Around the Industry

Oct. 22, 2010
Eaton to build DC quick charger for electric vehicles in Oregon plant Eaton Corp., Cleveland, has chosen its Wilsonville, Ore., satellite power center

Eaton to build DC quick charger for electric vehicles in Oregon plant

Eaton Corp., Cleveland, has chosen its Wilsonville, Ore., satellite power center as a lead facility to modify and integrate its electric vehicle (EV) DC quick charger for the North American market. The charging stations, which will be launched later this year, are part of Eaton's range of products and services that will provide critical infrastructure for the EV corridors and across North America. Eaton's quick charger can recharge an electric vehicle to 80 percent of battery capacity in 15-30 minutes. This type of recharge capability addresses the range anxiety anticipated by EV drivers and is expected to significantly aid vehicle adoption, utility and utilization, the company said.

Separately, Eaton Corp. enjoyed an 18% 3Q sales increase and Sandy Cutler, CEO, said several segments of the company's Electrical Business unit were particularly solid. “We saw good growth during the quarter in our early- and mid-cycle markets, particularly in power quality and industrial markets,” he said.

GE Lighting to hit market with CFL-halogen hybrid bulb in 2011

Starting in 2011, GE Lighting will market an incandescent-shaped light bulb that combines the instant brightness of halogen technology with the energy efficiency and longer rated life of compact fluorescent (CFL) technology.

The halogen capsule inside GE's new hybrid halogen-CFL bulb comes on instantly, allowing the bulb to operate noticeably brighter in less than a half a second. The capsule shuts off once the CFL comes to full brightness. First to launch will be 15W and 20W hybrid halogen-CFL bulbs that are considered viable replacements for 60W and 75W incandescent bulbs, respectively.

Siemens nails $38.5 million federal contract for green retrofits

Siemens Government Services, Inc. (SGS), Buffalo Grove, Ill., a subsidiary of Siemens AG and an integrator of Siemens' products, services and solutions to the federal government, got a $38.5 million task order award from the General Services Administration (GSA) to retrofit 39 federal government facilities in the southwestern United States. Siemens will deliver renewable energy and building automation systems, including solar photovoltaic generating technologies and sophisticated heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), advanced irrigation and lighting control systems.

Cree sets revenue record

Cree, Inc., Durham, N.C., announced record revenue of $268.4 million for its first quarter of fiscal 2011 ended Sept. 26. This represents a 59% increase compared to revenue of $169.1 million reported for the first fiscal quarter last year and a 1.5% increase compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.

NEMA goes global on LEDs

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., has joined other key lighting organizations in the Global Lighting Forum (GLF), an initiative to coordinate and promote LED (light emitting diode) technology on a global level. The GLF will develop international standards, produce educational materials and work with key LED stakeholders in business and government. According to GLF Chairman Jan Denneman, “LEDs will play a dominant role in nearly every lighting application. The world will witness a revolution in lighting that will help reduce energy consumption while enabling the development of new lighting experiences.”

HD Supply expands distribution facilities and bolsters line-card

Boston's real estate community is ga-ga over plans by HD Supply, Atlanta, to lease 152,590 square feet in the Boston Business Park, Dedham, Mass., which has quick access to the Route 128 beltway and downtown Boston. HD Supply already leases 5,500 square feet in the industrial park and will move into the larger facility in February 2011. A report by The Real Reporter said the HD Supply facility “has clear heights to 32 feet, plus efficient column spacing and countless loading docks.”

The Dayton Business Journal also reported that HD Supply signed a five-year lease for a 100,000-square-foot building in Greenville, Ohio.

In separate news, HD Supply also added a supplier to round-out its smart-grid offerings. Sequentric Energy Systems, LLC, Wilmington, N.C., inked a deal with HD Supply Utilities, the largest distributor of utility products in North America, to distribute its Sequentric Energy Systems product line, which provides two-way communication between the electric utility and a homeowner's electrical loads

Sequentric said in a press release that its Internet Protocol-based products and software systems provide electric utilities with a wide range of proven, cost-efficient smart grid options. By enabling demand, consumption and information management with a variety of control and storage innovations, Sequentric's technology empowers a utility company to create custom network-based smart grid solutions that can benefit the utility as well as its customers. The press release also said Sequentric products will be an integral part of HD Supply Utilities' smart grid technology solution suite, which includes hardware, software and services comprising total, end-to-end demand response solutions, from generation source to in-home smart appliances.

General Cable unit wins deal to connect offshore wind farm

Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke GmbH, a subsidiary of General Cable Corp. (BGC), Highland Heights, Ky., won a 195 million-Euro (~$270 million) contract from 50Hertz Offshore GmbH, to provide cabling for Baltic 2, an offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea near Rugen island.

The installation work at Baltic 2 is expected to start in 2012. Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke will be responsible for supply and installation of 120 kilometers of submarine transmission cables and 3 single-core underground terrestrial transmission cables of 12 kilometers each. General Cable will also provide related accessories for Baltic 2's 80 wind turbines. With individual capacity of 3.6 megawatts, the total will put out 288 megawatts of power. The plant is designed to produce 1,200 gigawatt hours of electricity annually for about 340,000 families.

EMCOR buys specialist in government construction

EMCOR Group Inc., Norwalk, Conn., acquired Harry Pepper & Associates, Inc. Jacksonville, Fla., a privately held government infrastructure project company with 2010 estimated revenues of approximately $100 million. Pepper provides diversified prime contracting services to federal and state government agencies and local municipalities and has strong relationships with clients such as the Department of the Navy, Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps. and municipalities, townships and cities in Florida.

Grainger buys provider of safety training

W.W. Grainger Inc., Lake Forest, Ill., has acquired SafetyCertified Inc., Fleming, Island, Fla., which provides online programs to help organizations comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. The programs feature OSHA analysis, compliance, training and research. Grainger will offer this fee-based online service to complement its safety product line and focus on comprehensive safety solutions. SafetyCertified also markets books and publications related to safety procedures in the workplace.

Emerson to provide inverters & controls for Quanta PV project in California

Emerson Electric Co. St. Louis, will provide power inverters and plant-wide control equipment for California's largest photovoltaic power generation facility, Quanta Services, Houston, awarded the contract and is doing the installation. After completion, the facility will generate 45 megawatts of renewable energy, which will power 36,000 homes.

Google invests in East Coast offshore wind farm

There's a post on the Official Google Blog by Rick Needham, Google's green business operations director, about the company's investment (reportedly about $200 million) in a massive offshore wind far in the Atlantic Ocean that says in part:

“We just signed an agreement to invest in the development of a backbone transmission project off the Mid-Atlantic coast that offers a solid financial return while helping to accelerate offshore wind development — so it's both good business and good for the environment. The new project can enable the creation of thousands of jobs, improve consumer access to clean energy sources and increase the reliability of the Mid-Atlantic region's existing power grid.

When built out, the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone will stretch 350 miles off the coast from New Jersey to Virginia and will be able to connect 6,000MW of offshore wind turbines. That's equivalent to 60% of the wind energy that was installed in the entire country last year and enough to serve approximately 1.9 million households.”

PV distributor Sun wize Technologies takes on Samsung line of solar panels

SunWize Technologies, Kingston, N.Y., will distribute the new solar module line of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. in the North American market. The company made the announcement in conjunction with Solar Power International 2010, being held this week in Los Angeles. Along with supplying PV products to solar dealers and installers, Sunwize manufactures PV components for solar installations and designs and installs complete solar arrays for residential, commercial and government customers. The company is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Mitsui & Co., a large international firm with 151 offices in in 65 countries.

Fastenal announces big 3Q increases in sales and earnings and 90 new branches

Fastenal Inc., Winona, Minn., announced double-digit increase in its third-quarter and year-to-date sales and earnings. The company's 3Q net sales increased 23.4 percent to $630.75 million and its 3Q earning increased 57.6% to $74.99 million. Year-to-date sales are up 16.7 percent over last year to $1.7 billion and year-to-date net earnings are up 43.2 percent to $200.2 million. During the first nine months of 2010, the company opened 90 new stores (compared to 45 new stores in the same period of 2009) and now has 2,459 branches.

Schneider Electric wins $9.6 million in government contracts

More than $12 million in electrical contracts were awarded under the federal government's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 in the past month. Schneider Electric, Palatine, Ill., was the big winner, with $9,603,254 in contracts for the installation of advanced metering equipment at three different installations operated by the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs awarded the other electrical contracts.