News Article | April 25, 2017
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in any jurisdiction. Not for release in the United States. ANY SECURITIES REFERRED TO HEREIN WILL NOT BE REGISTERED UNDER THE U.S. SECURITIES ACT OF 1933 (THE “1933 ACT”) AND MAY NOT BE OFFERED OR SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES OR TO A U.S. PERSON IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH REGISTRATION OR AN EXEMPTION FROM THE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS OF THE 1933 ACT. Universal Ventures Inc. (the “Corporation” or “Universal”) (TSXV:UN) is pleased to announce that it has executed a binding agreement (the “Binding Agreement”) dated April 21, 2017 with mCloud Corp. (“mCloud”), a private company incorporated pursuant to the laws of Delaware, pursuant to which Universal will acquire all of the issued and outstanding securities of mCloud (the “Transaction”). Upon completion, the Transaction will constitute a reverse take-over of Universal by mCloud, with the resulting company to be renamed “Universal mCloud Inc.” (the “Resulting Issuer”). Universal and mCloud are at arm’s length to each other. Prior to the closing of the Transaction, mCloud will complete the acquisition of all of the outstanding stock of Field Diagnostic Services, Inc. (“FDSI”), a Delaware corporation engaged in the business of providing enterprise HVAC software and services designed to optimize energy efficiency and reduce energy and maintenance costs. Immediately following the completion of the FDSI Acquisition, the parties are to proceed with the Transaction on the basis that mCloud will have an enterprise value of approximately US$12 million (the “Valuation”). Upon closing of the Transaction, the resulting issuer will be a Tier 2 Technology issuer. “We believe that combining with mCloud will create a game-changing company with excellent growth potential in the industrial energy software space”, said Harry Katevatis, Chief Executive Officer of Universal. “mCloud offers leading edge solutions that combine the latest cloud-based solutions and mobile augmented reality to leverage accurate and secure deep analytics”, said Russel McMeekin, Chief Executive Officer of mCloud. “In addition, we have a very robust pipeline of potential complimentary acquisitions that we believe are best executed via this combination with Universal and its efficient capital structure. mCloud's team has extensive experience in acquisitions of a wide range of size and complexity of companies. We intend to be the 'first stop shop' for entrepreneurial high-growth industrial cloud software companies that are seeking to be part of mCloud's AssetCare™ suite of cloud solutions to realize maximum shareholder value”. mCloud, a San Francisco, California company with a technology center in Vancouver, British Columbia, provides AssetCare™ solutions for managing critical assets with secure mobile technology, deep analytics, machine-to-machine learning and support for field service technicians. mCloud currently targets complex distributed energy assets such as high-intensity HVAC units, mid-size wind energy turbines and natural gas compressors. These critical energy assets require continuous real time monitoring in order to maximize their uptime, reliability as well as energy and environmental efficiency. AssetCare employs highly secure mobile collaboration technology that connects people, data and knowledge. It uses cutting edge technologies for augmented reality that is utilized in multiple ruggedized industries such as construction, aerospace and process productions. There are one million trained technical field experts in North America alone. They are all certified in handling high voltage and environmentally sensitive gases. They need very timely, secure data in a “hands-free” communication format that includes interactive voice technology. Due to the mission critical nature of these assets owners, regulators and underwriter all benefit from accurate transparent data including the extensive set of performance and maintenance records. AssetCare™ makes it easy to use and analyze the full breadth of asset information. The Transaction is expected to be effected by way of a reverse triangular merger under the laws of Delaware. Universal is expected to incorporate a new, wholly-owned subsidiary (“Universal Subco”) that would be merged with and into mCloud. The separate corporate existence of Universal Subco would cease and mCloud would be the surviving corporation and continue to exist as the surviving corporation and be wholly-owned by the Resulting Issuer. To facilitate the Transaction, Universal will consolidate its outstanding common shares on a 2:1 basis prior to the completion of Transaction. All of the outstanding shares of common stock of mCloud (excluding the mCloud Private Placement Shares (as defined below)) will then be exchanged for 27,272,727 post-consolidation common shares of Universal (determined by dividing the Valuation by the Offering Price (as defined below)). Upon completion of the Transaction, CDN$200,000 in existing debt of Universal, together with the parties' Transaction costs, will be repaid from cash on hand and the proceeds of the Private Placement (as defined below). Subject to the satisfaction of applicable conditions, mCloud intends to complete a private placement (the “Private Placement” of shares of common stock of mCloud (the “mCloud Private Placement” at a price of CDN $0.55 (the “Offering Price”) to raise aggregate gross proceeds of up to CDN$5,000,000. Each mCloud Private Placement Share will ultimately be exchanged for one post-consolidated common share of Universal as part of the Transaction. mCloud expects to engage a syndicate of agents to act on a commercially reasonable efforts basis for the Private Placement, and in connection therewith intends to pay cash commission and/or broker warrants of mCloud to the agents in amounts to be determined. The completion of the Transaction, including the Private Placement, is conditional on obtaining all necessary regulatory and shareholder approvals in connection with the matters described above and other conditions customary for a transaction of this type, including completion of due diligence by each party to the Transaction. The parties intend to apply for an exemption from the sponsorship requirements of the TSX Venture Exchange. Trading in Universal’s shares has been halted, and the halt is expected to remain in place until the Transaction is completed. Proposed Management and Board of Directors of the Resulting Issuer Upon completion of the Transaction, it is anticipated that the persons identified below will serve as directors and officers of the Resulting Issuer: Michael Allman – Director and Chairman of the Board Mr. Allman is a highly-accomplished CEO and Chairman, with extensive experience in growing, restructuring and optimizing business strategies and operations for Fortune 300 companies and top-tier consulting firms around the world. He recently was the COO of Bitstew, Inc. a leading IoT cloud company acquired by GE Digital. Mr. Allman previously served as President and CEO of Southern California Gas Company. Mr. Allman has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University. He is a Certified Management Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor. Mr. McMeekin was previously a founding partner of Energy Knowledge, Inc., which was acquired by Yokogawa Electric Corporation. Mr. McMeekin went on to serve as Executive Chairman of Yokogawa Venture Group, leading the acquisitions of Industrial Evolution and KBC Advanced Technologies, an energy software and consulting company in the United Kingdom. Mr. McMeekin was the founding CEO of SCI Energy Inc., a Silicon Valley cloud-based energy efficiency company now based in Dallas TX. Previously, Mr. McMeekin was the President and CEO of NASDAQ-listed Progressive Gaming International for six years. In addition, Mr. McMeekin spent more than 10 years at Honeywell Inc., including serving as President of Honeywell's Internet and Software Business Units. At Honeywell, he led joint ventures with Microsoft, United Technologies and i2 Technologies. Mr. McMeekin started his career at SACDA Inc., a University of Western Ontario Computer Aided Design Venture which was later acquired by Honeywell. Mr. McMeekin graduated in Engineering Technology from Sault College of Applied Technology, and he completed a Honeywell Sponsored Executive Leadership Program via the Harvard Business School. He also completed the Stanford School of Law Executive Director Program. Mr. Sicuro has over 35 years of leadership experience with public and private companies ranging from $50 million to over $4 billion in revenues in technology, health care, pharmaceutical distribution, gaming, real estate and financial services. He has significant experience in growth and turnaround environments, including three successful public and private exits, and one public entity conversion. Mr. Sicuro was the CFO of US Oncology, the largest oncology services provider in the United States. Mr. Sicuro has also served as the CFO and COO of various publicly-traded technology companies in and around Silicon Valley, including NASDAQ-listed Progressive Gaming International. Mr. Sicuro attended Bowling Green State University, where he was a member of the hockey team for two years, and received a Bachelor’s degree from Kent State University Mr. Lanza, a former partner of Energy Knowledge, Inc., is versed in applying advanced technologies to traditional asset intensive industries with many years of direct experience, most recently with Yokogawa Venture Group, where he led the integration of KBC Advanced Technologies, Yokogawa’s largest ever acquisition. Mr. Lanza has served in leadership roles at Honeywell and ExxonMobil before becoming CEO of INOVx Solutions from 2006 to 2015, where 3D technologies were used to improve asset performance management. Mr. Lanza holds a BS and MS degree in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University. Mr. Shaw is a financier with over 25 years of experience in investment banking and finance. He is an active investor in renewable energy technology companies, including Powerhive Inc., and several fintech and crypto-currency companies. Mr. Shaw has held senior positions for DEPFA Group and UBS. Mr. Shaw has a BA from the University of Manchester and an MBA (Finance) from the University of Bradford (UK). Mr. Raffaelli was formerly a Managing Director of Silver Lake Kraftwerk, and a Kauffman Fellow. At Silver Lake, Mr. Raffaelli was responsible for leading the firm’s investments in SolarCity, Renovate America, Hyla Mobile, and FriedolaTECH GmBH. Mr. Raffaelli specializes in financial services and technology enabled services businesses. Prior to joining Silver Lake, Mr. Raffaelli was a Principal at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a venture capital partnership, where he focused on investments in energy and clean technology. Prior to Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Mr. Raffaelli was an Analyst at Och-Ziff Capital Management in London where he focused on merger arbitrage and emerging market investments in Eastern European oil and gas markets. Prior to Och-Ziff Capital, Mr. Raffaelli was an analyst in JPMorgan's Technology Investment Banking group in San Francisco, where he focused on mergers & acquisitions and debt and equity offerings for media-related consumer products and software clients. Mr. Raffaelli has an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a BA from Harvard University. Mr. De Luca is the managing partner of Owens Wright LLP, a law firm in Toronto, Ontario. Mr. De Luca is experienced in corporate and securities matters, with an emphasis on corporate finance, public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and venture capital transactions. Mr. De Luca has particular experience in advising public companies in connection with securities law compliance and corporate governance matters, including ongoing advice to boards of directors and special committees as well as extensive transactional experience in all areas of corporate and securities law covering a large spectrum of industries, including technology, renewable energy, mining and financial services. Mr. De Luca is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, holds a Bachelor of Laws from Queens University and a Master of Laws from New York University, and holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. Mr. De Luca is currently a director of Grenville Strategic Royalty Corp. (TSXV:GRC). The information provided in this press release regarding mCloud has been provided by mCloud and has not been independently verified by Universal. Completion of the Transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including but not limited to, TSX Venture Exchange acceptance and, if applicable pursuant to the requirements of the TSX Venture Exchange, majority of the minority shareholder approval. The Transaction cannot close until the required shareholder approval is obtained. There can be no assurance that the Transaction will be completed as proposed or at all. Investors are cautioned that, except as disclosed in the management information circular or filing statement to be prepared in connection with the Transaction, any information released or received with respect to the Transaction may not be accurate or complete and should not be relied upon. Trading in the securities of Universal should be considered highly speculative. The TSX Venture Exchange has in no way passed upon the merits of the Transaction and has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release. The information in this news release includes certain information and statements about management's view of future events, expectations, plans and prospects that constitute forward looking statements. These statements are based upon assumptions, including, without limitation, the completion of the Transaction, that are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Because of these risks and uncertainties and as a result of a variety of factors, the actual results, expectations, achievements or performance may differ materially from those anticipated and indicated by these forward looking statements. Although Universal and mCloud believe that the expectations reflected in forward looking statements are reasonable, neither entity can give any assurances that the expectations of any forward looking statements will prove to be correct. Except as required by law, Universal and mCloud disclaim any intention and assume no obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements to reflect actual results, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions, changes in factors affecting such forward looking statements or otherwise. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
News Article | May 17, 2017
RIVERSIDE, Calif., May 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today marked the establishment of a new Center for Renewable Natural Gas at the University of California, Riverside. The Center is the first academic establishment in the United States dedicated to the...
News Article | May 18, 2017
While utilities like Dominion are increasingly reliant on the reliable and efficient delivery of gas along the value chain, the 2015 failure of a gas injection well at Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon Storage Field in Los Angeles exposed major vulnerabilities in the maintenance and safety of natural gas storage facilities. The incident revealed a lack of oversight and contingency planning in the face of a well blowout. Natasha Lamb, managing partner at Arjuna Capital, said: "While our proposals at Berkshire, Dominion and Occidental did not obtain majority votes, we made enormous early progress with shareholders at all three companies on methane, and view this as a successful first step to apply more pressure for more data, greater disclosure and transparency on these issues." Lamb continued: "For example, a sizable number of Dominion investors are understandably concerned the company is not managing its methane storage risks. The well blowout at Aliso canyon that released 100,000 tons of methane in LA County exposed the vulnerability of natural gas storage wells drilled decades ago. Such releases are an absolute climate time bomb. Given that Dominion holds the third highest volume of natural gas in the US, managing these risks should be a first-order priority." "Methane leaks from gas operations can fully erase the climate benefits of natural gas, making its use worse than coal," said Danielle Fugere, President of As You Sow. "The risks to Dominion and its shareholders are clear. As the public and regulators increasingly focus on this issue, Dominion must take action." Unfortunately, these messages have not yet been internalized by the company. At Dominion Energy's meeting on May 10, the company staunchly defended its environmental record, and then proceeded to vote down multiple environmental and climate-motivated shareholder resolutions. The Arjuna Capital/As You Sow proposal covered such issues as well integrity, a key issue given the scope of damage from the disastrous blowout in California. Research indicates methane leaks from gas operations could erase the climate benefits of reducing coal use. Methane emissions are a significant contributor to climate change, with an impact on global temperature roughly 84 times that of CO2 over a 20-year period. By one estimate, leaked methane represented $30 billion dollars of lost revenue (3 percent of gas produced) in 2012. Yet, an October 2016 study published in Nature indicates methane emissions from the oil and gas sector are 20 to 60 percent higher than previously thought. Arjuna said it would refile its shareholder proposals and that Dominion, in particular, must come to terms with the significant environmental threats posed by methane, especially since public safety, conservation efforts and climate considerations surrounding methane enjoy bipartisan support in Congress. On May 10, 2017, the U.S. Senate unexpectedly blocked a resolution that would have repealed an Interior Department rule from the Obama Administration that heavily restricts methane emissions from drilling operations on public lands. This rule sets the tone for utilities and treats methane as it should be, as a potent greenhouse gas that must be stopped from getting into the atmosphere. Arjuna Capital is an investment firm focused on sustainable and impact investing. For more information, visit www.Arjuna-Capital.com. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/shareholder-push-for-methane-transparency-gains-ground-with-three-double-digit-votes-300460034.html
News Article | May 20, 2017
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California oil and gas regulators proposed stiff new regulations Friday for underground gas natural storage facilities after a blowout drove 8,000 families from their Los Angeles homes. The rules proposed by the Department of Conservation follow the massive Southern California Gas Co. leak capped last year that persisted nearly four months and led to widespread complaints of headaches, nosebleeds, nausea and other maladies. Ken Harris, supervisor of the department's oil and gas division, said the regulations aimed at making all 12 underground natural gas storage fields in the state safer are believed to be the strictest and most comprehensive in the nation. The agency had been criticized for being easy on industry before the October 2015 blowout at the Aliso Canyon facility above the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley. Proposed regulations intended at preventing future leaks would set standards for stronger well construction, daily testing for leaks and more rigorous inspections of well integrity. It would also require emergency response plans and contingencies for disasters such as earthquakes, spills, explosions or fires. Wells would also need to have secondary protection from a leak. The well that failed was being used to inject and withdraw natural gas through both an internal pipe and an outer steel casing intended as a protective layer. The method, which is employed throughout the industry, allowed larger volumes of gas to pass through both spaces, but put the system in jeopardy if there was a leak, experts said. The Aliso Canyon blowout is believed to have occurred when the protective outer casing failed in a well that was over 60 years old. Gas under high pressure escaped and forced its way from a depth of 900 feet to the surface where it couldn't be contained for months. The proposed regulations would overlap with some of the stiffer requirements put in place at Aliso Canyon, where 45 of utility's 114 wells have now passed rigorous tests and the remaining wells are out of operation. Regulators are still weighing whether to let SoCalGas, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, resume operations at the facility. Many residents who live in nearby Porter Ranch and environmental groups want the facility to be shut down, though SoCalGas said it's a vital energy source in the region. A spokesman said the company was reviewing the proposed regulations, which are open to public comment until July 13.
News Article | May 17, 2017
This year's 18-stop, 4,825-mile journey starts outside of Long Beach, CA on Monday, June 5th and concludes in Washington, DC on Friday, June 16th. Event media stops in-between include: Other rally events that tie into the main route will be held in: Additionally, a separate spur will also make its way to Washington, DC via: "The west coast-to-east coast road rally not only dispels the myth of NGV 'range anxiety' but will also draw media attention to the historic VW settlement program," said event coordinator Tom Sheehan. "Every stop will serve to educate states on how NGVs are the most cost-effective use of funds for clean transportation projects as part of the $2.9 billion VW settlement." Each Drive NatGas road rally stop includes good food, a variety of NGVs, award ceremonies and educational opportunities that highlight NGVs' exemplary value proposition. All are welcome and attendees will include state and local government officials and policymakers, the media, NGV customers and advocates, industry stakeholders, DOE Clean Cities coordinators as well as the public. The following organizations are sponsors of this year's event: Agility Fuel Solutions, ampCNG, ANGI Energy Systems, Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp, Atlanta Gas Light, Blue Bird Corporation, Blue Energy Fuels, Carolinas Public Gas Association, CenterPoint Energy, City of Richmond - Dept of Public Utilities, Clean Energy Fuels Corp, Clean Fuels Michigan, CNG Cylinders International, Cummins Westport Inc, DeKalb County Government, DTE Energy, EVO CNG, Gibson County Utility District, Greater Dickson Gas Authority, Greater Houston Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance, Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition, Knoxville Utilities Board, Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia, National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA), Norwich Clean Cities, Okaloosa Gas District, Oklahoma One-Call, Ozinga Energy, Palmetto State Clean Fuels Coalition, Piedmont Natural Gas, Precision Fitting and Gauge/Precision CNG, Sevier County Utility District, Sheehy Mail Contractors, Inc, South Jersey Gas Company, Southern California Gas Company - a Sempra Company, Southwest Gas Corporation, Staubli Corp, TECO Energy, Tennessee Gas Association, Trillium CNG, TruStar Energy, Tulsa Gas Technologies, Inc, UGI Utilities, Inc, U.S. Venture/GAIN Clean Fuel, Virginia Natural Gas - a Southern Company, WEH Technologies Inc, and Worthington Cylinders. About NGVAmerica NGVAmerica is the national organization driving the use of natural gas as a clean, domestic, safe and abundant transportation fuel. The organization represents more than 200 companies, environmental groups, and government organizations interested in the promotion and use of more clean-burning natural gas in transportation. For more information, visit www.ngvamerica.org. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-2017-west-coast-to-east-coast-ngv-road-rally-announced-300459494.html
News Article | May 1, 2017
« DOE: 58% of BEV sales in US in 2016 were large cars and standard SUVs; PHEVS mainly compact and midsize | Main | Propel Fuels promoting E85 in California with “105 Octane Tour”; $1.05/gallon » Cummins Westport (CWI) announced its model year 2018 dedicated natural gas engines for regional haul truck / tractor, vocational and transit, school bus, and refuse applications at the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California. The new lineup comes with a change in names, following Cummins tradition of using B, L, and X series letters, followed by engine displacement. The letter “N” denotes engines that are fueled by natural gas. The new B6.7N, L9N, and ISX12N engines feature Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (ARB) Optional Low NO certification, On-Board Diagnostics (OBD), Closed Crankcase Ventilation (CCV) systems, and performance and reliability improvements. (Earlier post.) The new ISX12N features a redesigned fuel system with fewer parts and improved performance. Our 2018 product line demonstrates an important milestone in product development for Cummins Westport, creating a move to zero emissions strategy for our customers and industry. We are particularly pleased that the ISX12N will join the L9N in offering our on-highway customers the benefits of performance and reliability at an ultra-low emissions level described by California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District as equivalent to an electric vehicle. This move to zero emissions strategy means our customers can choose the most affordable path to zero-equivalent emissions with no commercial constraints on supply or technology readiness. Like the L9N that replaces the ISL G Near Zero, the 2018 ISX12N heavy-duty natural gas engine for regional haul truck / tractor, vocational, and refuse applications will also be certified to EPA and California ARB optional low NO Emissions standards of 0.02 g/bhp-hr. The new ISX12N and L9N will be the lowest certified NO emission engines available in North America. NO exhaust emissions are 90% lower than the current EPA NOx limit of 0.2 g/bhp-hr, and the engines also meet or exceed the 2017 EPA greenhouse gas (GHG) emission requirements. CWI natural gas engines have met the 2010 EPA standard for particulate matter (0.01 g/bhp-hr) since 2001. All CWI engines offer customers the choice of using compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) or renewable natural gas (RNG) as a fuel. Using low carbon intensity RNG fuel provides significant well-to-wheel GHG reductions and is an important aspect of a move to zero emissions strategy. According to California ARB Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) studies, RNG can reach subzero GHG carbon intensity levels. Cummins Westport engines utilize proprietary spark-ignited, stoichiometric combustion with cooled exhaust gas recirculation technology, and three-way catalyst aftertreatment (TWC). The TWC is packaged as a muffler and is maintenance-free. No diesel particulate filter or selective catalytic reduction aftertreatment is required. CWI 6.7 to 12 liter engines are designed for truck and bus applications up to 80,000 pounds. Available from leading truck and bus OEMs, vehicles can be tailored to perform to meet customer requirements with enough range to offer route flexibility without in-route refueling. For example, on highway natural gas trucks can have over 700 mile range capability. The ISX12N will be manufactured in Cummins’ heavy-duty engine plant in Jamestown, New York. The L9N and the B6.7N are manufactured in Cummins midrange engine plant in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Partial funding in support of the ISX12N engine development has been received from South Coast Air Quality Management District, the California Energy Commission, Southern California Gas and Clean Energy.
News Article | May 22, 2017
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Navigant (NYSE: NCI) today announced six senior-level industry experts have joined the company’s growing global Energy segment John Roddy, managing director; Ted Walker, managing director; René Groot Bruinderink, director; Andrew Johnston, director; Laura Manz, director; and Konstantin Staschus, director, are seasoned energy industry experts with the unique insights clients rely on to adapt and thrive in a changing energy landscape. Roddy brings a deep knowledge of strategy and operations to ensure utility clients are maximizing their investments, while Walker’s rich knowledge and vision related to the energy transformation offers stability in a time of uncertainty. Johnston takes a strategic and client-centric approach to smart city opportunities by focusing on local contexts and precedents, and Groot Bruinderink relies on an understanding of the link between government policies, technological innovation, and end-user needs to create low carbon strategies for clients. Manz uses her expertise in transmission and performance excellence to offer guidance and source innovative solutions, and Staschus, the former secretary-general of the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), applies his knowledge in solving client business and strategic problems with a focus on transmission. “Collectively, John, Ted, René, Andrew, Laura, and Konstantin represent more than a century of relevant experience, and individually they are already helping our clients navigate a steady path forward based on strategic advice and unique industry perspectives,” said Jan Vrins, managing director and leader of Navigant’s global Energy segment. “We view their hiring as an investment in Navigant’s future and specifically as an investment in our clients and the trust that they place in us to assist in the complex decisions around emerging technologies, industry changes, and operational excellence.” With more than 25 years of utility industry experience, Roddy is passionate about leveraging his expertise in strategy and operations to assist clients with business and technology planning. He is a trusted advisor on wholesale and retail electric markets, technology assessment and road map planning, business architecture solutions, smart grid/smart metering, business process/performance improvement, and revenue cycle systems. Roddy’s career spans the majority of the utility value chain and encompasses U.S. and international engagements with utilities, regional transmission organizations/independent system operators, energy merchants, industry suppliers, municipalities, professional service firms, and research organizations. Prior to joining Navigant, Roddy operated his own consulting firm, was a leadership partner in Accenture’s North American Utility Practice, and served as the senior executive lead of strategic programs for Black & Veatch’s management consulting division. A key leader in the areas of strategy, policy, and regulation, Walker uses his expertise to hone in on energy company growth opportunities and help clients thrive alongside the changing role of the utility in an evolving energy ecosystem. His knowledge spans the areas of energy retail, transmission and distribution, customer front and back-office, and shared services. Walker also has significant experience working with medium and large electric and gas utilities to develop and plan strategies that extend beyond the business as usual mindset. Prior to joining Navigant, Walker served as a managing director in Accenture’s Utilities Strategy practice. His content focus areas include distributed energy resources, alternative transportation fuels – including electric vehicles, non-commodity products and services, digital customer transformation, innovation strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and emerging technologies, with a particular depth in blockchain. Dedicated to sustainability, Groot Bruinderink focuses on helping clients transition their businesses toward a low carbon future, while capturing short-term business opportunities as well as dealing with reorganizational transitions arising from the energy shift. He is skilled at developing tailor-made proposals to help clients realize sustainable and profitable products and business models. With more than two decades of consulting experience for large corporations and energy companies, Groot Bruinderink has served clients across the retail, utilities, and telecom sectors, in addition to the construction and chemical industries. He spent nearly 10 years at RWE and its successor Innogy, predominantly as a partner responsible for the in-house consulting unit in the Netherlands and Belgium. Groot Bruinderink is a former director of Essent’s strategy department and has also served as a senior manager at Arthur D. Little. With a background spanning the energy, technology, policy, and urban planning sectors, Johnston works to achieve strategic technology implementation among utility clients, cities, manufacturers, and third-party groups. As an expert in aligning policy and program execution with the larger strategic priorities of utilities, his focus also addresses the areas of independent evaluation, quantitative and qualitative analysis, contingency planning, market analysis, and competitive intelligence. Prior to Navigant, Johnston was president of ETS, for Zpryme. He has also served in a variety of roles at organizations centered around emerging technology, including Austin Energy and Pecan Street Inc. Johnston is a former chief of staff to economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin and is the 2014 recipient of the Austin Under 40 Award for Energy & Technology. Focused on utility operations and performance excellence, Manz leverages her expertise in transmission planning and grid operations to provide the insights clients need on pressing industry topics. With more than 30 years of related experience, she is well-versed in the areas of transmission planning and technical studies, policy, bulk grid reliability requirements, generator interconnections, advanced grid technologies, the effects of distributed generation on the power grid, and, particularly, independent system operator requirements and trends. Prior to joining Navigant, Manz was instrumental in forming PJM and its signature nodal market design. She has also managed her own consulting practice with projects in every interconnection in North America. Most recently, Manz was a vice president of market and infrastructure development for the California ISO and a senior vice president at Viridity Energy. Her utility experience also extends to San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Gas Company, and Public Service Electric and Gas Company. Manz is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a member of Cleantech San Diego’s Education and Outreach Committee. An expert in EU energy policy, and the former Secretary-General of ENTSO-E, Staschus focuses on advising European transmission system operator clients and working to shape markets, grids, and systems for the energy transformation. Drawing on more than 30 years of industry experience, Staschus leverages strengths in multicultural management to combine business value with public interest thinking, relying on a technical, economic, and analytical approach. While at ENTSO-E, Staschus contributed to network code drafts, 10-year network development plans, and a transparency platform for EU-wide fundamental electricity system data. In his new role, he continues to chair two of the organization’s research and development committees. Prior to Navigant, Staschus served as a member of BDEW, Berlin’s association of energy and water industries, as managing director of VDN, Germany’s association of network operators, and in roles at the association of German TSOs, DVG, as well as Pacific Gas and Electric. Navigant Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: NCI) is a specialized, global professional services firm that helps clients take control of their future. Navigant’s professionals apply deep industry knowledge, substantive technical expertise, and an enterprising approach to help clients build, manage, and/or protect their business interests. With a focus on markets and clients facing transformational change and significant regulatory or legal pressures, the firm primarily serves clients in the healthcare, energy, and financial services industries. Across a range of advisory, consulting, outsourcing, and technology/analytics services, Navigant’s practitioners bring sharp insight that pinpoints opportunities and delivers powerful results. More information about Navigant can be found at navigant.com.
News Article | May 29, 2017
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently approved a settlement requiring Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to address environmental, as well as safety, factors when fixing natural gas leaks. This comes on the heels of a similar settlement issued by the New York Public Service Commission in December. Together these decisions are ringing in a trend in which the environmental impacts of methane leaking from pipelines are being recognized. Methane – the main component of natural gas — is responsible for about a quarter of current global warming, and awareness about the magnitude of methane that leaks from local pipelines has been mounting. Earlier this year CPUC reported that in 2015, California pipelines leaked away 6.6 billion cubic feet of methane. Based on an average wholesale market price of gas, these losses mean ratepayers are paying approximately $18 million every year for gas that is never delivered. That’s more than the amount of gas released by the Aliso Canyon storage facility leak and over twice the amount emitted by all of the state’s oil and gas wells. Fortunately, advancements in methane detection technology have made finding and fixing gas leaks more affordable than ever. This makes implementation a win-win for safety and integrity, and helps California meet its climate goals. A mandate for modern tech, more inspections, and increased transparency The settlement calls for PG&E is to continue to modernize its leak detection capabilities with affordable technologies that can find 80% more leaks in 40% of the time than with previous methods. These technologies enable companies not only to find leaks, but recent literature suggests they can also estimate leak size. And that makes a big difference when it comes to prioritizing pipeline repair and replacement projects. Utilities are required by law to fix leaks that pose a safety risk, but non-hazardous leaks – known as grade three leaks — may be allowed to persist often for months of years. In California, utilities including PG&E and Southern California Gas Company have racked up tens of thousands of grade three leaks on the books that they have in recent years begun to repair. These leaks may not pose an immediate safety risk, but they are detrimental to the climate. That’s why the decision is so important. As part of the settlement, PG&E proposed to expand its use of these technologies across its entire distribution system, and agreed to repair grade three leaks and reduce the backlog of leaks they have already found. PG&E will also increase its leak survey frequency by 20% — from every five years to every four. More frequent surveys of pipeline systems will allow PG&E to find and fix leaks faster. This is particularly impactful when it comes to finding “super emitters” – the random, unpredictable leaks that are responsible for a significant portion of lost gas. Frequent detection is paramount to reducing emissions from these sources since utilities cannot predict where large leaks will occur. The CPUC decision will increase transparency and take leak data that was once held secret – and give it directly to the public in an easy, accessible way. Under this new scenario, PG&E agreed to publicly display known leaks in a map form that is accessible through its website – not unlike the maps of gas leaks that EDF and Google pioneered in 2014. This sets a new standard for transparency with utility companies, showing that it’s possible to provide leak information in a digestible format to the public, without compromising security. The utility is among the leading local distribution companies working to ensure the responsible delivery of natural gas. Unfortunately, forward-thinking leak detection programs that increase transparency and prioritize the environment aren’t yet the standard across the board. The CPUC’s decision is part of a general rate case between the Commission and utility. The Commission reviews rate cases every three years to determine if proposed increases are just and reasonable. In this case, the Commission determined that the environmental requirements are reasonable since they are affordable, they improve system integrity, and align with the state’s environmental policies like SB 1383 and SB 1371, which require a reduction of methane emissions and gas leaks. PG&E is clearly ahead of the pack when it comes to reducing gas leaks, but there’s no reason other utilities shouldn’t be required to modernize their systems in order to protect public health and the environment. Gas leaks aren’t unique to California. Our mapping data reveal leaks are a persistent problem across the country. Fortunately leak detection technologies are rapidly improving, and if utilities across the country are required to adopt them we could see improved system integrity, increased transparency and more climate protections a lot faster.