Distributed Energy Systems Corp. Announces its Northern Power Systems Unit Wins Contract to Provide...

Distributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) has been awarded a $3.1 million contract by Honeywell to provide a turnkey on-site combined heat and power (CHP) system for the United States Postal Service (USPS) Margaret L. Sellers Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) in San Diego, California. The facility is the main mail handling facility for the San Diego district and supports more than 40 post offices within the performance cluster. The turnkey CHP system will provide 1.5MW of electricity in normal operation; an amount equal to 85% of the Sellers facility's forecasted power requirements. Recovered heat from the engine's exhaust...

Alcoa: an Ironic Energy Efficiency Stock

Being concerned about global warming, but also an investor and advisor who wants to keep my own and my client's money relatively safe is fraught with compromises.  For instance, a lot of environmentalists probably think that Alcoa (NYSE: AA) is an inappropriate investment, although I like it now that it has fallen from its recent highs. There are two major environmental objections to Alcoa.  First, aluminum is extremely energy intensive to refine, and so has a high embodied energy (although recycled aluminum is much better).  Second, like any large mining company, they are responsible for considerable pollution. Yes,...

Geothermal Heat Pumps: The Next Generation

Tom Konrad CFA The most efficient way to heat and cool a building just got more efficient. Geothermal heat pump diagram via Bigstock Climatemaster, a division of LSB Industries (NYSE:LXU), recently announced that their new Trilogy 40 geothermal heat pump (GHP) had been certified by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) to exceed 40 Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) under ground loop conditions. EER is the ratio of effective cooling (heat removed) to the energy used, at maximal load, and is the standard...

Five Alternative Energy Stocks I’ll Research “One of These Days”

I have more ideas than I have time to explore them, and it's getting out of hand.  I still need to write the promised articles on Evergreen Solar (ESLR) and Lithium Technology Corp (LTHU), but there are many others that have caught my attention over the last six months or so.  Since the list keeps getting longer, I thought I'd just give you a taste of some of the companies in my inbox, and why they seem interesting.  Since I may or may not ever write articles about any of these, I thought I'd give people the opportunity to...

The Value of Energy Efficiency

I've begun acting as a consultant to the Colorado Energy Efficiency Business Coalition (CEEBC) in a rulemaking docket for Demand Side Management (DSM) case before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC).  In the 2007 Legislative session, the Colorado legislature passed enabling legislation calling for utility-wide Demand Side Management programs for natural gas utilities.  To date, all DSM in Colorado has been focused on low income customers.  Crucially, the legislation allows for non-energy benefits, such as increased comfort, economic multiplier effects (i.e. jobs), and reduced volatility of energy costs be included in the evaluation of the benefits of programs. ...

Two Dividend-Paying Energy-Efficiency Companies

Charles recently recommended a few dividend paying alternative energy companies as safe havens in the current turmoil.  Since I've been thinking along the same lines, I thought I'd add my own picks.  I currently like energy efficiency companies with solid balance sheets, because I believe that Obama's fiscal stimulus will contain significant money for green, energy-efficiency related jobs.   That said, here are two I'd add to Charles' list.  These two also have the advantage of being pure-play (or nearly pure-play) bets on clean energy. Name Ticker Yield Focus Related Articles Waterfunace Renewable Energy WFI.TO, WFFIF.PK...

Ten Solid Clean Energy Companies to Buy on the Cheap: These Almost Made It

In the future, I plan to avoid doing lists of ten stocks. I've found the writing to be somewhat repetitious, and I suspect some readers feel the same way.  Look for more threes and fives. That said, there are more than enough solid companies with strong clean energy arms.  These companies are my favorite investments right now, both because I think that now is a time to play it very safe in the stock market (I'm also increasing my cash reserve), and because these companies allow me to use Cash Covered Puts. Since I do have several...

Lime Energy: Delivering Energy Efficiency

Tom Konrad CFA The high upfront cost of efficient buildings (and efficiency in general) is more than offset by the significant long term rewards, as you can see from the McKinsey chart below. Despite the long term benefits, the upfront cost is often a barrier, especially to government entities in today's tight budgetary environment. Performance contracting offers them a way to square the circle between the long term budget benefits of efficient buildings and the often significant capital cost. This works by funding the capital improvement with debt secured by future energy savings. An...

Distributed Energy Systems to Add $3.4 Million Cogeneration Power System to Transamerica Pyramid Building

Distributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) has been awarded a $3.4 million contract by AEGON USA Realty Advisors. Under the agreement, they will install and commission a 1.1 megawatt (MW) combined heat and power (CHP) system for the landmark Transamerica Pyramid at 600 Montgomery Street in San Francisco, California. The 48-story building, managed by Lowe Enterprises, is known as the "Pyramid," and is located in the heart of San Francisco's financial district.

Energy Recovery Offers Savings to Gas Industry

by Debra Fiakas CFA In early December 2014, Energy Recovery (ERII:  Nasdaq) staged an analyst and investor event in New York City principally to introduce its most recent technology innovation, VorTeq.  The product is a hydraulic fracturing solution for the gas industry.  Unlike its other products, the VorTeq is a colossal apparatus requiring a semi-tractor to transport it into place as a replacement for the ‘missiles’ now found at natural gas well sites. VorTeq Animation In the current configuration, high pressure pumps are used to drive a blend of fracturing sand, water and chemicals down into the well hole.  Pump components,...

PFB Corp Integrates Upstream, Just in Time for Green Housing Market Upturn

Tom Konrad CFA On May 9, green building firm PFB Corporation (TSX:PFB, OTC:PFBOF) announced that it had signed a letter of intent with NOVA Chemicals for PFB to acquire NOVA’s Performance Styrenics business.  The all share deal will give NOVA an equity stake in PFB as well as two seats on PFB’s board. PFB’s Plasti-Fab subsidiary currently sells Expanded Polystyrene products (EPS) such as Insulated Concrete Forms and Structural Insulated Panels into the North American green building market, and as a result is a customer for the Performance Styrenics division’s EPS resins.  Over the last few years,...

Ten Alternative Energy Speculations for 2008: LEDs and Ultracaps

Investing in Renewable Energy Stocks seldom fails to be exciting, although it can lead to crushing losses as well as mouthwatering gains (Think Ethanol stocks and Thin Film Solar in 2007.)  With this in mind, I usually emphasize that the majority of most investors portfolios should be targeted towards larger, profitable companies, especially those focused on Energy Efficiency rather than the more sexy Renewable Energy technologies.  This is the philosophy behind Alternative Energy Stocks' Blue Chip Portfolio: companies which aren't sexy, but which still are well positioned to take advantage of rising oil prices and increasing efforts to reduce...

If I Could Own Only One Alternative Energy Stock, It Would Be . ....

Bill Paul My friend Consuelo Mack, host of "Consuelo Mack's Wealthtrack" on PBS TV, asks her guests for their "one investment pick." What's my one alternative energy stock pick? A year ago on Consuelo's show, I recommended LED lighting developer Cree Inc. (Symbol CREE), because the LED lighting market (part of the burgeoning energy efficiency sector) is expected to hit upwards of $5 billion by 2013 v. $600 million in 2008, according to investment banking firm Merriman, Curhan, Ford, and because Cree was then an attractive takeover candidate. It still is; however, since the stock has since risen something...

GE’s big bet on natural gas

Marc Gunther General Electric Co. (GE) is betting big on natural gas. The $150-billion a year company, whose power plants generate about one-fourth of the world’s electricity, today announced a new natural-gas power plant that it says is more efficient and flexible than any other in the market. By phone from Paris, where the announcement was made, Steve Bolze, president of GE Power & Water, told me:  “This is about transforming the industry over the next five or 10 years.” GE says it invested more than $500 million in the new plant development. It will be manufactured in...

Smart Grid Stocks For The Obama Stimulus Package

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how a new Obama administration would renew with Keynesianism (i.e. large-scale counter-cyclical infrastructure spending) but with a green twist to: (a) get the US economy out of its funk and (b) propel America into the 21st Century by providing a massive push for its green industries. I discussed certain rail stocks and electric grid stocks that could benefit as a result. By-and-large, I've been right on both counts about the President-elect's strategy (i.e. Keynesian and green), but I did forget to mention an important part of the plan's focus:...

Energy Efficiency Stocks Rally on Shaheen-Portman Bill

Tom Konrad CFA Senator Jeanne Shaheen (Photo credit: sskennel) and Sentaor Rob Portman (official photo) While the chance for broad energy reform to come out of our dysfunctional and divided Congress are slim,  there is one area of broad agreement across the aisle: Energy Efficiency is good for jobs, and the environment.  Much can also be done at modest or no cost to the taxpayer. Today, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) are reintroducing their Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, supported by a broad range of industry leaders, energy efficiency advocates, and...
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