Solar Company Shows It’s Possible to Combine Growth and Profitability

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:For a while there, leading residential solar installers had a one-track mind: They could grow or make money, but not both.The national players opted for growth through the early 2010s, until the deferral of making money started to catch up with them. It took out Sungevity, at one time the No. 3 U.S. residential installer. It led to Tesla’s takeover of market leader SolarCity, and the brand’s subsequent erasure.Sunrun still stands on its own, though, and it’s out to prove it can do two things at once.“We’re super bullish — we love our market position,” said CEO Lynn Jurich, in an interview. “Not only are we increasing market share, we’re increasing our margins and generating positive cash.”Tesla took a different tack, slowing growth to focus on profits. As a result, this quarter may be the first time that Sunrun outpaced SolarCity for residential installations. Tesla reported a combined 109 megawatts, deployed across all market segments.Sunrun deployed 90 megawatts of residential solar in the third quarter of 2017, up 12 percent year over year. That added up to 1,117 cumulative megawatts deployed, a 39 percent increase from a year ago.Sign up for the GTM newsletter. Stay up to date on all the latest!That’s actually a smaller year-over-year growth than in any of the previous 10 quarters, but it’s still a substantial step forward.The deployment count means Sunrun, which favors leases over cash deals by a roughly 9-1 ratio, has a growing number of little rooftop cash registers sending money back each month. The company claims $1.2 billion in net earning assets, a 24 percent increase year-over-year.With regard to making money…Sunrun is profitable, Jurich said, and will generate $40 million in cash this year.The core directive is to deploy rooftop solar systems that generate more value than they cost. The company measures this as net present value, which adds up the revenue streams a solar system will produce (including tax credits, rebates, payments from a 20-year customer contract) minus the costs to deploy and operate the asset.“It really is your purest way to talk about value creation,” Jurich said.This quarter, Sunrun set a company record for net present value at $1.15 per watt. That adds up to $93 million in total net present value created that quarter, a 21 percent increase from Q3 last year.Increasing adoption of energy storage boosts valueSunrun bolsters that net present value with its new killer app: energy storage.Many companies sell solar paired with batteries, but Sunrun has achieved unique scale in the U.S. — 2,000 units ordered, as of August. The numbers indicate Sunrun sees this technology as more than a trendy deluxe upgrade — it’s becoming a part of the business strategy.“Attachment rate” measures how many home solar customers opt to include storage, in this case via Sunrun’s BrightBox package that includes LG Chem batteries. Sunrun’s attachment rate among its in-house installers in California doubled in Q3 to more than 10 percent. Sunrun currently does not offer BrightBox through its installer partners in the state.That means that 10 percent of Californians that contracted directly with Sunrun chose to pay slightly more to add storage, in exchange for backup power and savings opportunities down the road. “Already, in much of the market from a today’s savings perspective, it delivers more savings to have a BrightBox than to have solar only,” Jurich said.In much of the country, it’s still hard to make the economic case for residential solar-plus-storage. California, though, has both high electricity prices and a number of policy incentives for storage deployment.In Hawaii, all of Sunrun’s systems now come packaged with BrightBox. High levels of solar penetration there prompted the utilities to adopt a tariff, known as Customer Self-Supply, that forbids solar export, meaning new solar customers must undersize their solar system or add storage, with the latter being the preferred option.BrightBox arrived in Arizona in July, so the company didn’t report data for that newly opened market.It’s too early to say anyone has cracked the code on residential storage, said GTM Research storage analyst Brett Simon, but Sunrun has made headway by streamlining the sales process.More: “Sunrun Aims to Prove Solar Installers Can Grow and Make a Profit at the Same Time” Solar Company Shows It’s Possible to Combine Growth and Profitabilitylast_img read more

Report: Divestment campaigns gaining steam

first_imgReport: Divestment campaigns gaining steam FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:The funds committed to fossil fuel divestment now total more than $6tn (£4.6tn), with almost 1,000 institutional investors having made the pledge, according to a new report.The sell-off of coal, oil and gas investments is led by the insurance industry, with $3tn of funds. But it also now includes the first nation to divest, Ireland, major cities including New York and key medical organisations. Major oil companies such as Shell have this year cited divestment as a material risk to its business.Fossil fuel divestment began on US university campuses in 2011 but now spans 37 nations around the world. Supporters of divestment say existing fossil fuel resources are already far greater than can be burned without causing catastrophic climate change and that exploring for and producing more fossil fuels is therefore morally wrong. They also say fossil fuel companies are risky investments as global action on emissions gets tougher.The new divestment report, by Arabella Advisors, calculates that investors with $6.2tn in assets under management have committed to divest from fossil fuels, up from $5.2tn in the previous report in 2016.Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of GMO, one of the world’s most influential asset management companies, said the financial case for divestment was compelling. “Investors with long-term horizons should avoid oil stocks on investment grounds. They face a sustained headwind. Ethical arguments for divestments are simply not necessary. They are a pure bonus,” he said.Another new report, from Genus Capital Management in Canada, said its fossil free fund had outperformed a benchmark of standard stock market indices by almost 2% per year over the last five years. The company’s Fossil Free CanGlobe Equity Fund is a mix of Canadian and global stocks. “At the five-year mark, we can conclusively say: divesting from fossil fuels pays,” said CEO Wayne Wachell.More: Fossil fuel divestment funds rise to $6tnlast_img read more

ENGIE completes 100MW solar-plus-storage project in South Africa

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:French electric utility ENGIE has completed and begun production from one of South Africa’s largest renewable energy projects, the 100MW Kathu Solar Park, a concentrated solar plant (CSP) with storage located in the Northern Cape province.The Kathu Solar Park consists of parabolic trough technology and is equipped with a molten salt storage system that provides up to 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage. The site is made up of over 384,000 mirrors and is the first CSP project developed by ENGIE.It was built by Sener and Acciona and won a 20-year power purchase agreement under South Africa’s stop-start Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPP).The Kathu Solar Park is expected to provide clean electricity for the equivalent of 179,000 South African homes – specifically in the local community of the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality, the Northern Cape province, and South Africa as a whole.Further, it is expected that the Park will save around six million tonnes of CO2 over 20 years and will further foster local economic development through several ground-level projects, including a trust for the benefit of communities situated in the Northern Cape, as well as sourcing services from local entrepreneurs.More: South Africa celebrates opening of another solar plus storage plant ENGIE completes 100MW solar-plus-storage project in South Africalast_img read more

BNEF: Renewable hydrogen can replace gas in power generation

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Renewable hydrogen has the potential to slash the global greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuel power generation and industry by more than one third, at a cost competitive with natural gas, new research has found – but it’s not the answer for low-carbon automotive transport.Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) Hydrogen Economy Outlook, published Monday, finds that with large-scale geological storage and the right policies in place, renewables-produced hydrogen could be used to replace natural gas in both dispatchable power generation and industrial applications.The report – just the latest in a raft of studies talking up the potential of green hydrogen – finds that solar and wind-based hydrogen could be produced for $US0.8 to $1.6/kg in most parts of the world before 2050, putting it on par with current gas prices on an energy-equivalent basis.The cost could be even lower in renewables-rich and spacious countries like Australia, the report says, where hydrogen could be produced from solar and wind farms that might otherwise be curtailed, stored and transported back to a generator at a cost between $8-14/MMBtu by 2050.“Hydrogen is promising and powerful because it can be used for so many things,” said the report’s lead author and BNEF’s head of industrial decarbonisation, Kobad Bhavnagri. “Renewable energy has paved the way to carbon-free electricity. But to meet net-zero emissions targets, we need to go beyond electricity and have carbon-free fuels. That is the role for hydrogen,” he said.“In the years ahead, it will be possible to produce it at low cost using wind and solar power, to store it underground for months, and then to pipe it on-demand to power everything from ships to steel mills.”[Sophie Vorrath]More: Renewable hydrogen to undercut gas on price, but not the answer for transport BNEF: Renewable hydrogen can replace gas in power generationlast_img read more

Fridays on the Fly | Drink Beer. Tie Flies. Socialize.

first_imgOne of the things WNC has become known for over the past few years is its breweries. All across theSoutheast breweries are popping up left and right, and we aren’t upset about it. So, a few of us fisher-people decided we’d come up with a way to get people together, learn about fly tying, and drink some awesome locally brewed beer.Every Tuesday throughout winter Headwaters Outfitters and Flymen Fishing Company host a tying night at Brevard Brewing Company located in downtown Brevard, N.C. at 7:00pm. This free tying night allows beginners and experts to come have a few beers, socialize, and learn a thing or two about tying flies. We offer all of the materials and can provide additional vises for folks just getting into the sport. We have “open tie” nights when we all come up with our best tie or we have “instructor” nights where we’ve got a designated fly that we’re all learning how to tie. All ages are welcome. If you’re interested and have all of the stuff you need, come on down. If you’re interested and are in need of loaner vises or tools, shoot Jessica an e-mail at [email protected] so we can bring some extra stuff along for you.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-gI59Xbkr0Brevard isn’t the only place where you can go to a fly tying night. Every Tuesday of January and February Davidson River Outfitters hosts a tying night at Catawba Brewing Company off of Banks Avenue in Asheville, NC. This weekly social gathering starts at 6:30pm and is for all levels of tiers from beginners to experts. This is also a free shindig but a beer purchase is recommended to attend.  For more information contact Jeb Hall at [email protected] or come check it out for yourself. This is something every fly shop and brewery could partner up and do. It’s an incredible way to bring new people into the sport of fly fishing by learning how to tie their own flies and bring folks into a local business during their slow winter months. We’ve had folks travel hours just to come to one of these nights because they aren’t offered in their own towns. It’s a simple idea that creates not only a following of newcomers to the sport, but an incredible social atmosphere where everyone is relaxed, eager to learn and enjoying life. We urge you to take the initiative to create something like this in your own town and continue spreading the love of fly fishing through education. And beer.Abbi Bagwell is the business operations manager for the Brevard, North Carolina-based Flymen Fishing Company. Follow her fly fishing adventures on Instagram and Youtube. [divider]read more fridays on the fly[/divider]last_img read more

Festival Recap: The New River Gorge Craggin’ Classic

first_imgOur return to the South East continues to impress. Coming from Colorado, this month has reminded us of all the things we missed when we left in May. It was our first Gauley Fest, our first time rafting the Gauley, and the ‘firsts’ keep on coming. The past seven days have been filled with our first (and second and third) time climbing in the New River Gorge, our very first Craggin’ Classic and our first time to beautiful Fayetteville, West Virgina. What a week it was!We rolled in last Wednesday ready to dust off the cobwebs that had unfortunately accumulated on our climbing gear over the past couple of weeks. You can’t come to The New and NOT take advantage of some of the best rock climbing in the country. The sheer amount of climbing that’s available is enough to make even the most well-traveled climber drool. There are literally thousands of routes for all skill levels and climbing styles. If you have never been to the area, don’t expect to roll in and immediately hop on the crag. The approach trails here can be rugged, hard to find, and many skirt private property.  We highly recommend stopping into Waterstone Outdoors in Fayetteville to purchase a guidebook. You’ll thank yourself and you’ll be able to maximise your time climbing. On top of being a stellar gear shop, Waterstone is also heavily involved with the stewardship of the area can be a fountain of information for those who want a nudge in the right direction.On Friday, following a solid day of climbing and feeling a bit off of our game, we had our first meetup since we got sick. We joined forces with The New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC) to help build a new access trail to Fern Buttress, as well as help with a little housekeeping in the area. Each year before the Craggin’ Classic, NRAC hosts a day of stewardship and conservation. The day allows climbers from near and far to help give back to the land that they love and use. The turnout was excellent and really speaks to the local climbing community, and the climbing community as a whole. It would be easy to take the day before The Classic and climb your heart out. However, 25+ people (some local and some not) showed up at 9:00 AM for a full day of moving rocks, building fences, cleaning up broken glass, and ultimately building a new trial. It was a long, hot, and humid day but we love giving back whenever possible. NRAC is doing amazing things in the community. If you climb in The New, we highly encourage spending a day with them or making a donation to help with gear replacement. They’re out there keeping us all safe. Following the work day, we would have loved to relax but it was day 1 of the American Alpine Club’s Craggin’ Classic! The Craggin’ Classic is “country’s only nationally-touring, grassroots climbing festival.” The festival drew climbers from all over the country for clinics, films, competitions, local food & beer, and a wild late-night dance party in the woods. The Classic is a gathering of the tribe so to speak. It draws the core climbing community to world-class climbing destinations across the country. To be honest, this was one of our favorite festivals to date. The stoke was through the roof and everybody came to climb hard.Saturday and Sunday climbers were treated to breakfast courtesy of the AAC, and delicious coffee from Stone Tower Joe. These guys were awake far before everybody else to make sure we were fed, caffeinated, and ready to send some New River sandstone.Saturday night is the big party at the Craggin Classic’. Once again, it was a priority that everybody was fed. The AAC put on a massive pig roast and it was magical. Following dinner, the crowd turned to the beer booth and got ready for the evening’s raffles, giveaways, and the dyno competition. Men and women who are much stronger climbers than us, took to the stage to show off their strong dyno skills. Contestants had 10 minutes to stick a dyno move on increasingly difficult routes. A “dyno” is when a climber uses dynamic movement and momentum to get to the next hold. In other words, the climbers were launching themselves into the air and trying their best to cling on to the next hold.As the night progressed, it was time for everyone to blow off some steam after a couple hard days of climbing. Just over the hill in the AAC campground, the late night dance party was kicking off. We thought by now everyone would be worn out enough and just want to party. Nope… Climbers gonna climb. By the time we got there people hopped on the wall behind the dance party and started bouldering.Our favorite part of our time here has been getting acquainted with the local climbing community. Everyone at the festival and at the crag has been friendly, caring and overall pleasant to spend time with. So if you are reading this, thank you, and we’ll see you next year!As with every event we attend, we will be repping our sponsors and their awesome gear! You can check out first hand what we use on the road to live outside and play, including gear from La Sportiva, Crazy Creek, National Geographic, RovR Products, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, LifeStraw, and Lowe Alpine.last_img read more

Recap: Mother’s Day Hike at Turk Mountain

first_imgThe Mother’s Day hike was an event we had been looking forward to all spring. Our community meetups are one of the most enjoyable and connecting parts of being on the road. We get to meet all types of people from all over the country. The meetups bring a group of humans together that would otherwise never be in the same place at the same time, and allow them to greet, and enjoy nature together. The meetups always revolve around having fun in the outdoors. This past Sunday we hosted our second (now) annual Mother’s Day hike in Waynesboro, Virginia. Once again we teamed up with the wonderful Rock Fish Gap Outfitters to organize and lead a family-friendly Mother’s Day group hike to the top of Turk Mountain in Shenandoah National Park. This was the same trail we explored last year. We had such a positive response, we decided to do it all over again. A great crew of families looking to get out and stretch their legs showed up bright and early to caravan to Shenandoah National Park. There were plenty of familiar faces when we started that morning, and even more when we finished. We shared stories, had snacks at the summit, and got together for a drink and some food at Basic City Beer Co. in Waynesboro once we had finished. If you haven’t been, we highly recommend stopping in if you’re in the area. There’s even a game room for the kids. We hear it a lot, families want to get outside and hike, but they don’t know where to start. If that’s you, we highly recommend joining a group hike like ours or dropping into a friendly outfitter like Rock Fish Gap Outfitters and ask the locals for advice. The bonus of joining a group hike is that you’ll likely end up making a few new friends. There are plenty of ways to celebrate Mother’s Day– being outside on a warm Sunday morning in the mountains with some new friends is high on that list. Up next we’ve got Appalachian Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia. We’re kicking off the annual celebration of the white blaze on Thursday with a little Trail Magic meetup. If you want to turn hikers into happy campers, or just want to come hang out, we’d love to see you there!There is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors like Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click here to enter for a chance to win our Grand Gear Giveaway!last_img read more

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

first_imgThere’s nothing that screams “Southern Appalachian summer” like taking the kids to a remote swimming hole. The ice-cold water, the dense forest where moss grows on every surface, the dudes in jean shorts doing backflips off rocks (then diving deep over and over to try to find their lost Oakley sunglasses)…I can almost feel the humidity just thinking about it. So, we decided to ditch work for a day in the middle of the week and take the kids to Midnight Hole, one of the classic swimming holes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Because it’s the Southern Appalachians, we had to time our visit between thunder storms and were mostly successful. The sun never really broke through the clouds, but nobody got struck by lightning, so I consider that a win. It took my kids a while to work up the courage to soar off the jumping rock, a massive boulder that hung 15 feet above the deepest part of Midnight Hole. They were skeptical about the jump partly because the water was so damn cold, but mostly because of the blanket of white bubbles that churned at the bottom of the small waterfall, obscuring the landing zone. My son told me he was scared because he couldn’t see what was beneath that white, churning surface. It didn’t matter than I had done the jump and declared it to be safe and fun. He was suspicious. The swimming hole was scary and full of mystery for him. Which is exactly what Midnight Hole is known for, earning the name “Midnight Hole” because the pool at the bottom of the falls is so damn deep, it’s black. I tried my damnedest to touch the bottom with each jump, but never once felt anything firm beneath the surface. Maybe the best part of the entire day was talking with the wonderful lady who owned the Big Creek Country Store, a general store at the edge of the park where we stopped for Moon Pies and peanuts after the adventure. She grew up in the area and told us how the grownups would tell stories to their kids about the boogeyman who would rise up from the bottom of Midnight Hole and snatch swimmers. When she was just a kid, a man in a scuba suit showed up at Midnight Hole to test the depth of the river at the base of the falls. It was one of those old school scuba suits—the kind with the big, round helmets used in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. She says that the scuba diver never found the bottom of the hole. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I like the story, and it just underscores the notion that this swimming hole is full of mystery. Like, maybe there is some body-snatching monster that lives in the depths of that hole, just waiting for the right combination of laughter, Budweiser and Chacos to rise to the surface for a snack. After he worked up the nerve to jump, my son did some exploring of his own with some snorkeling gear. He didn’t see a monster. He saw a lot of little fish. Maybe somebody’s watch. But no monster. And he’s dying to go back. So again, I consider that a win.last_img read more

Outdoor Updates: Bison Hazing + Fall Foliage

first_imgFall color experts: WNC’s fall foliage season expected to be vibrant this year Deputies typically respond to bison on roadways by turning on their vehicle lights and sirens and utilizing an air horn. However, according to the post, “With a reluctant bison, they’ve been known to play AC/DC ‘Hell’s Bells’ over the speakers—that usually seems to work.” According to a Sept. 10 Facebook post, the Gallatin Country Sheriff’s Office utilizes an unconventional method when clearing reluctant bison from roadways in or around the Yellowstone National Park boundary at West Yellowstone: blasting “Hell’s Bells” by Australian hard-rock band AC/DC. Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office uses AC/DC for hazing bisoncenter_img The Asheville Citizen Times reported that this could be the year when the Western North Carolina mountains get their “traditional” fabulous fall foliage, according to local leaf color prognosticators, although Hurricane Dorian and future tropical storms are the looming X factor. “My best prediction based on the summer we’ve had and the long-range forecast for a little warmer than normal September and October, but back to normal rainfall patterns, barring unpredictable things like storms, I think we might have a more traditional fall, with brighter colors,” said Beverly Collins, professor of biology at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.last_img read more

Suspected Hezbollah Financier Arrested In Paraguay

first_imgBy Dialogo June 17, 2010 Interpol said Tuesday it has arrested a Lebanese national suspected of funneling money to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah in Paraguay in the tri-border area with Argentina and Brazil. Moussa Hamdan, 38, was arrested in Ciudad del Este, part of the Triple Frontier, a region the United States has repeatedly cited as being exploited by militant groups that “finance terrorist activities.” Local media, citing local security officials, said Hamdan was financing Hezbollah, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel and is blacklisted as a terror group by Washington. The Interpol chief in Paraguay, Jose Chena, said justice officials would decide within about six weeks whether to extradite Hamdan to the United States, where an arrest warrant has been issued against him. A cosmopolitan area and significant tourist spot, the Triple Frontier is also considered a major spot for smuggling and other organized crime. Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina deny their shared region is a hotbed for terror financing. The three countries have refused to cooperate in the production of Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s latest project in a film tentatively titled “Triple Frontier” over concerns the movie could damage their countries’ reputation with tourists. A significant Arab population lives in the region, with a big presence in Ciudad del Este.last_img read more