NF Energy Develops Ties with A Finnish Valve Company in China

SHENYANG, China, April 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — NF Energy Saving Corporation (NASDAQ: NFEC) (“NF Energy” or the “Company”), a leading energy saving services and solutions provider for China’s power, petrochemical, coal, metallurgy, construction, and municipal infrastructure development industries, announced today that Mr. Gang Li, Chairman and CEO of the Company and Ms. Lihua Wang, General manager and CFO, attended the China-Finland Technology and Trade Cooperation Forum jointly organized by Shenyang Association for Trade Promotion and the Finnish SASKY Group in North-East University, Shenyang, China held on January 19, 2015.

During a meeting at the forum, NF Energy and Vexve Oy Company of the Finnish delegation exchanged information on the companies and their respective flow control products. One the world’s leading suppliers of high quality ball and butterfly valves, Vexve Oy has a lion’s share in the district heating and cooling valves market in Finland. The Finnish delegation presented their new technologies and new products in the fields of clean energy, environmental protection and innovative education in Finland. Invited by Chairman Gang Li, the Vexve Oy team visited the Company’s manufacturing facility after the Forum.

The Forum in Shenyang is dedicated to promoting collaboration between Chinese and Finnish enterprises in fields of high tech R&D, trade and financial services.

About NF Energy Saving Corporation

NF Energy Saving Corporation (NASDAQ: NFEC) is a China-based provider of integrated energy conservation solutions utilizing energy-saving equipment, technical services and energy management re-engineering project operations to provide energy saving services to clients. The Company’s customers are mainly concentrated in the electrical generation (large-scale thermal power generation, hydroelectric power, and nuclear power), water supply, and heat supply industries. The majority of revenues are from energy efficient flow control solutions including equipment and energy efficiency project services. For more information, visit http://www.nfenergy.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

The statements contained herein that are not historical facts are considered “forward-looking statements.” Such forward-looking statements may be identified by, among other things, the use of forward-looking terminology such as “believes,” “expects,” “may,” “will,” “should,” or “anticipates” or the negative thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy that involve risks and uncertainties. In particular, statements regarding the efficacy of investment in research and development are examples of such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the effect of political, economic, and market conditions and geopolitical events; legislative and regulatory changes that affect our business; the availability of funds and working capital; the actions and initiatives of current and potential competitors; investor sentiment; and our reputation. We do not undertake any responsibility to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to take into account events or circumstances that occur after the date of this report. Additionally, we do not undertake any responsibility to update you on the occurrence of any unanticipated events, which may cause actual results to differ from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements. The factors discussed herein are expressed from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission available at http://www.sec.gov.

Contact Person: Andy Gao
Phone Number: +86-24-25609775
Email: info@nfenergy.com

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Pocomoke City Goes Solar With 2.1 Megawatt System From SunEdison

BELMONT, Calif., April 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE:SUNE), the world’s largest renewable energy development company, today announced the completion of a 2.1 megawatt solar energy system that will supply electricity to Pocomoke City’s wastewater treatment plant via a 20 year power purchase agreement. These projects were on the TerraForm Power call right list and have been acquired and are now owned by TerraForm Power, Inc. (Nasdaq: TERP), a global owner and operator of clean energy power plants.

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The Pocomoke City solar system is designed to produce more energy than the on-site facility needed. Under aggregated net metering, other buildings owned by Pocomoke City can share the output of these solar systems, even if they are not physically connected to them or are on a different meter.

“Aggregated net metering is an innovative way for nonprofits, farms, and municipalities to maximize electricity savings and meet their carbon reduction goals with minimal capital up-front,” said Michael Volpe, Sales Director at SunEdison. “We’re proud to be working with Standard Solar, our development and EPC partner, on these opportunities.”

Pocomoke City calls itself The Friendliest Town on the Eastern Shore, and, thanks to the foresight of city officials, it is well on its way to being known as the Greenest Town on the Eastern Shore,” said Tony Clifford, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Solar. “With no financial outlay required by Pocomoke City, sizeable savings in electricity costs, and positive contributions to its citizens’ environmental future, more and more municipalities are seeing the short- and long-term advantages of going solar.”

“Our appreciation goes out to SunEdison and Standard Solar, who introduced us to this innovative solution,” said Russell Blake, City Manager for Pocomoke City. “We’re using aggregated net metering to maximize savings on our electric bill.”

This project was made possible through Maryland’s Aggregated Net Metering Program, which is available for municipal institutions, agriculture and non-profits. Through its Renewable Portfolio Standard, the State of Maryland hopes to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

About SunEdison
SunEdison is the world’s largest renewable energy development company and is transforming the way energy is generated, distributed, and owned around the globe. The company manufactures solar technology and develops, finances, installs, owns and operates wind and solar power plants, delivering predictably priced electricity to its residential, commercial, government and utility customers. SunEdison is one of the world’s largest renewable energy asset managers and provides asset management, operations and maintenance, monitoring and reporting services for its renewable energy customers around the world. Corporate headquarters are in the United States, with additional offices around the world. SunEdison’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SUNE.” To learn more visit www.sunedison.com.

About TerraForm Power
TerraForm Power is a renewable energy leader that is changing how energy is generated, distributed and owned. TerraForm Power creates value for its investors by owning and operating renewable energy power plants. For more information about TerraForm Power, please visit www.terraform.com.

About Standard Solar
Standard Solar, Inc. is a leader in the full-service development, construction, integration, financing and installation of solar electric systems. Dedicated to making Distributed Generation (“DG”) solar solutions more accessible, the company is leading the way to energy independence. The company is committed to offering responsible and energy cost-saving solar solutions that conform to the highest standards. Since 2004, Standard Solar has been developing solar projects to creatively solve the energy needs of commercial, industrial, educational, government, utility and other clients. Named one of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America for four consecutive years by Inc. Magazine, Standard Solar operates nationally and is headquartered in Rockville, MD. For more information, please visit www.standardsolar.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements, including: that the 2.1 megawatt solar PV system for Pocomoke City will benefit all its facilities; and that the municipality is purchasing the energy via a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunEdison. Such statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include changes in applicable regulatory requirements and incentives for production of solar power; and general business and economic conditions, including seasonality of the industry, and other risks described in SunEdison’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent SunEdison’s judgment as of the date of this press release. SunEdison disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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Trina Solar Announces Sale of 49.99 MW Solar Power Plant in the UK to Bluefield Solar Income Fund Limited

CHANGZHOU, China, April 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Trina Solar Limited (NYSE: TSL) (“Trina Solar” or the “Company”), a global leader in photovoltaic (“PV”) modules, solutions, and services, today announced that it has entered into a set of binding agreements, including a Share Purchase Agreement (the “SPA”) and a Bridge Loan Facility Agreement, with Bluefield Solar Income Fund Limited for the Company’s 49.99 MW solar power plant in Norfolk, UK, for a maximum consideration of approximately GBP59.1 million (equivalent to approximately $87.7 million) with a retention of GBP3 million (equivalent to approximately $4.4 million) contingent on certain conditions under the SPA. The Bridge Loan Facility Agreement is to finance the project until the sale is closed. The sales revenue will not be recognized until the conditions set forth in the SPA are met and the share transfer is completed.

The 49.99 MW solar power plant using Trina Solar’s 196,627 modules commenced construction in the third quarter of 2014 and was connected to the grid in the first quarter of 2015. It is entitled to receive 1.4 Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) per megawatt-hour (MWh). As built, the project can supply clean energy to up to 14,000 UK homes per year.

“The sale of this project is in full alignment with our strategy in overseas markets to build and sell power generation assets at attractive return. This is the third utility-scale solar power plant that we have constructed and sold in the UK for a cumulative capacity of 73.76 MW, demonstrating our global team capabilities in project development and execution,” said Mr. Jifan Gao, Chairman and CEO of Trina Solar. “Besides our ongoing developments in the UK, we are also building several projects in Japan and are actively building our presence potentially in other markets for which we will provide updates as and when appropriate. This transaction provides us with additional capital to fund our growing global downstream projects business. With accelerating momentum in our domestic and overseas markets, we are on track to meet our 2015 target to connect a portfolio of projects totaling between 700 MW to 750 MW. Thanks to powerful synergies between our module and downstream businesses, we are confident that we will achieve our 2015 overall targets and solidify our leading position in the global solar energy solution business.”

About Trina Solar Limited

Trina Solar Limited (NYSE:TSL) is a global leader in photovoltaic modules, solutions and services. Founded in 1997 as a PV system integrator, Trina Solar today drives smart energy together with installers, distributors, utilities and developers worldwide. The company’s industry-shaping position is based on innovation excellence, superior product quality, vertically integrated capabilities and environmental stewardship. For more information, please visit www.trinasolar.com.

About Bluefield Solar Income Fund Limited (BSIF)

BSIF is a Guernsey-registered investment company focusing on large scale agricultural and industrial solar assets. It raised gross proceeds of GBP130 million in July 2013 through an initial public offering of shares on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. It raised a further GBP13 million in February 2014 in an oversubscribed placement. Pursuant to a placing programme in November 2014 the Company raised an additional GBP131 million. In June 2014 it agreed a three-year revolving credit facility with Royal Bank of Scotland, for up to GBP50 million.

BSIF seeks to provide shareholders with an attractive return, principally in the form of income distributions, by investing in a diversified portfolio of solar energy assets, each located within the UK, with a focus on utility scale assets and portfolios on greenfield, industrial and/or commercial sites. To date, dividends have been paid semi-annually, but the Company has announced that in 2015 it intends to move to quarterly distributions. For more information, please visit http://www.bluefieldsif.com/

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact in this announcement are forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, the Company’s ability to raise additional capital to finance its activities; the effectiveness, profitability and marketability of its products; the future trading of the securities of the Company; the Company’s ability to operate as a public company; the period of time for which the Company’s current liquidity will enable the Company to fund its operations; general economic and business conditions; demand in various markets for solar products; the volatility of the Company’s operating results and financial condition; the Company’s ability to attract or retain qualified senior management personnel and research and development staff; and other risks detailed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about the Company and the industry in which the Company operates. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent occurring events or circumstances, or changes in its expectations, except as may be required by law. Although the Company believes that the expectations expressed in these forward looking statements are reasonable, it cannot assure you that such expectations will turn out to be correct, and the Company cautions investors that actual results may differ materially from the anticipated results.

For further information, please contact:

Trina Solar Limited

Christensen IR

Teresa Tan, CFO (Changzhou)

Linda Bergkamp

Phone: +1 480 614 3014 (US)

Email: teresa.tan@trinasolar.com

Email: lbergkamp@ChristensenIR.com

Yvonne Young

Investor Relations Director

Email: ir@trinasolar.com

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meteocontrol Releases Germany Solar Eclipse Analysis

Findings point to advantages of predictive analysis for long term grid stability

AUGSBURG, Germany, April 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — meteocontrol, a leading weather and solar power forecast analysis company, today released its solar eclipse data following the solar eclipse that took place on March 20th. The analysis shows how the company was able to predict the extreme fluctuations during the eclipse, in advance of the event itself. Findings show that as the sun receded, solar power dropped from roughly 13 gigawatts to 5 gigawatts within 45 minutes, and returned to 20 gigawatts within the same time period.

“Our findings show that what Germany experienced on March 20th equates to the output of eight nuclear power plants that are cut off from the grid within an extremely short period of time,” said said Robert Pfatischer, one of the two managing directors of meteocontrol. “This volatility however should not endanger the grid at all if one is able to predict it in advance as we have, and ensure back up supply.”

During the eclipse, the moon covered between 66 and 83 percent of the sun in Germany, posing a major challenge for managing the 1.4 million photovoltaic systems connected to the electrical grid. Thanks to precise forecasts however, the grid was able to offset the solar input fluctuations through other sources, allowing power supply to remain stable and blackout-free. In addition to servicing customers, the meteocontrol’s accurate forecast mitigated the risk experienced by energy trading companies.

meteocontrol is a subsidiary of SFCE, headquartered in Augsburg (Germany), which offers highly precise solar power forecasts in every corner of the world. The company’s solutions combine and compare multiple international weather models in conjunction with data recorded from across more than 37,000 solar systems. Through combining real time solar power generation and weather pattern analytics, meteocontrol, provides exact predictive forecasts, backed up by real operating data.

About meteocontrol

meteocontrol, EU headquarter based in Augsburg, Germany and APMEA headquarter based in Shanghai (China), with offices and branches in Lyon (France), Madrid (Spain), Milan (Italy), Alameda (U.S.A.) and Moers (Germany) offers energy and weather data management, yield reports, quality audits and technical due diligence as well as monitoring and technical operations management of PV systems of all sizes. meteocontrol has more than 30 years of expertise in renewable energy systems and has so far been involved in projects with a total investment volume of more than 13 billion euros. The company currently conducts technical operation management for systems with a total power of around 500 MWp. In addition, meteocontrol is the market leader for professional remote monitoring of PV systems. meteocontrol monitors around 37,000 PV systems around the globe with a total power of over 9.8 GWp. meteocontrol is a member of SFCE Shunfeng International Clean Energy Limited.

For further information: www.meteocontrol.com

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Smart Bulbs Lining up to March into the Smart Home says Strategy Analytics

— 200 Million Smart Bulbs by 2020 in Smart Homes Worldwide will be a Catalyst for Mass Market Adoption of Other Smart Devices

BOSTON, April 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Philips kicked off the smart bulb market nearly three years ago with its pricey Hue bulb, but at this year’s CES a horde of new entrants emerged. The transition from incandescent to more energy efficient bulbs is an opening through which smart bulbs – LED bulbs with wireless radios built in, which can be controlled remotely – are gaining a foothold according to Strategy Analytics’ Smart Home Strategies latest report. Belkin, GE and Philips are joined by Awox, Cree, LIFX, Sengled and a host of others are profiled in “Smart Light Bulbs: The Competitive Landscape”.

SMART BULBS: MARKET POSITIONS

SMART BULBS: MARKET POSITIONS

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Click here for a copy of the report: http://sa-link.cc/SmartBulbs

Key findings from the report:

  • The smart bulb market is a fragmented “Wild West” with a variety of technologies and control protocols being implemented.
  • Multi-function Smart Bulbs – those with Wi-Fi repeaters, speakers and cameras will change consumers’ perceptions of “light bulbs”.
  • Interoperability is key – consumers don’t want to have to worry if a bulb they purchase will work with other bulbs they have or will purchase. The industry must address this issue directly and immediately.
  • Lower prices ($15/bulb ) will help develop the mass market; nevertheless these bulbs are competing with incandescent bulbs priced less than $1.00.
  • As bulb manufacturers compete for market share, it is important that they have the right technology partners in order to broaden their appeal – GE, LIFX and Philips are examples of vendors that are growing their ecosystems to increase their market clout.

Quote: Bill Ablondi, Director, Smart Home Strategies said: “Smart bulbs have the potential of becoming a ‘Trojan Horse’ for introducing smart devices into homes due to their ease of installation and networking capabilities; in addition, multi-function bulbs with cameras, speakers or Wi-Fi repeaters will alter the way consumers think about what can go into light sockets.”

About Strategy Analytics

Strategy Analytics, Inc. provides the competitive edge with advisory services, consulting and actionable market intelligence for emerging technology, mobile and wireless, digital consumer and automotive electronics companies. With offices in North America, Europe and Asia, Strategy Analytics delivers insights for enterprise success. www.StrategyAnalytics.com

US Contact: Bill Ablondi, +1 617 614 0700, wablondi@strategyanalytics.com

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Canadian Solar Completes the Acquisition of Recurrent Energy from Sharp Corporation

GUELPH, Ontario, March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, or “Canadian Solar”) (NASDAQ: CSIQ), one of the world’s largest solar power companies, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Recurrent Energy, LLC (“Recurrent”), a leading North American solar energy developer, from Sharp Corporation. The transaction was supported by Export Development Canada (EDC)’s issuance of Performance Security Guarantee of up to $75 million to backstop letters of credit issued against project development obligations by Recurrent Energy. In addition, in conjunction with the acquisition, Credit Suisse will provide Recurrent Energy with a US$150 million, one year senior secured bridge loan.

The acquisition of Recurrent has increased Canadian Solar’s total solar project pipeline by approximately 4.0 GW to a total of 8.5 GW, including an increase in its late-stage project pipeline by approximately 1.0 GW to 2.4 GW. Recurrent’s seven late-stage projects totalling approximately 1.0 GW are located in California and Texas and are expected to be built and connected to the grid prior to the ITC expiration at the end of 2016.

This transaction significantly increases Canadian Solar’s late-stage project pipeline in low risk geographies. Recurrent’s seven late-stage projects have long-term power purchase agreements with investment grade counterparties, and are expected to generate significant US dollar denominated cash flow after completion, serving as the cornerstone for the launch of Canadian Solar’s own Yield-Co in the quarters ahead.

With the closing of the transaction on March 30, 2015, David Brochu has been appointed Recurrent’s new Chief Executive Officer to replace Arno Harris. Michael Metzner, Recurrent’s Chief Financial Officer is also stepping down from his role. This management transition had been planned in advance.

Mr. Brochu previously served as Recurrent Energy’s Chief Operating Officer, a position he assumed in June 2014. Before that, Mr. Brochu served as Recurrent Energy’s Senior Vice President of Development, where he oversaw all development activities, including the build out of more than 315 MW of solar PV projects in two years. Mr. Brochu was previously President and CEO of UPC Solar, a Chicago-based solar PV developer with a pipeline of projects in Ontario, Canada and the United States, which Recurrent Energy acquired in 2009.

“I am honored to lead this exceptional team, with our new parent Canadian Solar, as we further strengthen our position in North America’s solar energy market,” said David Brochu, CEO of Recurrent Energy. “We look forward to transitioning our business model to own and operate assets, as we embark on construction of more than 1 GW of solar PV projects over the next two years.”

“With the acquisition of Recurrent Energy our significantly expanded, globally diverse project pipeline places Canadian Solar firmly among the leading global solar energy companies,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Canadian Solar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that with David’s leadership and experience at Recurrent, we can continue to build on our proven solar energy development track record to create lasting value for our shareholders.”

About Canadian Solar Inc.

Founded in 2001 in Canada, Canadian Solar is one of the world’s largest and foremost solar power companies. As a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules and provider of solar energy solutions, Canadian Solar has a geographically diversified pipeline of utility-scale solar power projects. In the past 14 years, Canadian Solar has successfully deployed over 8 GW of premium quality modules in over 70 countries around the world. Furthermore, Canadian Solar is one of the most bankable solar energy companies worldwide, having been publically listed on NASDAQ since 2006. For additional information about the company, products, and projects, please visit www.canadiansolar.com.

About Recurrent Energy

Recurrent Energy is redefining what it means to be a mainstream clean energy company, with a fleet of utility-scale solar plants that provide competitive clean electricity. The company has more than 4 GW of solar projects in development in North America. Additional details are available at: www.recurrentenergy.com

About Sharp Corporation

Sharp Corporation is a worldwide developer of innovative products and core technologies that play a key role in shaping the future of electronics. As a leader in liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and digital technologies, Sharp offers one of the broadest and most advanced lines of consumer electronics, information products and electronic components, while also creating new network businesses. Sharp Corporation employs 50,637 people in the world (as of September 30, 2014) and recorded consolidated annual sales of 2,927,186 million yen for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. For more information, please visit Sharp’s Web site at http://sharp-world.com.

Safe Harbor/Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These statements are made under the “Safe Harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by such terms as “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “estimates,” the negative of these terms, or other comparable terminology. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include the risks regarding general business and economic conditions and the state of the solar industry; risks associated with any acquisition or disposition activities; the successful integration of acquired companies; governmental support for the deployment of solar power; future available supplies of solar grade silicon; demand for solar products by consumers and inventory levels of such products in the supply chain; changes in demand from significant customers; changes in demand in our project markets, including Canada, the U.S., Japan and China; changes in customer order patterns; capacity utilization; level of competition; pricing pressure and declines in average selling price; delays in new product introduction; continued success in technological innovations and delivery of products with the features customers demand; utility-scale project approval process delays; utility-scale project construction delays; utility-scale project cancelation due to failure to obtain all the necessary permits; shortage in supply of materials or capacity requirements; availability of financing; exchange rate fluctuations; trade protectionism in Europe, the U.S. and India; litigation and other risks as described in the Company’s SEC filings, including its annual report on Form 20-F filed on April 28, 2014. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in its forward looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee future results, level of activity, performance, or achievements. Investors should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. All information provided in this press release is as of today’s date, unless otherwise stated, and Canadian Solar undertakes no duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/canadian-solar-completes-the-acquisition-of-recurrent-energy-from-sharp-corporation-300058297.html

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IBM and The Weather Company Partner to Bring Advanced Weather Insights to Business

– Deeper Understanding of Connections between Weather and Business Outcomes Could Save Industry Billions

– The Weather Company Migrates Data Services Platform to IBM Cloud

– Builds on IBM’s Open Platform to Advance Internet of Things Solutions

ARMONK, New York and ANDOVER, MassachusettsMarch 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM) and The Weather Company through WSI, its global B2B division, today announced a groundbreaking global strategic alliance to integrate real-time weather insights into business to improve operational performance and decision-making. As part of the alliance, The Weather Company, including WSI will shift its massive weather data services platform to the IBM Cloud and integrate its data with IBM analytics and cloud services.

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Weather is perhaps the single largest external swing factor in business performance – responsible for an annual economic impact of nearly half a trillion dollars in the U.S. alone1. While weather prediction is increasingly precise and granular, business systems generally assume every day is the same. As a result, knowledge of impending extreme weather disruptions – or even routine disruptions that drive well understood behaviors and systemic reactions – don’t always trigger operational responses. Combining weather data with traditional business data and rich data from an unprecedented number of Internet of Things (IoT) enabled systems and devices will fundamentally transform enterprise decision-making.

The IoT and cloud computing allow for collection of data from more than 100,000 weather sensors and aircraft, millions of smartphones, buildings and even moving vehicles. WSI’s forecasting system ingests and processes data from thousands of sources, resulting in approximately 2.2 billion unique forecast points worldwide, and averages more than 10 billion forecasts a day on active weather days.

By migrating its weather data platform to IBM Cloud, WSI will be able to accelerate the growth of one of the largest cloud-based applications in the world. Partnering with IBM also will enable enterprise clients and industry ecosystems to more easily integrate WSI weather data – including rapidly updated forecasts – into their operations and decision-making. Once integrated with enterprise processes, weather data can be combined with data from supply chains, customer buying patterns and other sources to create more valuable insights.

IBM and WSI will deliver new cloud services to businesses in three key ways:

  • Watson Analytics for Weather: IBM and WSI will enable easy integration of historical and real-time weather data in business operations and decision making with IBM analytics platforms such as Watson Analytics. The companies will jointly develop industry solutions for insurance, energy & utilities, retail and logistics among others.
  • Cloud and Mobile App Developer Tools: Entrepreneurs and software developers will be able to rapidly build mobile and web apps that take advantage of WSI data combined with data from operational systems, connected devices and sensors using advanced analytics through Bluemix, IBM’s cloud application development platform.
  • Business and Operational Weather Expertise: Thousands of consultants from across IBM Global Business Services will be trained to combine WSI data with other sources to more effectively interpret industry pain points, providing clients new insights that solve business problems.

By combining IBM’s cloud computing, industry consulting and analytics expertise with WSI’s precision weather data and forecasts, the two companies can now enable entire industries to utilize understanding of weather on business outcomes and take action at a local level. For example:

  • Insurers pay more than $1 billion in claims every year for vehicles damaged by hail. WSI’s Weather Alert service, together with IBM Analytics, enables insurance providers to send policyholders text messages that alert them to impending hailstorms – and safe locations – so vehicles can be moved before damage occurs. These insights have the potential to save insurers up to $25 per policyholder per year in hail-prone areas, or millions of dollars annually.
  • Each winter, retailers in snowy areas see patterns in which storm forecasts drive spikes in sales of groceries, shovels, sand, salt and cold-weather gear. Yet those same weather events typically hamper retail sales as consumers stay inside. But differences can be profound – during the January 2014 polar vortex, areas with greater than 10°F drops in temperature saw sales fall 15.5 percent while areas with a less than 10°F drop saw sales fall only 2.9 percent. The ability to better understand and predict the impact of such weather events allows retailers to adjust staffing and supply chain strategies as needed – regionally and nationwide.
  • Utility companies feel the impact of an increase in temperature and relative humidity – even just a few degrees – dramatically in air conditioning use and power consumption. The difference between 90 and 95 degrees in Texas, for example, can equate to $24 million more in electricity spending per day. With IBM and WSI, utilities will be able to more accurately predict power consumption so they can avoid overproducing power, reduce service interruptions and better serve customers.

“This deal combines the capabilities of the world’s largest and most advanced commercial weather company with the leader in big data and analytics. Together, we’ll help businesses and governments transform their decisions and operations around weather fluctuation at a scale that hasn’t been possible until now,” said David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Company. “This is a watershed moment for businesses that have long been impacted by weather but haven’t had the rich data or enhanced decision-making ability to drive positive business outcomes. The combination of our new high-resolution forecasting capabilities with IBM analytics opens up a world of possibilities for the enterprise.”

The partnership builds upon IBM’s investment of $3 billion over the next four years in an Internet of Things (IoT) unit to develop a portfolio of cloud services, software and related intellectual property.

“There’s an opportunity to inform all business operations and decision-making with real-time actionable insight delivered securely via the cloud and extracted from all this data collected from sensors all over the planet,” said Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics. “The Weather Company and IBM partnership can be a catalyst to making critical business systems even smarter.”

For more information on the new WSI and IBM partnership, please visit www.ibm.com/IBMandWeather and www.weathermeansbusiness.com

Join the conversation #IBMandWeather and #weathermeansbiz

For more information on IBM’s Internet of Things business, please visit www.ibm.com/IoT

To view a series of animated Vine videos related to this announcement visit: https://vine.co/u/1025833884602232832

Note to journalists and bloggers: You can view and download, b-roll, a video, and images related to this announcement by clicking here. The video is available in HD, standard definition broadcast and streaming quality.

About WSI, the professional division of The Weather Company

Weather Means Business™. WSI is the world’s leading provider of weather-driven business solutions that enable enterprises to make better decisions using the most accurate and precise weather data available.

WSI serves some of the world’s biggest brands in the aviation, energy, insurance, and media markets, as well as federal and state government agencies. We are proud to be a part of The Weather Company, which focuses entirely on the weather, delivering billions of discrete forecasts per day around the world, through a media portfolio that includes The Weather Channel®, weather.com®, WSI and Weather Underground. Learn more at www.wsi.com.

(1) Source: U.S. Economic Sensitivity to Weather Variability, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, June 2011.

Media Contact: IBM: Vineeta Durani, 917-855-2680, vineeta.durani@us.ibm.com, or The Weather Company: David Blumenthal, david.blumenthal@weather.com

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Frost & Sullivan Applauds Hydal for Ensuring Sustainability of Feedstock by Leveraging Food-based Waste for Waste Oil Upcycling

— Hydal biotechnology’s biopolymer end product adds further value to the technology

LONDON, March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Based on its recent analysis of the waste oil upcycling industry, Frost & Sullivan recognises Suzhou Hydal Biotech Co. Ltd. (hereinafter as “Suzhou Hydal Biotech”) with the 2015 European Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation for turning waste cooking oil into a biodegradable polymer, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). With this technology, Hydal addresses the two biggest concerns of the waste oil upcycling industry: the limitations of feedstock suitability and sufficiency of feedstock supply. Hydal has obtained evaluation on excellent level both for technology and business potential.

Suzhou Hydal Biotech

Suzhou Hydal Biotech

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150325/194442LOGO

Using Hydal’s innovative technology, waste cooking oils, along with inorganic salts as nutrients, are fermented by naturally occurring microorganisms in the presence of water, air, and steam. The fermentation produces PHA, which is an energy source for the microorganisms and stored as grains in the produced broth. The produced PHA is harvested by isolating and disrupting the microorganisms and then extracting and precipitating the polymer using a solvent, which is recovered and removed. The quality of the waste cooking oil was found not to affect the quality of PHA produced.

As Hydal is able to use any cooking oil, feedstock suitability and sustainability are non-issues. This technology benefit helps the industry avoid the potential oversupply of bio-based waste oils when they are deemed unsuitable for motor oils application. Moreover, microorganisms have been known to be tolerant toward toxic elements; as such, the possibility of waste oil contamination and consequent disruption is remote.

“In China, the huge surplus of used frying oil has resulted in a black market that recycles the oil for cooking, causing major health risks,” said Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Jennifer Tan. “Suzhou Hydal Biotech will make the most of China’s huge waste cooking oil market and resolve its accompanying problems with its unique technology.”

Hydal’s technology is more environmentally sustainable than waste oils re-refining technologies. Current re-refining technologies, such as vacuum distillation, are energy intensive, whereas Hydal’s fermentation-based technology uses less energy, in milder operating conditions. Additionally, by virtue of being fermentation-based, the Hydal solution is modular and can be easily scaled to the required capacity.

Besides solving the challenge of waste oils disposal, Hydal’s PHA emits less greenhouse gases and is almost carbon-neutral due to ‘free’ energy gains from kitchen waste processing. The two-fold benefit, from the technology and end product, aligns the technology with the ‘Innovating to Zero’ Mega Trend, as it ensures zero carbon, zero waste, and zero emissions.

Apart from adding to the technology’s marketability by being biodegradable, Hydal’s PHA also costs less than those in existing markets because the feedstock is unwanted waste. The only feedstock costs incurred are on the collection and transportation of waste cooking oils. The well-established cooking oil collection infrastructure in Europe and many countries of the world is a potential avenue for technology licensing.

“Unlike with waste oil re-refining, Hydal’s flexible technology makes it unnecessary to decontaminate and screen the waste cooking oils,” noted Tan. “Producing PHAs instead of conventional biofuel also widens its range of usefulness because the PHAs can be used for a multitude of applications.”

Overall, due to its strong performance in the waste oil upcycling industry, Suzhou Hydal Biotech is truly deserving of the 2015 Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated uniqueness in developing and leveraging new technologies, which significantly impacts both the functionality and the customer value of the new products and applications. The award lauds the high R&D spent towards innovation, its relevance to the industry and the positive impact on brand perception.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.

About Suzhou Hydal Biotech

Suzhou Hydal Biotech is the first and only industrial technology for production of biopolymers in the world which uses waste, used cooking oil, as a source and doesn’t exhaust raw materials from the food chain. It also exhibits highest productivity and yield of the polymer thanks to patented know-how and used resources.

Suzhou Hydal Biotech is EU-China Joint Venture founded by two partners that reached significant synergic effects. Suzhou Hydal Biotech was founded in February 2014 in Suzhou, and it is a result of Czech-Chinese cooperation in the area of biotechnologies. Its founders are NAFIGATE Corporation and Jiangsu Clean Environmental Technology Co., Ltd. Czech Company NAFIGATE Corporation, specialized in the transfer of high-tech technologies, has introduced its unique Hydal biotechnology to the Chinese market. NAFIGATE has partnered on this project with China-based Suzhou Cleanet, a company that collects and processes waste cooking oil at an increasing number of locations in China.

About Frost & Sullivan

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Contact:

SUZHOU HYDAL BIOTECH CO., LTD.
Room 202, CN-23 Nanopolis Suzhou
99 Jinji Lake Avenue, Suzhou Industrial Park
Jiangsu Province, Suzhou, China 215123

Lenka Mynarova
Marketing Director
Tel.: +420603412555
E-mail: lenka.mynarova@nafigate.com

Adelaide Mendes
Best Practices Group
Frost & Sullivan
Tel.: +44-(0)-207-9157869
E-mail: adelaide.mendes@frost.com

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