News Article | May 11, 2017
« Proterra launches new diagnostic tool and cold weather package for improved operational efficiency of battery-electric buses | Main | BorgWarner supplies clutch for Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid » The California Energy Commission awarded more than $24 million in grants today for clean energy freight transportation projects in Los Angeles and Long Beach and more than $12 million for other clean transportation projects. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and Long Beach Harbor Department received $10 million each and the Los Angeles Harbor Department received $4.5 million to conduct field demonstrations of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and cargo handling equipment that have zero or near-zero emissions (GFO-16-604). The projects support California’s Sustainable Freight Action Plan, which was developed in 2016 to help the state’s freight transport system become more efficient, more economically competitive, and less polluting. Grants were provided through the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP). Several other ARFVTP-funded projects were also approved. Tracy Renewable Energy received a $5-million grant for an ethanol from sugar beets project; the City of Manteca received a $3-million grant for a biomethane project; and CR&R Incorporated received a $3-million grant for a biomethane project (GFO-15-606). The Cerritos Community College District’s Advanced Transportation Technology and Energy Center was awarded $1 million to develop clean fuel training programs for high schools in underserved communities, regions impacted by poor air quality and those serving minority populations. Nearly $13 million was awarded through the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program for five vehicle-grid integration projects that advance technology that allows electric vehicles to communicate with the grid and vary their charging levels to enhance grid stability. Recipients included Motiv Power Systems, Inc., the Zero Net Energy Alliance, Prospect Silicon Valley, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Three Energy Conservation Assistance Act loans, which help cities, counties, special districts, and other public entities invest in energy efficiency and energy generation projects, were also approved. The loans have an interest rate of 1% and are repaid within 20 years from energy cost savings.
News Article | May 18, 2017
Many elements are required for making the energy system more sustainable. Among them are smart solar storage systems, smartly interconnected energy grids, and electricity-based synthetic fuels (e-fuels). KIT studies the related technologies and will present latest findings and outlooks at the Intersolar and ees Europe exhibitions (May 31 to June 02, 2017, Munich). The main topics covered at the KIT booth will be the Helmholtz "Energy Lab 2.0" research platform, the "SafetyFirst" project for efficient home storage systems, and experience gained from the operation of Germany's largest solar power storage park for research at KIT (hall 1B, booth B1.154 and special exhibit "Smart Renewable Energy"). The lower the costs of home storage systems are, the more are they used in private households. The technology is about to enter mass market. But are the systems as good as promised by the manufacturers? It is not only the purchase price that significantly influences current costs of home storage systems, but also quality, i.e. performance in operation. "Within the framework of the "SafetyFirst" project, we measure the performance of 20 commercial storage systems," project head Nina Munzke, KIT, says. Performance is determined by the efficiency of the system components as well as by standby consumptions, the storage system's speed of response to changes of load and production, and the intelligence of the overall system control unit. "Our measurements reveal: Home storage systems on the market differ considerably. For better comparability, we have set up a checklist with the most important criteria and the results measured by KIT as benchmarks. This checklist is to enable customers and craftspeople to ask the right questions to storage system manufacturers and suppliers." KIT's experience gained from the "SafetyFirst" project has also been incorporated in the "Effizienzleitfaden für PV-Speichersysteme" (efficiency guidelines for photovoltaic storage systems) of the German Energy Storage Association (BVES) and the German Solar Association (BSW Solar). These guidelines were published in March to standardize measurements of energy efficiency of PV storage systems. The "SafetyFirst" project does not only cover the quality of storage systems, but also transport and functional safety as well as their contribution to grid stability. Based on the results, development recommendations can be made for the benefit of all grid and storage system operators as well as for the consumer. The "SafetyFirst" project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy with about EUR 4 million and coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Project partners are the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research in Ulm. At Intersolar and ees Europe 2017, the lessons learned from comparative tests of performance, safety, and contribution to grid stability will be presented. In addition, latest results obtained from the solar power storage park of KIT will reveal how energy power self-supply can be maximized. For more information and the checklist, click: http://www. https:/ The energy transition is a big challenge: Increasing amounts of electricity from the fluctuating renewable sources of sun and wind have to be used efficiently and affordably, with the required grid stability and supply security being ensured. "For the energy transition to be successful within the terms envisaged, we now have to analyze the entire energy system and to interconnect the different energy sources much more efficiently than today," Roland Dittmeyer of KIT says. He heads the "Energy Lab 2.0" project. "I am convinced that we will have to courageously apply existing technologies and to develop new technologies to maturity. With the "Energy Lab 2.0", we can support this development in an ideal way." The "Energy Lab 2.0" as a real-world laboratory and simulation platform allows to test new approaches to integrating various technologies into the energy system. For the first time in Europe, larger experimental facilities are interconnected. Among them are facilities for the production of renewable electricity, systems for storage and conversion into heat, synthetic natural gas, and synthetic fuels (e-fuels) with minimum pollutant production, and plants for fuel- and load-flexible power production from easily storable chemical energy carriers. Designs of a cellular, smart overall energy supply system are derived and studied comprehensively. Apart from the interconnection of electric, thermal, and chemical energy flows and the integration of storage systems, particular attention is paid to the development and testing of new information and communication technologies for the control of these smart energy grids. The project partners of the "Energy Lab 2.0" are Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), all of which are members of the Helmholtz Association. The project is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as well as the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). At Intersolar and ees Europe 2017, the "Energy Lab 2.0" will present its research activities at the special exhibit "Smart Renewable Energy." Visit the Energy Lab 2.0 at booth B2.140 in hall B2. Further information is available at: http://www. http://www. Parallel to the Smart Renewable Energy special exhibit, experts will present current research efforts for the energy transition at the KIT-organized presentation series "Beschleuniger der Energiewende: neue wegweisende Forschungsinitiativen" (accelerator of the energy transition, new trendsetting research initiatives) at the "Smart Renewable Energy Forum" on Thursday, June 01, 10 am to 12 am in hall B2, booth B2.131. Grußwort (Welcome address), MinR. Dr. Christoph Rövekamp, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Leiter des Referats 722 Grundlagenforschung Energie The program can be found at: http://www. (in German only) Other KIT Presentations at the Exhibition "Performance benchmark: battery home storage systems put to the test", Nina Munzke, KIT ees Europe Conference, May 30, 2017, 12.30 am, ICM - International Congress Center Munich, hall 13 A „Performance von Heimspeichersystemen: aktuelle Ergebnisse" (Performance of home storage systems: Latest findings), Bernhard Schwarz, KIT ees Forum, May 31, 2017, 11.20 - 11.40 am, booth B1.151 For further information, please contact: Kosta Schinarakis, Science Scout, Phone: +49 721 608 41956, Fax: +49 721 608 43658, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org More about the KIT Energy Center: http://www. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) pools its three core tasks of research, higher education, and innovation in a mission. With about 9,300 employees and 25,000 students, KIT is one of the big institutions of research and higher education in natural sciences and engineering in Europe. KIT - The Research University in the Helmholtz Association Since 2010, the KIT has been certified as a family-friendly university. This press release is available on the internet at http://www. .
News Article | May 17, 2017
Acterra has announced that stok has been selected to receive a 2017 Acterra Business Environmental Award in the Acterra Award for Sustainability category, the program’s highest honor, which recognizes businesses whose programs achieve significant triple bottom line benefits and advance the state of sustainability across industry sectors. stok is a real estate services firm that optimizes the financial and environmental performance of buildings, while improving the well-being of people and planet. The company counts six of Forbes’ top 15 most valuable brands as clients, and has contributed to the certification of dozens of net zero energy buildings, and hundreds of LEED projects globally. stok was first recognized by Acterra in 2015, when the Zero Net Energy Center won in the Sustainable Built Environment category. In addition to providing services that optimize the built environment, stok also prioritizes environmental and social sustainability throughout its own operations. The company offers team members the first ever impact rated fossil-free, gun-free 401(k) plan, and champions an innovative “flat” management structure based on organizational biomimicry. As part of its commitment to an equitable workplace, stok published a JUST label from the International Living Future Institute and achieved B Corp Certification to publicly disclose its progress as a responsible organization. These efforts inspired stok to implement equitable compensation guidelines that remove bias and negotiation from salary conversations, family-friendly maternity and paternity leave policies, and flexible work schedules. “stok clearly operates with environmental sustainability and intention at every level,” the judges said in their decision to award stok. “stok’s commitment to social sustainability is exemplary, shown by the creation and 100% participation rate in their fossil-free, gun-free 401(k), innovative management structure, and continued commitment to improving their JUST scorecard.” “We’re proving that social and environmental responsibility doesn’t have to come at the expense of business—it’s in fact imperative to the financial success and long-term growth of an organization. We’re honored to be acknowledged by Acterra, and hope to inspire others to optimize triple bottom line impacts in every aspect of their work and operations,” said stok founder Matt Macko. Acterra’s Business Environmental Awards is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s oldest and most prestigious environmental recognition programs. Begun in 1990, it is considered a champion among awards programs due to its broad geographic scope and rigorous judging process. stok will be honored at the 2017 Acterra Business Environmental Awards Ceremony & Reception on Wednesday, May 24th at Intuit Inc. in Mountain View. For complete information about the 2017 awardees and ceremony, visit acterra.org/bea. About stok stok is a vertically integrated real estate services firm focused on creating a radically better built environment. stok balances the financial and performance goals of its projects with social and environmental needs, resulting in restorative buildings, exceptional workspaces, high performance systems, and lasting, trusted relationships with its partners. In all that stok does—from real estate strategy, to construction management, to building analysis and certifications—it takes a broad-thinking, partner-focused approach to solving complex problems. For more information, visit stok.com. About Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet Acterra is a San Francisco Bay Area 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Palo Alto that brings people together to create local solutions for a healthy planet. Acterra focuses on what you can do locally to address current environmental problems. In the face of daunting environmental challenges, Acterra’s science-based approach instills hope while building community. For more information,visit acterra.org.
News Article | April 17, 2017
From the SPIE Photonics West Show Daily : 2D tunable materials would allow researchers to "move from still-life daguerreotype nanophotonics to the film and television era." In the world of materials science these days, 2D is all the rage. Over the last decade or so, researchers have discovered that by making certain materials into thin, two-dimensional sheets — sometimes only one or two atoms thick — the materials can acquire new properties and behaviors. In particular, by engineering the nanostructure of these materials in certain ways, researchers can create materials whose properties can be tuned in real-time. Simply by adjusting the voltage, for example, researchers can change the material's basic optical properties, potentially controlling the wave vector, wavelength, amplitude, phase, and polarization of light. The goal is to do it in the context of all optical processes, from scattering and absorption to luminescence and thermal emission. Conventionally, the properties of nanophotonic materials are static, built into the design and structure of the device. But tunability means properties that are dynamic, opening a whole range of new technological applications, from driverless cars to 3D holographic imaging. "This allows one to move from still-life daguerreotype nanophotonics to the film and television era," said Harry Atwater of the California Institute of Technology, who described some of his group's latest advances at Photonics West 2017 on 30 January. Atwater is the Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science at Caltech and serves as director of the DOE Energy Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. Of all 2D materials, graphene, a flat lattice of carbon only one-atom thick, is most famous. Recently, Atwater and his colleagues used graphene to make a material with 100% optical absorption, something that theorists first proposed was possible five years ago. To force the graphene to interact strongly with light, the researchers sliced a monolayer of graphene into thin ribbons only 50 or 100 nm wide. These ribbons allow light to efficiently couple with surface plasmons, the collective excitation of electrons, in the graphene. Surrounding the ribbons is gold film that funnels light to the graphene. Underneath is a Salisbury screen, which acts like a mirror that prevents light from escaping through the material, reflecting photons back into the graphene. The researchers designed the structure of this surface so that its impedance matches that of free space, which enables it to absorb all photons that come its way. "That's quite a dramatic result," Atwater said. But by changing the voltage going through the graphene, the researchers can adjust how much it absorbs light. The graphene nanomaterial works in infrared wavelengths, so tunability could lead to all sorts of devices for controlling thermal radiation. In essence, Atwater explained, you could turn a black body into a white body with a flick of a switch. Covering a building with this kind of material could provide a new way to control heating and cooling-by adjusting whether the building absorbs or reflects heat. "It's like a coat of paint I can change the color from black to white in the infrared," Atwater said. The researchers have also used graphene to make a tunable phase modulator, which means that instead of simply reflecting thermal radiation, the surface can steer it toward a particular direction depending on the voltage. This paves the way toward beam-steering devices that can reflect infrared beams in any direction without the need for the slower, mechanically moving mirrors used in conventional beam steerers. These kinds of infrared beam steering devices would be essential for LIDAR systems in driverless cars. To know where it's going, a driverless car needs an infrared beam steering system to quickly scan its surroundings to make a 3D map. Atwater's group has already demonstrated a tunable phased array in the near infrared that scans at megahertz frequencies. Next, Atwater hopes to control polarization of light in graphene. Perhaps farther in the future, when researchers have achieved even greater control and tunability, these kinds of devices could be used for 3D holographic images, he said. Such holograms would require both phase and amplitude modulation across multiple wavelengths. Of course, graphene isn't the only 2D material out there. One of the newest is black phosphorous. Unlike graphene, which is a semimetal, black phosphorous is a semiconductor — and is tunable without the need for any additional engineering or nanopatterning. For example, black phosphorous acts as a natural quantum well. By applying a voltage, you can tune the energy levels in that quantum well. It also has a different bandgap depending on how thick you make the material. In a monolayer, the bandgap is 2 eV, but drops down to 0.3 eV in bulk. But because 2D black phosphorous is still so new, researchers like Atwater are just trying to understand and measure its properties, gauging potential applications. Topological insulators are another class of promising 2D semiconducting materials. The defining characteristic of these materials, Atwater said, is a correlation between spin and charge. Like with black phosphorous, researchers are still exploring the properties of these materials. For both black phosphorous and topological insulators, what may also be needed are discussions with industry experts to see exactly what applications these tunable 2D materials can be used for. Looking in the nearer future, though, Atwater's team is developing new photovoltaic cells with sheets of materials such as MoS2 and WSe2 — as thin as 10 nm. Cells based on these materials are extremely efficient, absorbing nearly 100% of light. Being so thin and light, they could be useful for wearable technologies, vehicles, and other applications where weight is an issue. Whatever the future holds, however, it seems 2D is here to stay. Photonics West 2017, 28 January through 2 February at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA (USA), encompassed more than 4700 presentations on light-based technologies across more than 95 conferences. It was also the venue for dozens of technical courses for professional development, the Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, the SPIE Startup Challenge, a two-day job fair, two major exhibitions, and a diverse business program with more than 25 events. SPIE Photonics West 2018 will be held 27 January through 1 February at Moscone Center.
News Article | May 3, 2017
ATLANTA, May 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Leadercast Live is the world's largest one-day leadership event with more than 100,000 attendees in 700 locations and 20 countries. This year Leadercast Live will be held on May 5, 2017, at the Infinite Energy Center in metro Atlanta, and will be streamed to locations around the world. The day prior, Leadercast will hold Leadercast Labs. Leadercast Live is one of the most inspirational leadership days of the year, Leadercast Labs is one of the most practical leadership days of the year. Leadercast Live is an annual experience that brings together some of the most recognized and respected global leaders, in the audience and on the stage. The 2017 speaker lineup includes: Dr. Henry Cloud, Molly Fletcher, Tyler Perry, Daniel Pink, Andy Stanley, Jess Ekstrom, Don Miller, Suzy Welch, Jim McKelvey, and is hosted by Tripp Crosby. A surprise guest – Hall of Fame Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz – will be addressing the local live audience in Atlanta prior to the event streaming worldwide.
News Article | May 5, 2017
ATLANTA, GA, May 05, 2017-- As part of the ongoing growth of its retail services division, Ackerman & Co. announced today it has joined Realty Resources Network Inc., an alliance of independent commercial real estate firms. The company's membership in the peer network provides access to retail specialists from across the U.S. and the ability to participate in information sharing among members, key benefits that will help Ackerman as it expands into new markets and continues to strengthen its retail services platform."Ackerman is a well-established and full-line commercial real estate brokerage house that brings Realty Resources an important set of skills at a time when retail is expanding its reach to incorporate mixed uses in traditional retail settings," said Andrew G. Segall, Chairman of Realty Resources Network. "Ackerman's multiple disciplines add to a major market such as Atlanta what Realty Resources already offers in other major markets across the U.S."Added Leo Wiener, President of Ackerman Retail, Ackerman & Co.'s retail division: "We're thrilled to join Realty Resources Network. This is an excellent opportunity for us to improve our capabilities with a partnership that provides us a wide-array of resources, including access to local expertise in markets where Ackerman Retail is looking to grow. We also look forward to sharing a booth with Realty Resources at the upcoming ICSC /RECon conference in Las Vegas May 21-24. Attending the world's largest retail real estate convention is a great chance for us to visit with long-standing clients and network with new contacts."Ackerman Retail is also pleased to announce the following leasing and tenant representation wins:- New Market Properties has selected Ackerman Retail to market three grocery-anchored shopping centers for lease in metro Atlanta. Courtney Brumbelow, senior vice president of Ackerman Retail, will lead the leasing efforts.- The properties include Royal Lakes Marketplace, a 119,493-square-foot Kroger-anchored shopping center located at 4009 Winder Highway in Flowery Branch, which offers a prime location at the intersection of Winder Highway and Sloan Mill Road adjacent to the Royal Lakes Golf and Country Club community.- The other two properties Ackerman Retail will market are Thompson Bridge Commons, a 92,587-square-foot Kroger-anchored shopping center located at 3630 Thompson Bridge Road at the intersection of Mount Vernon Road in Gainesville, and Wade Green Village, a 74,978-square-foot Publix shopping center at 4430 Wade Green Road in Kennesaw, located less than one mile from Interstate 75. Each property features multiple entry/exit points, a strong mix of national and local retailers, and the opportunity for tenants to occupy a single unit or to expand multiple units into a larger space.- In addition, Interface Properties has selected Ackerman Retail to market the Shoppes on Sugarloaf. Brumbelow will lead leasing efforts at the 16,600-square-foot shopping center strategically located on Sugarloaf Parkway in Gwinnett County, adjacent to Infinite Energy Center and its upcoming 110-acre mixed-use entertainment district, which will include a mix of housing, shops and restaurants.The Retail group's Brian Lefkoff, senior vice president and head of Tenant Representation, joined Ackerman & Co. this past March and already has secured two national accounts:- My Salon Suite, a New Orleans-based upscale salon suite franchise, has hired Lefkoff to lead its expansion initiatives across the U.S. and Canada. The company, which currently has more than 40 locations in 16 states and in Canada, plans to add 200 franchise partners and 300 salons in the next five years.In August 2015, My Salon Suite formed a strategic alliance partnership with Ratner Companies, the nation's largest family-owned collection of salons, which contributed to a 20 percent surge in franchise locations in 2016. The brand was also named to Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500 list in March, ranking at #141.The company offers franchisees state-of-the-art amenities and security systems, ongoing training and support, and an alternative financing program.- Building Kidz School, a leader in early childhood care and education, which currently has eight locations in California with plans to move into major markets across the U.S. Lefkoff will identify and help select optimal sites for new Building Kidz School campus locations.The Mountain View, Calif.-based company delivers a kindergarten readiness program, kindergarten and school age programs, and after school programs. Building Kidz School offers a proprietary curriculum featuring a specialization in performing arts.In addition to these new assignments, Lefkoff's high-profile accounts include Regal Cinemas, Rack Room Shoes, Off Broadway Shoes and Pearle Vision."These wins are a great indication of our ability to secure high-profile assignments in our core market of Atlanta as well as national accounts, which is representative of our Retail division's long-term strategy for growth," said Wiener.Headquartered in Atlanta, Ackerman & Co. is a privately held, full-service commercial real estate firm focused on providing quality investment, brokerage, management and development services in the Southeast. The company, founded in 1967, retains an expert team of more than 100 real estate professionals. To date, Ackerman & Co. has developed and acquired nearly 35 million square feet of office, medical, industrial, retail and mixed-use space, has more than 7 million square feet under management, and maintains an investment portfolio valued at $1 billion.For more information on Ackerman & Co., visit www.ackermanco.com Established in 1988, Realty Resources Network, Inc. is a unique alliance of independent commercial real estate brokerage firms from across the nation. Our firms are well established and well known in the retail real estate industry, enjoying dominance in their respective trade areas. For more information on Realty Resources Network, visit www.realtyresources.org
News Article | February 28, 2017
PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NRG Yield, Inc. (NYSE:NYLD, NYLD.A) today reported full year 2016 financial results including a Net Loss of $15 million, Adjusted EBITDA of $899 million, Cash from Operating Activities of $560 million, and CAFD of $311 million. "NRG Yield finished 2016 strong with exceptional financial results and significant financial flexibility to continue executing on its growth plans in 2017," said Christopher Sotos, NRG Yield's President and Chief Executive Officer. "With today's announcement of both the next drop down and an expanded ROFO pipeline from NRG, NRG Yield stands to continue its dividend growth." Overview of Financial and Operating Results For the fourth quarter of 2016, NRG Yield reported Net Loss of $126 million, Adjusted EBITDA of $207 million, Cash from Operating Activities of $121 million, and CAFD of $62 million. Fourth quarter net loss results were primarily due to $183 million of non-cash asset impairments within NRG Wind TE Holdco at three separate wind projects: Elbow Creek and Goat Wind located in Texas, and Forward Wind located in Pennsylvania, all of which were acquired as part of the drop down assets from NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG) on November 3, 2015. Fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA results were higher than 2015 primarily due to increased production in the Renewables segment and a $4 million receipt of insurance proceeds from a 2014 wind outage claim. CAFD results were higher than 2015 due to the Adjusted EBITDA impacts referenced above and the acquisition of the remaining 51.05% interest in California Valley Solar Ranch from NRG (CVSR Drop Down Asset). For the twelve months ended December 31, 2016, NRG Yield reported Net Loss of $15 million, Adjusted EBITDA of $899 million, Cash from Operating Activities of $560 million, and CAFD of $311 million. Full year net loss results were impacted by the non-cash asset impairments referenced above. Adjusted EBITDA results were higher than 2015 primarily due to increased wind production in the Renewables segment, full year contributions from the acquisitions of Desert Sunlight and Spring Canyon which closed in 2015, and a $4 million receipt of insurance proceeds from a 2014 wind outage claim. CAFD results were higher than 2015 due to the Adjusted EBITDA impacts referenced above, the CVSR Drop Down Asset, and lower maintenance capital expenditures. In the fourth quarter of 2016, NRG Yield recorded a non-cash impairment loss of $183 million for certain assets acquired from NRG as part of the November 3, 2015 drop down of a 75% interest in NRG Wind TE Holdco, a portfolio of 814 net MWs (the November 2015 Drop Down). The projected CAFD during the contract period and variability during the post-contract period from the November 2015 Drop Down portfolio remains substantially in-line with expectations. The non-cash impairment loss was recorded on the following projects from the November 2015 Drop Down: As the assets are held under common control with NRG, NRG Yield recorded the November 2015 Drop Down at a net asset historical cost of $369 million rather than at fair value as paid in November 2015 of $207 million. Under common control accounting rules, NRG Yield retained the higher asset value and recorded the difference between the net asset historical cost and the fair value purchase price to non-controlling interest. In accordance with GAAP, no impairment was necessary at the time of the drop down. In December 2016, NRG Yield updated its view of long-term power prices and operating plan in post-PPA/contract periods as part of its annual budget process triggering a review for impairment and determined that the cash flows over the projects' remaining useful lives were below their carrying amount (historical cost adjusted for changes over time due to depreciation and maintenance capex additions) resulting in an impairment loss. In the fourth quarter of 2016, generation in the Renewables Segment was above expectations and 5% higher than the fourth quarter of 2015 primarily due to stronger wind resources at Alta Wind in California while the Conventional Segment achieved higher equivalent availability versus the fourth quarter of 2015. In January 2017, the El Segundo Energy Center began a forced outage on Units 5 and 6 due to increasing vibrations on successive operations on Unit 5. In consultation with NRG, the Company's operations and maintenance provider, the Company elected to replace the rotor on Unit 5. Both Unit 5 and 6 returned to service on February 24, 2017. The Company estimates the CAFD impact of the forced outage to be approximately $12 million in 2017 before recovery from warranty or insurance coverage. Total liquidity as of December 31, 2016 was $916 million, an increase of $541 million from December 31, 2015. This reflects an increase in revolver availability of $302 million and an increase in cash of $239 million4 due to the issuance of non-recourse project-level debt at CVSR, issuance of non-recourse project-level debt at Thermal, and the issuance of senior unsecured notes at NRG Yield Operating LLC. Other potential sources of liquidity include the $150 million at-the-market (ATM) facility under which no shares have been issued to date. On January 5, 2017, NRG Energy Center Pittsburgh LLC amended its Energy Services Agreement with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Mercy, based on a customer change order, to increase the capacity of the district energy system to 80 MWt. Accordingly, in the first quarter of 2017, NRG Energy Center Minneapolis LLC expects to amend its existing Note Purchase and Private Shelf Agreement to permit the issuance of $10 million of Series F notes. These Series F notes, if issued, will be utilized in addition to the existing, authorized $70 million of Series E notes, to make payments with respect to the UPMC Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) Agreement. The total payment under the EPC Agreement was also increased from $79 million to approximately $87 million to account for this customer change order. In December 2016, NRG offered the Company the opportunity to purchase the following assets: (i) the Minnesota Portfolio, a 40 MW portfolio of wind projects; (ii) the 30 MW Community wind project; (iii) the 50 MW Jeffers wind projects; and (iv) a 16% interest in the 290 MW Agua Caliente solar project, pursuant to the ROFO Agreement. In addition to these ROFO Assets, NRG also offered the Company the opportunity to purchase NRG's 50% interests in seven utility-scale solar projects located in Utah, representing 265 net MW of capacity5 that were part of NRG's recent acquisition of projects from SunEdison. On February 24, 2017, the Company entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Agua Caliente and Utah utility-scale solar projects (311 net MW) from NRG for cash consideration of $130 million, plus assumed non-recourse project debt of approximately $464 million6, excluding adjustments for working capital. Details of the projects include: The Company elected not to pursue the acquisition of the Minnesota, Community, and Jeffers wind projects at this time, but may continue its evaluation of the projects. The Company has retained the right with NRG, pursuant to the ROFO Agreement, to participate in any process to the extent NRG elected to pursue a third party sale of these assets. In connection with the execution of the definitive agreement, the Company and NRG entered into an amendment to the ROFO Agreement to expand the NRG ROFO pipeline with the addition of 234 net MW of utility-scale solar projects that NRG acquired as part of the SunEdison transaction. These assets include: The purchase price for the drop down transaction will be funded entirely with cash on hand and is expected to increase CAFD on an annual basis by approximately $13.3 million9. The transaction is expected to close within the next 60 days and the Company expects to record its interests in the acquired projects as equity method investments. During the fourth quarter of 2016, NRG Yield invested $2 million and $12 million in the distributed solar investment partnerships, residential and business renewables, respectively, with NRG. Following these contributions, NRG Yield has invested $170 million in the partnerships and co-owns approximately 131 MW10 of distributed solar capacity with a weighted average contract life of approximately 19 years. As of December 31, 2016, the Company has no further funding commitments to the existing residential solar partnership and has $66 million remaining to be funded under the existing business renewables partnerships. On February 15, 2017, NRG Yield’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend on Class A and Class C common stock of $0.26 per share ($1.04 per share annualized) payable on March 15, 2017, to stockholders of record as of March 1, 2017. This equates to a 4% increase over the prior quarter and an increase of 16.3% over the previous year. NRG Yield’s quarterly operating results are impacted by seasonal factors as well as variability in renewable energy resource. The majority of NRG Yield’s revenues are generated from the months of May through September, as contracted pricing and renewable resources are at their highest levels in the Company’s core markets. The factors driving the fluctuation in Net Income, Adjusted EBITDA, Cash from Operating Activities, and CAFD include the following: The Company takes into consideration the timing of these factors to ensure sufficient funds are available for distribution on a quarterly basis. NRG Yield is reconfirming 2017 full year financial guidance. However, the full year financial guidance reflects neither the impact of the aforementioned outage at El Segundo Energy Center nor the drop down transaction announced today. Upon closing of the drop down transaction, the Company will provide an update to full year guidance. NRG Yield is targeting dividend per share growth of 15% annually on each of its Class A and Class C common stock through 2018. On February 28, 2017, NRG Yield will host a conference call at 9:15 a.m. Eastern to discuss these results. Investors, the news media and others may access the live webcast of the conference call and accompanying presentation materials by logging on to NRG Yield’s website at http://www.nrgyield.com and clicking on “Presentations & Webcasts.” NRG Yield owns a diversified portfolio of contracted renewable and conventional generation and thermal infrastructure assets in the United States, including fossil fuel, solar and wind power generation facilities that provide the capacity to support more than two million American homes and businesses. Our thermal infrastructure assets provide steam, hot water and/or chilled water, and in some instances electricity, to commercial businesses, universities, hospitals and governmental units in multiple locations. NRG Yield’s Class C and Class A common stock are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols NYLD and NYLD.A, respectively. Visit www.nrgyield.com for more information. This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions and include our Net Income, Adjusted EBITDA, Cash from Operating Activities, cash available for distribution, expected earnings, future growth and financial performance, and typically can be identified by the use of words such as “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “forecast,” “plan,” “believe” and similar terms. Although NRG Yield believes that its expectations are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to be correct, and actual results may vary materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated herein include, among others, general economic conditions, hazards customary in the power industry, weather conditions, including wind and solar performance, competition in wholesale power markets, the volatility of energy and fuel prices, failure of customers to perform under contracts, changes in the wholesale power markets, changes in government regulation, the condition of capital markets generally, our ability to access capital markets, unanticipated outages at our generation facilities, adverse results in current and future litigation, failure to identify or successfully execute acquisitions, our ability to enter into new contracts as existing contracts expire, our ability to acquire assets from NRG Energy, Inc. or third parties, our ability to maintain or create successful partnering relationships with NRG Energy and other third parties, our ability to close Drop Down transactions, and our ability to maintain and grow our quarterly dividends. Furthermore, any dividends are subject to available capital, market conditions, and compliance with associated laws and regulations. NRG Yield undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The Adjusted EBITDA and Cash Available for Distribution are estimates as of today’s date, February 28, 2017, and are based on assumptions believed to be reasonable as of this date. NRG Yield expressly disclaims any current intention to update such guidance. The foregoing review of factors that could cause NRG Yield’s actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward-looking statements included in this news release should be considered in connection with information regarding risks and uncertainties that may affect NRG Yield’s future results included in NRG Yield’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov. In addition, NRG Yield makes available free of charge at www.nrgyield.com, copies of materials it files with, or furnish to, the SEC. 1 In accordance with GAAP, 2016 and 2015 results have been recast to include the California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) Drop Down Asset as if the combination had been in effect from the beginning of the financial statement period 2 In accordance with GAAP, 2016 and 2015 results have been recast to include the CVSR Drop Down Asset as if the combinations had been in effect from the beginning of the financial statement period 4 See Appendix A-6 for Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2016. Sources and Uses of Cash and Cash Equivalents detail 5 Reflects NRG's net interest based on cash to be distributed in tax equity partnership with Dominion 6 Approximately $328 million on balance sheet and $136 million pro-rata share of unconsolidated debt 7 Reflects 110 MW related to three solar projects acquired by NRG, net of 30 MW that are not subject to the ROFO Agreement 8 61 of the 80 MWs have been contracted as of February 28, 2017 9 CAFD average over the 5-year period from 2018-2022 10 Based on cash to be distributed; includes 14 MW of residential solar leases acquired outside of partnership EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are non-GAAP financial measures. These measurements are not recognized in accordance with GAAP and should not be viewed as an alternative to GAAP measures of performance. The presentation of Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that NRG Yield’s future results will be unaffected by unusual or non-recurring items. EBITDA represents net income before interest (including loss on debt extinguishment), taxes, depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is presented because NRG Yield considers it an important supplemental measure of its performance and believes debt and equity holders frequently use EBITDA to analyze operating performance and debt service capacity. EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider it in isolation, or as a substitute for analysis of our operating results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are: Because of these limitations, EBITDA should not be considered as a measure of discretionary cash available to use to invest in the growth of NRG Yield’s business. NRG Yield compensates for these limitations by relying primarily on our GAAP results and using EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA only supplementally. See the statements of cash flow included in the financial statements that are a part of this news release. Adjusted EBITDA is presented as a further supplemental measure of operating performance. Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA adjusted for mark-to-market gains or losses, asset write offs and impairments; and factors which we do not consider indicative of future operating performance. The reader is encouraged to evaluate each adjustment and the reasons NRG Yield considers it appropriate for supplemental analysis. As an analytical tool, Adjusted EBITDA is subject to all of the limitations applicable to EBITDA. In addition, in evaluating Adjusted EBITDA, the reader should be aware that in the future NRG Yield may incur expenses similar to the adjustments in this news release. Management believes Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors and other users of our financial statements in evaluating our operating performance because it provides them with an additional tool to compare business performance across companies and across periods. This measure is widely used by investors to measure a company’s operating performance without regard to items such as interest expense, taxes, depreciation and amortization, which can vary substantially from company to company depending upon accounting methods and book value of assets, capital structure and the method by which assets were acquired. Additionally, Management believes that investors commonly adjust EBITDA information to eliminate the effect of restructuring and other expenses, which vary widely from company to company and impair comparability. As we define it, Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA adjusted for the effects of impairment losses, gains or losses on sales, dispositions or retirements of assets, any mark-to-market gains or losses from accounting for derivatives, adjustments to exclude the Adjusted EBITDA related to the non-controlling interest, gains or losses on the repurchase, modification or extinguishment of debt, and any extraordinary, unusual or non-recurring items plus adjustments to reflect the Adjusted EBITDA from our unconsolidated investments. We adjust for these items in our Adjusted EBITDA as our management believes that these items would distort their ability to efficiently view and assess our core operating trends. In summary, our management uses Adjusted EBITDA as a measure of operating performance to assist in comparing performance from period to period on a consistent basis and to readily view operating trends, as a measure for planning and forecasting overall expectations and for evaluating actual results against such expectations, and in communications with our Board of Directors, shareholders, creditors, analysts and investors concerning our financial performance. Cash Available for Distribution (CAFD) is adjusted EBITDA plus cash distributions from unconsolidated affiliates, cash receipts from notes receivable, less cash distributions to noncontrolling interests, maintenance capital expenditures, pro-rata adjusted EBITDA from unconsolidated affiliates, cash interest paid, income taxes paid, principal amortization of indebtedness, and changes in prepaid and accrued capacity payments. Management believes cash available for distribution is a relevant supplemental measure of the Company’s ability to earn and distribute cash returns to investors. We believe cash available for distribution is useful to investors in evaluating our operating performance because securities analysts and other interested parties use such calculations as a measure of our ability to make quarterly distributions. In addition, cash available for distribution is used by our management team for determining future acquisitions and managing our growth. The GAAP measure most directly comparable to cash available for distribution is cash from operating activities. However, cash available for distribution has limitations as an analytical tool because it does not include changes in operating assets and liabilities and excludes the effect of certain other cash flow items, all of which could have a material effect on our financial condition and results from operations. Cash available for distribution is a non GAAP measure and should not be considered an alternative to cash from operating activities or any other performance or liquidity measure determined in accordance with GAAP, nor is it indicative of funds available to fund our cash needs. In addition, our calculations of cash available for distribution are not necessarily comparable to cash available for distribution as calculated by other companies. Investors should not rely on these measures as a substitute for any GAAP measure, including cash from operating activities.
News Article | February 27, 2017
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ares Capital Corporation (NASDAQ:ARCC) is providing additional details on its new financing commitments closed during the fourth quarter, which totaled approximately $1.2 billion. “In the fourth quarter, we leveraged the breadth of our platform to originate $1.2 billion of commitments across 24 transactions in a variety of industries,” said Kipp deVeer, Chief Executive Officer of Ares Capital. “Having over 80% of our investment activity in the quarter in support of our existing borrowers is a testament to the significant advantages we provide to our borrowers.” Below is a description of eight transactions that closed during the fourth quarter. Ares Capital served as administrative agent for a $305.0 million second lien credit facility to support the management-led buyout of Acrisure. Ares Capital also made a co-investment in an ABRY Partners-led preferred stock investment in connection with the transaction. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Acrisure is a leading retail insurance brokerage offering comprehensive risk management and consulting solutions, including property and casualty, employee benefits, human resource outsourcing, loss and claims management, surety bonding and personal lines coverage. Ares Capital served as administrative agent for a $250.0 million senior secured credit facility to support a dividend recapitalization of Riverview Power LLC, a 1,559-MW natural gas-fired and landfill gas power portfolio located throughout NYISO, PJM and ERCOT. Ares Capital served as administrative agent, lead arranger and bookrunner for a $176.2 million senior secured credit facility to support the acquisition of National Seating & Mobility (NSM) by Court Square Capital Partners. Founded in 1992, and headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, NSM has grown into North America’s premier Complex Rehab Technology provider. NSM designs and assembles customized wheelchairs and adaptive seating systems that play an essential role in improving the lives of patients by enhancing their functionality, maximizing their independence and providing an ability to participate in the community. Ares Capital served as second lien administrative agent and collateral agent for a $75.0 million incremental second lien term loan to support a dividend recapitalization of Varsity Brands, a Charlesbank Capital Partners portfolio company. With a mission to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for young people, Varsity Brands elevates the student experience, promotes participation, and celebrates achievement through three unique businesses: Herff Jones, BSN SPORTS, and Varsity Spirit. Together, these assets promote personal, school, and community pride through customizable products and programs to elementary and middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities, as well as church organizations, professional and collegiate sports teams, and corporations. Ares Capital served as administrative agent and collateral agent for a $17.8 million upsize to Crown Laundry’s senior secured credit facility to support the buildout of a new plant in Bishopville, South Carolina. Crown Laundry is an independent full-service healthcare laundry processor and linen rental company serving healthcare providers in the southeastern United States. Ares Capital served as administrative agent for a holdco bridge loan in connection with the acquisition of the Broad River Energy Center by affiliates of Arroyo Energy Investors. Broad River is a 850-MW dual-fuel, simple-cycle generating facility located in Cherokee County, South Carolina that is fully committed to Duke Energy Progress under two long-term tolling agreements. Ares Capital served as administrative agent for an incremental second lien term loan to support the recapitalization of Young Innovations, a Linden Capital Partners portfolio company. Young Innovations develops, manufactures and markets supplies and equipment used by dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and consumers. Ares Capital served as the administrative agent, collateral agent, sole lead arranger and sole bookrunner for a senior secured credit facility to support a financing of Zywave, an Aurora Capital Group portfolio company. Zywave is the leading provider of technology-enabled content and analytical solutions on a software as a service (SaaS) basis that drive improved performance in sales, marketing and customer retention for P&C and benefits insurance brokerages. Zywave’s products deliver demonstrable value to its customers, leading to more initial prospect meetings, better close rates, and shortened selling cycles in the competitive independent brokerage market. Zywave's complementary product portfolio includes tools related to marketing communications, data analytics, employer resources and benefits agency management, among others. Ares Capital is a leading specialty finance company that provides one-stop debt and equity financing solutions to U.S. middle market companies, venture capital backed businesses and power generation projects. Ares Capital originates and invests in senior secured loans, mezzanine debt and, to a lesser extent, equity investments through its national direct origination platform. Ares Capital’s investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation through debt and equity investments primarily in private companies. Ares Capital has elected to be regulated as a business development company (“BDC”) and as of December 31, 2016, was the largest BDC by total assets and market capitalization. Ares Capital is externally managed by a subsidiary of Ares Management, L.P. (NYSE:ARES), a publicly traded, leading global alternative asset manager. For more information about Ares Capital, visit www.arescapitalcorp.com. However, the contents of such website are not and should not be deemed to be incorporated by reference herein.
News Article | March 3, 2017
HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - March 02, 2017) - Do you think you know all there is to know about the oil and gas industry? Seismic and geophysical surveys? Think again. For one week, from March 6 - 10, 2017, the Crude Awakenings Challenge encourages energy users to rediscover the oil and gas industry and challenge their assumptions about oil and gas. The use of oil and gas is so central to our lives that we often do not recognize just how essential it is. There is no question that this affordable, abundant and reliable source of energy is responsible for enriching the quality of life and wellbeing for people all over the world. Environmental activist campaigns like the Keep it in the Ground movement encourage governments to keep the world's remaining fossil fuels in the ground. But what impact would this have on your everyday life beyond the resources needed to power your home and fuel your vehicles? Do we really want to go without the many benefits the industry brings to our lives? The Crude Awakenings Challenge, from March 6 - 10, encourages people to chronicle on Facebook or Twitter their assumptions and what they discover as they use products they did not know were made possible by oil and gas. In partnership with the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), the Crude Awakenings Challenge is sponsored by the American Oil and Gas Historical Society, American Petroleum Institute (API), Arctic Energy Center, Energy in Depth/Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), Grow Louisiana Coalition, International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC, and National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA). Nikki Martin, President of the IAGC said, "The IAGC is honored to stand with these esteemed organizations to bring awareness of the importance of our industry. Every day, tens of thousands of workers from geologists and geophysicists to petroleum and drilling engineers, accountants and truck drivers in the oil and gas industry work to improve and sustain people's quality of life all over the world. I am also proud of the key role the geophysical industry plays in the oil and gas development process. From discovery to delivery, seismic and other geophysical surveys are essential to understanding and accessing the world's energy resources. We look forward to hearing about what people learn during the Crude Awakenings Challenge week." The Crude Awakenings Challenge is created to raise the awareness about the value of oil and gas in our daily lives and to inform the public about the geophysical technology that starts the entire process. Take the Challenge at www.crudeawakenings.com and join the discussion on Facebook at Crude Awakenings Challenge or Twitter @CrudeAwakenings. For additional oil and gas industry information and materials, please visit: www.iagc.org, www.aoghs.org, www.api.org, www.arcticenergycenter.com, drillingmatters.iadc.org, www.energyindepth.org, www.energytomorrow.org/energy-is-everything, www.growlouisianacoalition.com and www.noia.org. About the IAGC The IAGC represents more than 125 member companies worldwide from all segments of the geophysical industry and is the only trade organization solely dedicated to representing the industry. It is the leader in geophysical technical and operations expertise and for more than 45 years, the IAGC has worked to optimize the business and regulatory climate and enhances public understanding to support a strong, viable geophysical industry essential to discovering and delivering the world's energy resources.
News Article | February 15, 2017
If there were to be a release of nuclear materials into the air from the Indian Point Energy Center, the government has indicated that some people would be told to take shelter, to Shelter-In-Place, in a room(s) of their home for a few hours and others would be told to evacuate for longer periods of time. The realities are that the roads will likely be so congested that being able to evacuate in time is not a feasible option. In addition, shifting wind directions during such a release can cause more areas to be called to evacuate which would only make the situation worse. In order to provide for the safety of their families, homeowners can safely Shelter-In-Place in homes for significant lengths of time using an advanced air filtration system. Safe Cell is an air filtration system that is capable of removing chemical, biological and nuclear contaminates from air drawn from the outside of a home providing a supply of clean fresh air. It is not necessary to try and find an air tight location in the home as the Safe Cell will supply 60 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of clean air which will generate a small amount of over pressure to the room(s) used to shelter in. This over pressure ensures all air is flowing outward through any leaks from the room you are sheltering in and that contaminated air from the outside cannot leak in. The system has the ability to continuously operate for many days or even several weeks if that were needed. The first step in preparing for protection is to choose an area of one or more rooms of the home that can be closed off (the doors shut) from the rest of the home. This could be a master bedroom suite, an area of the basement, maybe an existing storm shelter or some other location but should include a bathroom if possible. The Safe Cell air filtration system is very easy to install and can be done by most homeowners. The system even has options that allow the system to be connected directly onto the ceiling or floor vents of your homes heating/cooling system in a matter of a few minutes. While the heating and cooling systems will be shut down in the event of a nuclear air release, the Safe Cell will still be able to draw in air from the outside via the vent pipe that supplies the make-up air to these home systems. So while many people choose to have the unit installed more permanently, the Safe Cell can be quickly and easily installed in the chosen area of a home once the emergency become known. If power were to go out during this emergency, the Safe Cell system will automatically switch over to a 12-volt battery power supply and in the event of a prolonged power outage, the system also has an optional hand crank that is capable of maintaining the 60 CFM airflow through the air filtration system. More information can be obtained on the Safe Cell air filtration system by contacting American Safe Room at 541-670-9430, by writing via email to shelterinplace(at)americansaferoom.com and by visiting the company's Shelter-In-Place webpage at http://www.americansaferoom.com/shelter-in-place. American Safe Room is involved in research & development, design & engineering and manufacture of the critical components for blast shelters & bunkers, home & business safe rooms, and shelter-in-place facilities. The company has been in this business since 2001 and has sold thousands of their Safe Cell air filtration systems, blast and ballistic doors & hatches, and bomb shelter & safe room kits. They are in use right now in underground bunkers, safe rooms, nuclear power plants, chemical plants, and other industrial facilities and applications across the United States and overseas.