Electrical Marketing's G-Biz - Oct. 5, 2012

Oct. 5, 2012
Sumitomo invests in big solar; Graybar and Van Meter branches get LEED gold, and more.

Sumitomo buys part of GE Financial’s stake in huge PV project

Sumitomo Corp. of America (SCOA) and its parent, the Japanese industrial conglomerate Sumitomo Corp., have invested in the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, a 550MW solar power project under construction in California. This is Sumitomo’s first investment in U.S. solar projects and will expand its renewable energy portfolio, which already includes four wind farms in Kansas, Texas and Oregon that produce a combined total of more than 1,800 MW.

Sumitomo’s investment was made through a purchase of part of GE Energy Financial Services’ share in the Desert Sunlight project, giving the company 25% ownership. The solar farm’s other investor is NextEra Energy Resources. The Desert Sunlight Solar Farm was initially developed by First Solar Inc., Tempe, Ariz., which will construct, operate and maintain the project. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Desert Sunlight is the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) facility approved for U.S. public land. It will generate enough energy to power more than 165,000 homes.

Van Meter achieves LEED gold for new Iowa City location

Van Meter Inc.’s Iowa City, Iowa, location recently received gold certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program from the U.S. Green Building Council. According to an article in The Gazette, the branch consumes 57% less energy than a conventional building of similar size and will offer annual savings of approximately $17,504. The building’s green features include LED lighting and controls, a geothermal heating and cooling system, electric-vehicle charging stations and a 14 kilowatt solar system. The Gazette article said the building’s performance will be monitored and measured so it can be viewed and controlled remotely.

DNV KEMA to support 20-50 new wind power projects

DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability, Arnhem, Netherlands, will provide a range of project development support services for 20 to 50 wind power projects for German wind power developer SoWiTec.

Sonnenbuehl, Germany-based SoWiTec Development GmbH & Co. KG (SoWiTec) said DNV KEMA will provide a range of project development support, technical services, third-party expertise and project management assistance related to proposed wind power projects in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Russia. DNV KEMA is a global consulting, testing and certification firm focused on the energy market with 10,000 employees in more than 300 offices in 100 countries. Its U.S. operations are headquartered in Burlington, Mass.

Graybar Tucson branch gets LEED gold certification

Graybar Electric Co.’s Tuscon, Ariz., branch is officially LEED Gold certified. The 55,000-square-foot facility features many of the green technologies Graybar distributes to its customers, including PV panels, energy-efficient lighting and electric vehicle charging stations. The branch also has plumbing fixtures that reduce water consumption, sustainable and recycled building materials and furniture and a recycling program.