Posting in Energy
Smart grid networking startup Silver Spring Networks has landed Japanese industrial conglomerate Hitachi as a partner and potential investor.
Smart grid networking startup Silver Spring Networks has landed Japanese industrial conglomerate Hitachi as a partner and potential investor. The two companies announced today they have formed a "strategic alliance" to jointly research and develop new products for the smart grid. As part of the alliance, Hitachi will acquire convertible bonds with stock acquisition right to be issued by Silver Spring.
This agreement is an expansion of an already established relationship. The two companies have been working together since 2011 on the Japan-U.S. collaborative smart grid demonstration project on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Aside from the benefit of partnering with a capital-rich company, the partnership should help Silver Spring diversify beyond its bailiwick of smart meter deployments.
So far, 2012 has been an auspicious year for the startup. Silver Spring has snagged a number of major smart grid deals or partnerships with large companies in recent months. The company finalized last week a massive agreement with utility Commonwealth Edison to deploy its network to nearly 4 million homes and businesses. And late late year, EMC invested $24 million into the company and announced it would work together to develop an analytics solution for utilities.
These deals and the ability to raise venture funding bodes well for Silver Spring in the near term. Its plans to take the company public are less clear. Silver Spring filed an IPO in July 2011, but has yet actually go public. Of course, there are ways -- including being bought out by a major partner like eMeter was last year -- for a startup to exit.
Photo: Flickr user Ian Muttoo, CC 2.0
- Itron's $100M smart grid cellular buy
- Tendril launches contest to find killer smart grid app
- Aquion Energy scales up edible battery tech with new factory
- Siemens snaps up smart grid software startup eMeter
- GE’s $3.2B Converteam buy: Why it matters for solar and wind
Feb 23, 2012
Calculate Savings From Energy Retrofit Products We all recognize the overwhelming need to adopt power efficient and energy saving devices to not just reduce our energy bills but also to curtail our carbon footprint that is wrecking havoc on ecology and environment across the globe. How Much Energy Efficient Technologies Save You But we are driven by numbers aren???t we? We need hard facts. It is all very good to make claims and preach. But how much do you actually save? How positive of an impact can you actually make once you switch over to alternative energy solutions such as solar energy? Greenzu???s energy savings calculators are going to make you sit up and take notice. These energy efficiency calculators reveal interesting facts when you implement the following changes at your workplace: ??? Switch over to efficient lighting ??? Install light controls ??? Use fuel cells as an alternative energy source ??? Install auto-controlled, programmable thermostats ??? Install dual flush toilets What You Need to Calculate Savings These are not just fancy technologies for the new-age enthusiasts: they save your real money. Take for instance, switching over to efficient lighting. In order to get the most efficient saving calculation from Greenzu???s energy-saving calculators, you should have the following data with you: ??? Zip code ??? Name of Power provider (your Utility company) ??? Optional: Typical monthly electric bill and usage (kWh) ??? Whether you???re using fluorescent lights and if yes ??? Lighting types ??? Number of fixtures ??? Whether they are automatically controlled or not ??? Ballast type (electronic or magnetic) ??? Other types of lights along with, type, number and whether they are automatically controlled ??? Office schedule details such a working hours and working days Predicted Savings, Product Recommendations & More - Instantly Once you have entered all these details into the fields, click the ???Calculate??? button and the following information is revealed to you in a nicely formatted, tabular form: ??? The lighting system being used presently ??? Recommended alternative ??? Cost of installation ??? Yearly savings accruing from efficient lighting equipment ??? The amount of time it takes you to earn back the money you have spent on efficient installations ??? kWh saved ??? CO2 emissions avoided Just keep in mind the more accurate data you enter, the more reliable results you get. Why Use our Energy-Saving Calculators? You can use the Greenzu calculators to: 1. Prepare an energy saving financial plan for your business and organization 2. Create a feasibility report to propound the idea of a healthy energy consumption culture within your organization 3. Get a clear picture of exactly how much money you???re saving, how efficiently you are using energy, and what a positive impact you???re making on the environment and ecology Rebate & Incentive Information Built In to Lower Cost With more and more federal agencies providing incentives (tax redemption, subsidies and business allocation preference) to businesses and organizations adopting clean energy solutions it makes perfect business as well as ethical sense to switch over to energy efficient appliances and practices. Explore Greenzu???s energy-saving calculators with different parameters and see what amazing outcomes you get.
Maintenance of Solar Systems How Much is Required? While installing a solar system at your residence or office will save you money, there are significant maintenance costs that you will need to factor in. These solar costs depend on the size and type of your system, however there are a lot of general things you can do to reduce the cost. Cost of Maintaining a Solar System Firstly, the biggest cost you will face is with solar inverters. Each solar panel lasts between 25 and 35 years. For each panel you will need to buy between two and three inverters during the course of this time period. This can get expensive, as the retail price of each inverter is a few thousand dollars. General maintenance is also another major cost. Similar to a car, you are going to have to repair and maintain your solar system. Some general maintenance expenses are things you can predict and budget for (consider this like a standard car service); others things are going to come out of the blue (like that flat tire you get a 2am on a deserted road). Either way, costs are associated. 7 Ways to Reduce Solar Maintenance Costs Fortunately there are a number of steps you can take to reduce your general solar maintenance. The most important ones are listed below: Squirrels and rats: These guys chew through the coatings of wiring and can damage your system. In some parts of the country, you may even see possums! They all cause the same damage. Birds: While you may enjoy feeding them on your balcony, they can cause damage to your solar panels via droppings, and can build nests on the panels that may block sunlight. It's best to make your roof a no-fly zone for them! Dirty panels: If you dont clean them, they wont get as much sunlight and your system wont produce as much solar electricity. So, every few months you'll have to climb up on the roof and clean them. Cracked panels: Unfortunately, while it is rare, they do sometimes crack due to extremely bad weather. It's best to check your panels regularly, in order to prevent such damage from occurring. Corrosion: Unfortunately, metal- and battery-related components can corrode. You'll definitely want to check your system regularly. Shaded panels: If you put your panels on the roof more than a few years ago, it is worth checking to see if they are now fully or partly in the shade. Yes, some trees do grow very quickly! Theft: Unfortunately people do steal solar panels sometimes. As frustrating as this is, you can include them under your insurance. Solar Maintenance Package Options As you now realize, there are a number of potential maintenance headaches that you may face. Fortunately, there is a solution to these problems: Solar Monitoring Packages. These services monitor the health of your system and can save you a significant amount of money over time. Whats more, you can even tailor a package to suit your individual needs (e.g., if there are some components you are capable and willing to do yourself). Many solar installers also offer solar maintenance packages over the life of the solar panels. This has the potential to save you a lot of time and money - and possibly injury if you try and do things yourself. This is definitely worth considering. Financial Benefits of Solar Outweigh Maintenance Costs In summary, solar systems can help you save a great deal of money on your utilities bill, and can also help save the planet as well. However, there are some quite substantial associated maintenance costs. Saying that, the financial benefits far outweigh the additional maintenance costs you might face. To offset the costs even further, we recommend considering a solar system monitoring or maintenance package. Heres to your solar success!