase to refine the process design of each step, and work collaboratively to implement small to large-scale operations at optimized performance specifications.
About Koch Separation Solutions
Koch Separation Solutions (KSS) is transforming the landscape of separations by leveraging synergistic technology such as membrane filtration, ion exchange, evaporation, and drying. With over half a century worth of experience, KSS offers solutions for the most demanding applications across food and beverage, life science, and general industrial markets. KSS aims to create more value to their customers around the world by offering complete solutions to recover high-value product, eliminate waste, reduce footprint, increase productivity, and lower costs.
Lumen Energy | July 14, 2022
Bridge Investment Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BRDG) (“Bridge” or the “Company”) announced the launch of its newest strategy, Bridge Solar Energy Development (“Bridge Solar”), in partnership with Lumen Energy Inc. (“Lumen”).As companies move to decarbonize their operations, onsite renewable energy is increasingly economical. Commercial rooftop solar technology costs have fallen 69% over the last 10 years, while retail electricity prices increased 10% nationally just since 2020; however, onsite commercial solar deployment has remained slow due to complex utility building data, supply chain issues, financing complexities and diverse state-specific incentives. For one-off projects, the unfamiliar process overhead and capital expenditure remain high compared to direct benefits, yet too small for utility-scale investors. Bridge believes that its national footprint and local expertise, combined with Lumen’s data-driven technology, will streamline the analysis and implementation of solar in a high-demand market that has been largely untapped. Only 4.5% of the approximately six million commercial properties in the United States currently have solar arrays, leaving more than 145 gigawatts of onsite solar potential.
“We expect Bridge Solar to provide an unmet need for green energy, via the provision of clean energy at a discount to market rates by deploying renewable energy infrastructure equipment on existing buildings, By partnering with Lumen Energy, a leader in the clean energy software and energy project development process technology space, we will offer best in class design, procurement, construction and operation of solar projects on properties owned by Bridge-managed funds and third-party assets.”
-John Ward, Chief Executive Officer, Bridge Solar, and Chief Investment Officer, Bridge Office.
This unique partnership enables Bridge Solar to evaluate thousands of new property addresses at once, and make decisions in minutes. Building on technology pioneered at U.S. National Labs, Lumen’s technology quantifies the economically ideal “clean energy stack” unique to each property, inclusive of financing and incentives, then automates the deployment process.
“We are excited to partner with Bridge on the next phase of growth for Lumen, Together, our scale, precision, and automation allow us to deliver profitable decarbonization with speed and ease. By building solar-powered energy systems on existing buildings, Bridge Solar will utilize unused space to meet the growing demand for green energy, while simultaneously providing owners and tenants a discount to market energy prices.”
-Peter Light, Chief Executive Officer of Lumen
About Bridge Investment Group
Bridge is a leading, vertically integrated real estate investment manager, diversified across specialized asset classes, with approximately $38.8 billion of assets under management as of March 31, 2022. Bridge combines its nationwide operating platform with dedicated teams of investment professionals focused on select U.S. real estate verticals: residential rental, office, development, logistics properties, net lease and real estate-backed credit.
About Lumen Energy
Lumen Energy is a leading software platform that empowers commercial real estate owners to profitably select and deploy renewable energy across many properties at once. Lumen Energy’s software fuses supercomputer outputs and energy market data into investment-grade financial models, enabling building owners to easily evaluate which clean energy solutions enhance the value of their buildings. The Lumen platform connects owners with a marketplace of qualified local installers, automating clean energy deployment from start-to-finish.