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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Portman floor speech on Energy Efficiency Bill


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Whirlpool Corporation, IBM Collaborate on Cognitive Solutions for Connected Appliances

From IBM:

Whirlpool Corporation, IBM Collaborate on Cognitive Solutions for Connected Appliances

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. and ARMONK, NY. 6 - 06 Jan 2016:  Whirlpool Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of major home appliances, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new collaboration to connect Whirlpool connected home appliances with IBM Watsonservices, including cognitive analytics, to provide more personalized services to consumers.
“IBM’s cognitive analytics is a strong fit for Whirlpool Corporation,” said Laurent Borne, General Manager, Connected Appliances, Whirlpool Corporation. “Saving energy and water, caring for their families through mobile efficiencies – these are the benefits we’re hoping to bring to consumers. IBM’s expertise in data storage, and cloud computing ensures we’ll continue to bring our consumers relevant technologies in the future, as well as deliver new, innovative, and distinctive experiences for the consumer.“
In step with its position as an industry leader, Whirlpool is gearing up for a market on the cusp of increased demand for intuitive, connected home appliances. Through IBM Watson services, including cognitive analytics, data management and protection, Whirlpool Corporation can better serve the consumer as connected home appliances continue to evolve. The collaboration will also focus, in part, on the importance and intricacies of big data; Whirlpool Corporation is using IBM Cloud Business Solutions to harness real-time data and insights from appliances to drive product optimization or enhance and introduce new benefits customized/tailored to consumers’ unique needs.
“Working with IBM, Whirlpool Corporation can now further improve performance, optimize supply chain and enhance service delivery,” said Bruce Anderson, General Manager, Global Electronics Industry, IBM. “Cognitive computing systems sense, reason and learn to provide enterprises the ability to access and analyze most data quickly and efficiently to create meaningful insights that benefit business and society alike.”
Whirlpool brand has taken its connected appliance offering to CES in Las Vegas. The brand introduced the Whirlpool® Smart Kitchen Suite with CareSync™ system—a three-piece suite of connected appliances that blends consumers’ home cooking with sleek design.  The suite is one of the latest innovations from Whirlpool that Works with Nest and allows families to control select features of their kitchen appliances remotely—refrigerator, oven and dishwasher using the Whirlpool(R) Smart App.[1]
The brand also brought the new Whirlpool® Smart Top Load Washer and Dryer enabled with Connect to CareTM program, an option that, when enabled, allows consumers to make a small donation to Habitat for Humanity every time a load of laundry is washed.[2]
For more information, to join the conversation and see the company’s care-centric product innovations and conceptual inspirations come to life, visit Whirlpool brand’s booth #74352 in the Family & Technology Marketplace, located at the Sands Expo Center, or .
About Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) is the number one major appliance manufacturer in the world, with approximately $20 billion in annual sales, 100,000 employees and 70 manufacturing and technology research centers throughout the world in 2014. The company markets Whirlpool,KitchenAidMaytagConsulBrastempAmanaBauknechtJenn-AirIndesit and other major brand names in more than 170 countries. Additional information about the company can be found at, or find us on Twitter at @WhirlpoolCorp.
About IBM Corporation
There are more than 9 billion connected devices operating in the world today, generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data daily. Cognitive systems help overcome this challenge –learning at scale, reasoning with purpose, and interacting with humans naturally. In March 2015, IBMannounced that it intended to invest more than $3 billion to address the needs of organizations that are looking to capitalize on the increasing instrumentation and interconnectedness of the world driven by the Internet of Things (IoT).
In December 2015, IBM announced that Munich, Germany will serve as the global headquarters for its new IBM Watson IoT unit, as well as its first European Watson innovation center. The center will bring together developers, consultants, researchers and designers to drive deeper engagement with clients and partners, and build a new class of connected solutions at the intersection of cognitive computing and the IoT.
IBM Watson IoT Cloud is designed to meet the broad needs of enterprises, their connected devices and their connected customers, offering secure connectivity of devices around the globe, enabled by advanced cognitive analytics and mitigated risk with pay-per-device pricing.
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 [1] Requires Wifi and account creation.  App features and functionality subject to change.  Subject to Terms of Service available at:   Data rates may apply.
[2] The Connect to Care Program will give Whirlpool Smart Top Load Washer customers the option to make per-washer load charitable donations of $.15, $.25 or $.50 to Habitat for Humanity through the Whirlpool app.  The total amount of customer donations during the Program will depend on the number of participants and eligible loads through December 31, 2016.  In addition to the charitable donations made by participating customers, Whirlpool will directly donate a minimum of $95,000 and up to $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity in 2016. Visit for more information.

Canadian Solar Subsidiary Recurrent Energy Closes Financing for 75 Megawatt Astoria 2 Solar Power Project

From GE:

Canadian Solar Subsidiary Recurrent Energy Closes Financing for 75 Megawatt Astoria 2 Solar Power Project

GUELPH, Ontario, Canada, January 5, 2016 – Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, or “Canadian Solar”) (NASDAQ: CSIQ), one of the world’s largest solar power companies, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, one of North America’s largest solar project developers, closed on a tax equity investment commitment with GE (NYSE: GE) unit GE Energy Financial Services for the 75 megawatt (MWac) Astoria 2 solar power project. Recurrent Energy also closed a debt facility for the Astoria 2 project, currently under construction in California.

Recurrent Energy will be the managing member of the Astoria 2 solar power project and plans to own and operate the facility. Santander Bank, N.A. (Santander) was the coordinating lead arranger of a five member bank club including NORD/LB, Rabobank, Key Bank, and CIT Bank, which will provide project-level construction debt, a letter of credit facility and a back-leveraged term loan facility, totaling approximately $180 million.

“The Astoria 2 transaction completes the financing of Recurrent Energy’s late-stage portfolio and is our second transaction with GE,” said Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar. “The support of this bank club and the expansion of our work with GE reflects our ability to consistently deliver high quality solar assets.”

“Investing in the Astoria 2 project builds upon our relationships with Recurrent Energy and Canadian Solar and continues the expansion of our global renewable energy footprint,” says Kevin Walsh, managing director and head of Renewables at GE Energy Financial Services. 

The Astoria 2 project follows GE Energy Financial Services’ investment in the Astoria project and builds upon its investment commitments of $2 billion in nearly two gigawatts of solar power projects worldwide.

"Canadian Solar has executed on a remarkable pipeline of U.S. solar projects in 2015 with the support of Santander," said Jorge Camina, Head of Project & Acquisition Finance at Santander. "The structuring of this complex transaction with the Company, GE and the other lenders is another major achievement for Santander that will contribute to creating jobs and clean energy."

The Astoria 2 solar power project, located in Kern County, is expected to reach commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016 and will utilize GE 1500V inverters. The project is expected to generate enough clean solar energy to power approximately 25,000 California homes. The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility will be sold under power purchase agreements. The Astoria 2 project is adjacent to the Astoria solar project, which closed financing in November 2015.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.


About GE Energy Financial Services

GE Energy Financial Services-GE's energy investing business-works as a builder, not just a banker, to help meet the world's power and fuel needs. We offer more than money-expertise-for essential, long-lived and capital-intensive power, oil and gas infrastructure-GE's core business. Drawing on GE's energy technical know-how, financial strength and risk management, we see value where others don't and take on our customers' toughest challenges with flexible equity and debt transaction structures. Based in Stamford, Connecticut, GE Energy Financial Services holds approximately $16 billion in assets. More Follow GE Energy Financial Services on Twitter: @GEEnergyFinServ

About Santander Bank

Santander Bank, N.A. is one of the country’s top retail banks by deposits and a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander, S.A. - one of the most respected banking groups in the world.  With its corporate offices in Boston, Santander Bank’s more than 670 branches and nearly 2,100 ATMs are principally located in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The Bank’s 9,800 employees are committed to helping our 2.1 million customers make progress toward their financial goals with the support of our call centers, interactive online banking platform and easy-to-use mobile app. Madrid-based Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN) serves more than 100 million customers in the U.K., Europe, Latin America and the U.S.  Through its local affiliates, including Santander Bank, Banco Santander is the largest corporate contributor to higher education in the world, investing over $165 million annually in colleges and universities across more than 20 countries, including the U.S.  For more information on Santander Bank, please visit


About Recurrent Energy

Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc., is redefining what it means to be a mainstream clean energy company, with 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:

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 a provider of solar energy solutions, Canadian Solar has a geographically diversified pipeline of utility-scale power projects. In the past 14 years, Canadian Solar has successfully deployed over 12 GW of premium quality modules in over 70 countries around the world. Furthermore, Canadian Solar is one of the most bankable companies in the solar industry, having been publically listed on NASDAQ since 2006. For additional information about the company, follow Canadian Solar on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, or on the website.

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; governmental support for the deployment of solar power; future available supplies of high-purity silicon; demand for end-use products by consumers and inventory levels of such products in the supply chain; changes in demand from significant customers; changes in demand from major markets such as Germany, Japan, the U.S. and China; changes in customer order patterns; changes in product mix; capacity utilization; level of competition; pricing pressure and declines in average selling prices; delays in new product introduction; delays in utility-scale project approval process; delays in utility-scale project construction; continued success in technological innovations and delivery of products with the features customers demand; shortage in supply of materials or capacity requirements; availability of financing; exchange rate fluctuations; litigation and other risks as described in the Company's SEC filings, including its annual report on Form 20-F filed on April 23, 2015. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the 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.

Solar in the Sahara

From NASA Earth:

Solar in the Sahara
In Morocco, an expansive solar power complex begins to take shape at the “door of the desert.” Read more at

Monday, January 4, 2016

Wind Turbine Capacity Increasing

From National Renewable Energy Laboratory:

Great news from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) to start 2016. 

At the end of 2015 wind power in the USA passed the 70 gigawatt mark, meaning enough wind turbine capacity is now installed to supply over 19 million typical American homes with low-cost clean electricity.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


From the Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:


Purpose: Flood control and hydroelectric power.

Location: On the Grand (Neosho) River at river mile 7.7, in Mayes, Wagoner, and Cherokee Counties, about 5 miles north of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, and about 12 miles northeast of Muskogee, Oklahoma.

History: Construction began in 1942, was suspended during World War II, and resumed in May 1946. Closure of the embankment was completed in June 1949. The project became fully operational when the last of four generators started producing commercial power in September 1953.

Fort Gibson Lake draws its name from the nearby historic town of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. Fort Gibson played a prominent part in the military history of early-day Oklahoma. It was the scene of many important events – from the first appearance of the relocated members of the Five Civilized Tribes through its contacts with the tribes of the western plains and the turbulent years of the Civil War. Union and Confederate forces at different times occupied the post.

Founded in 1824 by Col. Matthew Arbuckle of the 7th Infantry and named for Col. George Gibson, this was the farthest west military outpost in the chain of fortifications stretching from the northern to the southern borders of the United States. Until 1857, it served as the chief military center for the Indian Territory and many treaties with the Indians were signed here. It was the base for the establishment of the subposts of Forts Chaffee, Wayne, Holmes, Arbuckle and Washita. Jefferson Davis, later president of the Confederacy, served here under Gen. Zachary Taylor, who became president of the United Sates in 1849. Washington Irving, accompanying an exploring expedition in 1832, started the trip from Fort Gibson which he described in his book, “A Tour On the Prairies.” It was also from Fort Gibson that George Catlin, renowned painter of the American Indian, set out with the First Infantry Dragoons on their expedition into the Kiowa and Comanche Country in 1834. The name of the first post office at the site, Cantonment Gibson, was changed to Fort Gibson in 1842.

Among the many famous Americans identified with Fort Gibson are Capt. Nathan Boone, A.P. Chouteau, Sam Houston, Gen. Henry Leavenworth, Robert E. Lee and John Howard Payne. Fort Gibson National Cemetery – the only national cemetery in Oklahoma – is located ½ mile east of the town of Fort Gibson.

The old Texas Road, with its traffic of cattlemen, freighters and traders, passed near the fort, but the main communication for the troops and residents of the surrounding country was by steamboat on the Arkansas River. French fur traders of the southwest made it a center for their business transactions, and supplies for a large area were imported and dispersed from this point.

Abandoned by the government in 1857, Fort Gibson was reoccupied during the Civil War. After the war, it continued as an agency, aiding in the civilization of the west, before it was fully abandoned in 1890. Today at the Fort Gibson, a reconstructed log stockade stands on the site of the first log fort. Now a National Historical Landmark, the stockade is owned by the state of Oklahoma and is open to the public year-round.

Other communities near the lake, with the dates their post offices were established include: Wagoner, 1888; Okay, a trading post as far back as 1822, had several names before it officially became Okay in 1919; Mazie, 1905; Chouteau, 1871; Murphy, 1912; and Hulbert, 1903.

Type of Structure: The dam includes two concrete, gravity, non-overflow sections. One section, 285 feet long, extends from the spillway to the earth embankment at the right abutment. The other section, 460 feet long, extends from the intake structure to the earth embankment at the left abutment. The dam also includes two earth embankment sections, one of which extends about 374 feet from the natural ground at the right abutment to the right bank concrete non-overflow section. The other embankment, 63 feet long, extends from the left abutment to the left bank concrete non-overflow section. The powerhouse intake structure is located adjacent to the spillway on the left and is 318 feet long. The total length of the structures, including the spillway, is 2,990 feet, and the maximum height above the streambed is 110 feet. Oklahoma State Highway 251A extends across the top of the structures. There are seven rolled earthfill dikes on the west side of the reservoir which have a total length of 21,678 feet.

Spillway & Outlet Works: The spillway section is a concrete, gravity, ogee weir which extends across the existing river channel and a major portion of the right bank floodplain. Spillway capacity is 986,000 cubic feet per second at the top of the flood control pool. The spillway is equipped with thirty 40- by 35-foot tainter gates operated by individual electric-motored hoists. The total length of the spillway is 1,490 feet. Outlet works consist of ten 5-foot, 8-inch by 7-foot rectangular sluices located through the spillway weir. Capacity of the outlet works varies from 21,000 cfs at the flood control pool elevation with no spillway discharge to 14,400 cfs at the flood control pool elevation with the spillway discharging at full capacity. Flows through the sluices are controlled by a means of hydraulically-operated, cast-iron slide gates. Emergency closure of the sluices can be accomplished using a bulkhead lowered by a hoist into frames provided at the sluice entrances. A 48-inch-diameter pipe is located through the right abutment of the dam for municipal water supply for the city of Muskogee. Bank-full capacity on the Grand (Neosho) River below the dam is about 100,000 cfs.

Hydrologic Data: Estimated peak discharge and volume for the flood of May 7 to June 1, 1943, (with Grand Lake O' the Cherokees in operation) were 400,000 cfs and 5,918,000 acre-feet, respectively. Total runoff from the drainage area above the dam site was 8.88 inches.

Authorization: Flood Control Act approved August 18, 1941; incorporated in the Arkansas River multipurpose plan by the River and Harbor Act of July 24, 1946; Project Document HD 107, 76th Congress, 1st Session; and the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, Public Law 99-662.

U.S. Army photo by Edward N. Johnson
USACE-Tulsa, Public Affairs