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News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

The biggest battery in the Nordic countries was taken into use today at Fortum’s Järvenpää power plant. In Fortum’s Batcave battery project, the Nordic countries’ biggest lithium-ion battery storage was installed in conjunction with Fortum’s biomass-fired biopower plant in Järvenpää. Electricity production forms that are condition-dependent, such as wind and solar energy, will require more flexibility from the electricity grid in the future. In addition to hydropower, also electricity storage brings flexible regulating power to the electricity system. The flexibility brought by a battery storage enables growth in the use of renewable energy sources in Finland. The Batcave battery’s nominal output is 2 megawatts (MW) and the energy capacity 1 megawatt-hour (MWh). The battery consists of approximately 6,600 lithium-ion cells, and it offers quick, second- and minute-level grid flexibility in frequency regulation. The Batcave name refers to “battery cave”, a construction container equipped with the latest battery technology and created as a test environment for new ideas. The battery project complements Fortum’s research on other future solutions, such as demand response and virtual power plants. “Our Batcave project takes us a big step closer towards the solar economy, where electricity storage plays an important role alongside renewable energy production forms. The electricity battery brings flexibility to the national electricity market, benefitting all electricity users. In addition to storing electricity, the Batcave project allows us to test completely new ideas for optimal control of the battery together with other flexible electricity production forms,” says Tatu Kulla, Head of Business Development, Fortum. The investment cost of the Batcave development project is about EUR 1.6 million, for which Fortum will receive a 30 per cent energy investment subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The electricity battery is supplied by the French SAFT, which has decades of experience in manufacturing various battery technologies. Fortum Corporation Group Communications Further information: Roosa Nieminen, Project Manager, Fortum Trading and Asset Optimisation, tel. +358 50 336 0704 Tatu Kulla, Head of Business Development, Fortum Trading and Asset Optimisation, tel. +358 400 294 499 Read more: Images for media use: http://mediabank.fortum.com:80/public/e950814de10E.aspx 360 video inside the battery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KITw_vMea6g&sns=em Electricity storage Electricity storage is a part of the future energy system. With the intermediate storage of electricity, supply and demand can be better balanced, and the storage can also function as an electricity network stabiliser in malfunction situations. Other advantages of electricity storage include its ability to be instantly deployed and its easy adjustability. Moreover, electricity storage reduces the need for fossil fuel-fired peak load plants. Fortum Fortum is a leading clean-energy company that provides its customers with electricity, heating and cooling as well as smart solutions to improve resource efficiency. We want to engage our customers and society to join the change for a cleaner world. We employ some 8,000 professionals in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia, Poland and India, and 62% of our electricity generation is CO2 free. In 2016, our sales were EUR 3.6 billion. Fortum's share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. www.fortum.com


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Fingrid’s consolidated financial statements have been drawn up in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Unless otherwise indicated, the figures in parentheses refer to the same period of the previous year. Jukka Ruusunen, President & CEO of Fingrid, on the year 2016: The journey towards a new, more electricity-dominated energy system continues to gain momentum. During 2016, two important records were broken in the Finnish electricity system. In early January, the consumption of electricity throughout Finland reached the level of 15,100 megawatts. Another national record was broken in August, when the production of wind power in Finland exceeded 1,200 megawatts. Later in the year, it even reached 1,300 megawatts. This is concrete proof of how wind power is gaining importance in our power system. Wind forecasts are an increasingly important daily tool for Fingrid’s control room. All in all, 2016 was a very busy and successful year for us. System security of the transmission grid stayed at an excellent level. We also succeeded in serving the electricity market by securing the efficient use of transmission capacity. Power flowed freely from one country to another, driven by price signals. We have made major efforts to improve the reliability of cross-border transmission connections, and this work is now bearing fruit: there are significantly fewer and shorter disturbances. We have put forth ideas about how to control the future power system. We are strong proponents of a market-based system, and we believe the best solutions will be found when the operators, driven by market prices, can make decisions based on their own priorities. Demand side management is one area where answers are being sought to respond to rapid changes in the production or consumption of electricity, even within seconds. Fingrid plays an active part in this development. Pilot schemes are rapidly advancing to practical, commercial solutions. Roughly half of our new frequency controlled reserves for disturbances come from demand side management and the other half from electricity production. This doubles the amount of demand side management compared with the previous year. We seek to promote consumers’ possibilities to actively participate in the electricity market by developing a real-time market, by building the datahub to support the markets and by actively participating in the work of the national smart grid working group. Fingrid has carried out capital investments at a brisk pace. In 2016 we had 27 substation projects and 13 transmission line projects underway. It is an indication of the organisation’s excellent capabilities that all the projects have progressed according to the set schedules and budget. Furthermore, we have maintained excellent cost efficiency, as proven by the great results in international benchmarking studies. The flagship of our capital investments is the 400 kilovolt ‘Coastal Power Line’ from Pori to Oulu, Fingrid’s all-time biggest investment, costing EUR 260 million and completed at the end of the year. This transmission connection will play a key role when building up a more environmentally sustainable power system not just in Finland, but in all of the Baltic Sea area. The next mega project is already ahead of us: in late 2016 we agreed with our Swedish colleagues on building an AC transmission connection between our countries. This is a project of national importance. Making the new energy system of the future a reality requires international cooperation, where the overall rules are laid down in Brussels. Concrete co-operation with the other Nordic countries and the Baltics is reflected daily in our operations. Even if there are bumps in the road at times, the collaboration constantly produces new solutions that help to maintain high levels of system security and promote well-functioning markets. In the Baltic Sea region, this has for a long time been based on close inter-TSO co-operation. In future, political decision makers should bear their responsibility for this work better. Our finances are in good shape, despite significant capital expenditure and operational development in recent years. Fingrid’s profitability was stronger than projected. The consolidated turnover amounted to EUR 586.1 (600.2) million and profit for the financial period was EUR 138.7 (103.6) million. The financial result was positively impacted by raises in grid pricing, increased consumption of electricity and cross-border transmission as well as decreased loss power and reserve costs. The information published in this report is based on Fingrid’s audited financial statements for 2016, published in connection with this bulletin. In preparing these consolidated financial statements, the Group has followed the same standards as in 2015. The Group’s turnover was EUR 586.1 (600.2) million. Grid service income increased to EUR 382.4 (333.0) million, as a result of the change in grid pricing enacted at the start of the year and due to the growth in electricity consumption. Electricity consumption totalled 85.1 (82.5) terawatt hours. Fingrid transmitted 68.6 (67.9) terawatt hours of electricity in its grid, which represents 77.5 (77.1) per cent of all electricity transmitted in Finland. Imbalance power sales amounted to EUR 153.9 (137.1) million. The growth in imbalance power sales resulted from an increase in the volume of imbalance power and higher imbalance power prices. Cross-border transmission income from the connection between Finland and Russia increased to EUR 24.0 (11.2) million. This was due to the new dynamic tariff structure that was introduced as well as to increased imports from Russia. Fingrid’s congestion income from connections between Finland and Sweden declined to EUR 37.5 (86.8) million due to weakened hydrological conditions, which significantly decreased the number of congestion hours. Fingrid’s congestion income from the links between Finland and Estonia amounted to EUR 2.4 (4.2) million. Congestion income will no longer be reported in Fingrid’s turnover as of the beginning of 2016. Other operating income totalled EUR 12.7 (5.2) million. The growth in other operating income mainly resulted from the EUR 6.3 million in recognised congestion income, in compliance with the regulation concerning the costs from maintaining cross-border capacity and countertrade. The Group’s total costs amounted to EUR 442.2 (418.6) million. Imbalance power costs increased from the previous year’s level to EUR 121.7 (98.2) million, due to the increase in the volume and price of imbalance power. Loss power costs amounted to EUR 57.6 (68.6) million. The declining loss power costs have been affected by the lower price of loss power procurement and the slightly lower volume of loss power. The average price of loss power procurement was EUR 43.87 (48.22) per megawatt hour. The cost of reserves to safeguard the grid’s system security decreased to EUR 50.5 (54.7) million. The reason for the decreased cost was an interruption in the procurement of the automatic frequency control reserve until August, as well as the lower procurement cost of frequency controlled reserves for normal operation and disturbances due to high availability on the markets. Depreciation amounted to EUR 99.2 (94.1) million. Grid maintenance costs grew to EUR 24.1 (19.2) million. The maintenance costs were increased by the periodical felling of trees around substations and the trimming of trees at the edges of transmission line right-of-ways. Personnel costs increased as the payroll expanded, due to new operations and increased statutory duties and due to higher employer contributions in additional personnel expenses, and amounted to EUR 28.6 (25.8) million. * Due to a change in congestion income reporting, congestion income is not reported in the turnover as of the beginning of 2016. ** Peak load capacity income and costs are related to the securing of sufficient electricity supply during peak consumption hours in compliance with the Finnish Peak Load Capacity Act. The Group’s operating profit was EUR 192.0 (162.6) million. To recognise changes in the fair value of electricity derivatives and the currency derivatives related to capital expenditure and other operating expenses, EUR 35.4 (-24.3) million was recorded in operating profit. Net financial costs in accordance with IFRS were EUR 18.7 (33.7) million, including a change of EUR -0.3 (-13.3) million in the fair value of financial derivatives. The Group’s profit before taxes was EUR 173.9 (129.3) million. The biggest differences from the last year are explained by changes in the market value of derivatives (EUR +72.7 million), the growth in grid service income (EUR +49.4 million), and a change in the reporting of congestion income (effect EUR -84.6 million). The profit for the year was EUR 138.7 (103.6) million. The equity to total assets ratio increased and was 36.4 (33.5) per cent at the end of the review period. The parent company’s turnover was EUR 581.4 (592.4) million, profit for the financial year EUR 103.9 (123.7) million and the distributable funds EUR 176.0 million. By the company’s own calculations, the return according to the regulatory model that governs grid operations amounts to a deficit of around EUR 40 million for 2016. Capital expenditure and maintenance Fingrid’s grid investment programme improves system security and promotes the electricity markets as well as the implementation of the national energy and climate strategy. The annual capital expenditure in the grid has remained extensive. The company’s total capital expenditure in 2016 amounted to EUR 146.7 (147.5) million. Of that amount, a total of EUR 135.8 (138.4) million was invested in the transmission grid and EUR 3.3 (0.7) million in reserve power. ICT investments totalled EUR 7.5 (8.4) million. A total of EUR 2.4 (1.8) million was used for R&D projects during the year under review. At the end of 2016, Fingrid had thirteen 400 kilovolt substation sites and 67 kilometres of 400 kilovolt power line contracts as well as a significant number of 110 kilovolt substation and power line projects under construction. Fingrid’s all-time biggest investment, the 400 kilovolt ‘Coastal Power Line’ transmission connection from Pori to Oulu was completed at the end of 2016. With the completion of this power line on the western coast of Finland, there are now three 400 kilovolt transmission links connecting the northern and southern parts of the country. The project, which cost a total of EUR 260 million, was carried out according to plan over a span of ten years. The transmission link serves the wind farms that have been built in western coastal areas and which will be followed by more in the future. Several existing and planned nuclear power stations are also located close to this line. The new connection furthermore improves the cross-border transmission between Sweden and Finland. The investments carried out by Fingrid also help prepare for the new AC link to be built between the countries by 2025. Thanks to the Coastal Power Line, Finland’s future as a single price region is now more secure. The voltage upgrade will also decrease transmission losses. This multi-year project was a major challenge for both Fingrid personnel and our suppliers. The employment impact of the project amounted to approximately 1,000 man-years. A large part of the congestion income collected by Fingrid was allocated to this major investment. Overall, the Coastal Power Line consisted of three extensive projects: Overall, the Coastal Power Line includes 380 kilometres of new 400 kilovolt power line, nine new substations and several smaller substation extensions. This provides 600–800 megawatts of entirely new transmission capacity between northern and southern Finland. The roughly EUR 130 million modernisation project on Finland’s oldest transmission line, dubbed the ‘Iron Lady’ and running from Imatra to Turku, proceeded as planned during the year under review. The Hikiä–Forssa section of this major project was completed and commissioned in March. Modernisation of the Iron Lady continues between Lieto and Forssa. Work on the Yllikkälä–Koria section also started, between Lappeenranta and Kouvola. Furthermore, a decision was made to renew the transmission line between Hikiä and Orimattila and to build a new substation in Orimattila. The Iron Lady project is expected to be fully completed by 2020. With the aim of securing the electricity supply for both residents of the Helsinki region and functions that are vital to society, Fingrid will reinforce the Espoo substation and the Länsisalmi substation in Vantaa. These substation upgrades and extensions, which cost nearly EUR 9 million for Espoo and roughly EUR 18.5 million for Vantaa Länsisalmi, started in 2016 and will be completed in 2017. The supply of electricity from the main grid to Helsinki and Vantaa takes place via the Länsisalmi and Tammisto transformer substations, serving around 800,000 people. Increasing electricity consumption and changes taking place in the production of electricity in Helsinki necessitate upgrades in supply capacity. The extension of the Espoo substation will improve the system security of the transmission facilities in western Uusimaa, the region west of the capital area. Local electricity production has decreased while consumption is constantly increasing. Fingrid has, over the last two years, made major investments to develop the transmission grid in Lapland by building or upgrading a total of six substations. These measures were necessary due to increasing local consumption and due to new wind power capacity. During the year under review, the substation at Vajukoski and Petäjäskoski received new transformers and the existing systems were upgraded and extended. The Vajukoski transformer substation, north of Sodankylä, serves both hydropower production and mining industry and links up with the Norwegian transmission grid via Ivalo. The Petäjäskoski transformer substation, a major link between Lapland’s 220 kilovolt and 400 kilovolt main transmission networks, also received an entirely new 220 kilovolt gas-insulated switchgear. Extensive upgrades were additionally carried out at the Taivalkoski and Ossauskoski substations. The total capital expenditure amounted roughly to EUR 43 million. Several investment decisions were made during the year, many of which proceeded to the implementation stage. The Inkoo substation that was built in the 1970s secures the electricity supply in western Uusimaa. An investment decision was made to modernise the ageing substation, and the project is due for completion in 2018. To secure the supply of electricity in the Hämeenlinna and Valkeakoski areas, Fingrid decided to modernise a 51-kilometre transmission line between the cities. Aged and worn out pylons and transmission lines will be dismantled and replaced with a new line. The project is due for completion in 2018. Several of the investments are related to enabling or improving the operating conditions of industry. An upgrade on the Vuoksi substation and the roughly 24-kilometre Lempiälä–Vuoksi transmission line is planned between Lappeenranta and Imatra. The investment will be carried out sooner than originally planned, due to an extension to Kemira’s industrial plant in Joutseno, and it is due for completion in 2018. The electricity supply for the new bioproduct mill in Äänekoski will be secured with the construction of a new 110 kilovolt transmission line between Äänekoski’s Koivisto and Laukaa’s Vihtavuori substations, due for completion in late 2017. Olkiluoto’s 400 kilovolt switching station, which is outdated and has insufficient system security, will be modernised. The Olkiluoto substation is one of the most important grid nodes, with three nuclear power plants connected to it. The project is due for completion in 2019. Fingrid’s Huutokoski reserve power plant will undergo a EUR 15 million upgrade. The Huutokoski plant, located in Joroinen, is one of the ten reserve power plants owned by Fingrid which are tasked to support a sufficient supply of electricity in Finland during major disturbances in the power system. The upgrade project includes the modernisation of obsolete systems to secure reliable operation for the next 20 years as well as significant environmental investments. The systems to be modernised include fuel tanks and fuel systems, extinguishing systems, the plant’s internal electrical and automation systems as well as the plant’s own reserve power systems. In 2006, Fingrid launched a project aimed at building a complete, modern IT system to support asset management operations. Thanks to system integrations, all the master data of the transmission grid assets is now in a single application. The overall project combined both modern ICT technology and in-house knowledge, and transformed operational procedures. Thanks to advanced technology, significant efficiency improvements were achieved in asset management. The ELVIS IT system project tasked to support asset management and use of the assets was completed in 2016. Major improvements have been achieved in the reliability of cross-border transmission connections and Fingrid now has more expert resources on DC transmission connections. A 24/7 back-up system was taken into use in HVDC operations as of the beginning of 2016. During the year under review, disturbance clearing has been accelerated, individual disturbances have been prevented proactively and measures to secure the reliability and availability of the HVDC connections have been implemented much faster than in previous years. The total duration of interruptions in 2016 remained at around 10% of the 2014 and 2015 levels. The number of interruptions was halved from 2014 and 2015. By international standards, Fingrid’s maintenance management is world-class. The company was one of the best operators in the International Transmission Operations and Maintenance Study (ITOMS) for the 11th consecutive time. Lloyd's Register audited Fingrid’s asset management operations and awarded Fingrid a certificate for compliance with the ISO 55001 standard. In 2016, Fingrid’s personnel had no accidents resulting in absence from work (2015: 1), in other words, the zero accidents target was achieved. Suppliers’ personnel had 12 (13) accidents resulting in absence from work, three of which resulted in an absence of more than 30 days. The suppliers’ and Fingrid’s combined accident frequency rate decreased somewhat from the previous year. The occupational safety development project continued, with a focus on implementing occupational safety models and tools and improving safety attitudes. On-line training was introduced in early 2016 and used by more than 1,700 people during the year. A safety observation campaign was carried out with suppliers and Fingrid's own personnel. Work was also continued to develop a mobile reporting system for occupational safety, quality and environmental issues, on-line training and Fingrid’s safety management system. Power system In 2016, electricity consumption in Finland amounted to 85.1 (82.5) terawatt hours. A total of 68.6 (67.9) terawatt hours of electricity was transmitted in Fingrid’s grid, representing 77.5 (77.1) per cent of the total transmission volume in Finland (consumption and inter-TSO). Electricity import and production capacity was well sufficient to cover the peak consumption, which amounted to a maximum of 15,100 (13,500) megawatts. The peak consumption was at an all-time record high in Finland. During the consumption peaks early in the year, electricity production in Finland totalled approximately 10,800 (11,200) megawatts. Electricity transmissions between Finland and Sweden consisted mostly of large imports to Finland. During 2016, 15.7 (17.8) terawatt hours of electricity was imported from Sweden to Finland, and 0.3 (0.2) terawatt hours were exported from Finland to Sweden. The electricity transmission between Finland and Estonia was dominated by exports from Finland to Estonia, which amounted to 3.1 (5.0) terawatt hours. The electricity imports from Russia increased by approximately 50 per cent. Nearly the full transmission capacity was available. Electricity imports from Russia totalled 5.9 (3.9) terawatt hours. With a transmission reliability rate of 99.9998 per cent, the reliability of the transmission grid was at an excellent level during the year under review. The number of disturbances due to thunder exceeded the average, and the resulting multi-phase disturbances were detrimental to the process industry. Otherwise the number of disturbances remained at the normal level. Increased resources were allocated on determining the DC transmission links’ susceptibility to disturbances. Thanks to this, no disturbances requiring extensive repairs occurred in the DC links during 2016, and also less significant disturbances were cleared more quickly than in previous years. The total duration of interruptions due to disturbances in DC links in 2016 remained at around 10% of the 2014 and 2015 levels, and the number of interruptions was halved from the 2014 and 2015 figures. Transmission outages in connection with investment projects mostly affected Ostrobothnia and northern Ostrobothnia. The outages were challenging and required careful advance planning and good cooperation with our customers. The outages were handled successfully. Reserves required to maintain the power balance of the electricity system were procured from Finland, the other Nordic countries, the Baltic countries and Russia. Countertrade costs totalled EUR 3.9 (3.8) million. Countertrade refers to special adjustments made in the management of electricity transmission which are used to eliminate short-term bottlenecks (an area where electricity transmission is congested) from the grid. Fingrid guarantees the cross-border transmission it has confirmed by carrying out countertrades, i.e. purchasing and selling electricity, up until the end of the 24-hour usage period. The need for countertrade can arise from, for example, a power outage or disruption in a power plant or in the grid. An outage in a connection point in the grid caused by a disturbance in Fingrid’s electricity network lasted an average of 2.1 minutes, which is clearly shorter than the ten-year average of 3.3 minutes. The estimated cost of the disturbances was EUR 3.5 (4.1) million. Electricity market The average market price of spot electricity on the electricity exchange (system price) was EUR 26.91 (20.98) per megawatt hour. The price level in the Nordic electricity markets trended downwards for an extended period during the first half of 2016, but rebounded during the summer. The drivers behind the price increase include weakened hydrological conditions as well as price hikes in fossil fuels and emission rights. In 2016, prices on the Finnish wholesale market were higher than they were in other Nordic countries. The overall increase in Nordic prices made the price disparity between Finland and Sweden less pronounced and, as a result, congestion hours between Finland and Sweden decreased significantly during the latter half of the year. In addition to the increased Nordic price level, another reason for the decrease in congestion hours and decreased price disparity was the completion of the NordBalt transmission link between Sweden and Lithuania during the first half of 2016. Fingrid accrued EUR 37.5 (86.8) million in congestion income from the cross-border power lines between Finland and Sweden. EUR 29.9 (24.3) million of this was accrued during the first half of 2016 and EUR 7.6 (62.5) million during the second half of the year. The links between Finland and Estonia generated EUR 2.4 (4.2) million in congestion income. All the congestion income accrued by Fingrid during 2016 was used for maintaining cross-border transmission capacity and for upgrade investments. The imports from Russia increased to 5.9 (3.9) terawatt hours. Despite the increase, electricity imports from Russia to Finland have decreased significantly in recent years, and the hourly import volumes from Russia have varied considerably. In addition to Russia’s capacity mechanism, the reduction in electricity trade is attributed to increased electricity prices in the country. In spring, Fingrid published a discussion paper on the challenges of the electricity market and various alternative solutions to them entitled “Electricity market needs fixing – What can we do?”, which sparked a lively debate. Fingrid’s consultation request was responded to by a total of 36 industry operators, associations, research institutions and private citizens. During the second half of the year, Fingrid published a summary of the feedback, which contained suggestions for various routes to a market-based green electricity system. The operating capacity of the electricity market and the sufficiency of electricity supply became national topics due to the bitter cold of January 2016. As the consumption of electricity broke records, the topics of meeting consumption needs and national self-sufficiency in terms of electricity were widely debated. Roughly half of the cross-border transmission capacity between Finland and Sweden is provided by the Fenno-Skan links, i.e. high-voltage DC connections. Several measures were started by Fingrid early in 2016 to improve the reliability of cross-border transmission capacity. Thanks to the improvements, it was possible to keep interruptions very brief, and the availability of the connections has been clearly better compared to previous years. Fingrid Datahub Oy, a company focused on the transfer of retail market information, was established on 16 February 2016. The task of the subsidiary, wholly owned by Fingrid, is to implement a centralised information exchange system for the electricity markets, i.e. a datahub, in which the exchange of information between retail sellers and distribution system operators is concentrated into a single service. This makes the exchange of information in the retail electricity market more straightforward and efficient. Data exchange among retail markets is needed in managing the various business processes of the electricity markets, such as balance settlement, an end user’s change of address and a change of seller, for example. The system will facilitate the processing of measurement data, simplify and speed up client agreement events and improve the reliability of the service. The implementation of European network codes required by the European Union proceeded in Finland, as Fingrid established a network code forum that is open to all market parties. The forum promotes public debate on all matters related to network codes and aims to gather the views of stakeholders as well as to complement the public hearing processes related to implementing the network codes. The network code forum convened three times during the year under review. The Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish TSOs continued with the switchover to shared Nordic balance settlement. The jointly owned company eSett Oy, which Fingrid owns one third of, aims to start up operations in spring 2017. In September, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment set up a working group to look into the role of smart grids in the electricity market. The aim of the working group is to forge a common vision of future smart grids and to propose concrete measures for using smart grids as a means of increasing customers’ opportunities to participate in the electricity market and contribute to maintaining a secure supply of electricity. The members of the working group broadly represent the stakeholders in the sector, including active participation by Fingrid. * The congestion income between Finland and Sweden and between Finland and Estonia is divided equally between the relevant TSOs. The income and costs of the transmission connections are presented in the tables under ‘Financial result’. Congestion income is used for investments aimed at eliminating the cause of congestion. ** The calculation of a congestion hour between Finland and Sweden refers to an hour during which Finland’s day-ahead area price differs from both Sweden’s SE1 and its SE3 area prices. Financing The company’s credit rating remained high, reflecting the company’s strong overall financial situation and debt service capacity. The company’s net financial costs during the period under review were EUR 18.7 (33.7) million, including the change in the fair value of derivatives of EUR -0.3 million (EUR -13.3 million). Interest-bearing borrowings totalled EUR 1,107.7 (1,143.4) million, of which non-current borrowings accounted for EUR 842.9 (907.2) million and current borrowings for EUR 264.9 (236.2) million. In 2016, the company issued bonds totalling EUR 80 million (EUR 50 million with a four-year maturity and EUR 30 million with a six-year maturity) to refinance current borrowings. The company’s liquidity remained good.  Cash and financial assets recognised at fair value through profit or loss on 31 December 2016 totalled EUR 79.7 (116.6) million. The company additionally has an undrawn revolving credit facility of EUR 300 million to secure liquidity and EUR 50 million in uncommitted overdraft facilities. Fingrid used the first extension option of the revolving credit facility during the period under review. This extended the maturity of the revolving credit facility until 11 December 2021. The counterparty risk arising from derivative contracts relating to financing was EUR 16 (11) million. Fingrid’s foreign exchange and commodity price risks were generally fully hedged. The international credit rating agencies S&P Global (S&P) and Fitch Ratings (Fitch) upgraded Fingrid’s ratings as follows: Share capital The company’s share capital is EUR 55,922,485.55. Fingrid shares are divided into Series A shares and Series B shares. The number of Series A shares is 2,078 and the number of Series B shares is 1,247. The voting and dividend rights related to the shares are described in more detail in the notes to the financial statements and in the articles of association available on the company’s website. Personnel and remuneration systems Fingrid Oyj employed 334 (315) persons, including temporary employees, at the end of the year. The number of permanent personnel was 291 (280). Of the personnel employed by the company, 25.0 (24.4) per cent were women and 75.0 (75.6) per cent were men. The average age of the personnel was 44 (44). During 2016, personnel received a total of 11,647 (11,794) hours of training, with an average of 35.7 (37.4) hours per person. Employee absences due to illness accounted for 1 (2) per cent of the total working hours. In addition to a compensation system that is based on the requirements of each position, Fingrid applies incentive bonus schemes. Board of Directors and corporate management Fingrid Oyj's Annual General Meeting was held in Helsinki on the 6th of April 2016. Juhani Järvi was elected Chairman of Fingrid’s Board of Directors and Juha Majanen was elected Vice Chairman. Other members elected to the Board were Esko Torsti, Sanna Syri and Anu Hämäläinen. The Board members until 6th April 2016 were Helena Walldén, Juha Majanen, Juhani Järvi, Sanna Syri and Esko Torsti. PricewaterhouseCoopers Oy was elected as the auditor of the company, with Jouko Malinen, APA serving as the responsible auditor. The Board of Directors has two committees: the Audit Committee and the Remuneration Committee. As of 6th April 2016, the Audit Committee consists of Esko Torsti (Chairman), Juhani Järvi and Juha Majanen. The members of the Audit Committee until 6th April 2016 were Juha Majanen (Chairman), Juhani Järvi and Helena Walldén. As of 6th April 2016, the Remuneration Committee consists of Juhani Järvi (Chairman), Sanna Syri and Anu Hämäläinen. The members of the Remuneration Committee until 6th April 2016 were Helena Walldén (Chairman), Sanna Syri and Esko Torsti. Jukka Ruusunen serves as President & CEO of the company. Fingrid has an executive management group which supports the CEO in the company’s management and decision-making. A corporate governance statement, required by the Finnish Corporate Governance Code, has been provided separately. The statement and other information required by the Code are also available on the company’s website at www.fingrid.fi. Internal control and risk management Fingrid’s internal control is a permanent component of the company’s operations and deals with all those operating methods and procedures whose objective it is to ensure Risk management is planned as a whole with the objective of comprehensively identifying, assessing, monitoring and safeguarding the company’s operations, the environment, personnel and assets from various threats and risks. Due to the nature of the company’s basic mission, risks are also assessed from the perspective of society in general. Continuity management is a part of risk management. Its objective is to improve the organisation’s capacity to prepare and to react in the best possible way should risks occur, and to ensure the continuity of operations in such situations. Further information on internal control, risk management and the foremost risks and factors of uncertainty is available on the company's website at www.fingrid.fi and in the Board of Directors' annual review. Board of Directors The company’s Board is responsible for organising internal control and risk management, and it approves the principles of internal control and risk management on an annual basis. The Board specifies the company’s strategic risks and related management procedures as part of the company’s strategy and action plan, and monitors their implementation. The Board decides on the operating model for the company’s internal audit. The Board regularly receives internal audit and financial audit reports as well as a status update at least once a year on the strategic risks and continuity threats relating to the company’s operations and their management and occurrence. Line management and other organisation Assisted by the executive management group, the CEO is responsible for executing and steering the company’s governance, decision-making procedures, control and risk management, and for the assessment of strategic risks and continuity threats at the company level, and their related risk management. The heads of functions are responsible for the practical implementation of the governance, decision-making procedures, controls and risk management for their areas of responsibility, as well as for the reporting of deviations and the sufficiency of more detailed guidelines. Directors appointed in charge of the threats to continuity management are responsible for drawing up and maintaining continuity management plans and guidelines, and for arranging sufficient training and practice. The CFO is responsible for arranging procedures, controls and monitoring at the company level as required by the harmonised operating methods of internal control and risk management. The company’s general counsel is responsible at the company level for assuring the legality and regulation compliance of essential contracts and internal guidelines, taking into account the company’s interests, as well as for the procedures these require. Each Fingrid employee is obligated to identify and report any risks or control deficiencies she or he observes and to carry out the agreed risk management procedures. Internal auditor and auditor The Board decides on the operating model for the company’s internal audit. The internal audit acts on the basis of plans processed by the Audit Committee and approved by the Board. Audit results are reported to the object of inspection, the CEO, the Audit Committee and the Board. Upon decision of the Board, an internal audit outsourced to an authorised public accounting company acts within the company. From an administrative perspective, the internal audit is subordinate to the company’s CEO. The internal audit provides a systematic approach to the assessment and development of the efficacy of the company’s risk management, monitoring, management and administrative processes and ensures their sufficiency and functionality as an independent party. The internal audit has the authority to carry out reviews and to access all information that is essential to the audit. The company’s internal audit carries out risk-based auditing on the company’s various processes. An authorised public accounting company selected by the general meeting acts as auditor for the company. The company’s financial auditor inspects the accounting, financial statements and financial administration for each financial period and provides the general meeting with reports required by accounting legislation or otherwise stipulated in legislation. The financial auditor reports on his or her work, observations and recommendations for the Board and may also carry out other authorisation-related tasks commissioned by the Board or management. Foremost risks and uncertainty factors for society and Fingrid One of the company’s biggest business risks and the biggest risk where society is concerned is a major disturbance related to the functioning of the power system. A major disturbance or other electrical system disruption can cause significant financial and physical damage to Fingrid and society in general. Other major risks for Fingrid and society are a loss of confidence in the electricity market, environmental risks and electricity and occupational health and safety risks. The risks to Fingrid’s operations are risks related to the unfavourable trend in official regulation, capital investments which have become unnecessary, financing risks, personnel risks, risks related to ICT and data transfer, asset risks and reputation risks. Risks to society arising from Fingrid’s operations are unsuccessful timing of capital investments and long-term restrictions in transmission capacity. The most significant of the above-mentioned risks to Fingrid are explored in greater detail in the company’s annual report. Fingrid’s financing risks are described in more detail in sections 5.2 and 5.3 of the consolidated financial statements (IFRS). No substantial risks were realised in 2016. Corporate responsibility Fingrid’s compliance with corporate responsibility is steered by the set strategy targets. Corporate responsibility is a key element in the implementation of Fingrid’s strategy and in its business expertise. The key targets have been set by identifying matters that are of material importance to Fingrid. The need for updates to the materiality analysis is assessed annually as part of the strategy process, based on an operating environment and stakeholder analysis and on the strategy update. Fulfilment of the targets serves as the basis for executive management’s and personnel’s remuneration. Corporate responsibility is managed as an integrated part of Fingrid’s management system. Fingrid’s Board of Directors approves the company’s Code of Conduct and monitors the company’s compliance in operating responsibly. The Board is responsible for the CSR management systems and their integration into business operations. The CEO and the heads of functions are each responsible for corporate responsibility issues within their area of responsibility. Social issues and environmental impacts are taken into account in all decision-making and when assessing operations alongside profitability issues. Managers and the entire work community ensure that behaviour is in line with the Code of Conduct. A whistleblower system managed by an independent third party for reporting cases of misconduct etc. is available to the personnel. Fingrid Oyj committed in 2016 to the United Nations Global Compact initiative. Fingrid’s Code of Conduct complies with the Global Compact initiative’s principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Fingrid also requires all contractors to comply with the Code of Conduct and monitors their compliance based on risk assessments. Fingrid’s work sites are regularly audited to verify compliance with contractor obligations, occupational safety and environmental management. The audits carried out during 2016 proved that the work site operations are generally at a high level and that use of the electronic reporting system is extensive. A human rights impact assessment was carried out in compliance with the due diligence process recommended in the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. As regards tax footprint reporting, Fingrid only operates in Finland and has not resorted to any special arrangements to minimise taxes. The company’s tax footprint is presented in the annual report’s ‘Corporate finances, financing and risk management’ section. Dividends are mainly paid to the State of Finland and to Finnish pension insurance and insurance companies. To ensure transparency and comparability, Fingrid reports on its corporate responsibility in accordance with the international Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. The GRI G4 reporting framework is applied using the Core ‘in accordance’ option. Environmental matters Fingrid has a long-term approach to its environmental impacts and land use issues, and the principles for minimising environmental impacts are accounted for in our land use and environmental policy. The key aspects include an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and preparedness for environmental risks. During 2016, Fingrid signed the energy efficiency agreement of Finnish industries 2017–2025 and committed to the target of cutting energy use by six per cent by 2025. Environmental management was developed during the year by establishing a management system in compliance with the ISO 14 001 standard for the reserve power plants and by introducing an online training course on environmental issues for all personnel working at Fingrid sites. Environmental training was provided during the kick-off meetings for investment projects, and training was also provided on the use of chemicals, the management of safety data sheets and oil spill response for the providers of maintenance services at substations and reserve power plants. Environmental aspects were monitored as part of work site monitoring. Compliance with environmental requirements, occupational safety and contractor obligations was verified in 15 audits. Several development projects were carried out to improve fire safety at substations and reserve power plants. Oil spill response plans were created and emergency response plans were updated at all reserve power plants. One significant environmental deviation occurred during the year, as around 180 litres of oil was leaked from a worksite at the Isokangas substation. In 2016, Fingrid issued around 260 statements on land-use plans and EIAs. In addition, the company directed the construction taking place near grid installations by issuing statements containing safety guidelines and land use restrictions. Some 420 such statements were issued. EIAs were carried out for six transmission line projects in 2016. Two events were arranged to inform the public about the environmental impacts of the power lines required to connect the Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant to the grid; the EIA process for the project was completed in October 2016. A Natura assessment update was carried out for this project in compliance with the Nature Conservation Act. An EIA was completed for five transmission line projects (Hämeenlahti–Hännilä, Kontiolahti–Pamilo, Kontiolahti–Uimaharju, Siikajoki–Raahe and the line rearrangements for the Olkiluoto substation). Three projects involved archaeological inventories. In order to be able to build, operate and maintain a transmission line, Fingrid redeems a right of use to the transmission line area. Redemption permits were obtained for the re-routing of transmission lines from Multisilta and Kangasala to Lavianvuori and for the transmission lines Vanaja–Tikinmaa, Vihtavuori–Koivisto and Koria–Yllikkälä. A redemption permit application was filed for the transmission line project Hikiä–Orimattila. The redemption compensation procedure was completed in seven transmission line projects. Eight hearings in accordance with the Finnish Act on the Redemption of Immoveable Property and Special Rights were held with landowners. Fingrid’s reserve power plants are subject to an environmental permit and covered by the EU’s emissions trading scheme. The accuracy of the measuring and reporting systems for fuel consumption is verified by an accredited emissions trading verifier. A total of 10,326 (6,697) units (tCO2) of emission allowances were returned, all of which consisted of acquired emission rights units. Fingrid has not been granted free-of-charge emission rights for the emissions trade period 2013–2020. No emissions rights were purchased in 2016. Emissions trading had minor financial significance for Fingrid. Legal proceedings and proceedings by authorities A lawsuit was initiated against Fingrid in December 2016, demanding non-specified damages due to an alleged breach of contract. The alleged injury is continuous and the claim amounted to EUR 135,000 by the time the lawsuit was initiated. Fingrid has contested the claims presented in the lawsuit. The case is currently before the court. In Fingrid’s view, the legal proceedings are not likely to have a substantial impact on the company’s financial result or financial position. Thus no provisions were recognised in the financial statements in relation to these proceedings. Events after the review period and estimate of future outlook Fingrid Group’s profit for the 2017 financial period, excluding changes in the fair value of derivatives and before taxes, is expected to improve somewhat. Grid service pricing for 2017 is set in such a way as to achieve a regulatory-allowed financial result. Results forecasts for 2017 are complicated especially by the uncertainty related to grid income, ITC income and cross-border transmission income, and to reserve and loss power costs. These are particularly dependent on temperature variations and precipitation and changes in the hydrological situation in the Nordic countries, which affect electricity consumption and electricity prices in Finland and its nearby areas, and thereby also the volume of electricity transmission in the grid. The company’s debt service capacity is expected to remain stable. Board of Directors’ proposal for the distribution of profit The guiding principle for Fingrid’s dividend policy is to distribute substantially all of the parent company profit as dividend. When making the decision, however, the economic conditions, the company’s near term investment and development needs as well as any prevailing financial targets of the company are always taken into account. Fingrid Oyj's parent company's profit for the financial year was EUR 103,866,300.72 and distributable funds in the financial statements total EUR 175 954 253,06. Since the close of the financial year, there have been no material changes in the company’s financial position and, in the Board of Directors’ view, the proposed dividend distribution does not threaten the company’s solvency. The company’s Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders that - a dividend of EUR 37 536,09 per share be paid for Series A shares and EUR 16 038,49 per share be paid for Series B shares, for a total of EUR 97 999 992,05. Annual General Meeting 2017 Fingrid Oyj’s Annual General Meeting is preliminarily scheduled for 24 May 2017 in Helsinki. Helsinki, 17 February, 2017 Fingrid Oyj Board of Directors CALCULATION OF KEY INDICATORS Return on investment, % = (profit before taxes + interest and other finance costs) / ((balance sheet total - non-interest bearing liabilities (average for the year)) x 100 Return on equity, %= profit for the financial year / shareholders' equity (average for the year) x 100 Equity ratio, %= shareholders' equity / (balance sheet total - advances received) x 100 Earnings per share, €= profit for the financial year / average number of shares Dividends per share, € = dividends for the financial year / average number of shares Dividend payout ratio, % = (dividend / share ) / (earnings / share) Equity per share, € = shareholders' equity / number of shares at closing date Interest-bearing net borrowings, € = interest-bearing borrowings - cash and cash equivalents Net gearing  = (interest-bearing borrowings - cash and cash equivalents and financial assets) / Equity The net fair value of derivatives indicates the realised profit/loss if they had been closed on the last trading day of 2016. The net fair value cannot be used for deriving the net derivative liabilities or receivables in the balance sheet, as accrued interest is taken into account here.


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

With the proliferation of mainstream energy storage technologies in the marketplace and forecasts for the next few years booming sky high, it's time for the change-makers and outdated policies to play catch-up. In many countries, government content specifications and obstructive regulations in electricity market design are holding up this process. The Energy Storage World Forum will be hosting German Parliamentary State Secretary, Uwe Beckmeyer from the the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Mr Beckmeyer will be speaking on Germany’s Energiewende, which has recently cast a spotlight on energy storage, with the BMWi funding many early demonstration projects with their 200 million Euro energy storage funding initiative. It’s topics like this that need to be engaged, as well as regulators such as Andy Burgess (CEER & Ofgem, UK), Veli-Pekka Saajo (Energy Authority, Finland), Jesus Serrano Landeros (CRE, Mexico), and Andreea Strachinescu (EU, Belgium), who will be speaking at the Energy Storage World Forum in Berlin. Participating at the Forum, offers the opportunity to fine tune business cases and put pressure on regulators to work in one's favour. The Energy Storage World Forum has curated a global perspective with speakers from over 22 countries - some utilities hailing from the United States. There will also be a strong focus on building business cases and evaluating the bankability thereof. The Director of Short-Term Electric Supply from PG&E (USA), will be sharing recent experiences and evaluating the top revenue streams available for energy storage. AES’s Director of Energy Storage Market’s, Franck Bernard, will address creating fair regulatory frameworks to make energy storage projects bankable. AES’s recent project in Hawaii consists of 28 MW solar PV and a 20 MW five-hour duration energy storage system. Meanwhile, in the UK the business model for Solar PV has been built around the end consumer and is therefore more clearly defined. Adrian Richardson, Head Of Microgeneration, Centrica (UK), will be evaluating this business case at the Energy Storage World Forum. There is also the opportunity to be a part of an exclusive strategizing session to develop a roadmap for overcoming some of the energy storage challenges. One area of concern which could be focused on, is addressing the policy limitations in order to accelerate market expansion. This session includes participants such as Franck Girard, Chairman and Managing Director, NIDEC ASI (ITALY) and Logan Goldie-Scot, Head of Energy Storage Analysis, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, (UK). Speaking at the Forum in London 2014 - Sir David King (Climate Change Envoy, UK Government) believed the Energy Storage World Forum to be “focused on today’s most important problems.” This spirit has continued throughout, and this year bringing attendees over 50 brand new researched topics on the latest advancements in energy storage. The stage is set for the energy storage world market to explode, so now is the time to fine tune business cases, and disrupt regulatory barriers to create a level playing-field for new technologies. For best performance, this balancing act requires multi-perspectives and the first-hand insight from companies who have already overcome these challenges. The Energy Storage World Forum promises to deliver on this. Register online now to benefit from the early bird offering: https://goo.gl/EitHp3 For any queries please contact Emily at emily(at)energystorageforum(dot)com, or call + 44 208 43 298 96.


News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

Imagine you’ve had a hectic day and then, to cap it all, you find that the battery of your electric vehicle is virtually empty. This means you’ll have to take a long break while it charges fully. It’s a completely different story with capacitors, which charge in seconds. However, they have a different drawback: they store very little energy. In the FastStorageBW II project, funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, together with colleagues from the battery manufacturer VARTA AG and other partners, are developing a powerful hybrid storage system that combines the advantages of lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors. “The PowerCaps have a specific capacity as high as lead batteries, a long life of ten to twelve years, and charge in a matter of seconds like a supercapacitor,” explains Joachim Montnacher, Head of the Energy business unit at Fraunhofer IPA. What’s more, PowerCaps can operate at temperatures of up to 85 degrees Celsius. They withstand a hundred times more charge cycles than conventional battery systems and retain their charge over several weeks without any significant losses due to self-discharge. The Fraunhofer IPA researchers’ main concern is with manufacturing: to set up new battery production, it is essential to implement the relevant process knowledge in the best possible way. After all, it costs millions of euros to build a complete manufacturing unit. “We make it possible for battery manufacturers to install an intermediate step — a small-scale production of sorts — between laboratory production and large-scale production,” says Montnacher. “This way, we can create ideal conditions for large-scale production, optimize processes and ensure production follows the principles of Industrie 4.0 from the outset. Because in the end, that will give companies a competitive advantage.” Another benefit is that this cuts the time it takes to ramp up production by more than 50 percent. For this innovative small-scale production setup, researchers cleverly combine certain production sequences. However, not all systems are connected to each other — at least, as far as the hardware is concerned. More often, it is an employee that carries the batches from one machine to the next. Ultimately, it is about developing a comprehensive understanding of the process, not about producing the greatest number of products in the shortest amount of time. For example, this means clarifying questions such as if the desired quality can be reproduced. The systems are designed as flexibly as possible so that they can be used for different production variations. As far as software is concerned, the systems are thoroughly connected. Like process clusters, they are also equipped with numerous sensors, which show the clusters what data to capture for each of the process steps. They communicate with one another and store the results in a cloud. Researchers and entrepreneurs can then use this data to quickly analyze which factors influence the quality of the product — does it have Industrie 4.0 capability? Were the right sensors selected? Do they deliver the desired data? Where are adjustments required? Fraunhofer IPA is also applying its expertise beyond the area of production technology: The scientists are developing business models for the marketing of battery cells, they are analyzing resource availability, and they are optimizing the subsequent recycling of PowerCaps.


Imagine you've had a hectic day and then, to cap it all, you find that the battery of your electric vehicle is virtually empty. This means you'll have to take a long break while it charges fully. It's a completely different story with capacitors, which charge in seconds. However, they have a different drawback: they store very little energy. In the FastStorageBW II project, funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, together with colleagues from the battery manufacturer VARTA AG and other partners, are developing a powerful hybrid storage system that combines the advantages of lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors. "The PowerCaps have a specific capacity as high as lead batteries, a long life of ten to twelve years, and charge in a matter of seconds like a supercapacitor," explains Joachim Montnacher, Head of the Energy business unit at Fraunhofer IPA. What's more, PowerCaps can operate at temperatures of up to 85 degree Celsius. They withstand a hundred times more charge cycles than conventional battery systems and retain their charge over several weeks without any significant losses due to self-discharge. The Fraunhofer IPA researchers' main concern is with manufacturing: to set up new battery production, it is essential to implement the relevant process knowledge in the best possible way. After all, it costs millions of euros to build a complete manufacturing unit. "We make it possible for battery manufacturers to install an intermediate step – a small-scale production of sorts – between laboratory production and large-scale production," says Montnacher. "This way, we can create ideal conditions for large-scale production, optimize processes and ensure production follows the principles of Industrie 4.0 from the outset. Because in the end, that will give companies a competitive advantage." Another benefit is that this cuts the time it takes to ramp up production by more than 50 percent. For this innovative small-scale production setup, researchers cleverly combine certain production sequences. However, not all systems are connected to each other – at least, as far as the hardware is concerned. More often, it is an employee that carries the batches from one machine to the next. Ultimately, it is about developing a comprehensive understanding of the process, not about producing the greatest number of products in the shortest amount of time. For example, this means clarifying questions such as if the desired quality can be reproduced. The systems are designed as flexibly as possible so that they can be used for different production variations. As far as software is concerned, the systems are thoroughly connected. Like process clusters, they are also equipped with numerous sensors, which show the clusters what data to capture for each of the process steps. They communicate with one another and store the results in a cloud. Researchers and entrepreneurs can then use this data to quickly analyze which factors influence the quality of the product – Does it have Industrie 4.0 capability? Were the right sensors selected? Do they deliver the desired data? Where are adjustments required? Fraunhofer IPA is also applying its expertise beyond the area of production technology: The scientists are developing business models for the marketing of battery cells, they are analyzing resource availability, and they are optimizing the subsequent recycling of PowerCaps.


News Article | December 9, 2016
Site: www.businesswire.com

TAIPEI, Taiwan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Billion Electric, the leading provider of Smart City and IoT (Internet of Things) solutions, showcased its innovative IoT Gateway during the “Promote IoT Ecosystem and Create Various Business Opportunities Seminar” hosted by the Institute for Information Industry (III), Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan. Billion also announced to officially enter the PV Energy Industry starting from the beginning of 2017. During the seminar, Billion introduced the new Smart Universal Gateway – SG6300NXL, enabling a flexible, easy-to-integrate platform via the well-defined API for system integrators to develop their desired backend application. Supporting wired (RS485/PLC/Ethernet) and wireless (ZigBee/Wi-Fi/3G/4G) communication protocols, SG6300NXL services as an adaptive gateway to significantly shorten the SI development timeline through the integration of front end sensory data and the back-end web-based management system. As the global networking equipment supplier, Billion shared its in-depth insights of IoT communication development in two vertical markets: Smart Energy Management (SEMS) and Smart Streetlight Control Solutions (LCMS), which have been widely implemented at a diversity of facilities across the globe, including residential apartments, households, factories, buildings, chain stores, solar power plants, streetlight. These two solutions are highly scalable for the integration with existing any BMS and CMS systems to empower the correct architecture. "Upstream and downstream suppliers should leverage on each other’s technical know-how to form value-added IoT solutions for different vertical markets. From backend application development to user interface design to hardware integration, the comprehensive IoT ecosystem can provide sustainable, mutual benefits for a broad range of software and hardware developers and service providers," said Jason Liao, the Product Marketing Manager of Billion Electric Co. Following the expansion of its Energy and Light Control Management Systems presence in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and other ASEAN regions, Billion aims to broaden its product diversity to penetrate into PV Power Plants and PV Energy Monitoring System developments with an expected revenue increase of 10% brought by the new business venture. Billion Electric Co. (TAIEX: 3027, www.billion.com) is a leading global provider of ICT solutions. We enhance life and communication efficiency through a better-connected world. Billion is committed to acting as responsible corporate citizens, innovative enablers for the information society, and collaborative contributors to the industry through creating maximum value for worldwide telecom operators.


Executives from leading communication and mobile technology manufacturers in Taiwan will present their newest tech products at Mobile World Congress. Supported by the Bureau of Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan and implemented by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the exclusive showcase of innovation and excellence in the ICT industry will be unveiled on the opening day of MWC 2017. This dedicated event for experts in the ICT industry on 27th February will give firsthand news from four Taiwanese companies - Acer, Advantech, D-Link, and IEI Integration regarding their latest products. The Taiwan Excellence Pavilion, (Stand 7L81, Hall 7) will feature 25 innovative products from 12 notable Taiwan Excellence Award-winning companies, from smartphones and wearable devices to smart home and cloud services. All these products have been awarded a Taiwan Excellence Award, the highest accolade given to products that encapsulate "innovalue" (innovation + added value). Exhibitors include Acer, ASUS, Aidmics Biotechnology, HOLUX Technology, ADATA Technology, IEI Integration Corp., ipin, Lanner Electronics Inc., MOAI electronics co.,Ltd., StarVedia Technology inc., VentiFresh, D-Link and ZyXEL. All the Taiwan Excellence winners were selected by a panel of international judges based on the criteria of design, R&D, quality and marketing. They not only represent the most revolutionary, highest quality and highest value-added products made by Taiwan, but also epitomize Taiwan's unique genius in using innovation to create additional value in the design and manufacturing of cutting-edge products. Acer is a hardware + software + services company dedicated to the research, design, marketing, sale, and support of innovative products that enhance people's lives. Acer's product offerings include PCs, displays, projectors, servers, tablets, smartphones, and wearables. Acer ranks No. 4 for total PCs globally and the company is also developing cloud solutions to bring together the Internet of Things. Acer will showcase its in-home Air Monitor, which safeguards users and loved ones' wellbeing, by providing real-time air quality information and remote tracking on indoor air condition (6 Indoor Air Quality Index). D-Link, the global leader in providing wireless solutions for the home, enterprise and service providers, will present their solutions regarding a more connected city, home and business. For the smart home, they will present the first Apple HomeKit compatible camera, the Omna 180 Cam HD, which has a 180 degree view and works seamlessly with other HomeKit enabled devices; together with the free, enhanced mydlink Home app which serve as the single ecosystem for all of D-Link's cloud and connected home products, and their line of mydlink Home Automation solutions, that includes mydlink Connected Home Gateway and a range of Z-wave sensors and sirens and Wi-Fi cameras. For the smart business, they will present D-Link's Business Cloud Solution that removes the cost and complexity involved with owning and maintaining of their own wireless infrastructure for companies. The solution simplifies the management of the wireless network, reducing the need for dedicated support staff, and allowing large numbers of Access Points to be managed remotely from a single interface. IEI Integration Corp., a leading industrial computer provider for factory automation, computer telephony integration, networking appliances, security, systems, will present its emotionally intelligent robot, the AfuBot. It was developed with Internet of Things technologies. IEI also develops value-added services for AfuBot, such as online education, telemedicine and interactive entertainment. By integrating software and hardware, AfuBot features remote video call, cloud download and expansion capabilities to meet the needs of users. In addition, IEI provides open software and hardware platform for people who are interested in robotics that would like to do secondary development. All of the parts and functions can be customized, allowing people to work together to create a wonderful life benefited from Internet of Things and intelligent robot. Advantech, is a leading provider of comprehensive system integration, hardware, software, customer-centric design services, embedded systems, automation products, and global logistics support. They will present the Packetarium XLc, a fully carrier-grade blade server designed for the virtual network infrastructure (NFVI), the first telco-grade server of its class to bring Virtual Network Functions out to the edge of the network enabling applications such as Mobile Edge Computing and Cloud RAN. The system combines high-end networking with IT design principles to accommodate the maximum density of compute available in a 400mm deep 6U chassis, yet meet demanding industry standards with NEBS-3 compliance. The Packetarium XLc seamlessly integrates with industry standard software frameworks to accelerate the roll-out of next-generation NFV solutions.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

TAIPEI, Taiwan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Acer’s Predator 21 X gaming notebook has been honored with a Taiwan Excellence Gold award, the top prize of the competition. In further recognition of Acer’s merits in gaming, Acer’s Predator Z850 gaming projector was also recognized by judges with a Taiwan Excellence Silver award. Several other Acer products were also honored with awards, including the Acer Swift 7 ultra-thin notebook, ProDesigner™ (BM320) monitor, XR382CQK curved monitor and the abUC1 unified communications solution, bringing Acer’s total tally at the competition to six awards. The Predator 21 X has been grabbing headlines since its unveiling at IFA 2016 in Berlin and is the world’s first notebook to offer a curved 21-inch IPS display (2560 x 1080). Combined with wide-angle viewing, a 120Hz refresh rate, integrated Tobii eye-tracking technology, NVIDIA® G-SYNC™ technology and dual NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 graphic cards in SLI, the Predator 21 X takes the AAA gaming experience to new heights. The Predator Z850 is the world’s first ultra-wide HD laser projector designed for gaming. The Predator Z850’s 24:9 ultra-wide HD resolution (1920 x 720) expands the gaming experience like never before. It displays a 50% wider image compared to traditional 16:9 screen resolution. It also sports ultra-short-throw technology that allows it to project a 120-inch screen at a remarkably short distance of just 47 cm (18.5 inches). The Acer Swift 7 is the world’s first notebook to measure less than 1cm thin. Measuring a mere 9.98mm (0.39 inches) in height and weighing 1.1 kg (2.48 pounds), its streamlined all-aluminum chassis is further accentuated by an elegant black-and-gold dual tone design. It also sports tough Corning® Gorilla® Glass, which adds superior scratch resistance to the 13.3-inch display, and the latest wireless technology (2x2 802.11ac with MU-MIMO) delivers smooth and reliable connectivity. The Acer ProDesigner™ (BM320) monitor is a 32-inch 4K2K display designed for professional level color accuracy and performance. It has a bevy of features to enhance image color and quality, including 100% of both sRGB and Adobe RGB. The monitor is optimized for video editing as well. It covers 100% of the REC. 709 and 90% of the DCI-P3 color spaces for optimal color precision. In addition, it is calibrated to achieve a low Delta E average of <1. The Acer XR382CQK monitor is a 37.5-inch 21:9-ratio QHD-resolution monitor with a 2300R curvature. It features 178-degree viewing angles, 100% sRGB gamut coverage and AMD FreeSync technology to offer a smooth gaming experience without stuttering and tearing. The monitor also supports Picture-in-Picture (PiP) and Picture-by-Picture (PbP) display modes that allow gamers to fully customize their monitor setup. abUC is an innovative software-defined communication service that improves upon the traditional PBX system and offers a major advancement in manageability and security, while lowering total cost of ownership for organizations. For an organization’s employees, the solution offers them a more dynamic platform, allowing easier integration of cross-platform communications, which helps them increase productivity in the office or out in the field. 2017 Taiwan Excellence Award winners were selected from 1,188 entries from hundreds of Taiwanese companies, and evaluated against criteria including R&D, design, quality, and marketing strategy, by a panel of industry professionals. In its 25th year, the Taiwan Excellence Award program was established by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs to promote ingenuity in product and technological innovation from the Taiwan. Founded in 1976, today Acer is one of the world’s top ICT companies and has a presence in over 160 countries. As Acer looks into the future, it is focused on enabling a world where hardware, software and services will infuse with one another to open up new possibilities for consumers and businesses alike. From service-oriented technologies to the Internet of Things to gaming and virtual reality, Acer’s 7,000+ employees are dedicated to the research, design, marketing, sale, and support of products and solutions that break barriers between people and technology. Please visit www.acer.com for more information. © 2017 Acer Inc. All rights reserved. Acer and the Acer logo are registered trademarks of Acer Inc. Other trademarks, registered trademarks, and/or service marks, indicated or otherwise, are the property of their respective owners. All offers subject to change without notice or obligation and may not be available through all sales channels. Prices listed are manufacturer suggested retail prices and may vary by location. Applicable sales tax extra. 1 Originally known as abPBX during the award evaluation process, the solution has since been rebranded as abUC.


Executives from leading communication and mobile technology manufacturers in Taiwan will present their newest tech products at Mobile World Congress. Supported by the Bureau of Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan and implemented by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the exclusive showcase of innovation and excellence in the ICT industry will be unveiled on the opening day of MWC 2017. This dedicated event for experts in the ICT industry on 27th February will give firsthand news from four Taiwanese companies - Acer, Advantech, D-Link, and IEI Integration regarding their latest products. The Taiwan Excellence Pavilion, (Stand 7L81, Hall 7) will feature 25 innovative products from 12 notable Taiwan Excellence Award-winning companies, from smartphones and wearable devices to smart home and cloud services. All these products have been awarded a Taiwan Excellence Award, the highest accolade given to products that encapsulate "innovalue" (innovation + added value). Exhibitors include Acer, ASUS, Aidmics Biotechnology, HOLUX Technology, ADATA Technology, IEI Integration Corp., ipin, Lanner Electronics Inc., MOAI electronics co.,Ltd., StarVedia Technology inc., VentiFresh, D-Link and ZyXEL. All the Taiwan Excellence winners were selected by a panel of international judges based on the criteria of design, R&D, quality and marketing. They not only represent the most revolutionary, highest quality and highest value-added products made by Taiwan, but also epitomize Taiwan's unique genius in using innovation to create additional value in the design and manufacturing of cutting-edge products. Acer is a hardware + software + services company dedicated to the research, design, marketing, sale, and support of innovative products that enhance people's lives. Acer's product offerings include PCs, displays, projectors, servers, tablets, smartphones, and wearables. Acer ranks No. 4 for total PCs globally and the company is also developing cloud solutions to bring together the Internet of Things. Acer will showcase its in-home Air Monitor, which safeguards users and loved ones' wellbeing, by providing real-time air quality information and remote tracking on indoor air condition (6 Indoor Air Quality Index). D-Link, the global leader in providing wireless solutions for the home, enterprise and service providers, will present their solutions regarding a more connected city, home and business. For the smart home, they will present the first Apple HomeKit compatible camera, the Omna 180 Cam HD, which has a 180 degree view and works seamlessly with other HomeKit enabled devices; together with the free, enhanced mydlink Home app which serve as the single ecosystem for all of D-Link's cloud and connected home products, and their line of mydlink Home Automation solutions, that includes mydlink Connected Home Gateway and a range of Z-wave sensors and sirens and Wi-Fi cameras. For the smart business, they will present D-Link's Business Cloud Solution that removes the cost and complexity involved with owning and maintaining of their own wireless infrastructure for companies. The solution simplifies the management of the wireless network, reducing the need for dedicated support staff, and allowing large numbers of Access Points to be managed remotely from a single interface. IEI Integration Corp., a leading industrial computer provider for factory automation, computer telephony integration, networking appliances, security, systems, will present its emotionally intelligent robot, the AfuBot. It was developed with Internet of Things technologies. IEI also develops value-added services for AfuBot, such as online education, telemedicine and interactive entertainment. By integrating software and hardware, AfuBot features remote video call, cloud download and expansion capabilities to meet the needs of users. In addition, IEI provides open software and hardware platform for people who are interested in robotics that would like to do secondary development. All of the parts and functions can be customized, allowing people to work together to create a wonderful life benefited from Internet of Things and intelligent robot. Advantech, is a leading provider of comprehensive system integration, hardware, software, customer-centric design services, embedded systems, automation products, and global logistics support. They will present the Packetarium XLc, a fully carrier-grade blade server designed for the virtual network infrastructure (NFVI), the first telco-grade server of its class to bring Virtual Network Functions out to the edge of the network enabling applications such as Mobile Edge Computing and Cloud RAN. The system combines high-end networking with IT design principles to accommodate the maximum density of compute available in a 400mm deep 6U chassis, yet meet demanding industry standards with NEBS-3 compliance. The Packetarium XLc seamlessly integrates with industry standard software frameworks to accelerate the roll-out of next-generation NFV solutions.


News Article | February 10, 2017
Site: startupjuncture.com

Travel startup Parcompare received funding from the Mainport Innovation Fund (MIF). The company announced this today without giving financial details. Parcompare allows travellers to compare and book different modes of transport. The startup connects mobility solutions such as parking, taxi and public transport to busy destinations around cities, like airports, cruise terminals, event spaces and transport hubs. “Parcompare offers us a one stop shop in a highly fragmented travel business”,  Tanja Dik OF Schiphol Group said in a statement. The Parcompare platform, founded in 2014, is now active in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The investment will be used to further expand and build on the solution. The company is led bij CEO Sven Snel. MIF was founded by Schiphol, KLM, TU Delft, NS and the Port of Amsterdam and focuses on innovation in logistics, transport and innovation. MIF invests in return for a substantial minority share. Currently, the second fund MF II worth 18 million euro is managed. Ten to fifteen startups will recieve money from this fund, that was co-established with help of the so-called SEED Capital-ruling of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

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