Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar Team Up to Bring Automotive Battery Innovation to the U.S. Residential Solar Market

Exclusive collaboration marks entrance of Mercedes-Benz Energy products into U.S. market

Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar (NYSE: VSLR) today announced an exclusive strategic collaboration to bring the Mercedes-Benz customizable home energy storage system to the U.S. The two companies will introduce a joint offering that will provide customers with the German engineering and performance of Mercedes-Benz batteries coupled with Vivint Solar’s expertise in designing, installing and servicing solar energy systems.

For Vivint Solar, which has a proven track record of installing solar energy systems in more than 100,000 homes across the U.S., this is the first collaboration to integrate batteries with its offering. This will also be Mercedes-Benz Energy’s first collaboration with a U.S. solar provider, bringing its premium, high-performance, road-tested technology for home use to the residential battery market. These storage systems are made to Mercedes-Benz quality standards and based on the same automotive-grade battery technology used in its electric and hybrid vehicles.

“As Mercedes-Benz electrifies its vehicle fleet, solar plus storage is essential to enable those vehicles to be powered by clean energy,” said Boris von Bormann, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, LLC. 

“With batteries featuring the best in automotive engineering from Mercedes-Benz, and high-quality solar energy systems from Vivint Solar, our solution allows customers to take the next step toward a sustainable energy future. The launch of our home battery system in Europe has been successful and we are thrilled to be working with Vivint Solar to bring a reliable and compelling solar plus storage offering to American homes.”

Mercedes energy
With energy storage to complement rooftop solar, Vivint Solar customers will be able to have more control over the renewable energy they generate. In addition to providing a backup power source if the grid goes down, the new combined solution may help customers reduce energy costs. For instance, in areas with time-of-use electricity rates, customers can store excess solar energy produced by the system during the day in the batteries and then consume it during periods of peak energy usage in the evening and at night when electricity rates are typically higher.


Each energy storage system will consist of modular 2.5 kWh batteries that can be combined to create a system as large as 20 kWh, making it easy to scale and tailor energy storage systems to individual customer profiles. Vivint Solar will customize each system based on the customer’s individual energy consumption needs, providing consumers with an important tool to help them manage their energy costs while utilizing clean energy.

“The choice to work with Mercedes-Benz Energy, a world-class innovator in energy storage, was an easy one,” said David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar. “We believe their energy storage system is going to delight our customers and are impressed with their ambitious plans for the future. We look forward to bringing this innovative solution to consumers, beginning in our California markets, and to empowering greater renewable energy usage.”

“According to Parks Associates research, 79% of rooftop solar PV owners purchased their system to save money on electricity,” said Tom Kerber, director IoT strategy, at Parks Associates. “Adding storage is an obvious approach to improve the return on investment on a solar solution. Three-quarters of households view battery storage as an important addition to solar panels.”


California is the first U.S. market where Vivint Solar will exclusively offer this solution directly to homeowners. Beginning in Q2, new customers in California will be able to buy the offering outright or finance the purchase, either through one of the institutions Vivint Solar has relationships with or their preferred lender.


Sources: Mercedes-Benz Energy, visit vivintsolar.com/battery, Mercedes-Benz Energy, www.mercedes-benz.com/energy, May 18, 2017 – LEHI, Utah and SUNNYVALE, Calif.

Research breaking ground on All Plant Based Bottles

VTT laboratory in Espoo

 

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed an environmentally sound and economical method for producing furan dicarboxylic acid (FDCA) from plant sugars for the production of drinking bottles, paints and industrial resins, for example. This technology enables production of plant-based products.
The main production material of drinking bottles is still oil-based PET although there has been news on alternatives based on renewable materials during the last few years. VTT’s new method provides a new route for the packaging and beverage industries to expand the use of renewable materials in their production.

VTT has patented the method for producing furan dicarboxylic acid (FDCA), the monomer for PEF polymers, from sugar or sugar waste. Thanks to the solid acid catalyst and biobased solvent with short reaction time, the method provides a considerable reduction of toxic waste compared to traditional methods.
The method can be scaled-up to industrial purposes without substantial investments, and it has already raised a lot of interest in industry.

The R&D work has been funded by VTT and Tekes, VTT will present the method in its “Green Plastics without the bio-premium” webinar on 27thSeptember, 2017: http://makingoftomorrow.com/green-plastics-without-the-bio-premium/

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

 

Energy Efficiency Policies Could Save the U.S. Economy Almost $1 Trillion

Old ACEEE Report Outlines 16 Policies to Remove Market Barriers to Energy Efficiency and Leverage Market Forces Aka Still Relevant Today!!

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a Report highlighting 16 policies that remove market barriers across the economy to investments in energy efficiency.

The report, Overcoming Market Barriers and Using Market Forces to Advance Energy Efficiency , provides Congress and state policymakers with a road map to address national energy consumption through policies that could save the country approximately $1 trillion in energy bills and 19 quads in energy consumption.

The United States has made much progress in energy efficiency in the last few decades but there are still large, cost-effective opportunities available to advance efficiency even further, while improving the economy at the same time. However, a variety of market failures and market barriers contribute to keeping us from fully realizing our energy efficiency potential.

“Eliminating barriers that keep us from reducing waste is an approach both sides of the aisle can support,” said ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel. “By removing these barriers, Congress and state policymakers have an opportunity to let smart investments help strengthen the economy while saving the nation billions.”

The report discusses several targeted policies that leverage market mechanisms and address specific market failures to energy efficiency, without requiring substantial spending or government mandates. For example, the development of a comprehensive building labeling and benchmarking program could save approximately 1.6 quads of energy and $60 billion between 2014 and 2030. Even more impressive are the benefits gained from adjusting corporate tax legislation to encourage the replacement of inefficient equipment and from removing regulatory barriers to combined heat and power (CHP) projects. These two policies alone could reduce national energy consumption by 7 quads and save the economy close to $300 billion.

“We want to show policymakers that there are a number of cost-effective policies out there that could promote energy efficiency and kick start the economy at the same time. This report highlights a number of inventive approaches that we haven’t made much use of to date,” said lead author and ACEEE Senior Research Analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan.

The report includes policy interventions targeted at residential and commercial buildings, the industrial sector, and the transportation sector, as well as a number of policies with economy-wide benefits. For each measure, the report provides a brief description of the policy, its legislative history, general estimates of associated costs and benefits, and recommendations about future policy design.

To read the report visit: http://aceee.org/research-report/e136

 

How to Recycle Old Technology with Help from Staples

According to a recent survey conducted by Staples and Survey Monkey, nearly 80% of respondents have old technology sitting around and the majority (51%) don’t know where to recycle it.

Here is the survey presentation for everyone to check out but here are some of the questions asked.  I think it’s important to show the questions because it can “start the conversation” at your place.

1. Do you have old technology sitting around? If so, how many pieces?
2. Do general consumers recycle their tech currently?
3. Do they know why it’s important to do so?
4. Do they know where to drop off their devices for recycling?

Start thinking about these questions img_0176-1folks!! It’s appropriate to use Staples and recycle your electronics! Like yesterday!

As mentioned in a previous story, recyclers will also receive a Staples® eCash card when they trade in their eligible technology in store or online. Technology with no trade-in value will still be recycled responsibly at no charge to the guests, despite the brand or condition of the devices. They will even recycle items not purchased at Staples for FREE!

EPA Stats on eWaste in America

“Already, the United States generates almost 2.5 million tons of electronic waste per year – and that number will only grow. Used electronics have materials in them that can be recovered and recycled, reducing the economic costs and environmental impacts of securing and processing new materials for new products,” said EPA Administrator Lisa. P. Jackson.

“The SMM Electronics Challenge will help us ensure that we are doing all we can to repurpose or safely dispose of the cell phones, computers and other devices we use every day – all while helping to build a robust market for electronics recycling in the United States.”

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As the volume of used electronics continues to grow in the U.S. and the world, so has the importance of safely managing and recycling used electronics. Electronics are made of valuable resources such as precious metals, copper, plastic and glass – all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Recycling or reusing these electronics conserves these materials and prevents greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution.

What is extremely important here folks!
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Let’s Regroup Folks! What’s Exciting here is that Staples makes it easy and accessible to recycle electronics that you can use toward cash. If not, no worries, they will recycle it for you.  Then  no computers end up in landfills!!

More Clarity as to Why It Matters:

1. According to the USEPA, in 2013, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash and recycled and composted about 87 million tons of this material.

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2. Staples has collected more than 26 million pounds of customer e-waste annually that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.

3. Recycling electronics also prevents valuable materials from going into the waste stream. A long-term approach towards electronics stewardship is necessary both at work and at home.

You see, Staples is here to help every day with their FREE technology recycling program. People can bring in their old computers, cell phones, computer monitors and more to any Staples location and Staples will responsibly recycle the old tech for FREE.

New Luxury Eco Resort Opens on Greek Island of Ios

A New Greek Formula Takes Hold in the Cyclades

LuxurIos Island Experience Delivers Luxury Travel with Meaning

Luxury eco-resort travel company LuxurIOS is delighted to announce the opening of Agalia Suites, a new boutique hotel near the whitewashed village of Chora on the Greek island of Ios. The new property along with its outdoor Pathos Lounge represent a new approach to travel in Greece, mixing modern art and luxury to embrace cultural and natural heritage based on a commitment to sustainable tourism._S8A4312_philipas

Agalia Suites is a 14-room sustainably designed boutique hotel next to the whitewashed traditional village of Chora, along with Pathos Lounge, an outdoor retreat overlooking the Aegean Sea that welcomes day visitors by blending nature and nurture seamlessly together. Both represent a new approach to travel in Greece, mixing modern art and luxury to embrace cultural and natural heritage based on a commitment to sustainable tourism. Think centuries-old olive trees and private gardens with plush pillows amid traditional Cycladic architecture, while savoring the best Greek wines with dishes made from locally grown and freshly prepared ingredients. Call it a new Greek formula for travel that embraces sense of place and celebrates the beauty of Greece, while protecting it for future generations.

poolsideios“Over the last few decades, we have spent our summers exploring the beautiful beaches and wild nature of the Cyclades Islands, only to see many of our favorite places overcome by mass tourism development. We are committed to protecting Ios from that fate,” says Vassiliki Perridou, President of LuxurIos Island Experience.

With more than 5,000 acres of stunning private island landscape, including wild mountains and valleys, along with 10 private beaches that are among the most beautiful in the entire Aegean, guests who book their holidays with LuxurIos Island Experiences will discover a Greece free from tourist crowds.

“We have made a conscious decision to build on only 1% of our land on Ios, leaving the rest to remain part of nature to help ensure that future generations will also be able to enjoy the island’s wild beauty and magnificent beaches,” adds Perridou.

Overlooking the sparkling sea, Agalia Suites boutique hotel has a large, chemical-free swimming pool and 14 individually designed artistic suites.hotelioslounge Awarded with 4 Keys for its excellent facilities and services, this stylish hotel brings together luxury and authenticity, and its ideal location creates the perfect setting for exploring the nearby town of Chora, setting out on daily adventures to find the hidden coves and pristine beaches dotting the island, and returning to watch the sunset in the comfortable ambiance of Pathos Lounge.  A stay at Agalia is all about embracing the laidback lifestyle of Ios and enjoying the high quality guest services of LuxurIos Island Experience.

sea_view_suite_0005_14_2tWith LuxurIos Island Experience’s private guides, you can explore the island’s history and culture while enjoying its majestic landscapes. A beach barbeque with local fishermen delivering their catch right from the water? Just ask. A full moon dinner on the sands for you and your loved one? Of course. A hike into the mountains? LuxurIos will take you. This is Greece travel as it was meant to be – pure, inspiring and beautiful.

Source: LuxurIos Island Experience