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Buenos Aires, November 15, 2018 - YPF Luz has signed an agreement with GE Renewable Energy for the construction of Los Teros Wind Farm, located in Azul, Province of Buenos Aires. The construction will begin in November. The project will employ around 150 people during the construction phase and an investment of US $144 million is expected.

Los Teros, which will feature 32 GE wind turbines of 3.83 MW, will have an installed capacity of 122 MW, an estimated capacity factor* of ~57% and an extremely high efficiency level. This project will establish Azul as a location with excellent natural conditions for wind power.

The objective of YPF Luz in developing this project is to provide renewable, efficient and reliable energy to customers through the Wholesale Electricity Market (MATER). YPF Luz has already signed contracts to supply Toyota and Coca-Cola FEMSA with renewable energy from Los Teros.

Los Teros will be the first wind farm that GE will build in the country, through a turnkey contract that includes the installation of wind turbines and the construction of a substation to connect the 132 kV line between Tandil and Olavarría. The Wind Farm will be constructed over an area of 2450 hectares, 45 km from Azul.

The wind energy produced in Los Teros may enable the reduction of 5.5 million tons of CO2 emissions in 20 years, when compared to the impact of having the same energy produced by a thermal power plant, which is equivalent to the saving of 58.000 m3 of Diesel, or 98 million m3 of natural gas.

For both companies, this is one additional step to contribute to the adoption of a more diversified and sustainable energy mix, an area where Argentina is a recognized leader on the continent. The country has a goal of having 20% of its electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2025.

"We celebrate the beginning of a new Project to the Renewable energy development which will be undoubtedly an important contribution to the country's sustainable development" affirmed Martín Mandarano, CEO of YPF Luz. He also added: "We are proud to be able to promote this renewable project together with GE, a world leader in energy technology and strategic partner in Argentina."

Vikas Anand, General Manager for GE's Onshore Wind Business in the Americas said "We are excited to be partnering with YPF Luz to help them achieve their renewable energy goals. This project also reinforces GE's commitment to invest and grow in Argentina."

* "Capacity factor" compares how much energy was generated against the maximum that could have been produced at continuous full power operation during a specific period of time.

###

About YPF Luz
YPF Luz (YPF Energía Eléctrica S.A.) is the fifth largest electricity generator in Argentina in installed capacity. Currently, the company has a capacity of 108MW installed that provides the wholesale and industrial market, and it is building another 620 MW, which 340 MW will be generated form 3 wind farms located in the provinces of Chubut, Santa Cruz and Buenos Aires.
YPF Luz's mission is to generate profitable, efficient and sustainable energy, optimizing natural resources, caring for its people, applying the best standard of health and safety, and contributing to the growth of its customers and the communities where it operates.
The shareholders of YPF Energía Eléctrica are YPF S.A. and an affiliate of GE.
For more information, visit www.ypfluz.com

About GE
GE (NYSE:GE) drives the world forward by tackling its biggest challenges: Energy, health, transportation—the essentials of modern life. By combining world-class engineering with software and analytics, GE helps the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today it leads new paradigms in additive manufacturing, materials science, and data analytics. GE people are global, diverse and dedicated, operating with the highest integrity and passion to fulfill GE's mission and deliver for our customers. www.ge.com

About GE Renewable Energy
GE Renewable Energy is a $10 billion business with an innovative spirit and entrepreneurial mindset, bringing together one of the broadest energy products and digital services portfolios in the renewable energy industry. Combining onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro and innovative technologies such as hybrid systems and concentrated solar power, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts capacity globally to make the world work better and cleaner. With more than 22,000 employees present in more than 80 countries, GE Renewable Energy is working on new ways to power the world's biggest economies and most remote communities.
Follow us at www.ge.com/renewableenergy or on twitter @GErenewables

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pioneer Natural Resources Company (NYSE:PXD) (“Pioneer” or “the Company”) today announced that it will close its sand mine located in Brady, Texas, and transition proppant supply to West Texas sand sources. The Company expects to wind down operations during the first quarter of 2019 and transition to 100% West Texas sand by May 2019. Pioneer anticipates sand savings of approximately $400,000 per well based upon full utilization of West Texas sand. Associated with the closing of the Brady sand mine, the Company expects to recognize a noncash after-tax charge of $350 million to $400 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Timothy L. Dove, Pioneer President and CEO stated, “Our Brady sand mine and other Brady sand sources have been an integral part of Pioneer’s success and were critical in our transition to horizontal shale development. However, new West Texas sand mines with their low cost of mining and proximity to our Permian acreage position have provided us a more cost-effective, long-term source of sand supply. This shift will decrease our costs, increase capital efficiencies and benefit corporate returns. We thank our Pioneer Sands employees for their dedication and many efforts over the years.”

Pioneer is a large independent oil and gas exploration and production company, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with operations in the United States. For more information, visit www.pxd.com.

Except for historical information contained herein, the statements in this news release are forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements and the business prospects of Pioneer are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause Pioneer's actual results in future periods to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, volatility of commodity prices, government regulation or action, the ability to obtain approvals from third parties and negotiate agreements with third parties on mutually acceptable terms, completion of planned divestitures and litigation. These and other risks are described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, the Company may be subject to currently unforeseen risks that may have a materially adverse impact on it. Accordingly, no assurances can be given that the actual events and results will not be materially different than the anticipated results described in the forward-looking statements. Pioneer undertakes no duty to publicly update these statements except as required by law.

PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Enedis, the leading European energy distributor, has entrusted Orange Business Services to support its transition toward a more effective and smarter electricity distribution network. The energy transition is characterized by the growth of fluctuating and decentralized energy production (wind and sun) and the rise of new uses, such as self-consumption and electric vehicle charging. In this context, equipping the power network with cutting-edge IT and digital technologies is essential to manage the increasing complexity of the power system.

A more effective electricity distribution network thanks to data

Orange Business Services will connect hundreds of thousands of communicating objects spread across the electricity distribution network in France, along with over 3,000 industrial sites. This will enable Enedis to develop energy flow data collection, real-time surveillance of electrical substations, automated self-healing in the event of faults and remote management capacities (maintenance and operation) for the whole network.

These solutions will guarantee the right balance between energy production and consumption at a global and local scale, which is a critical challenge with the development of renewable energy.

More resilient and secure networks to guarantee the quality of service

Orange Business Services’ expertise in integrating and managing dedicated secure management infrastructure was a critical factor in the decision made by Enedis. Orange will operate, maintain and monitor the whole Enedis wide area network (WAN) that will connect its industrial and tertiary sites. It combines the best of Orange Business Services fixed and mobile infrastructure, with reinforced availability to meet Enedis’ needs. Network partitioning and 24/7 support from a team of Orange Cyberdefense experts will strengthen the system’s security.

Supporting new uses

Enedis needed its IT network to be a true technological platform to support the ongoing development of new digital uses and offer its employees adapted ways of working. The WAN will enable Enedis to carry out predictive maintenance across its entire power network by using the data from sensors deployed at the industrial sites. It will also offer the technicians a real mobile office by giving them access to their work environment (operating and collaboration tools) via Wi-Fi directly from these sites.

“The Enedis project is a concrete illustration of the major change affecting the digital transformation of companies, which is being enriched by data to create more value and new uses. We are proud to help Enedis modernize its energy distribution networks, which are becoming more efficient and more environmentally friendly, and pave the way for smarter territories,” says Helmut Reisinger, CEO of Orange Business Services.

“The development of smart power networks is a major priority for Enedis. More than a contract with Orange Business Services, it’s an industrial partnership. It allows us to reinforce and secure our industrial strategy to deploy smart grid technology at the service of the energy transition and to contribute to the digital transformation of our industry,” adds Philippe Monloubou, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Enedis.

About Orange Business Services

Orange Business Services, the B2B branch of the Orange Group, and its 25,000 employees, is focused on supporting the digital transformation of multinational enterprises and French SMEs across five continents. Orange Business Services is not only an infrastructure operator, but also a technology integrator and a value-added service provider. It offers companies digital solutions that help foster collaboration within their teams (collaborative workspaces and mobile workspaces), better serve their customers (enriched customer relations and business innovation), and support their projects (enriched connectivity, flexible IT and cyberdefense). The integrated technologies that Orange Business Services offer range from Software Defined Networks (SDN/NFV), Big Data and IoT, to cloud computing, unified communications and collaboration, as well as cybersecurity. Orange Business Services customers include over 3,000 renowned multinational corporations at an international level and over two million professionals, companies and local communities in France.

Learn more at www.orange-business.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and our blogs.

Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with annual sales of 41 billion euros in 2017 and has 261 million customers in 28 countries at 30 September 2018. Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN).

Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trademarks of Orange or Orange Brand Services Limited.

About Enedis

Enedis is a public company that manages the electricity distribution network and employs 38,000 people. Servicing 35 million customers, it develops, operates, and modernises 1.4 million km of medium and low voltage power lines (220 and 20,000 Volts) and handles the related data. Enedis provides client connections, a 24/7 breakdown service, and carries out meter readings and all other technical operations. It is unconnected with the energy suppliers who sell power and manage electricity supply contracts.

Website: enedis.fr
Facebook: enedis.officiel
Twitter: @enedis
Youtube: enedis.officiel

COLUMBIA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GSE Systems, Inc. (GSE or the Company) (Nasdaq: GVP), a leading provider of professional and technical engineering, staffing services and simulation software to clients in the power and process industries, today announced financial results for the third quarter (Q3) ended September 30, 2018.

Q3 2018 vs. Q3 2017 OVERVIEW

  • Revenue increased 42% to $21.8 million from $15.4 million.
  • Gross profit rose 28% to $5.4 million from $4.2 million.
  • Net loss decreased 14% to $(0.5) million, or $(0.03) per diluted share, compared to $(0.6) million, or $(0.03) per diluted share.
  • Adjusted net income1 grew 26% to $0.8 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, from $0.6 million, or $0.03 per diluted share.
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 rose 68% to $1.5 million from $0.9 million.
  • New orders increased 203% to $27.9 million from $9.2 million.

At September 30, 2018

  • Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash of $9.8 million.
  • Total debt of $9.0 million.
  • Working capital of $11.9 million and current ratio of 1.6x.
  • Backlog of $74.0 million.

1 Refer to the non-GAAP reconciliation tables at the end of this press release for a definition of “adjusted EBITDA” and “adjusted net income”.

Kyle J. Loudermilk, GSE’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “On a year-over-year basis, GSE’s third quarter 2018 revenue increased 42% to $21.8 million, adjusted EBITDA grew 68% to $1.5 million and adjusted net income rose 26% to $0.8 million. We are excited to see continuing momentum in operating leverage via Adjusted EBITDA and expect this to accelerate as we scale. In addition, new orders were the highest since the first quarter of 2016. Our acquisitions of Absolute Consulting and True North Consulting helped drive this quarter’s strong performance, demonstrating the significant potential of our strategy to scale GSE and create value through rolling up a fractured vendor ecosystem in the nuclear power industry. We continue to evaluate and pursue a robust pipeline of additional potential value-creating strategic acquisitions.”

Q3 2018 RESULTS

Q3 2018 revenue increased $6.4 million to $21.8 million, from $15.4 million in Q3 2017, primarily driven by the acquisition of Absolute Consulting, LLC ("Absolute") in September 2017, and by the acquisition of True North Consulting, LLC (“True North”) on May 11, 2018.

   

Three months ended

Nine months ended
September 30, September 30,
Revenue 2018   2017 2018   2017
(unaudited) (unaudited) (unaudited) (unaudited)
Performance $

9,849

$ 8,737 $ 30,614 $ 30,093
NITC   11,952   6,672   38,780   18,783
Total Revenue $ 21,801 $ 15,409 $ 69,394 $ 48,876
 

Performance Improvement Solutions ("Performance") revenue totaled $9.8 million and $8.7 million for Q3 2018 and Q3 2017, respectively. The Company recorded total Performance orders of $17.2 million and $2.9 million for Q3 2018 and Q3 2017, respectively. The increase in revenue was primarily due to the acquisition of True North, which contributed $2.4 million of revenue to the segment for Q3 2018. This increase was partially offset by a decline of $0.7 million due to timing differences, and a decline of $0.6 million from foreign subsidiaries as a result of the winding down of the international subsidiaries.

Nuclear Industry Training and Consulting ("NITC") revenue increased 79% to $12.0 million for Q3 2018 from $6.7 million for Q3 2017. NITC new orders totaled $10.7 million and $6.3 million for Q3 2018 and Q3 2017, respectively. The increase in revenue was largely due to the acquisition of Absolute which contributed $6.2 million of revenue to Q3 2018.

Q3 2018 gross profit increased to $5.4 million, or 25% of revenue, from $4.2 million, or 27% of revenue, in Q3 2017.

   
(in thousands) Three months ended September 30, Nine months ended September 30,
Gross profit 2018   %   2017   % 2018   %   2017   %
(unaudited) (unaudited) (unaudited) (unaudited)
Performance $

3,638

  36.9 % $ 2,904   33.2 % $ 11,318   37.0 % $ 10,337   34.4 %
NITC   1,783   14.9 %   1,320   19.8 %   5,341   13.8 %   3,026   16.1 %
Gross Profit $ 5,421   24.9 % $ 4,224   27.4 % $ 16,659   24.0 % $ 13,363   27.3 %
 

Performance gross profit for Q3 2018 was $3.6 million, or 36.9% gross margin, compared to $2.9 million, or 33.2% gross margin, in Q3 2017. The year-over-year increase in gross margin for Performance was primarily driven by cost savings realized in 2018 for a few major projects.

NITC gross profit for Q3 2018 was $1.8 million, or 14.9% gross margin, compared to approximately $1.3 million, or 19.8% gross margin, in Q3 2017. The gross profit percentage in Q3 2018 was lower, as compared to other periods, principally because of normal changes in the mix of projects with different margins.

Selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses in Q3 2018 totaled $4.4 million, 20.0% of revenue, compared to $4.4 million, or 28.4% of revenue, in Q3 2017. Despite our revenue increasing by 42% year-over-year, we were able to maintain the same level of SG&A expenses. This begins to demonstrate the effects of operating leverage as we integrate acquisitions.

Research and Development ("R&D") expenses in Q3 2018 totaled $247,000 compared to $353,000 in Q3 2017. The decrease is primarily driven by lower labor costs due to a reallocation of resources to direct projects and an increase in capitalization of software development cost.

As previously announced, the Company expected restructuring charges to total $2.1 million, excluding any tax impacts and cumulative translation adjustments. The Company recorded restructuring charges of $70,000 in Q3 2018, primarily consisting of lease termination costs, employee severance costs and other charges. As of September 30, 2018, the Company had recorded accumulated restructuring charges of $1.9 million, and expects to record the remaining restructuring charges of approximately $159,000 by the end of 2018.

Depreciation expenses totaled $132,000 in Q3 2018, compared to $79,000 in Q3 2017. The year over year increase was primarily due to the depreciation of fixed assets at Absolute and additional leasehold improvements at the new corporate location in Columbia, Maryland in March 2018.

Amortization of definite-lived intangible assets increased to $0.6 million in Q3 2018, compared to $50,000 in Q3 2017. The increase in amortization of definite-lived intangible assets in 2018 was primarily due to the acquisitions of Absolute and True North. In Q3 2018, Absolute and True North's amortization expenses totaled $0.2 million and $0.4 million, respectively.

Operating loss was approximately $(26,000) and $(632,000) in Q3 2018 and Q3 2017, respectively. The change was primarily driven by the items discussed above.

Net loss for Q3 2018 totaled approximately $(0.5) million, or $(0.03) per basic and diluted share, compared to $(0.6) million, or $(0.03) per basic and diluted share, in Q3 2017. The change was primarily driven by the changes in operating income, (loss) gain on derivative instruments, net, and provision for income taxes.

Adjusted net income1, which excludes from net income the impact of gain/loss from the change in fair value of contingent consideration, restructuring charges, stock-based compensation expense, impact of the change in fair value of derivative instruments, acquisition related expenses, amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions, and bankruptcy related expenses, was approximately $0.8 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, compared to approximately $0.6 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, in Q3 2017.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") for Q3 2018 was $0.8 million compared to $(0.3) million in Q3 2017.

Adjusted EBITDA1, which excludes from EBITDA the impact of gain/loss from the change in fair value of contingent consideration, restructuring charges, stock-based compensation expense, impact of the change in fair value of derivative instruments, acquisition related expenses, and bankruptcy related expenses, totaled approximately $1.5 million and $0.9 million for Q3 2018 and Q3 2017, respectively.

BACKLOG AND CASH POSITION

Backlog at September 30, 2018 was $74.0 million, compared to $71.4 million at December 31, 2017. Backlog at September 30, 2018, included $50.8 million of Performance backlog, $5.6 million of which was attributable to True North, and $23.2 million of NITC backlog.

GSE’s cash position at September 30, 2018, was $9.8 million, including cash, cash equivalent and restricted cash, as compared to $20.1 million, including $1.0 million of restricted cash, at December 31, 2017. The change in cash position was primarily driven by the timing difference of cash collection and payments in different periods.

CONFERENCE CALL

Management will host a conference call today at 4:30 pm Eastern Time to discuss Q3 2018 results as well as other matters.

Interested parties may participate in the call by dialing:

  • (877) 407-9753 (Domestic)
  • (201) 493-6739 (International)

The conference call will also be accessible via the following link:

http://www.investorcalendar.com/event/38965

For those who cannot listen to the live broadcast, an online webcast replay will be available at www.gses.com or through February 14, 2019 at the following link: http://www.investorcalendar.com/event/38965

ABOUT GSE SYSTEMS, INC.

GSE Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of professional and technical engineering, staffing services, and simulation software to clients in the power and process industries. GSE’s products and services are tailored to help customers achieve performance excellence in design, training, compliance, and operations. The Company has over four decades of experience, more than 1,100 installations, and hundreds of customers in over 50 countries spanning the globe. GSE Systems is headquartered in Sykesville (Baltimore), Maryland, with offices in Columbia, Maryland; Navarre, Florida; Montrose, Colorado; and Beijing, China. Information about GSE Systems is available at www.gses.com.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

We make statements in this press release that are considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements reflect our current expectations concerning future events and results. We use words such as “expect,” “intend,” “believe,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “anticipates,” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements, but their absence does not mean a statement is not forward-looking. These statements are not guarantees of our future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other important factors that could cause our actual performance or achievements to be materially different from those we project. For a full discussion of these risks, uncertainties, and factors, we encourage you to read our documents on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those set forth in our periodic reports under the forward-looking statements and risk factors sections. We do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

 
GSE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
   
Three months ended Nine months ended
September 30, September 30,
2018   2017 2018   2017
 
Revenue $

21,801

$ 15,409 $ 69,394 $ 48,876
Cost of revenue   16,380     11,185     52,735     35,513  
Gross profit 5,421 4,224 16,659 13,363
 
Operating expenses:
Selling, general and administrative 4,366 4,374 13,686 11,740
Research and development 247 353 765 1,103
Restructuring charges 70 - 1,177 45
Depreciation 132 79 411 254
Amortization of definite-lived intangible assets   632     50     1,094     148  
Total operating expenses 5,447 4,856 17,133 13,290
 
Operating income (loss) (26 ) (632 ) (474 ) 73
 
Interest (expense) income, net (114 ) 15 (153 ) 60
(Loss) gain on derivative instruments, net (59 ) 71 (306 ) 226
Other (expense) income, net   (5 )   33     24     (4 )
(Loss) income before income taxes (204 ) (513 ) (909 ) 355
Provision for income taxes   314     92     124     399  
Net loss $ (518 ) $ (605 ) $ (1,033 ) $ (44 )
 
Basic loss per common share $ (0.03 ) $ (0.03 ) $ (0.05 ) $ -  
 
Diluted loss per common share $ (0.03 ) $ (0.03 ) $ (0.05 ) $ -  
 
Weighted average shares outstanding - Basic 19,786,888   19,280,770   19,620,207   19,204,778  
     
Weighted average shares outstanding - Diluted 19,786,888   19,280,770   19,620,207   19,204,778  
 
 
GSE SYSTEMS, INC AND SUBSIDIARIES
Selected Balance Sheet Data (in thousands)
   

September 30, 2018

December 31, 2017
(unaudited) (audited)
Cash and cash equivalents $ 9,831 $ 19,111
Restricted cash - current 9 960
Current assets 30,702 36,863
Total assets 57,551 56,182
 
Current liabilities $ 18,803 $ 25,252
Long-term liabilities 8,634 1,258
Stockholders' equity 30,114 29,672
 

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Reconciliation (in thousands)

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not measures of financial performance under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Management believes EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, in addition to operating profit, net income and other GAAP measures, are useful to investors to evaluate the Company’s results because each measure excludes certain items that are not directly related to the Company’s core operating performance that may, or could, have a disproportionate positive or negative impact on our results for any particular period. Investors should recognize that EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA might not be comparable to similarly-titled measures of other companies. Our management uses EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA and other non-GAAP measures to evaluate the performance of our business and make certain operating decisions (e.g., budgeting, planning, employee compensation and resource allocation). This measure should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for or superior to, any measure of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation of non-GAAP EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to the most directly comparable GAAP measure in accordance with SEC Regulation G is as follows:

   
Three months ended Nine months ended
September 30, September 30,
2018   2017 2018   2017

Net loss

$ (518 ) $ (605 ) $ (1,033 ) $ (44 )
Interest expense (income), net 114 (15 ) 153 (60 )
Provision for income taxes 314 92 124 399
Depreciation and amortization   914     247     1,858     754  
EBITDA 824 (281 ) 1,102 1,049
Change in fair value of contingent consideration - 139 - 436
Restructuring charges 70 - 1,177 45
Stock-based compensation expense 507 627 1,535 1,873

Impact of the change in fair value of derivative
instruments

59 (71 ) 306 (226 )
Acquisition-related expense - 454 491 473
Bad debt expense due to customer bankruptcy   -     -     65     122  
Adjusted EBITDA $ 1,460   $ 868   $ 4,676   $ 3,772  
 

Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted EPS Reconciliation (in thousands, except per share amounts)

Adjusted Net Income and adjusted earnings per share (adjusted EPS) are not measures of financial performance under GAAP. Management believes adjusted net income and adjusted EPS, in addition to other GAAP measures, provide meaningful supplemental information regarding our operational performance. Our management uses Adjusted Net Income and other non-GAAP measures to evaluate the performance of our business and make certain operating decisions (e.g., budgeting, planning, employee compensation and resource allocation). This information facilitates management's internal comparisons to our historical operating results as well as to the operating results of our competitors. Since management finds this measure to be useful, we believe that our investors can benefit by evaluating both non-GAAP and GAAP results. These measures should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for or superior to, any measure of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation of non-GAAP adjusted net income and adjusted EPS to GAAP net income, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, in accordance with SEC Regulation G is as follows:

   
Three months ended Nine months ended
September 30, September 30,
2018   2017 2018   2017

Net loss

$ (518 ) $ (605 ) $ (1,033 ) $ (44 )
Change in fair value of contingent consideration - 139 - 436
Restructuring charges 70 - 1,177 45
Stock-based compensation expense 507 627 1,535 1,873

Impact of the change in fair value of derivative
instruments

59 (71 ) 306 (226 )
Acquisition-related expense - 454 491 473

Amortization of intangible assets related to
acquisitions

632 50 1,094 148
Bad debt expense due to customer bankruptcy   -     -     65     122  
Adjusted net income $ 750   $ 594   $ 3,635   $ 2,827  
 
Diluted loss per common share $ (0.03 ) $ (0.03 ) $ (0.05 ) $ -  
 
Adjusted earnings per common share - Diluted $ 0.04   $ 0.03   $ 0.18   $ 0.14  
 
Weighted average shares outstanding - Diluted(1) 20,166,912   19,702,742   19,932,921   19,601,661  
 

(1) During the nine months ended September 30, 2018, the Company reported a GAAP net loss and positive adjusted net income. Accordingly, there were 312,714 dilutive shares from options and RSUs included in the adjusted earnings per common share calculation for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, that were considered anti-dilutive in determining the GAAP diluted loss per common share.

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arcosa, Inc. (NYSE: ACA) (“Arcosa” or the “Company”), a manufacturer of infrastructure-related products and services, today announced earnings results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018.

Third Quarter Highlights

  • Revenues of $378.6 million were up 3.5% year-on-year, led by Construction Products and Transportation Products
  • Net income was $3.2 million, inclusive of a previously-announced $23.2 million pre-tax impairment charge in the Energy Equipment Group, compared with $20.6 million in 2017
  • EBITDA was $46.6 million, compared to $50.5 million in 2017
  • Construction Products and Transportation Products posted higher revenues and operating profit
  • Within Transportation Products, results for the inland barge business continued to reflect early signs of an industry recovery, receiving $61.3 million of orders and posting a book-to-bill ratio of 1.24 during the quarter
  • Year-to-date operating cash flow was $118.5 million

CEO Comments

Arcosa President and CEO, Antonio Carrillo, commented, “Third quarter results were in line with our expectations and support the growth strategy we have put in place across our three business segments. Both Construction Products and Transportation Products posted higher revenues and operating profit in the third quarter.

“In Construction Products, growth in our lightweight aggregates and trench shoring businesses more than offset the impact of challenging weather conditions on our aggregates business in Texas.

“In Transportation Products, higher inland barge revenues, increased backlog, and strong order and quoting activity are signs of an early recovery underway in the barge market and support our recent decision to re-open one of our two idled facilities.

“Energy Equipment results were substantially reduced by a one-time impairment charge resulting from our decision, announced in early October, to divest several sub-scale businesses. These businesses have now been divested, and while the cash proceeds from the transactions were immaterial, the divestitures will eliminate ongoing operating losses. Additionally, the segment’s results were affected by planned lower volumes in our wind towers product line as part of a long term supply agreement, as well as a $6.1 million inventory reserve related to a canceled project for a single customer in our utility structures business. During the quarter, our utility structures business recovered from production inefficiencies related to an order for a new product type that hampered our throughput in the second quarter and early part of the third quarter.

“Moving forward, the new structure of Energy Equipment will enhance our focus on the higher potential platform businesses in the segment: utility structures, wind towers, storage tanks, and we are rolling out plans to replicate the continuous improvements programs of the wind towers business across our utility structures and storage tank product lines.

“We remain focused on our stage one priorities: growing our Construction Products businesses, improving margins in our Energy Equipment segment, and expanding our Transportation Products businesses as our key markets recover.”

Mr. Carrillo concluded, “In that context, we are pleased to have reached a definitive agreement with an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, LLC to acquire the ACG Materials business for approximately $315 million, which we announced today in a separate release. ACG Materials is a producer of specialty materials and aggregates in the United States and Canada and is expected to be a strong strategic addition to Arcosa’s Construction Products segment.”

Additional notes on Financial Results

  • The Company reported a higher effective tax rate of 51.5% during the third quarter compared to 39.1% last year, primarily due to the non-deductibility of a portion of the impairment charge in the Energy Equipment segment
  • Throughout the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018, Arcosa operated as part of Trinity Industries, Inc. (NYSE: TRN) (“Trinity”). Consequently, Trinity's net investment in Arcosa's operations (Parent Equity) is shown in lieu of stockholders' equity, as there were no reported Arcosa shares outstanding as of September 30, 2018
  • On November 1, 2018, Arcosa’s tax-free separation from Trinity was successfully completed and “regular way” trading in the Company’s shares began on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “ACA”. At November 1, 2018, the Company reported approximately 48.8 million shares outstanding
  • In connection with the separation, on October 31, 2018, Trinity contributed $200 million cash to Arcosa. In addition, the Company has announced that it has executed a $400 million unsecured, five-year credit facility

Conference Call Information

A conference call is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Eastern time today to discuss the acquisition and the Company’s earnings results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018. A slide presentation for this conference call will be posted on the Company’s website at http://ir.arcosa.com/Events approximately 15 minutes before the start of the call. The conference call number is 866-831-8711 for domestic callers and 203-518-9865 for international callers. The conference ID is ARCOSA. An audio playback will be available through 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on November 28, 2018, by dialing 800-839-9719 for domestic callers and 402-220-6091 for international callers. A live audio webcast of the conference call with a slide presentation will be available to the public and a replay will be available after the call by visiting Arcosa’s website at http://ir.arcosa.com/Events.

About Arcosa

Arcosa, Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a manufacturer of infrastructure-related products and services with leading positions in construction, energy, and transportation markets. Arcosa reports its financial results in three principal business segments: the Construction Products Group, the Energy Equipment Group, and the Transportation Products Group. For more information, visit www.arcosa.com.

Some statements in this release, which are not historical facts, are “forward-looking statements” as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements about Arcosa’s estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies for the future. Arcosa uses the words “anticipates,” “assumes,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “forecasts,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “guidance,” “outlook,” and similar expressions to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release, and Arcosa expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein, except as required by federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical experience or our present expectations, including but not limited to assumptions, risks and uncertainties regarding achievement of the expected benefits of Arcosa’s spin-off from Trinity; tax treatment of the spin-off; inability to consummate the ACG Materials acquisition within the expected time periods or at all, failure to successfully integrate ACG Materials, or failure to achieve the expected benefits of the acquisition; market conditions and customer demand for Arcosa’s business products and services; the cyclical nature of, and seasonal or weather impact on, the industries in which Arcosa competes; competition and other competitive factors; governmental and regulatory factors; changing technologies; availability of growth opportunities; market recovery; improving margins; and Arcosa’s ability to execute its long-term strategy, and such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. For further discussion of such risks and uncertainties, see “Information Statement Summary”, “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements” in the information statement filed as an exhibit to Arcosa’s Registration Statement on Form 10, as amended.

         

Arcosa, Inc.

Combined Statements of Comprehensive Income

(in millions)

(unaudited)

 
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2018     2017 2018     2017
Revenues $ 378.6 $ 365.9 $ 1,086.0 $ 1,114.9
Operating costs:
Cost of revenues 308.9 290.4 877.5 885.7
Selling, engineering, and administrative expenses 40.1 41.9 117.1 120.6
Impairment charge   23.2         23.2    
  372.2     332.3     1,017.8   1,006.3  
Operating profit 6.4 33.6 68.2 108.6
 
Other, net (income) expense   (0.2 )   (0.2 )   2.0    
Income before income taxes 6.6 33.8 66.2 108.6
       
Provision for income taxes   3.4     13.2     18.2   42.5  
 
Net income 3.2 20.6 48.0 66.1
Other comprehensive income (loss)   (0.1 )   (0.8 )   0.4   (1.4 )
Comprehensive income $ 3.1   $ 19.8   $ 48.4 $ 64.7  
 

Our effective tax rate reflects the Company's estimate for its state income tax expense, excess tax benefits or deficiencies related to equity compensation, and the impact of nondeductible impairment charges. A portion of the $23.2 million pre-tax impairment charge recorded in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018 was attributable to certain of our foreign operations for which taxes are not provided. This impairment charge increased the losses in those jurisdictions with no corresponding tax benefit.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Act"), enacted in December 2017, reduced the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate from 35.0% to 21.0%. In December 2017, we recorded a tax benefit after the initial assessment of the tax effects of the Act, and we will continue refining this amount throughout 2018, which could potentially affect the measurement of our deferred tax balance or give rise to new deferred tax amounts in a final adjustment in the fourth quarter of 2018. The impact of the Act may differ from our estimate due to changes in the regulations, rulings, guidance, and interpretations issued by the IRS and the FASB as well as interpretations and assumptions made by the Company.

         
Arcosa, Inc.
Condensed Segment Data

(in millions)

(unaudited)

 
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
Revenues: 2018     2017 2018     2017
Construction Products Group $ 72.6 $ 69.4 $ 226.7 $ 194.8
Energy Equipment Group 198.4 217.3 573.1 651.3
Transportation Products Group 108.5 80.5 289.3 272.1
All Other                
Segment Totals before Eliminations 379.5 367.2 1,089.1 1,118.2
Eliminations   (0.9 )   (1.3 )   (3.1 )   (3.3 )
Combined Total $ 378.6   $ 365.9   $ 1,086.0   $ 1,114.9  
 
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
Operating profit (loss): 2018 2017 2018 2017
Construction Products Group $ 15.3 $ 13.6 $ 45.3 $ 42.5
Energy Equipment Group (13.2 ) 20.8 12.5 63.2
Transportation Products Group 13.5 9.8 35.2 30.9
All Other   (0.1 )       (0.1 )    
Segment Totals before Eliminations and Corporate Expenses 15.5 44.2 92.9 136.6
Corporate (9.1 ) (10.6 ) (24.7 ) (28.0 )
Eliminations                
Combined Total $ 6.4   $ 33.6   $ 68.2   $ 108.6  
 
Backlog:           September 30,
2018
    September 30,
2017
Wind towers and utility structures $ 700.3 $ 972.0
Inland barges $ 210.4 $ 126.0
 
         
Arcosa, Inc.
Condensed Combined Balance Sheets

(in millions)

(unaudited)

 
September 30,
2018
December 31,
2017
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 10.4 $ 6.8
Receivables, net of allowance 174.7 165.3
Inventories 234.7 246.8
Other   30.0     9.9  
Total current assets 449.8 428.8
 
Property, plant, and equipment, net 570.5 583.1
Goodwill 504.0 494.3
Deferred income taxes 8.8 8.8
Other assets   76.9     87.5  
$ 1,610.0   $ 1,602.5  
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 60.9 $ 56.0
Accrued liabilities 109.1 118.0
Current portion of long-term debt   0.1     0.1  
Total current liabilities 170.1 174.1
 
Debt 0.3 0.4
Deferred income taxes 16.8 11.0
Other liabilities   19.7     9.1  
206.9 194.6
 
Parent equity:
Net parent investment 1,422.5 1,427.7
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (19.4 )   (19.8 )
  1,403.1     1,407.9  
$ 1,610.0   $ 1,602.5  
 
     
Arcosa, Inc.
Condensed Combined Cash Flow Statements

(in millions)

(unaudited)

 
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2018     2017
Operating activities:
Net income $ 48.0 $ 66.1
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization 49.7 48.2
Impairment charge 23.2
Provision (benefit) for deferred income taxes 7.1 12.4
Changes in current assets and liabilities (29.2 ) 12.0
Other   19.7     (4.4 )
Net cash provided by operating activities   118.5     134.3  
Investing activities:
Proceeds from dispositions of property and other assets 2.6 2.1
Capital expenditures (33.0 ) (45.9 )
Acquisitions, net of cash acquired   (25.0 )   (47.5 )
Net cash required by investing activities   (55.4 )   (91.3 )
Financing activities:
Payments to retire debt (0.1 ) (0.1 )
Proceeds from issuance of debt 0.6
Net transfers from/(to) parent and affiliates (56.3 ) (47.3 )
Holdback payment from acquisition   (3.1 )    
Net cash required by financing activities   (59.5 )   (46.8 )
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents 3.6 (3.8 )
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period   6.8     14.0  
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period $ 10.4   $ 10.2  
 

Arcosa, Inc.
Reconciliation of EBITDA
(in millions)
(unaudited)

“EBITDA” is defined as net income plus interest expense, income taxes, and depreciation and amortization, including non-cash impairment charges. "EBITDA Margin" is defined as Adjusted EBITDA divided by Revenue. EBITDA is not a calculation based on generally accepted accounting principles. The amounts included in the EBITDA calculation are, however, derived from amounts included in the historical statements of operations data. In addition, EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to net income or operating income as an indicator of our operating performance, or as an alternative to operating cash flows as a measure of liquidity. We believe EBITDA assists investors in comparing a company’s performance on a consistent basis without regard to depreciation and amortization, which can vary significantly depending upon many factors.

         
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2018     2017 2018     2017
Revenues $ 378.6 $ 365.9 $ 1,086.0 $ 1,114.9
 
Net income 3.2 20.6 48.0 66.1
Add:
Interest expense
Provision for income taxes 3.4 13.2 18.2 42.5
Depreciation and amortization expense 16.8 16.7 49.7 48.2
Impairment charge   23.2         23.2      
EBITDA $ 46.6   $ 50.5   $ 139.1   $ 156.8  
EBITDA Margin 12.3 % 13.8 % 12.8 % 14.1 %
 

Arcosa, Inc.
Reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA by Segment
(in millions)
(unaudited)

“Adjusted EBITDA” is defined as segment operating profit plus depreciation and amortization including non-cash impairment charges. "Adjusted EBITDA Margin" is defined as Adjusted EBITDA divided by Revenue. Since income taxes and interest expense are not allocated to the segment level, they are not added back in the calculation of Adjusted EBITDA. For a reconciliation of EBITDA to net income, see the accompanying EBITDA reconciliation. Adjusted EBITDA is not a calculation based on generally accepted accounting principles. The amounts included in the Adjusted EBITDA calculation are, however, derived from amounts included in the historical statements of operations data. In addition, Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to net income or operating income as an indicator of our operating performance, or as an alternative to operating cash flows as a measure of liquidity. We believe Adjusted EBITDA assists investors in comparing a company’s performance on a consistent basis without regard to depreciation and amortization, which can vary significantly depending upon many factors.

         
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2018     2017 2018     2017
Construction Products Segment
Revenues $ 72.6 $ 69.4 $ 226.7 $ 194.8
 
Operating Profit 15.3 13.6 45.3 42.5
Add: Depreciation and amortization expense   5.2     4.7     15.4     13.3  
Adjusted EBITDA $ 20.5 $ 18.3 $ 60.7 $ 55.8
Adjusted EBITDA Margin 28.2 % 26.4 % 26.8 % 28.6 %
 
Energy Equipment Segment
Revenues $ 198.4 $ 217.3 $ 573.1 $ 651.3
 
Operating Profit (13.2 ) 20.8 12.5 63.2
Add: Depreciation and amortization expense 7.4 7.5 22.6 22.7
Add: Impairment charge   23.2         23.2      
Adjusted EBITDA $ 17.4 $ 28.3 $ 58.3 $ 85.9
Adjusted EBITDA Margin 8.8 % 13.0 % 10.2 % 13.2 %
 
Transportation Products Segment
Revenues $ 108.5 $ 80.5 $ 289.3 $ 272.1
 
Operating Profit 13.5 9.8 35.2 30.9
Add: Depreciation and amortization expense   4.2     4.5     11.7     12.2  
Adjusted EBITDA $ 17.7 $ 14.3 $ 46.9 $ 43.1
Adjusted EBITDA Margin 16.3 % 17.8 % 16.2 % 15.8 %
 
Operating Profit - All Other $ (0.1 ) $ $ (0.1 ) $
Operating Profit - Corporate (9.1 ) (10.6 ) (24.7 ) (28.0 )
Other, net expense (0.2 ) (0.2 ) 2.0
Add: Interest expense                
EBITDA $ 46.6   $ 50.5   $ 139.1   $ 156.8  

SAN DIEGO & HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EDF Renewables North America and Shell Energy North America (US), L.P. (SENA) announce the signing of a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the energy and renewable attributes related to a 100 megawatt (MWac) / 132 MWp tranche of the Palen Solar project known as Maverick 4 Solar Project. The Project expects to deliver clean electricity by the end of 2020.

Palen Solar is located in Riverside County, California on 3,140 acres of federal lands within a Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) and Development Focus Area, managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM recently completed the federal permitting process, issuing the project a Record of Decision (ROD), which sets in motion the path forward for project construction.

“EDF Renewables is pleased to have completed the federal permitting process on Palen Solar. This 500 MW project uniquely positions EDF Renewables to help load-serving entities like Shell meet their long-term obligations under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by offering smaller tranches at industry-leading prices,” said Ian Black, senior director, development for EDF Renewables.

“SENA, as one of the largest energy suppliers in the West, is actively growing its renewable power business, building on our strengths and capabilities to bring more clean energy solutions to our customers,” said Glenn Wright, vice president, Shell Energy Americas. “Working closely with companies like EDF Renewables, and its proven track record as a successful developer of large scale renewables, allows us both to better meet the evolving power needs of our customers.”

Black added, “EDF Renewables is a leading renewable energy counterparty, able to structure offtake agreements around unique needs of clients like Shell Energy North America. We enjoy our close working relationship with SENA and are excited to announce this agreement to help meet its RPS needs. We look forward to strengthening our relationship on future contracts with Shell.”

EDF Renewables is one of the largest renewable energy developers in North America with 10 gigawatts of wind, solar, and storage projects developed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

About EDF Renewables:

EDF Renewables North America is a market leading independent power producer and service provider with over 30 years of expertise in renewable energy. The Company delivers grid-scale power: wind (onshore and offshore), solar photovoltaic, and storage projects; distributed solutions: solar, solar+storage, EV charging and energy management; and asset optimization: technical, operational, and commercial skills to maximize performance of generating projects. EDF Renewables’ North American portfolio consists of 10 GW of developed projects and 10 GW under service contracts. EDF Renewables is a subsidiary of EDF Renouvelables, the dedicated renewable energy affiliate of the EDF Group. For more information visit: www.edf-re.com.

About Shell Energy North America (US), L.P. (SENA):

SENA and its subsidiaries operate as an integral part of the global Shell Trading network. The company and its subsidiaries trade and market natural gas, wholesale power, environmental and risk management products with counterparties and customers throughout the region. Its customers include large commercial and industrial users, retail energy companies, local gas distribution companies, electric utilities, independent power producers, oil and gas producers, municipalities, and rural electric cooperatives. SENA consistently ranks within the top three gas and power marketers in North America according to Platts. Capabilities include marketing natural gas within the U.S. and Canada, with a sales volume of 10 billion cubic feet per day; marketing wholesale and retail power, with sales topping 270 million megawatt hours annually; and participating in nearly all organized power markets, with access to over 9,500 megawatts of generating capacity across North America.

Buenos Aires, November 15, 2018 - YPF Luz has signed an agreement with GE Renewable Energy for the construction of Los Teros Wind Farm, located in Azul, Province of Buenos Aires. The construction will begin in November. The project will employ around 150 people during the construction phase and an investment of US $144 million is expected.

Los Teros, which will feature 32 GE wind turbines of 3.83 MW, will have an installed capacity of 122 MW, an estimated capacity factor* of ~57% and an extremely high efficiency level. This project will establish Azul as a location with excellent natural conditions for wind power.

The objective of YPF Luz in developing this project is to provide renewable, efficient and reliable energy to customers through the Wholesale Electricity Market (MATER). YPF Luz has already signed contracts to supply Toyota and Coca-Cola FEMSA with renewable energy from Los Teros.

Los Teros will be the first wind farm that GE will build in the country, through a turnkey contract that includes the installation of wind turbines and the construction of a substation to connect the 132 kV line between Tandil and Olavarría. The Wind Farm will be constructed over an area of 2450 hectares, 45 km from Azul.

The wind energy produced in Los Teros may enable the reduction of 5.5 million tons of CO2 emissions in 20 years, when compared to the impact of having the same energy produced by a thermal power plant, which is equivalent to the saving of 58.000 m3 of Diesel, or 98 million m3 of natural gas.

For both companies, this is one additional step to contribute to the adoption of a more diversified and sustainable energy mix, an area where Argentina is a recognized leader on the continent. The country has a goal of having 20% of its electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2025.

"We celebrate the beginning of a new Project to the Renewable energy development which will be undoubtedly an important contribution to the country's sustainable development" affirmed Martín Mandarano, CEO of YPF Luz. He also added: "We are proud to be able to promote this renewable project together with GE, a world leader in energy technology and strategic partner in Argentina."

Vikas Anand, General Manager for GE's Onshore Wind Business in the Americas said "We are excited to be partnering with YPF Luz to help them achieve their renewable energy goals. This project also reinforces GE's commitment to invest and grow in Argentina."

* "Capacity factor" compares how much energy was generated against the maximum that could have been produced at continuous full power operation during a specific period of time.

###

About YPF Luz
YPF Luz (YPF Energía Eléctrica S.A.) is the fifth largest electricity generator in Argentina in installed capacity. Currently, the company has a capacity of 108MW installed that provides the wholesale and industrial market, and it is building another 620 MW, which 340 MW will be generated form 3 wind farms located in the provinces of Chubut, Santa Cruz and Buenos Aires.
YPF Luz's mission is to generate profitable, efficient and sustainable energy, optimizing natural resources, caring for its people, applying the best standard of health and safety, and contributing to the growth of its customers and the communities where it operates.
The shareholders of YPF Energía Eléctrica are YPF S.A. and an affiliate of GE.
For more information, visit www.ypfluz.com

About GE
GE (NYSE:GE) drives the world forward by tackling its biggest challenges: Energy, health, transportation—the essentials of modern life. By combining world-class engineering with software and analytics, GE helps the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today it leads new paradigms in additive manufacturing, materials science, and data analytics. GE people are global, diverse and dedicated, operating with the highest integrity and passion to fulfill GE's mission and deliver for our customers. www.ge.com

About GE Renewable Energy
GE Renewable Energy is a $10 billion business with an innovative spirit and entrepreneurial mindset, bringing together one of the broadest energy products and digital services portfolios in the renewable energy industry. Combining onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro and innovative technologies such as hybrid systems and concentrated solar power, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts capacity globally to make the world work better and cleaner. With more than 22,000 employees present in more than 80 countries, GE Renewable Energy is working on new ways to power the world's biggest economies and most remote communities.
Follow us at www.ge.com/renewableenergy or on twitter @GErenewables

SAN DIEGO and HOUSTON, Texas (Nov. 14, 2018):  EDF Renewables North America and Shell Energy North America (US), L.P. (SENA) announce the signing of a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the energy and renewable attributes related to a 100 megawatt (MWac) / 132 MWp tranche of the Palen Solar project known as Maverick 4 Solar Project. The Project expects to deliver clean electricity by the end of 2020.

Palen Solar is located in Riverside County, California on 3,140 acres of federal lands within a Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) and Development Focus Area, managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  The BLM recently completed the federal permitting process, issuing the project a Record of Decision (ROD), which sets in motion the path forward for project construction.

“EDF Renewables is pleased to have completed the federal permitting process on Palen Solar.  This 500 MW project uniquely positions EDF Renewables to help load-serving entities like Shell meet their long-term obligations under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by offering smaller tranches at industry-leading prices,” said Ian Black, senior director, development for EDF Renewables.

“SENA, as one of the largest energy suppliers in the West, is actively growing its renewable power business, building on our strengths and capabilities to bring more clean energy solutions to our customers,” said Glenn Wright, vice president, Shell Energy Americas.  “Working closely with companies like EDF Renewables, and its proven track record as a successful developer of large scale renewables, allows us both to better meet the evolving power needs of our customers.”

Black added, “EDF Renewables is a leading renewable energy counterparty, able to structure offtake agreements around unique needs of clients like Shell Energy North America.  We enjoy our close working relationship with SENA and are excited to announce this agreement to help meet its RPS needs.  We look forward to strengthening our relationship on future contracts with Shell.”

EDF Renewables is one of the largest renewable energy developers in North America with 10 gigawatts of wind, solar, and storage projects developed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Contact

Hamburg - The Nordex Group  today announced consolidated sales of EUR 1,772.9 million for the period ended 30 September 2018. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization amounted to EUR 71.4 million, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 4.0 percent.

Energy transformation in Northern Germany making further progress

SAN DIEGO, SUNNYVALE, Calif., MONTEREY, Calif. (Nov. 8, 2018): EDF Renewables North America announced today the signing of two 20-year Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for the 128 megawatt (MWac) with 40 MW/160 MWh battery storage Big Beau Solar+Storage Project in Kern County, California. Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) will purchase 55-percent of the output, and Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) will purchase 45-percent. The Project is slated to achieve commercial operation by the end of 2021.

SVCE and MBCP jointly launched a competitive procurement process in September 2017 to take advantage of economies of scale for the combined four county service territory. This unique collaboration between these two Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) allowed for more purchasing power to better-source cost-effective, clean electricity for their communities.

“We are excited to bring online a new California solar-plus-storage project with SVCE and EDF Renewables,” said Tom Habashi, CEO of Monterey Bay Community Power. “Solar development has been a hallmark of California’s renewable energy boom and with the storage component, we can realize the full potential of solar generation.”
“We are delivering on our commitment to our customers to provide reliable, renewable energy that will help us reach our decarbonization goals,” said Girish Balachandran, CEO of Silicon Valley Clean Energy. “This long-term agreement with EDF Renewables for solar-plus-storage shows that as a CCA we have the financial stability to make investments in these kinds of innovative renewable projects.”

EDF Renewables is pleased to be selected by SVCE and MBCP – two forward-thinking CCAs to supply affordable, in-state green energy to their customers. The inclusion of storage provides the agencies with a 100% clean and partially dispatchable product, allowing them to mitigate the “duck curve” risk and press release monetize price spikes,” said Valerie Barros, director of renewables and storage product development at EDF Renewables.

The electricity generated at full capacity is enough to meet the consumption of up to 64,000 average California homes. This is equivalent to avoiding more than 315,000 metric tons of CO₂ emissions annually1 which represents the greenhouse gas emissions from 67,000 passenger vehicles driven over the course of one year.
EDF Renewables is one of the largest renewable energy developers in North America with 10 gigawatts of wind, solar, and storage projects developed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Contact

November 8, 2018, New Orleans, LA - LM Wind Power, a unit of GE Renewable Energy (NYSE: GE), today announced the inauguration of a new Technology Center Americas facility to develop and test new techniques for designing and building wind turbine blades at its facility on the NASA Michoud campus outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. The new facility will provide LM Wind Power's customers in North America with a local presence to help address their engineering needs, further enhancing the ability of the company to serve one of the largest wind power markets in the world.

As part of the expansion of the facility, the GE Renewable Energy business plans to hire up to 100 additional employees on top the 50 currently employed at the facility, an increase of over 200% by 2021. The company will partner with local universities and community colleges to develop training programs to ensure that there is a qualified pool of applicants to fill positions in various engineering disciplines and manufacturing skill sets.

The announcement was made at an event attended by Don Pierson, the Louisiana Secretary of Economic Development, and Duncan Berry, the CEO of LM Wind Power. The event featured remarks from Pierson, Berry, and a number of local officials as well as a tour of the new research facility.

Berry said, "Innovation is at the heart of our company. Our customers rely on us to push the research envelope to make blades lighter, stronger, and more affordable. This new Technology Center gives us a local base from which to support our customers in the Americas as well as to partner with world-class researchers from the US Department of Energy and elsewhere in the US."

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said, "With energy and advanced manufacturing representing two of Louisiana's key industries, the launch of LM Wind Power's Technology Center for the Americas in New Orleans is a perfect fit for our state. GE and LM Wind Power have already seen the benefits of working on the Michoud Assembly Facility campus, and their commitment to create 100 new jobs reflects well on our state's workforce and infrastructure. As wind energy supplies an increasing portion of our power needs, we can take pride in Louisiana's contributions to this vital industry."

The new facility is ideally situated to serve the fast-growing US wind power market. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates that the pipeline of wind farms under construction or in advanced development now totals 33,449 MW, a 40 percent increase over 2017. AWEA reports that there is almost 90,000 MWs of wind capacity in the US provided by more than 54,000 wind turbines.

The Technology Center Americas facility was originally part of Blade Dynamics, which was acquired by GE in 2015 and combined with LM Wind Power earlier this year after LM was acquired by GE Renewable Energy in 2017.

###

About LM Wind Power
LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy Business, is a world leading designer and manufacturer of rotor blades for wind turbines, with a global manufacturing footprint that includes blade factories in Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, India, Poland, Spain, France, Turkey and the United States. The company has produced more than 205,000 blades since 1978, corresponding to more than 93 GW installed capacity and global savings of 189 million tons of CO2 annually.
Learn more at www.lmwindpower.com or on twitter @lmwindpower

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Like everything in Texas, wind power is super-sized in the Lone Star State. Texas has more installed wind capacity than the Oklahoma, Iowa and California combined, the states occupying slots two through four on America’s wind leader board. In fact, only four countries in the entire world have built more wind than Texas.

Now, a new report authored by TXP and IdeasSmiths has put numbers on the many benefits renewable energy brings to Texas, the vast majority of which come from wind. Here’s the headliner: Renewables saved Texans $5.7 billion between 2010 and 2017. Not a bad chunk of change.

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Because Texas wind energy has become so affordable, major energy users are seeking to power their operations using Texas wind power. The new report also catalogues all of the businesses relocating or expanding operations in Texas to take advantage of the state’s renewable resources. These companies come from a diverse cross-section of the U.S. economy. Data centers from companies like Amazon and Google run on Texas wind, as does a GM factory that builds trucks and SUVs, an Anheuser-Busch brewery, and a Procter & Gamble home goods factory, among others.

“It’s a great economic development tool because there’s a lot of high-quality companies in this country that have robust green energy policies,” said Dale Ross, mayor of Georgetown, Texas, which is one of the largest cities in the country to run on 100 percent renewable energy.

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Besides keeping more money in the pockets of Texas families and businesses, wind also provides communities with substantial new revenue that can be used to fix roads and fund law enforcement. In particular, these new resources have been a huge boon for Texas schools. According to the report, Texas schools received more than $163 million in renewable energy payments in 2017 alone. That’s especially meaningful in the rural districts where wind and solar projects are usually built, as these areas often struggle to adequately funds schools. For example, wind projects have allowed Texas schools to undertake projects like improving classrooms, building new football fields, and providing students with iPads.

To learn more about renewable energy’s Texas-sized benefits, you can download the full report here.

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This Veterans Day AWEA is celebrating by launching a campaign to honor our Veterans. 

The U.S. wind industry proudly hires veterans at a rate 72 percent higher than the national average, and the skills, teamwork and dedication they acquire while serving are perfect fits for wind work. Last week, we visited wind projects in Texas and Illinois to meet some of our veterans and thank them for their service.  

Matt Buck – U.S. Navy Veteran   

Before becoming a wind technician, U.S. Navy Veteran Matt Buck was an E-4 Air Traffic Controller. Buck did one tour to the Gulf of Oman on the Theodore Roosevelt Air Craft Carrier before spending two years in the reserves. 

After the Navy, Buck worked odd jobs, eventually finding construction work in the Bishop Hill area of Illinois. When Invenergy’s Bishop Hill Wind Farm came to town, he applied for job.  

Buck has worked as a wind technician at the Bishop Hill Wind Farm for the past six and half years. He says it’s the leadership skills and work ethic that he learned in the Navy that have helped him to excel. 

Jeff Potter – U.S. Army Veteran  

Before working in the wind industry, Jeff Potter served four years as a Corporal in the U.S. Army. He has been stationed at Ft. Stewart in Georgia and in Vilseck, Germany. He has also been deployed to Haiti and Bosnia. 

Since leaving the Army, Potter has worked in the wind industry for 11 years. Potter is an Operations & Maintenance Technician at the Camp Springs Wind Farm in Snyder, Texas. 

Zack Snyder – U.S. Army Veteran 

Zack Snyder first saw wind turbines while stationed in Germany. During his four years in the Army, Snyder was also stationed in Israel and at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.  

Snyder learned more about wind energy at a job fair back at Fort Leonard Wood, but didn’t get into the industry right away. After briefly working maintenance at a local hospital, Snyder went to a wind energy training program before getting a job at the Bishop Hill Wind Farm as a wind technician.  

Snyder has worked at Bishop Hill for four years. For him, wind is shaping up to be a rewarding long-term career. He thinks veterans are drawn to the career because of the mix of adrenaline and physical labor. He wants to climb the towers for as long as he can, but eventually sees himself work in management.  

 

It’s clear that these veterans are a great fit for wind-powered careers. They bring value, experience and integrity to the job. On this Veterans Day we thank them for their service to our country. 

To see more about what these veterans and others had to say about working in the wind industry, check out AWEA’s Facebook page and follow @AWEA on Twitter! 

Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service!

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Wind, solar and natural gas have the lowest levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) in the majority of counties across the United States, according to a new report from The University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute, part of a series of white papers on the Full Cost of Electricity.

The report breaks down the costs of each resource by county and found wind to be a cost-competitive electricity source across all parts of the country. When environmental externalities and availability areas are factored into the analysis, wind fared even better. In the areas where wind was not the lowest cost resource, it was often the second lowest, with the average difference between the first and second least cost technology for all locations at $0.029/kilowatt hour (kWh).

Looking at the full picture

Beyond a traditional LCOE analysis, this research adds value by considering environmental externalities and geographic differences. Scenarios considering environmental externalities produced by each form of power generation, including air and carbon pollution, and embedded life cycle analysis greenhouse gases, allow for a fuller comparison of costs across technologies.

Furthermore, most LCOE models do not account for the different costs of building and operating an identical power plant across differing geographic regions. This analysis expresses the spatial differences of the costs of each technology across the entire United States. Because capital and operating costs, fuel price, emissions, capacity factors, and others issues vary across regions, so does the LCOE. This study considers the cost of labor, financial support from the government, and supporting infrastructure to deliver a “full cost” of each source of power generation.

Where and why wind is cheapest

Changes in generation technologies have supported a shift in the dynamics of the electric power industry. The evolution of technology has significantly contributed to declining costs of renewable energy, paired with an increasing number of competitive electricity markets and stringent emissions standards, to create favorable market conditions for wind. In fact, wind’s costs have decreased by 69 percent since 2009, making it the cheapest source of new electric generating capacity in many parts of the country. Increased consumer education and awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy has helped to expand the market for wind and solar as well.

While this was the high-level conclusion, the analysis also provided the lowest LCOE in each county under the changing scenarios. For example, as shown below in Scenario 3, with the minimum cost technology, including externalities, wind is the lowest cost option in the most counties, with combined-cycle natural gas following as the least cost option in counties where the wind resource is not as strong.

As shown in the Scenario 3 map below, wind is the cheapest option across the central plains and the Appalachian Mountains, natural gas across the coastal plain and parts of the northern Rocky Mountains, and solar leading across the Southwest. Across the central plains, there is an excellent wind resource with a high capacity factor. This capacity factor coupled with the environmental advantages wind has over other fossil fuel generation technologies allows it to have the lowest LCOE in this area. As another benefit, wind as a source of electricity is not vulnerable to fluctuating fuel costs (whether that be the actual price of gas, or an external cost associated with carbon) that allows wind to be predictably low cost and stable.

The study also developed an online calculator tool to allow various stakeholders, including both policymakers and the public, to estimate the cost implications of policy actions. This tool also provides a high level of transparency of the inputs used in calculating the various LCOEs. It is helpful in determining which factors have the largest impact on the overall cost to produce electricity.

Researchers also ran the numbers without considering environmental externalities and found natural gas to have the lowest LCOE for the majority of U.S., but wind still having the lowest cost across the Great Plains and in upstate NY. However, it is important to note that combined cycle natural gas plants and nuclear generation are sensitive to natural gas and carbon prices while wind and solar are not. Utilities are able to buy wind and solar at fixed rates, which ultimately protects consumers from potential increases in fuel prices.

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There is an all too common misconception among policy makers, regulators, and power market participants that wind energy isn’t reliable, and that turbines can’t provide essential grid reliability services. In reality, wind turbines can provide many of the services needed for reliable grid operations, including voltage and reactive power control, frequency response, active power control, and voltage and frequency ride-through. That means wind energy can help boost the overall reliability of America’s electricity grid.

In fact, in some cases, wind provides these services better and more economically than traditional power plants, while in other cases conventional generators currently provide those services more economically. Now, a new report from Sandia National Laboratories, in collaboration with Baylor University, highlights the ways in which wind helps grid operators keep the lights on.

Harnessing wind’s rotational energy

The new report showcases the ability of wind turbines to provide some of these essential grid reliability services using the kinetic energy stored in the rotating wind turbine blades and drivetrain. Leveraging existing literature as well as operational data from a Vestas V27 wind turbine at the Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility, researchers demonstrated that wind turbines have significantly higher amounts of accessible storage energy per megawatt than a synchronous generator.

Accessing this stored, rotational kinetic energy enables wind turbines to provide regulation, frequency stabilization, and other frequency management services for the grid. Frequency regulation is used to balance out fluctuations in electricity supply and demand that occur over seconds to minutes. Frequency stabilization services, like primary frequency response, are used to stabilize the system’s supply and demand balance in the seconds after a grid disturbance, which is typically the failure of a large conventional generator or transmission outage.

The researchers explain that a wind turbine is essentially two resources – a wind turbine and a flywheel storage device. A flywheel is a mechanical device that stores rotational energy where the amount of energy stored is proportional to the square of its rotational speed. By speeding up or slowing down a wind turbine, the stored rotational energy can be accessed to provide the grid services described above.

However, this comes at a cost. Accessing the rotational energy necessarily means that the efficiency of the wind turbine to generate energy decreases. And while the study doesn’t consider the economics of using the wind turbine’s flywheel capabilities to deliver grid services, it’s straight forward enough to understand that when the value of the grid service exceeds the value of the energy, it makes economic sense for the turbine to deliver the service.

Wind project operators can access stored rotational energy through turbine modulation, i.e. changing the turbine’s rotor speed. Unlike a traditional synchronous generator, wind turbines are decoupled from the grid system’s frequency, which means they need power controllers to determine when to access the stored energy. A synchronous generator spins at the same frequency as the grid, so it can automatically detect a change in frequency due to a sudden increase or decrease in power demand.

This decoupling presents an opportunity, as controllers can be designed to both respond quickly and release the energy efficiently. In fact, wind plants are at least 10 times faster than conventional power plants in changing their output in response to operator or market signals, and their response is far more accurate.

Renewable resources’ fast response is particularly valuable for arresting the frequency drop in the milliseconds and seconds following the loss of a large conventional power plant, and for preventing the power system from falling into a cascading outage.

For example, because of their fast and accurate response, wind plants in Texas already provide a large share of the downward frequency response when system frequency is high. And when wind turbines are already curtailed due to transmission congestion and other reasons, they often provide upward frequency response. As a result, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation has documented that the Texas power system’s frequency response is much better when wind output is high.

The controller can also be programmed to optimize the release of stored kinetic energy. In part because of this efficiency, and because the rotational speed of a wind turbine is not limited by grid frequency like that of a synchronous power plant, the ‘accessible’ amount of stored energy in a wind turbine is shown to be six times greater than a traditional generator, with essentially no efficiency loss, and up to 75 times greater at a 10 percent loss in efficiency.

Market reforms needed to properly value wind’s reliability attributes

Importantly, the research shows that wind turbines can access a portion of the stored kinetic energy and deliver grid services without sacrificing energy production. Consequently, the study concludes that “the wind industry is leaving money on the table, and the U.S. is overlooking a significant source of flexibility and resilience.”

A key part of the problem is market design – there is simply no market for many grid reliability services. Or, as the report notes, the markets are “inherently biased towards certain resources.” In many regions, market rules prevent wind plants from even participating in markets to sell these services. Developing the right price signals and participation models can help ensure these services are procured cost-effectively. This could be another way that well-designed markets deliver the most affordable and reliable electricity to consumers.

In some cases, it may also make sense for wind plants to sacrifice some energy production to provide grid reliability services, particularly as renewable resources grow to provide a larger share of the generation mix. In Colorado, for example, the utility Xcel Energy has been using wind plants to provide frequency regulation for many years, particularly when the wind output would have been curtailed anyway.

The Sandia-Baylor study is another confirmation of wind’s ability to deliver grid reliability services – often better and at lower cost than traditional resources. The study also highlights the need to rethink market designs to properly incentivize the delivery of these services and open the market to full participation.

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We’ve finished running the numbers, and the figures once again show an industry on the upswing. The third quarter proved to be an exciting one for the U.S. wind industry, with more projects under construction than ever before, record volumes of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs), and seven states on their way to more than double their wind capacity.

AWEA released the U.S. Wind Industry Third Quarter 2018 Market Report this week, showing 612 megawatts (MW) of new wind capacity installed in the third quarter, bringing total capacity in the U.S. to 90,550 MW. That means there is enough wind power on the grid to supply the electricity needs of 27 million American homes, and much more is on the way.

Over 20,000 MW of new wind capacity under construction, another 17,000 MW in advanced development

The new wind project pipeline is currently about as big as it’s ever been. Construction activity reached a new record of 20,798 MW at the end of the third quarter, with construction underway on 107 projects across 23 states. For comparison, Texas currently has just over 23,000 MW of wind capacity. That means we’re currently building a Texas-sized amount of wind.

Another 17,167 MW of wind capacity are in advanced development, bringing total activity in the U.S. to 37,965 MW, a 28 percent year-over-year increase. Project developers announced 4,507 MW in combined new activity during the third quarter as projects totaling 2,180 MW started construction and another 2,327 MW entered advanced development.

Notably, seven states now have enough wind projects under construction or in advanced development to more than double their capacity to generate electricity from wind once completed. This includes heartland states with land-based wind under development—Arkansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wyoming—as well as coastal states Maryland and Massachusetts, where offshore wind is poised to scale up.

CORPORATE CUSTOMERS SIGN RECORD AMOUNT OF POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

Wind power’s low and stable prices continued to drive strong demand from utilities and corporate customers in the third quarter. This customer group signed up 945 MW of wind power in the third quarter, including first-time purchases by Smucker’s, Boston University, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Over the last several years, non-utility customers including major consumer brands, cities and universities have become a major source of demand for wind power. In just three quarters of 2018, non-utility wind energy customers signed contracts for more wind power capacity than any other year, for a total of 2,904 MW. Cumulatively, non-utility purchasers have signed up for over 10,600 MW of wind energy, which is more wind than in all of Oklahoma, America’s number two wind state.

Corporates aren’t the only ones looking to add more wind energy – utilities across the country have signed contracts for 4,645 MW so far in 2018, bringing total PPA volume for the year to 7,550 MW. PPA activity in the first three quarters of 2018 already exceeds total activity in each of the last four years.

More powerful turbines on the way

Wind turbine technology continues to improve, with manufacturers introducing more productive, higher capacity turbines. The third quarter saw the first orders for 4 MW land-based wind turbines, with announcements from turbine manufacturers Senvion and Vestas. These new turbines are nearly twice as powerful as the average wind turbine installed in 2017 and are capable of powering roughly 1,400 homes each. The preference for 3 MW and larger platforms is also growing. Currently, 30 percent of projects underway that have already selected a turbine model went with a 3 MW or larger platform. The choice of more powerful turbines is noticeable in lower wind resource regions such as the Great Lakes.

Be sure to check out the full report for additional details. You can see more state level facts from the third quarter in the AWEA state fact sheets, as well as a map of all online wind projects and U.S. wind-related factories on our website.

Together with the entire Product Development team, the Senvion Patent Department is constantly looking for innovative approaches that will make Senvion and the wind industry better, cheaper or more adaptable in the future. In this case, the Senvion colleagues have jointly managed to find a patent solution for sound emissions from the turbines in the truest sense of the word. The “Hamburger Wirtschaft” magazine has taken a close look at the innovation:

Senvion has developed an innovative procedure for reducing the operating noise of wind turbines. The innovation and patent center has selected it as ‘Patent of the Month.’

Wherever wind turbines are installed, one topic generally arises sooner or later: are the turbines too loud?

It is a fact that roughly one third of German gross electricity consumption is currently covered by renewable energy sources. In 2016, wind energy usage in particular was further expanded in Germany. According to the register of installations of the German Bundesnetzagentur for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway, new onshore wind turbines with a total power of 4,402 megawatts were commissioned. This represents a 10 percent increase on the previous year. One of the manufacturers of wind turbines is Senvion GmbH (up to 2014: REpower Systems), which has its German headquarters in Hamburg.

Less and less space is available for wind farms. To achieve more power, old turbines are being replaced with new ones and increasingly wind farms are being built closer to residential areas or nature reserves. “The importance of noise protection has increased,” says Ulrike Keltsch, head of the patent department at Senvion. In addition to residents, animals can also be disturbed by the operating noises.

In summer 2015, Senvion's Development department applied for a patent for a procedure that can reduce the sound volume of the wind turbines in operation. The noise emissions of wind turbine generators include broadband noises that form a masking noise. However, narrowband noises may also be audible under certain circumstances; for example they can be caused by a generator or a gearbox of the wind turbine. The invention consists of a noise emission control device for a wind turbine that reduces any noises that may arise by surrounding them with the broadband noises that are more pleasant for humans and animals. This is achieved by means of an active noise source that emits a masking noise in at least one spatial direction in a frequency band around the individual sound frequency.

“This control device is not yet available,” says Keltsch. “Our turbines are quiet enough for the existing wind farm sites.” Senvion's engineers frequently develop their inventions preventatively, looking to the future. However, since the requirements regarding generating volume are in-creasing, the turbines themselves will also increase in size , and Keltsch believes that it is perfectly possible that the invention will come into use. If a customer wants a noise reduction measure, for a new construction or a retrofit, prototypes of the control device would then be in-stalled and tested in an existing wind farm, Keltsch states. “We would probably have to perform two to three correction cycles before the invention is implemented perfectly,” says Keltsch. Then Senvion would talk to the suppliers, clarify the supply chain, order the necessary individual parts, and finally manufacture the product in a small production run. The invention could then be tested in practice, and be ready for operation within four to twelve weeks.

Courtesy Senvion

There is a growing trend in the international wind industry: The technological evolution of wind turbines is moving towards machines with larger rotors to better capture wind at low wind sites. France is fully participating in this movement. At the Lussac-Les-Églises wind farm Senvion completed the installation of six 3.0M122 wind turbines with rotor diameters of 122 meters, as large as the diameter of the famous Ferris wheel “London Eye”.

The wind farm, developed by Quadran Groupe Direct Energie, is located in the French department of Haute Vienne. Guirec Dufour, Construction Director at Quadran states: "Lussac-Les-Églises is a low wind site and the wind turbine 3.0M122, capturing the most energy, allows us to optimize the yield of our project. However the challenge was the transportation of the blades to the site. The Blade Lifter solution, proposed by Senvion, made this project possible.”

Each blade is measured at 60 meters and weighs 15 tons. The blades were transported over a distance of 200 kilometers, from the port of La Rochelle to Poitiers, where a transshipment area was used to equip the Blade Lifter. From there the transport went on the challenging route to Lussac-Les-Églises.

Florian Dufresne, Senvion Europe South West Logistics Coordinator explains: "The only possible route for the convoy was to cross the village of Lussac-Les-Églises. However, the total length of the semi-trailer carrying the blade, is 66 meters. With such a ground length, it is impossible to turn in the many tight corners of the village. Facing this challenge, we opted for an innovative solution: The Blade Lifter. By lifting the blade to a 30 degrees angle, the ground length could be reduced to 17 meters, which allowed the safe passage of the convoy."

Technically, the Blade Lifter can lift the blade to 50 degree angles for the passage of even longer blades. The residents of the town were impressed by the technical prowess of this equipment. Guirec Dufour adds: “Thanks to a close collaboration between the Quadran and Senvion teams, the particularities related to the use of the Blade Lifter - transshipment location, moving telecommunications and power lines, pruning - were efficiently managed. This good collaboration limited the impact of the oversized transportation on the village residents and made the commissioning of the wind farm possible without any delay.”

Installing a 122-meter rotor at 89 meters height was also a challenge. The excellent coordination of the teams, a precise planning, while integrating the environment constraints and the uncertainties of the weather conditions, were essential to successfully install the six wind turbines with such a large dimension. Samson Lecluyse, Senvion Europe South-West Project Manager states: "The construction of the Lussac-Les-Eglises wind farm was an exciting project. The complexity for this wind farm lies in the environment with high wooded obstacles, which is close to the lifting zones. Due to the very large dimension of the components, the Senvion team had to prepare the ground with a maximum of rigor and precision so that the project is realized within the deadlines defined in the planning."

The Senvion team is proud to have met all the delivery and installation challenges of this project. The Lussac-Les-Églises wind farm, with a total capacity of 15 megawatts (MW) was commissioned beginning of November 2017. It will produce enough electricity to power nearly 15,000 people (including heating) in France.

Senvion is now ready to meet other challenges, including the transport of wind turbines with even longer blades: the newly announced Senvion turbine 3.7M144 EBC has blades over 70 meters long!

Courtesy Senvion

At the Ria Blades production plant, rotor blades with a length of 74 meters are now manufactured. A completely new production process was designed for this purpose. In line with the continuous improvement approach of the production processes, an efficient robot was developed in cross-functional collaboration.

One of the most photographed monuments in Portugal is located in Lisbon at the mouth of the river Tejo in the Atlantic. The "Padrão dos Descobrimentos", a 56 meter high sailing vessel made of stone and concrete, is dedicated to sailors and explorers. The monumental mosaic of a compass is adorned on the ground in front of the monument. Wind has always been a mainstay of development in the coastal state at the south-west corner of Europe. The wind, which the Portuguese explorers capitalized on more than half a thousand years ago, is now also used by Senvion.

250 kilometers north of Padrão dos Descobrimentos, in the industrial region of Aveiro, Senvion can be found in the town of Vagos. Here, Ria Blades is located on an area of 83,000 square meters where currently 1300 colleagues are employed.

Francisco Mira, Process Engineer at Ria Blades, stands in the plant's largest manufacturing facility: "To make rotor blades of this enormous size, we had to greatly expand the site and completely redesign the manufacturing process. The concept then arose with the cooperation of different departments - production, maintenance and HSE (Health, Safety & Environment). But the close collaboration with our suppliers and partners was also essential. This was a real team effort and I am proud that we have worked hand in hand to find the best solution in the end."

At the center of the manufacturing process are two semi-automated processes. On the one hand, the stacking of the fiberglass layers of some rotor blade components. So far this process has been carried out manually in a time-consuming manner, since the positioning of the different layers required the highest precision. In Portugal, RodPack technology is used which has much better material properties than conventional glass fibers and opens up new production possibilities. Thus, in the new process, each fiberglass layer is precisely set in the right place effortlessly by the equipment. Francisco Mira explains, "RodPack was the reason why we completely changed this process." The result is that there are considerably fewer shifts and working hours needed to complete the rotor blade.

The second process is now almost completely taken over by an equipment that sands the rotor blades before painting. While the rotor blades were previously sanded with a 35 kilogram sanding machine, which had to be operated by two people, 90 percent of this work is now done by robots, which are monitored by a colleague.

"Both processes, the semi-automatic fiberglass lay-up and the sanding process are thus much faster, more efficient and physically less strenuous. What is clear with Mira, however, is that "humans are responsible for decisions and will remain indispensable. A machine remains a machine.


Originally, Francisco Mira comes from the automotive industry. Since 2015 he has been with Ria Blades. "A lot of things in the organization and the way of thinking reminds me of my previous work: precision, flexibility, lean production concepts or high quality requirements. But we are trying to absorb the experience from very different branches of industry and make it usable for us. In particular, it is decisive for us to have the ability to think 'out of the box'. This is the only way to revolutionize the manufacturing process."

Courtesy Senvion

AMSTERDAM, November 28, 2017 -- The World Bank and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) today launched new Global Wind Atlas, a free web-based tool to help policymakers and investors identify promising areas for wind power generation, virtually anywhere in the world. 

The Global Wind Atlas is expected to help governments save millions of dollars by avoiding the need for early-stage, national-level wind mapping. It will also provide commercial developers with an easily accessible platform to compare resource potential between areas in one region or across countries.

The new tool is based on the latest modeling technologies, which combine wind climate data with high-resolution terrain information—factors that can influence the wind, such as hills or valleys—and provides wind climate data at a 1km scale. This yields more reliable information on wind potential. The tool also provides access to high-resolution global and regional maps and geographic information system (GIS) data, enabling users to print poster maps and utilize the data in other applications.

The Global Wind Atlas was unveiled at an event at the Wind Europe Conference in Amsterdam, following the successful launch of the Global Solar Atlas earlier in the year.

Solar and wind are proving to be the cleanest, least-cost options for power generation in many countries. These tools will help governments assess their resource potential and understand how solar and wind can fit into their energy mix. An example of how good data can help boost renewable energy is Vietnam where solar maps from the Global Solar Atlas laid the groundwork for the installation of five solar measurement stations across the country.

“There is great scope in many countries for the clean, low-cost power that wind provides, but they have been hampered by a lack of good data,” said Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director and Head of the World Bank’s Energy & Extractives Global Practice. “By providing high quality resource data at such a detailed level for free, we hope to mobilize more private investment for accelerating the scale-up of technologies like wind to meet urgent energy needs.”

The work was funded by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program(ESMAP), a multi-donor trust fund administered by the World Bank, in close partnership with DTU Wind Energy.

“The partnership between DTU Wind Energy and the World Bank allows us to reach a broader audience, especially in developing countries while remaining at the forefront of wind energy research. We are excited by the scientific advances that the new Global Wind Atlas incorporates, and look forward to seeing how this data can enable countries to advance wind projects,” said Peter Hauge Madsen, Head of DTU Wind Energy.

While the data powering the Global Wind Atlas is the most recent and most accurate currently available, it is not fully validated in many developing countries due to the lack of ground-based measurement data from high precision meteorology masts and LiDARs. ESMAP has funded a series of World Bank projects over the last four years to help fill this gap, with wind measurement campaigns under implementation in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal, Malawi, Maldives, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, and Zambia. All measurement data is published via https://energydata.info, a World Bank Group data sharing platform.

Courtesy The World Bank

WIND POWER CONTINUES TO SET RECORDS

On May 16, 2017, the state of California set a new record—that day, it generated 42% of its electricity from wind and solar, and peaked at 72% that afternoon. In addition to this wind power record, wind farms by themselves accounted for 18% of the state’s needs. But renewable energy’s popularity doesn’t just extend to California. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, the total generating capacity of wind farms around the world is now greater than all of the world’s nuclear power plants combined.

So what’s driving this growth? One answer is innovation. The “levelized cost of electricity” (LCOE)—a key number that measures electricity’s costs—has fallen 58% over the past six years. Additionally, the use of  wind turbine management software—like GE’s Predix—has let operators run their wind farms more efficiently, lowering maintenance costs and saving money. In fact, GE estimates that by deploying its Digital Wind Farm solutions and wind turbine software, the wind industry could save as much as $10 billion a year. One thing’s for sure: with 30,000 GE wind turbines deployed across the globe and capable of generating more than 57 GW of electricity, wind energy isn’t going anywhere.

Learn more about GE’s wind power software and Digital Wind Farms by contacting us today.

Read the full story at https://www.ge.com/reports/wind-blows-innovation-dropping-costs-drive-renewables-growth/

Courtesy GE Renewable Energy

ENERCON is developing two new types of converter for its 3 megawatt platform (EP3). E-126 EP3 and E-138 EP3 are designed for sites with moderate and low winds respectively, and are scheduled to go into production in late 2018 and late 2019. As well as promising much improved performance and efficiency, the two new converters will benefit from optimised processes for production, transport and logistics, and installation. ENERCON will be introducing the two converter types for the first time at the Brazil Windpower event in Rio de Janeiro (29 to 31 August).

The machines are ENERCON’s response to new challenges facing converter technology in the important 3 MW segment. “We are increasing overall performance significantly”, says Arno Hildebrand, Director of System Engineering at ENERCON’s research and development arm, WRD. The greater efficiency will come mainly from an increase in swept area and in nominal power. The E-126 EP3 will have a rotor diameter of 127 metres and a nominal power of 3.5 MW, and is being designed for sites with moderate wind conditions in Class IIA (IEC). The E-138 EP3 will also have a nominal power of 3.5 MW, but with a rotor diameter of 138 metres it is intended for use at low-wind sites in Class IIIA (IEC).

“At sites with moderate wind speeds of 8.0 m/s at hub height, the yield of the new E-126 EP3 will therefore be more than 13 percent higher than that of our existing E-115 model”, says Hildebrand. Annual energy yields of more than 14.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) are forecast for a typical Wind Class IIA site with speeds of 8.0 m/s at a hub height of 135 metres. As for the E-138 EP3 – a completely new type of converter, and the first low-wind turbine to feature in ENERCON’s EP3 portfolio – the developers calculate that, at a typical low-wind site with average speeds of 7.0 m/s at a hub height of 131 metres, annual energy yields in excess of 13.2 million kWh can be achieved.

Not only that, but the two converter types will be consistently streamlined for efficiency. Every single process – from production to transport and logistics, installation and commissioning – will be optimised. The E-126 EP3 and E-138 EP3 will be available with a choice of hybrid or tubular steel towers with hub heights of between 81 and 160 metres. Installation of the E-126 EP3 prototype is scheduled for as early as the third quarter of 2018; it will enter series production later that year. ENERCON plans to erect the E-138 EP3 prototype in the fourth quarter of 2018, then introduce a few pre-series machines in 2019 before full production begins towards the end of 2019.

Courtesy ENERCON

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The World Bank and the Technical University of Denmark today launched new Global Wind Atlas, a free web-based tool to help policymakers and investors identify promising areas for wind power generation, virtually anywhere in the world.

The Global Wind Atlas is expected to help governments save millions of dollars by avoiding the need for early-stage, national-level wind mapping. It will also provide commercial developers with an easily accessible platform to compare resource potential between areas in one region or across countries.