Arvin potato plant orders Kern’s first microgrid to boost energy resiliency, efficiency

Microgrid technology promising greater energy flexibility and independence arrived in Kern Wednesday with the start of construction on an integrated power generation and storage system at an 1,100-employee ag facility in Arvin. The 5-megawatt solar, natural gas and battery installation Concentric Power Inc. is building at Tasteful Selections’ specialty potato plant will use advanced computer systems to increase efficiency and allow the operation to continue during external disruptions to its power.

Touted as the first such system in the county, the $12 million project kicked off engineering almost a year and a half ago. Solar panels went up between November and January, and the installation is expected to become fully operational by fall, cutting the plant’s power bill by an estimated 40 percent. Microgrids have become more popular in recent years as wider adoption of photovoltaic solar panels and batteries has increased demand for systems that can effectively coordinate them. The idea is to improve energy resilience while also integrating demand for energy with on-site production, shifting resources when necessary to meet real-time needs for electricity.

Senior executives at Tasteful Selections said the project will keep the lights on and refrigerators running when power goes out around the plant, which they said has happened in the past for three or more hours at a time. Losing electricity for even four hours can cause product degradation, they said, and an outage lasting days could cost millions of dollars in damage to the miniature potatoes it washes, stores and packages for shipment. “We always knew we needed to add something” to ensure energy resiliency, said the company’s chief operating officer, Nathan Bender. His father, CEO Bob Bender, said the company expects to pay off the microgrid’s cost within four to five years. Nathan noted the inclusion of natural gas as “firm power” adds a backup source while also producing heat that can be incorporated into the plant’s refrigeration units, thereby offsetting cooling costs.

At a ceremonial gathering Wednesday of dignitaries and employees of both companies, Concentric’s founder and CEO, Brian Curtis, said his Salinas-based organization will be responsible for not only designing and building the microgrid but that it will also maintain and service it for the installation’s lifetime of 25-plus years. It is the company’s first such project in the Central Valley. Its other installations are in the Salinas and Silicon valleys, Curtis said, adding that the biggest of its projects is a 5.3-megawatt microgrid in the Monterey area.

Concentric’s software and controls choose which energy source to use in real time, he explained. Such decisions are based on an understanding of the plant’s critical, essential and non-essential functions, he said: Certain compressors and fans may be turned on or off as needed, with respect for their operational tolerances. Curtis said Concentric hopes to build additional microgrids serving industrial ag processors in the Central Valley. The company expects to open an office in or near Bakersfield, possibly near Meadows Field Airport, within three to six months. “We’ve got a lot of good traction here and we’re excited to be coming to Kern,” Curtis said. The Central Valley “is just a huge market for what we’re doing.” The company works on large scales and doesn’t expect to serve residential needs, he said, adding, “This isn’t the kind of thing you’d put on your house.”

Tasteful Selections at 13003 Di Giorgio Road has expanded physically three times since starting in 2010. The Benders said the company now supplies half the U.S. market for small, specialty potatoes and is now the biggest such company in the country, if not the world.

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/arvin-potato-plant-orders-kerns-first-microgrid-to-boost-energy-resiliency-efficiency/article_428fd7e6-8cdc-11eb-97b9-b73ab67b6853.html

How California’s Central Valley is working to become tech hot spot

MODESTO, Calif. — Alejandro Alcazar had worked as a digital marketing coordinator for about a year when he discovered an interest in coding.

“I grew really interested in computer programming through messing with our (company) website and learning a lot about data science,” he said.

Alcazar has a degree in business administration, but he wasn’t using those skills in his job. Still, he didn’t know enough about web development to secure a position in the industry. That’s when he learned about classes at Bay Valley Tech, a Modesto-based coding school.

The 24-year-old enrolled in early 2020, and, after completing the seven-month program, got a job as a business intelligence analyst for a winery.

In his new job, Alcazar said he uses skills he developed at Bay Valley Tech to work with the company’s internal dashboards that show product and demographic data, as well as its search engine. His pay also increased by more than 30% in his new role.

Workers like Alcazar aren’t the only ones wanting to capitalize on the benefits of the tech industry. If a city can retain its tech workers, it can usually count on a boost to the local economy and an influx of other businesses and professionals such as lawyers and accountants.

But keeping tech workers local requires innovation and incentive, as leaders across Stanislaus County in California’s Central Valley are finding out.

Compared with other industries, the tech sector has remained competitive in the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work has become the new normal, and the tech industry was quick to adapt, expanding flexible work policies into post-pandemic times.

Now, office parks sit empty and cities and corporations must grapple with the changing nature of office work and all the possibilities it brings.

Less than two hours east of the Bay Area, the Central Valley isn’t exactly known as a tech hub. Agriculture, logistics and manufacturing dominate the area; the region is home to the world’s largest commercial winery and farms that feed the nation.

The workforce reflects that too — only 17% of Stanislaus County residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, Census data shows. Given that, it may not be surprising that Modesto, the county’s largest city, has no four-year university of its own.

The “skills gap” in the workforce is only widening. Local high schools and colleges have struggled to keep up as the economy evolves to favor more tech-forward industries.

Tech firms bypass Central Valley
As local talent pools dry up, Silicon Valley companies looking to expand have often picked other states. such as Texas and Idaho, instead of the county next door.

“There’s such a shortage of tech workers in the Bay Area right now that virtually every large tech firm has already expanded out of state looking for more talent,” said Phillip Lan, co-founder of Bay Valley Tech, a local coding academy. “Unfortunately, the vast majority of them have stepped over the Central Valley, just because they don’t feel like there’s enough of a technical workforce here yet.”

Lan and his team are trying to change that. Bay Valley Tech offers free and low-cost coding classes to students in a variety of web-based development languages, providing hands-on training through lessons, events like hackathons, and networking opportunities.

So far, Lan said, Bay Valley Tech has trained more than 150 students and is on pace to reach 300 in 2021. But his goals are set higher.

“Our strategy is that if we train enough people here in the Central Valley, that’ll start to get the attention of these larger tech companies like Uber, Airbnb and Google,” he said. “We’re looking to build out Bay Valley (Tech’s) expertise sector by sector.”

In the past, tech hub development depended in part on the physical infrastructure a city could provide — like Silicon Valley’s history of making computer chips and Austin’s decades-long infrastructure support for its tech industry. But with the pandemic’s new normal and the majority of Silicon Valley’s big tech firms building virtual products, physical space is no longer at a premium.

Focus is on training workers
Instead, Bay Valley Tech and other organizations in the Central Valley are focusing on training employees who can accept remote jobs from Bay Area-based companies or work in satellite offices closer to home.

Daisy Mayorga leads the local chapter of Google’s Women Techmakers, aimed at providing community and resources for women in the industry. She said it’s critical that women and other underrepresented groups in tech are seen and heard by potential employers.

“When people start to see that, you’ll see more businesses start to open and more people start to want to start their own software companies,” she said.

In addition to jobs related to software, Modesto is trying to attract employers who build hardware. The VOLT Institute, a trade school focused on maintenance mechanics and mechatronics, recently acquired new equipment to train workers.

Kevin Fox, director of marketing and student engagement at VOLT, said the pandemic has taught the staff that improving workers’ skills is crucial, especially when employers are “desperate to bring anybody who is qualified with the proper skill set on to fill those positions that are vacant.”

Alcazar agrees.

He said the Central Valley has plenty of residents who are hungry for these kinds of opportunities.

“There are young people here that are just dying to get a good job and try something creative and useful,” he said. “Something that benefits a community.”

Source: Kristina Karisch covers economic development for The Modesto Bee. This dispatch is part of a series called “On the Ground” with Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project. Follow her on Twitter: @kristinakarisch

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/03/11/how-californias-central-valley-working-become-tech-hot-spot-column/6936506002/

California Dreaming: Fresno company makes tech industry training, jobs accessible to everyone

You may not think of California’s Central Valley as the place for up-and-coming talent in the technology industry, but one company is looking to change that. Bitwise Industries, based in Fresno, is breaking down the idea of what the tech workforce looks like and making sure training and jobs are accessible to everyone, no matter their background.

Irma Olguin Jr. and Jake Soberal co-founded the workforce development company. Olguin says her family came to Central Valley to work in agriculture, “My immigrant family moved here to follow the crops-a family of field laborers. And, in my own way, I found my way to the technology industry. I ended up in a job that just profoundly changed my life and existence and the opportunity that I saw in front of me.” Soberal also comes from an immigrant family that had their lives changed by the technology industry and one television commercial, “There was an ad for something called the ‘Computer Learning Center.’ That was what ultimately led to my dad becoming a computer programmer, which was an inflection point in his life and then, by consequence, in my life.

Together, the pair is trying to change the face of tech in California. “The technology industry has historically excluded folks who come from non-white ethnic groups, excluded non-straight individuals, excluded non-male individuals, and on and on,” says Soberal. “What that does is, it creates barriers to that opportunity for most people.”

Bitwise uses a radically different system of training to target underrepresented groups — they pay students to attend classes. “When you are coming from a story of, whether it’s systemic poverty or generational disenfranchisement, the thing that you can’t afford to do is to work for free or trade your time for an education that may or may not result in a job,” says Olguin. “So, we mash those things together in a way that has really afforded these folks the opportunity for the very first time to spend their time on something that may pay back dividends to them, their families, their communities and generations following.”

One of those students is Miguel Hernandez, who spent time in prison for burglary, “I had some trouble with the law when I was younger. It kind of started off in high school, you know, with hanging out with the wrong crowd. That’s when I started getting introduced to robbing houses.” While behind bars, Hernandez decided to turn his life around, “I got a short-term internship at Habitat for Humanity. When that had ended, that’s when Stephanie from Bitwise had handed out a flyer, and they called me, and they’re like, ‘Hey, we know you’re interested in tech, did you want to try this class out? It’s free for people who have been previously incarcerated people who have misdemeanors or felonies.’ Going into that class, at first, I felt alienated until I realized that everyone else there is like me, you know, we’re all the same people, all the same stories, you know?”

Olguin says that chance to reinvent yourself is the California dream. “For me, when I think about the dream, I think about folks who look like me, folks who come from similar backgrounds, folks who are typically from underserved and underrepresented populations, having the chance of whatever it is they want to do right here in California.” Soberal says that the California dream isn’t dead but concedes, “It is not having its best decade. We can do so much better, and there are now hundreds and even thousands of folks that have come through our doors at Bitwise, that are a testament to exactly that.”

Hernandez is grateful for places like Bitwise that help make the Golden State a better place to live. “After had got my felony, I thought it was over,” said Hernandez. “It’s a beautiful feeling knowing that there are people who care for us out there, giving us a second chance that we all deserve.”

https://abc7news.com/california-tech-jobs-representation-in-technology-fresno-bitwise-industries-training/10367619/

ELECTRIC VEHICLE FAST CHARGERS NOW AVAILABLE ON CENTRAL CA HIGHWAYS

Electric vehicle (EV) drivers now have more fast-charging options along state highways in Central California — including at the popular Tejon Pass Rest Area near the Los Angeles/Kern County line — with the installation of 22 new EV fast chargers at nine locations by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). “Fast chargers are essential to continue growing EV adoption in California and meeting our state’s goals for combating climate change,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Expanding the availability of convenient fast-charging stations along state highways is significant for the future of California transportation.”

The Level 3 DC fast chargers provide an approximate 80 percent charge in 30 minutes to EVs with fast-charging capability. The chargers have universal connectors and are able to serve all EVs on the market, including Teslas with an adapter. Charging is free with no time limit. “With four new EV fast chargers at the Tejon Pass Rest Area on Interstate 5, and 18 others staggered approximately 40 miles apart, Caltrans has reduced recharging concerns for plug-in EV drivers on long-distance trips through the Central Valley,” said District 7 Director Tony Tavares, whose district includes Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

According to the California Air Resources Board, 70 percent of California transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions come from light-duty vehicles, including passenger cars, SUVs and light-duty trucks. “This project is a tremendous example of how public agencies can collaborate with the private sector to fill gaps in the zero emission vehicle (ZEV) market,” said Tyson Eckerle, Deputy Director of ZEV Market Development at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). “More chargers throughout the state will help to incentivize the purchase of EVs, getting us closer to Governor Newsom’s goal of 100 percent ZEV sales by 2035.”

The Tejon Pass Rest Area is about 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 40 miles south of Bakersfield and is a popular stopping point for drivers traveling along I-5. The four new fast chargers are located on the southbound side of the interstate. Motorists traveling north on I-5 can exit at the Lebec off-ramp to Lebec Road, which loops over the highway, to access the fast chargers, including one that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Other New Locations:

  • Junction Route 58/Route 184 in Bakersfield
  • Caltrans Maintenance Station on Route 41 and next to I-5 in Kettleman City
  • Caltrans Maintenance Station, 805 S. Lexington St., next to Route 99 in Delano
  • C.H. Warlow Rest Area NB/SB Route 99 in Kingsburg
  • Philip S. Raine Rest Area at SB Route 99 near Tulare
  • Philip S. Raine Rest Area at NB Route 99 near Tulare
  • Caltrans District 6 Office, 1283 N. West Ave., next to Route 99 in Fresno
  • Caltrans Maintenance Station, 125 W. Almond Ave., next to Route 99 in Madera

The $4.5 million project is funded by Caltrans and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District in Fresno. The prime contractor is Cal Valley Construction of Fresno. BTCPower (Broadband TelCom Power, Inc.) of Santa Ana provided and installed the DC EV Fast Chargers with assistance from electrical subcontractor CSI (Civil Substations, Inc.) of Clovis. Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison are the electrical service providers. In addition to the new chargers in the Central Valley, Caltrans has six Level 3 DC fast chargers in San Diego County, two in Monterey County and one in San Luis Obispo County, and two Level 2 charging stations in Napa County and three in Contra Costa County – all available to the public.

The U.S. Department of Energy has a searchable database on public alternative fuel stations in California and nationwide. Motorists can find real-time traffic information and rest area locations at Caltrans’ Quickmap by clicking on the Options menu.    Caltrans reminds drivers to “Be Work Zone Alert” and to “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

https://www.edhat.com/news/electric-vehicle-fast-chargers-now-available-on-central-ca-highways#:~:text=Electric%20vehicle%20(EV)%20drivers%20now%20have%20more%20fast-charging,locations%20by%20the%20California%20Department%20of%20Transportation%20(Caltrans).

California High-Speed Rail Authority Announces First Graduating Class of Central Valley Training Center in Selma Ready to Work on High-Speed Rail

The first cohort of students has graduated from the Central Valley Training Center in Selma and are equipped with the skills to help build the nation’s first high-speed rail system in California.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority, in partnership with the local Building and Construction Trades Council, Fresno County Economic Development Corporation and Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, recognized the hard work of the first 22 students to complete the 16-week job training program. “This training center opened during a time when the state and the rest of the country looked for ways to expand job opportunities,” said Henry Perea, High-Speed Rail Board Member. “We are proud to continue training and investing in a skilled workforce to help rebuild the economy.”

The pre-apprenticeship training center provides veterans, at-risk young adults and low-income people from the Central Valley with a comprehensive and innovative look into careers in more than 10 different construction trades. The graduates received pre-apprenticeship and hands-on construction training from professional carpenters, cement masons, electricians and other specialists. Students also developed skills that include active listening, teamwork and critical thinking that can be applied at construction sites and in other employment opportunities. “I’ve been in the trades for 34 years and worked with people up and down the state of California, and I would put the tools on and work with any one of these students today,” said Chuck Riojas, executive director of the Fresno, Madera, Tulare, Kings Building Trades Council. “The Central Valley Training Center is designed to expose students to the trades so they can find what interests them. Once they show an interest in a field, they’re more apt to do better in those apprenticeship programs.”

Students also graduated with more than five industry-specific certificates, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10 and Forklift certifications. Upon completion of the program, the high-speed rail project and its contractors assist all graduating students with job placement. “The program is well worth it,” said Arturo Garza of Selma, a student in the first graduating cohort. “It’s a challenge because a lot of people need to work, but the sacrifice is well worth it because at the end of the day, we get these certifications in hopes to get a high-paying job. A little sacrifice is nothing compared to the reward.”

Since the start of construction, more than 5,000 construction workers have been dispatched to build the high-speed rail system in the Central Valley where there are currently 35 active construction sites. The Authority has doubled construction jobs since 2018, with an average of 1,100 workers a day at construction sites. In addition, more than 570 certified small businesses throughout the state are contributing to the high-speed rail program. For the latest on construction, visit www.buildhsr.com.

Nearly 500 Central Valley residents have applied to take part in the Central Valley Training Center program since its opening last year.

https://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/27903-california-high-speed-rail-authority-announces-first-graduating-class-of-central-valley-training-center-in-selma-ready-to-work-on-high-speed-rail

Faraday Future to List on NASDAQ Through Merger With Property Solutions Acquisition Corp. With Estimated $1 Billion in Proceeds

  • Merger to provide an estimated $1.0 billion of gross proceeds to Faraday Future (“FF”), including $230 million in cash held by PSAC in trust assuming no redemptions and an upsized $775 million fully committed common stock PIPE at $10.00 per share.
  • Transaction is expected to fully fund the production of class defining ultimate-performance luxury electric FF 91 within 12 months of transaction close. This transaction also supports the future development of the company’s unique I.A.I system (Internet, Autonomous Driving, Intelligence).
  • FF has adopted a global hybrid manufacturing strategy consisting of its manufacturing facility in Hanford, California and a contract manufacturing partner in South Korea. FF 91 brings to market class-leading luxury and ultimate performance supported by nearly 900 filed or issued patents globally for its Variable Platform Architecture, Propulsion system, and Advanced Internet, Autonomous Driving and Intelligence (I.A.I.) technology.
  • Estimated post transaction equity value of approximately $3.4 billion; combined company to be named Faraday Future Inc. and will trade under the new ticker symbol “FFIE” with transaction close expected in Q2 2021.
  • PIPE anchor investors include leading institutional shareholders from the U.S. and Europe, a Top 3 Chinese OEM, and a Tier-1 city in China.
  • Noted SPAC Sponsor, Riverside Management Group (RMG), is serving as financial partner and advisor to PSAC.
  • All existing Faraday Future shareholders, including management, are rolling all of their equity.
  • https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210128005488/en/Faraday-Future-to-List-on-NASDAQ-Through-Merger-With-Property-Solutions-Acquisition-Corp.-With-Estimated-1-Billion-in-Proceeds

Bitwise contract stokes Bakersfield’s tech, economic diversification hopes

Plans for building up Bakersfield’s small computer software industry recently took a big step forward — despite the COVID-19 pandemic and in a way because of it — with the city’s finalization of a $750,000 contract with Fresno-based tech hub Bitwise Industries. Under a deal struck late last month, the company will begin offering 14-week evening classes, typically taught online two nights per week for three hours at a time, to city residents who have suffered economically as a result of the pandemic.

Some details have not been disclosed, such as how and when Bitwise will begin the classes and how it intends to recruit and screen student candidates. The end goal is to expose 400 people to careers in technology and produce at least 130 new entry-level jobs: 50 in software development and 80 in more general fields of business. “The city of Bakersfield is very excited about this program and we’re looking forward to our continuing partnership with Bitwise Industries,” city spokesman Joseph Conroy said. “We believe this job training program will be a success and a great opportunity for our community.”

Bitwise was already working on an expansion into Bakersfield, having purchased two buildings along 18th Street near the Padre Hotel, when COVID-19 arrived. The pandemic slowed the company’s efforts to rehabilitate the properties and turn them into a sleek local home for its Geekwise computer programming academy, new offices for its Shift3 Technologies software development company and flexible work spaces for lease. When the pandemic hit, Bitwise moved classes online and began offering them to California communities anxious to create new jobs to replace those lost to the lockdown.

Local leaders already familiar with the company’s accomplishments — more than 8,000 Geekwise students served since 2013, many of them poor or otherwise disadvantaged — saw a way to help rebuild and diversify Bakersfield’s economy.  The city had received $33.5 million from the state as part of the $2 trillion federal CARES Act. The catch was that the money had to be spent on pandemic recovery efforts and the city had to allocate the funds by the end of 2021. The City Council signed off in mid-November. On Dec. 28, just three days before deadline, Bitwise signed and returned the city’s contract offer.

The company said in a letter to the city in October it would offer a training menu ranging from specific disciplines like quality and assurance testing, web application development and security to more widely applicable skills like sales, product tech support and customer relationship management. “Bitwise is very excited about the job training program with the city of Bakersfield,” spokewoman Katherine Verducci said by email. “Our workforce development programs have impacted the lives of thousands of people in the Central Valley. Partnerships like the one with Bakersfield allow us to reach more people who can benefit from programs like ours.”

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/bitwise-contract-stokes-bakersfields-tech-economic-diversification-hopes/article_01e99bca-5148-11eb-a648-4bedc0d623c9.html

Large energy storage project would create new reservoir above Isabella Lake

A $3 billion pumped-water energy storage project has been proposed along Isabella Lake that would help even out power delivery from California solar and wind farms at a volume and longevity dwarfing the large battery installations envisioned for eastern Kern. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is reviewing a Walnut engineering company’s plan to create a new reservoir above the lake then use pumps and underground pipes to turn it into a rechargeable dam and hydroelectric generator putting out a whopping 2,000 megawatts of power for up to 12 hours at a time.

Optimistically, the project could open within six years but remains in such an early stage that its environmental impacts haven’t been studied and its eventual owners or operators haven’t been identified, said the head of the company behind the proposal, Power Tech Engineers Inc., whose principals have experience with similar projects elsewhere. President Victor Rojas suggested the installation might serve best as a government asset even as it would serve electric utilities and their customers.

He said the U.S. Department of Energy has expressed interest in covering up to 70 percent of the project’s cost. The agency did not respond to an email Monday afternoon requesting confirmation of an offer of financial backing. Also, a FERC official reviewing Power Tech’s proposal could not be reached for comment. Pumped-storage hydroelectric, as such projects are known, is among many forms of energy storage under consideration as California looks to provide clean, renewably sourced power even when solar and wind installations aren’t generating electricity.

Gravity-powered projects like Power Tech’s proposal offer benefits and drawbacks different from the kind of batteries proposed to be sited alongside massive solar arrays planned for eastern Kern. Pumped-water storage offers huge scale and lifetime of maybe 100 years but it cannot instantaneously produce power and it disrupts large areas of habitat. Batteries immediately deliver when called on but have a relatively short life — generally less than two decades — and can’t provide electricity for more than a few hours at utility scale. For size comparison, 8minute Solar Energy’s 400-megawatt, more than $1 billion Eland photovoltaic array proposed in eastern Kern would come with 1,200 megawatt-hours of energy storage — just 5 percent the capacity of Power Tech’s pumped-water project.

Kern River Master Dana Munn, who oversees water storage and flow at Isabella Lake, expressed concern Power Tech’s project would interfere with the flow of water from the lake down the river. “A power plant will go on and it’ll essentially cause a fluctuation in the river,” he said. Rojas disputed that interpretation, saying the project would use a “closed-loop” design that shouldn’t affect the lake or the river much once it is equipped with between 30,000 and 40,000 acre-feet of water.

Membrane would be installed beneath the water’s downward flow to reduce water loss to percolation, he said, and there would be a covering above, possibly including solar panels, to limit evaporation. Rojas said three alternative sites are under consideration for siting the upper reservoir. If the “small lake” that would be created is deemed to have too great an impact on animals and plants there now, he said, “we’ll look somewhere else.” But his hope is that the benefit becomes clear. “Without projects like this the renewable energy solution won’t be possible,” he said. “We have to have a way to store the energy when the sun is not shining (and) the wind is not blowing.” He added that informational workshops for the public will be scheduled later allowing people to learn more about the project. He said Power Tech’s engineers, formerly with the Los Angeles Department of Water and power, have designed pumped-water energy projects in Castaic and elsewhere.

Rosemead-based utility Southern California Edison and the nonprofit California Independent System Operator, which operates the state’s power grid, said separately they were not familiar with Power Tech’s proposal but that they support a diverse mix of energy-storage projects. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. declined to comment on the project.

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/large-energy-storage-project-would-create-new-reservoir-above-isabella-lake/article_a79ff7ee-4955-11eb-a6d5-5b06b053bb14.html

Tesla opens world’s largest Supercharger station

Tesla has been quickly expanding its Supercharger network lately and it just reached another milestone by opening the world’s new largest Supercharger station. It is located between two of Tesla’s biggest markets. Tesla’s fleet is growing at a fast pace and the automaker is adding more electric vehicles to the road than any other automaker. At the same time, the company is trying to keep up its infrastructure, like service centers, mobile service fleet, and charging infrastructure in order to support its growing fleet. Tesla’s charging infrastructure mainly consists of the Supercharger network, arguably one of the company’s greatest assets.

Recently, Tesla announced that it deployed its 20,000th charger in the Supercharger network. Now we’ve learned that Tesla has just opened a new Supercharger station that has become the new largest Supercharger station in the world:A few months ago, we reported on Tesla building the new Supercharger station in Firebaugh, California. We learned that Tesla was planning 56 Supercharger stalls at the new station — likely making it the largest Supercharger station in the world. Tesla has a few Supercharger stations with 50 stalls in China, but 56 is a new record. At 56 Superchargers, this new station will be six times bigger than Tesla’s average Supercharger station. It is located between the Bay Area and Los Angeles — two of Tesla’s biggest markets in the world. There is also a convenience store and a restaurant at the location that Tesla owners can patronize while they are charging.

Tesla has also built solar canopies to provide shade to the vehicles while also helping power the Supercharger station. The automaker has been promising to deploy more solar power capacity at Superchargers, but the rollout has been somewhat slow. CEO Elon Musk has been saying that Tesla will accelerate the deployment with the rollout of the Supercharger V3 stations, which started last year.

https://electrek.co/2020/11/14/tesla-opens-worlds-largest-supercharger-station/

Nautilus: transforming the data center industry

Nautilus Data Technologies is a global pioneer in water-cooled data centers and is leading a global transformation to ultra-efficient, high-performance and environmentally sustainable operations in the data center sector.

James Connaughton is the CEO at Nautilus. Having joined the organisation in March 2016, he has overseen the implementation of the world’s first water-cooled and water-borne data center with Nautilus. “There are two essential features,” explains Connaughton. “The first and most important feature is cooling with naturally cold water, which is how all other major infrastructure sectors address the large amounts of heat generated by their systems. These include, for example, thermal power plants, ships, industrial processing facilities, and paper mills. Only data centers, generate heat at a similar industrial scale, still use massive and unsustainable air-cooling systems. The second feature is mobility–the ability to prefabricate the data center in large modules, and either assemble them onto a barge and deliver it fully ready to go, or transport the modules to a prepared site for rapid assembly. Placing essential infrastructure on barges—such as energy barges and water treatment barges–is a well-established model for enabling rapid and flexible access to such infrastructure in fast growing and emerging markets. The opportunity and need is equally strong today when it comes to providing access to digital infrastructure to those who currently lack it.”

Connaughton believes data centers are the newest and most important component of critical infrastructure that sustains and enriches the lives of people around the world. “Data centers now stand alongside power generation, drinking-water plants, waste-water plants, roads and other critical infrastructure that allows society to function and create good outcomes for people,” he explains. “Access to the water molecule and the electron has long been vitally important. Worldwide access to the photon for data delivery is the next essential piece.” Over the past two years, Connaughton has overseen the development of the company’s first full-scale commercial facility, which provides six megawatts of water-cooled data center capacity on a barge. He strives for an innovative approach across all his operations. “We’ve been on the arc of creative invention and cleverly practical engineering to make that a reality,” says Connaughton. “The first part of our company’s life has focused on building a functional prototype, and then using that experience to make the thousands of decisions of what not to do against the several hundred decisions of what to do in bringing a full scale facility into being. We’re really excited to be commissioning that data center in California in just a few weeks time.”

Nautilus is planning to develop facilities in North America, Europe and Asia, and has been contacted by potential partners to pursue projects in the Middle East, Africa, and South America. “Once our data center in North Carolina is up and running, we look forward to onboarding a great set of anchor customers,” says Connaughton. “We will show the world the ultra-efficiency, high-performance, and the strong sustainability of our approach. After that, we are ready to rapidly move into other locations to “productize” the technology and we look forward to partnering through joint ventures and technology licensing so that we can get this important technology out into the world as quickly as possible.”

https://www.technologymagazine.com/brochure/nautilus-transforming-data-center-industry