News Article | September 26, 2016
« Wirth Research developing long-endurance hydrogen-powered terrain mapping drones | Main | Rolls-Royce MTU introduces new hybrid power pack for rail systems; up to 25% fuel savings » Earlier this year, Recargo, parent company to PlugShare, a leading charging station locator app, was awarded more than $1.6 million from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to help complete key routes of the West Coast Electric Highway (WCEH), a network of fast charging and Level 2 electric vehicle stations expected to stretch from Canada to Mexico. Recargo is contributing more than $575,000 of its own money toward the project. The award was part of nearly $9 million in grants that went to four companies—Chargepoint Inc.; EV Connect Inc.; NRG EV Services LLC; and Recargo, Inc.—which will install 61 DC fast chargers at 41 sites along major routes on Interstate 5, Highway 99 and Highway 101. Fast chargers allow vehicles to fully charge in 20 to 30 minutes. Additionally, 40 sites will have one Level 2 charger, and one site will have two Level 2 chargers. Level 2 chargers allow most vehicles to go from zero to full charge in four to eight hours. (Earlier post.) Recargo will be placing DC fast-charging stations at key sites in Buellton, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, King City, Greenfield, Gonzales, and Gilroy. The stations will be compatible with both the CCS plug used by electric vehicles manufactured by BMW, GM, and Volkswagen, and the CHAdeMO plug used by Kia, Nissan, and Mitsubishi. Recargo plans to install a minimum of one 50 kW charger plus one Level 2 station at each of the eight sites. In two of the locations, Recargo will also install an additional 50 kW charger. The stations will be located directly off US-101 in safe, illuminated areas with the kinds of amenities drivers and passengers look for during long-distance trips. The fast chargers will enable EV drivers to recharge their batteries in about 30 minutes. The CEC project will be enhanced by a similar effort from the Monterey Bay Air Resources District, which is looking to spend about $1.2 million over the next five years to add even more DC fast-charging stations in the tri-county area. We want to work with the right partners to develop EV infrastructure in our District, which ultimately adds real value to the electric vehicle and the ownership experience. This is a great partnering opportunity to expand EV infrastructure along all the main corridors in our District as well as to enhance the connectivity along the California Electric Highway. As demand for electric vehicles increases, we need to make sure that the right infrastructure is there to support EV drivers after the sale. Recargo wants to be one of those partners, and hopes to earn some of the funds being offered by the Air District to place more stations in new areas or increase the number of chargers at existing locations. In 2015, Recargo hired Ashley Horvat, fresh from her role in the Oregon State government as the Chief Electric Vehicle Officer. Horvat, Recargo’s VP first Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, told Green Car Congress that the company has been very busy on the infrastructure piece, having recently executed a subcontract with Black & Veach—the company working with Tesla on its Supercharger buildout. One of the challenges facing the infrastructure buildout, Horvath said, was providing a high standard for the ease of plugging in as Tesla does within its system. While Tesla is pairing directly with the fast charging infrastructure—as it owns it—Recargo’s challenge is to provide a network for all the other EVs that are out there. Being able to pull up and use the charger is a big plus. Redundancy is another advantage. If there is only one charger available, folks are not as likely to use it. We want to provide an experience similar to Tesla’s and also link it more tightly to solar, creating sites that are more scalable where there is substantial renewable energy.qdash Ashley Horvat Horvat also mentioned that Recargo could be interested in a possible partnerhsip with Tesla, perhaps on a site location basis—i.e., co-locating a Tesla Supercharger. Horvat also said the the company was working on charging power higher than 50 kW; one of the challenges for a third-party in that task is trying to figrue out what each automaker is capable of doing, she said. One of the questions for automakers is how much to invest in infrastructure; I don’t think any one automaker wants to do what Tesla did. The next wave of [EV] adopters is going to be a lot more critcal of the infrastructure; the infrastructure needs to be really refined and ready for the next phase of adopters.
News Article | February 20, 2017
Chuck E. Cheese’s® and Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) recently announced the launch of Sensory Sensitive Sundays, a joint event at Chuck E. Cheese’s locations throughout New England, New York and New Jersey to provide children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other special needs, the opportunity to experience the fun of visiting Chuck E. Cheese’s in a sensory-friendly environment. After a successful pilot run at the Attleboro, Mass. location in November last year, both organizations decided to expand Sensory Sensitive Sundays to include 54 Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants. The program officially launched earlier this month on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. “We’re eager to test Sensory Sensitive Sundays in our northeast area restaurants with an inspirational organization like CARD,” said Ami Anderson, senior director of advertising and media at CEC Entertainment. “We’re excited to have an opportunity to provide a safe and sensory-sensitive environment for the many families and children with autism and special needs who enjoy coming to Chuck E. Cheese’s.” The sensory-sensitive program provides the opportunity for families in the autism community to enjoy Chuck E. Cheese’s with smaller crowds and less noise, dimmed lighting, no show or music playing and limited costumed characters, all of which makes for an environment more suitable for children who face sensory challenges. Occurring before the restaurant opens to the general public, Sensory Sensitive Sundays will typically take place from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. on the first Sunday of every month. The next event will take place on Sunday, Mar. 5, followed by Apr. 2 and May 7, with the goal of expanding the program to all Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants nationwide later this year. "CARD is honored to play a role in ensuring that children with autism have access to Chuck E. Cheese's in a comfortable environment," said Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D, CARD founder and CEO. “We are excited that Chuck E. Cheese's is expanding Sensory Sensitive Sundays, so more families will have access to this inclusive option.” The program will be available at all Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. A complete list of participating locations is as follows: About CEC Entertainment For nearly 40 years, CEC Entertainment has served as the nationally recognized leader in family dining and entertainment and the place Where A Kid Can Be A Kid®. Chuck E. Cheese’s goal is to create positive, lifelong memories for families through fun, food, and play. It is also the place where more than a million happy birthdays are celebrated every year. Each Chuck E. Cheese’s features musical entertainment, games, rides, and play areas for kids of all ages, as well as a variety of freshly prepared dining options. Committed to providing a fun, safe environment, Chuck E. Cheese’s helps protect families through industry-leading programs such as Kid Check®. As a strong advocate for its local communities and childhood education, Chuck E. Cheese’s has donated more than $14 million to schools through its fundraising programs. Additionally, Chuck E. Cheese’s supports its national charity partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters, through nationwide fundraisers and donation drives. The Company and its franchisees operate a system of 603 Chuck E. Cheese’s and 144 Peter Piper Pizza stores, with locations in 47 states and 12 foreign countries and territories. For more information, visit chuckecheese.com and peterpiperpizza.com or connect with us on social media. About Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) CARD treats individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at treatment centers around the globe. CARD was founded in 1990 by leading autism expert and clinical psychologist Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D. CARD treats individuals with ASD using the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is empirically proven to be the most effective method for treating individuals with ASD and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Surgeon General. CARD employs a dedicated team of nearly 2,000 individuals across the nation and internationally. For more information, visit http://www.centerforautism.com or call (855) 345-2273.
News Article | February 21, 2017
QA Graphics recently partnered with CEC Facilities Group to provide a larger range of services that utilizes QA Graphics’ many talents. CEC came to QA Graphics needing us to provide graphical renderings that would impact the project close ratio and provide an easy to understand User Interface that is visually appealing. This lead to the following services provided by QA Graphics: Floor Plans, Exterior Renderings, and BAS Equipment Graphics. To download a copy of the project spotlight and learn more about the services provided visit: https://www.qagraphics.com/project-spotlight-cec-faculties-group/ CEC was facing challenges from incomplete renderings, miss-quotes, and projected time completion before coming to QA Graphics. QA Graphics sales team and project leaders provided an easy process from start to finish with projects completed in a timely manner. The completions of floor plans, exterior renderings, and BAS equipment graphics allows CEC to promote their building automation system user interface to new clients in a positive manner that is easy to use and visually appealing. The high quality and details of the picture like renderings, delivers a great feature to be able to show CEC clients and set their company apart from other BAS/EMS contractors in the industry. When talking about how QA Graphics helped overcome CEC’s previous challenges, CEC's BAS Operations Manager, Michael Ebarb said, “I would say that not having QA on board and the graphics that they provide would definitely have impact the project close ratio significantly. At the end of the day the end user is wanting to have a UI that easily to interact with and visually appealing. The use of QA Graphics allows us to provide an “easy to understand” UI. A person with little to no HVAC mechanical experience is able to view our UI and know if the unit is operational or is in need of repair.” About QA Graphics - QA Graphics is a leader in the building automation and green building industries. The company specializes in HVAC graphic development services, system graphics, floor plan graphics, and Energy Efficiency Education Dashboards™ (EEEDs). Since 2006, QA Graphics has served as an expert design resource for the building controls industry and is able to provide BAS graphics for any type of building automation. The company also provides marketing solutions such as interactive applications, 3D design and animation, UX design, videos, and more. Visit http://www.qagraphics.com to learn more. About CEC Facilities Group- Built from the ground up, one project at a time, CEC Facilities Group is the fastest growing electrical, technology, and mechanical contracting company in Texas. Approaching each project with only the highest-quality and dedication to their clients who define them. Through the years, CEC has organically grown and diversified into three subsidiaries to better serve client’s needs: CEC Electrical, Inc.; CEC Facilities Group; and CEC Technology Group. Visit http://www.cecelectricalinc.com to learn more.
News Article | February 28, 2017
MTPV Power Corporation (http://www.mtpv.com), a clean energy company that coverts heat to electricity using semiconductor chips, has announced that it is a Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) InnovateMass program awardee, receiving a grant to deploy its EBLADE™ Power Platform waste heat to power solution in a production glass manufacturing environment. The InnovateMass program provides strategic funding and support to companies on the threshold of new cleantech product commercialization. InnovateMass funding covers a wide array of clean energy technologies, with an emphasis on specific energy challenges that are priority areas for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Ardagh Group, a global leader in the packaging industry with more than 23,000 employees in 109 facilities and 22 countries worldwide, is working with MTPV to implement and manage this clean energy site demonstration project. The project will take place at the Ardagh Group, Glass – North America facility in Milford, MA, which manufactures approximately 2.4 million glass bottles per day. “MTPV Power Corporation is honored to receive MassCEC’s InnovateMass grant. The InnovateMass program is an outstanding resource for clean energy companies in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said MTPV’s President & CEO David Mather. “The funding and support provided by the InnovateMass program and the outstanding collaboration of Ardagh Group accelerates the commercialization of our groundbreaking waste heat to electricity conversion technology.” “By making key investments in early-stage companies, we can help these local companies address persistent funding gaps and increase business opportunities,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “Through continued assistance to help develop Massachusetts’ vibrant innovation sector, the Commonwealth is positioned to benefit from increased job creation, technology development, and economic activity throughout the state.” "Ardagh Group continually invests in systems and processes that improve the efficiency of our operations, reduce costs and increase competitiveness,” said Ted Moser, Manager, Energy for Ardagh Group, Glass – North America. "Our goal is to become the leading supplier of inherently sustainable glass packaging, and the ability to convert our waste heat directly into electricity improves competitiveness while having a direct environmental impact, supporting both our business and sustainability objectives.” About MTPV Power Corporation (http://www.mtpv.com) MTPV is a clean energy semiconductor company using its breakthrough technology to harness the world’s heat and convert it to electricity. For more information, visit http://www.mtpv.com and connect with MTPV on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. About Ardagh Group (http://www.ardaghgroup.com) Ardagh Group is a global leader in glass and metal packaging solutions, producing packaging for most of the world's leading food, beverage and consumer care brands. We operate 109 facilities in 22 countries, employ over 23,000 people and have global sales exceeding $8.8 billion (Eur €7.9 billion). About MassCEC (http://www.masscec.com/) The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies, and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects, and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers. Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton chairs MassCEC’s board of directors.
News Article | December 15, 2016
The California Energy Commission (CEC) on Wednesday passed sweeping energy efficiency standards for computers and monitors in an effort to reduce power costs, becoming the first state in the country to adopt such rules. The regulations promise to reduce energy consumed by computers by about one-third, saving ratepayers some $373 million in utility bills by 2027, and figure to have impacts far beyond California’s state lines. Computers and computer monitors in the state use an estimated 5,610 gigawatts-hours of electricity, representing up to 3 percent of residential electricity use and 7 percent of commercial use. “"Such efficiency improvements are good for consumers, good for the electric system, good for the environment and frankly good for the green credentials of the manufacturers," said Andrew McAllister, a CEC commissioner who helped guide the new rules through a four-year process of consultations with industry that culminated in Wednesday’s 5-0 vote in Sacramento. “There's a lot of substance to like here.” The first tranche of the new standards will start Jan. 1, 2018, to be completed in stages by July 1, 2021. One of the rules’ chief targets is desktop computers, which use about four times as much power as a typical laptop (or notebook) computer. Sometimes called “energy vampires” by efficiency experts, desktops are switched on 77 percent of the time but sit idle for 61 percent of those minutes, according to a recent study from a University of California Irvine research team. Under the new rules, desktops must reduce their power-draw by about 30 percent when idle by the beginning of 2019 and nearly 50 percent by mid-2021. Most computer monitors will also be affected, with the new rules establishing thresholds for the amount of power a monitor or display can consume, even when they are in sleep mode. The standards also apply to laptops but it’s estimated about 73 percent of notebook computers on the market already meet the rules’ requirements. By 2021, the CEC estimates the new rules make the cost of each desktop about $14 more expensive but said consumers will save more than $55 over five years in reduced energy bills. Monitors will cost about $5 more but are expected to lead to $30 in savings over seven years. Laptops will cost about $1 more but energy savings in four years, the CEC said, is about twice that amount. The Consumer Federation of America praised the regulations and said the percentages in cost savings more than make up for the increase in prices. “Believe me, the average consumer who can barely get 2 percent on his CD today, that’s a pretty darn good investment,” said Mark Cooper, the federation’s director of research in a teleconference after the commission passed the rules. Representatives from Intel and HP Inc. also took part in the teleconference, with HP environmental compliance manager Paul Ford calling the energy limits “ambitious but achievable.” The CEC has emphasized that manufacturers will have flexibility to meet the standards. “It’s been a very good process that has led to, I think, a very good rule,” Ford said. The rules apply only to computers in California but the sheer size of the state’s share of the computer market is so formidable — California by itself accounts for 25 million computer monitors, 23 million laptops and 21 million desktops — the new standards will have ripple effects across the country and beyond. “It will have a global impact and significantly change the way future energy-efficient desktops and all-in-one computers are designed and manufactured,” said Andrea Deveau, vice president of state policy and politics for Tech Net, a trade group that counts Cisco and Microsoft among its members. “It was never taken lightly and it is definitely an historic rule-making.” But Adrian Moore, vice president of policy at the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank based in Los Angeles, questioned the CEC’s cost savings estimates and said consumers already have a built-in incentive to buy energy-efficient computers in order to keep their utility bills low. “It's always easy to say, hey, this is a really cheap way for people to save a lot of money but for some reason, (consumers) just aren't doing it,” Moore said. “So we, the energy commission being all wise and powerful here in Sacramento, can make this happen for them. Because we know as the energy commission, we know far more about computer markets than dumb old computer makers, much less dumb old computer consumers.” The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental group, worked closely with the CEC to develop the new standards.
News Article | February 15, 2017
DALLAS, Feb. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Kids Play Safe, a research organization committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of children, and Chuck E. Cheese's® announced their partnership. Kids Play Safe, and its founder Dr. Erin Carr-Jordan, approached Chuck E....
News Article | February 21, 2017
« IACMI launches new technical collaboration project for advanced compressed natural gas storage | Main | New enhanced-range Volkswagen e-Golf now available for order in Europe » The California Energy Commission (CEC) has selected 15 new main hydrogen retail station projects for up to $31.7 million in combined funding, as well as one connector station project for up to $1.5 million in fund. Among the program requirements are that each station dispense a minimum of at least 33% renewable hydrogen (per kilogram). Eight of the main stations projects identified in the Notice of Proposed Awards (NOPA) are to be completed by First Element Fuel; the remaining seven are to be completed by a partnership of Shell and Toyota Motor. The CEC released a Grant Solicitation and Application Package entitled “Light Duty Vehicle Hydrogen Refueling Infrastructure” (GFO-15-605) under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) in 2016. (Earlier post.) The grant solicitation was an offer to fund projects that will expand the network of publicly accessible hydrogen refueling stations that serve California’s light duty fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The solicitation offered funding for both capital expense grants and operation and maintenance (O&M) grants. Toyota is supporting hydrogen infrastructure development through a number of collaborations. In California, Toyota also has entered into a financial agreement with First Element Fuels to support construction and operation of 19 fueling stations across the state. In 2016, Toyota announced a collaboration with Air Liquide to develop and supply a phased network of 12 state-of-the-art hydrogen stations targeted for New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Shell is taking part in various initiatives to encourage the adoption of hydrogen as a transport fuel. In Germany, Shell is working with the government and industry partners in a cross-sector joint venture, H2 Mobility Germany, to support the development of a nationwide expansion of hydrogen refueling stations. Shell currently operates two hydrogen refueling stations in California, both located in Los Angeles.
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2014
The project focuses on making solar energy affordable to meet the basic energy needs for low-income, rural households. By focusing on solar energy as the source, this project addresses the societal challenge area relating to global change & amp; sustainable energy.Our goal is to substantially reduce the system cost to address essential energy needs, providing on the order of 10kWh per day with energy storage to operate after the sun goes down or on cloudy days. Essential energy needs are divided between electrical and thermal loads. Thermal loads include space and water heating as well as space cooling. Electrical loads include lighting, communications, cooking and computers as well as controllers and DC pumps for the thermal loads. By reducing the size of the loads, smaller solar photovoltaic and thermal systems can be used to meet the needs at a lower overall cost.If successful, the project will introduce new products that will create jobs and increase rural economic opportunities. Societal-impacting climate change is addressed through reduced dependence on fossil fuels and reduced greenhouse gas emission for meeting basic energy needs.
News Article | November 30, 2016
DALLAS, Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Chuck E. Cheese's is slowly phasing out tokens in favor of Play Pass, its new tap-to-play game card system which uses RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. The company has completed installing the system at nearly 200 locations, with the ro...
News Article | November 8, 2016
IRVING, Texas, Nov. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CEC Entertainment, Inc. (the "Company") today announced financial results for its third quarter ended October 2, 2016. Third quarter same store sales for our Chuck E. Cheese's and Peter Piper Pizza stores increased 3.5% on a same...