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

Visalia tech converts dairy air into low-emission fuel

VISALIA – A Visalia company has successfully converted cow manure into a renewable natural gas. California Bioenergy, LLC (CalBio), based in Visalia, announced on Sept. 24 it had successfully achieved the first renewable natural gas (RNG) production from manure stored at dairy farms in Kern County.

“This technology will de-carbonize transportation fuels in the state,” CalBio CEO N. Russ Buckenham said. “When you run a heavy duty truck on RNG, it’s 90% cleaner than running that truck on diesel. And there are a lot of diesel trucks running up and down Highway 99. It’s a terrific benefit to cleaning the air and cleaning the sky.”

Manure stored on dairy farms results in the release of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, which causes the Earth’s atmosphere to trap in heat, a major component of climate change. The biomethane projects capture the methane into digesters, which works similar to your stomach, to convert solids into gas. The biogas is then sent to a centralized processing facility where it will be refined into RNG and injected into local utility SoCalGas’ pipeline. The RNG is then marketed as an alternative fuel for heavy-duty trucks and buses, and eventually off-road and farm equipment.

Last month’s announcement marks a significant milestone for CalBio, which has been at the technological forefront of converting dairy waste into renewable fuel since 2006. That’s when Buckenham, a technology engineer, partnered with Neil Black, a leader in environmental sustainability, to begin developing biodigester technologies for dairies. In 2013, CalBio launched the largest dairy digester in the state near Bakersfield in Kern County, the first project attempting to make the technology viable on a commercial scale.In the joint venture between CalBio, Chevron and dairy farmers, the Visalia company brought technology and operational experience to help build digesters and methane capture projects to convert this methane to a beneficial use as RNG. Chevron provided funding for digester projects across three geographic clusters in Kern, Tulare and Kings counties in additional to money invested by the dairies. As they are completed, these projects will mitigate the dairies’ methane emissions and reduce greenhouse emissions from livestock. Also last month, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved an underground pipeling connecting a dairy cluster in north Visalia with Southern California Gas Company’s (SoCalGas) utility pipeline. The clusters of digesters have been awarded California Department of Food and Agriculture grants, which must be augmented with additional capital to complete the projects.

Most of California’s large dairies are making plans to install digesters to capture biogas from their cow manure but are looking for a cleaner way to utilize this fuel. Biogas captured from cow manure contains approximately 65% methane, which has a 25 times greater impact on global warming than CO2 emissions and accounts for 105 of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, but is also a useful, renewable fuel. CalBio is directly involved in half of the 123 dairy digester projects in operation or development across the state. Ninety-four percent of those projects are at San Joaquin Valley dairies, 55 of which are in Tulare County. According to DairyCares.com, a single cow can generate enough renewable fuel to drive a car across the country. Five cows are enough to power a house for an entire year.

“These projects bring so many win-wins—they help create local jobs, improve local air quality by producing renewable natural gas for use in low-NOX emission fleets, and reduce dairy methane emissions,” Buckenham said. CalBioGas began the joint venture with Chevron last summer when it secured funding from the energy company to build infrastructure for dairy biomethane projects in California’s San Joaquin Valley, adding to the investment from dozens of dairy farmers. Chevron will also provide services to bring this product into the California vehicle fuels market.

Andy Walz, president of Chevron Americas Products, said the milestone demonstrates the company’s effort to increase renewables and to invest in lower-carbon technologies. “This is an exciting milestone that speaks to the capabilities and can-do attitude of our partners—CalBio and dairy farmers—to bring this RNG to the California vehicle fuels market,” Walz said. “Chevron is increasing RNG in support of our business and is making targeted investments and establishing partnerships, as we evaluate many emerging sources of energy and the role they will play in our portfolio. And as a proud California company, we are pleased that local communities in the state will benefit from this investment.”

CalBio is a leading developer of dairy digesters for generating renewable electricity and vehicle fuel in California. Founded in 2006, CalBio has worked closely with the dairy industry and state agencies to develop programs to help the state achieve its methane reduction goals while delivering a new revenue source to California dairies. For more information, visit: www.calbioenergy.com.

https://thesungazette.com/article/news/2020/10/21/visalia-tech-converts-dairy-air-into-low-emission-fuel/

Setton Academy for Industrial Robotics and Technology coming in 2021

Setton Farms has announced it will build a school in Terra Bella that will focus on industrial robotics and technology. The new school will be called Setton Academy.

In 2019, Setton Pistachio established a 501c(3) non-profit to develop and operate an industrial technology school. After a lengthy permitting process, the school was approved, and construction on Setton Academy began in summer 2020. DAYCO Construction and Industrial Design and Construction (IDC) are assisting with construction and materials. The school will be equipped with robotic and computer vision cells, as well as software development workstations for a hands-on laboratory experience.

“The school is a 501c(3),” said Setton Farms General Manager Lee Cohen “It’s an educational foundation that the family has set up to provide modern educational instruction in advanced industrial electronics and industrial robotics. We think that it’s a very effective way to change the trajectory of kids’ lives locally in Terra Bella.

“We are targeting students that are 18 to 23 year old high school graduates who we hope to basically give the requisite skills to change the trajectory of their lives to go into a pathway of industrial automation, which in today’s job market is very, very lucrative, high paying and very much in demand. The goal is really to go after the local kids who really wouldn’t have an opportunity like this.”

Once up and running, the Setton Academy will provide short certificate style courses that allow students to advance their education in industrial electronics, robotics and computer vision. The hands-on, module-based curriculum will be designed to focus on industrial automation control, robotics, computer vision and CAD design, and will allow students to learn at their own pace. The curriculum will cover subjects that match skills required in the broad industries throughout the Valley. All of the modules will be taught by industry professionals in a variety of methods ranging from live, hands-on instruction, to step-by-step videos and other interactive media modes.

“The school is going to be very modest and small,” said Cohen. “We’re going to try to take less than 30 students a year. If we can change the lives of 10, 20, 30 kids a year, over 10 years we’ll really have made a big difference in Terra Bella, and I think that’s the goal. The non-profit is going to be focused on providing access to these kids, providing very simplified and well designed curriculum, so that we can really utilize the state of the art of modern industrial robotics and technology, which really now is very accessible to these kids, because everyone of these kids probably has a smartphone and knows how software works, and I think the modern state of industrial automation is more accessible to them these days because of that.”

The goal of Setton Academy is its graduates acquire the necessary industrial technology and robotics skills to bring immediate value and productivity for employers who utilize production automation. If the school can achieve its goals, it could potentially change the pathway of its graduates’ lives from a minimum-wage, low-skill trajectory into a highly paid, high-skill, high-growth job trajectory.

“I think across the Valley, certainly in Agriculture, there’s of course ways of automation due to the difficult operating environment and higher costs across every aspect,” said Cohen. “I think nationally we will resort to automation to offset those costs in the long run, and I believe that, probably at this point in time, there aren’t enough educational institutions that are focusing on the people who will be operating, managing, interacting and designing this wave of automation that will be progressing through the Valley. I think it’s very within reach of all of these kids, absolutely. We just have to put together the right curriculum, the right delivery, the right program. So what we’re doing is bringing the education locally in town. They can walk to us. That’s the objective; this local education delivering really very market focused principles of education.”

Future goals for Setton Academy include developing a network of hiring companies that will source automation operators directly from the school.

“We are encouraging the community to get involved,” said Cohen. “We are looking for community members who can sit on a committee or some kind of advisory council. We want the community completely involved in this.”

The school is aiming to be completed by the summer of 2021.

https://www.recorderonline.com/news/setton-academy-coming-in-2021/article_bf4b6b5a-ff48-11ea-8a87-4f3360aea47c.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

 

Robots spotted roaming Modesto streets

Residents have been noticing some strange sights in Modesto over the past few days.

Small robotic machines have been going up and down the streets of a northeast neighborhood. One side of the robot says “Hungry? I can help.”

On Friday, six robots were seen cautiously navigating crosswalks and traffic, getting long glances from drivers.

The robots are from Starship Technologies, a company based out of San Francisco. The company said it is testing its navigational systems and did not release any other details.

https://www-kcra-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.kcra.com/amp/article/robots-spotted-roaming-modesto-streets/34082194

California High-Speed Rail Authority approves alignment for Central Valley Wye section

THE California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has confirmed its choice of alignment for the 80.5km Central Valley Wye section of the Merced – Fresno high-speed line, following the unanimous approval of an environmental impact report for the section by the authority’s board.

California-HS

The section comprises two elements. A west-east alignment follows State Highway 152 from the the terminus of the previous section from San Jose and Gilroy at Carluccio Road to Madera where the high-speed line continues to Fresno. The south-north element runs alongside Road 11 west of Chowchilla to an intersection with the Union Pacific line from where the high-speed line will run north to Merced. This is the final section of the route to be approved after all other sections in May 2012.

The decision commits CHSRA to minimise impact of the project on the communities and local environment, and enables the authority to begin land purchases for the section. The decision was made as part of a three-part process, in which CHSRA certified the environmental analysis under state law, formally confirmed its choice of alignment from a shortlist of four options, and approved the environmental analysis and route under federal law.

The section was subsequently placed under more detailed consideration to address the concerns of local residents about the potential impact of the junction on their communities. The State Highway 152/Road 11 alignment was previously confirmed as the preferred option by CHSRA in January 2017, following preliminary assessments which suggested that the route offered the best balance between achieving the project’s objectives, reducing environmental impact and satisfying the concerns of communities and stakeholders. The alignment was also seen to be the most cost-effective option at $US 3.6bn.

Following this initial assessment, the alignment was submitted for an in-depth environmental analysis. The Merced – Fresno line is part of Phase 1 of California’s high-speed rail project, which will connect San Francisco to Anaheim. Phase 2 will extend the line north to Sacramento and south to San Diego. Around 1287km of line is planned for the project when completed.

Phase 1 is estimated to cost around $US 98.1bn, up from $US 64.2bn in 2016. The phase is currently expected to open for operation in 2029, having been delayed by four years from its previous launch date in 2025. No launch date for Phase 2 has been set. “Today’s approval represents another major milestone for this project as we have now completed the environmental reviews for the entire 275km stretch between Merced and Bakersfield,” says Mr Brian Kelly, CEO of CHSRA.

https://www.railjournal.com/regions/north-america/california-high-speed-rail-authority-approves-alignment-for-central-wye-valley-section/

High-Speed Rail Nears 1,100 Daily Workers at Central Valley Job Sites, California High-Speed Rail Authority Reports

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is now averaging a daily record of nearly 1,100 workers dispatched to construction sites throughout the Central Valley. This milestone comes as the country celebrates Labor Day and the contributions of the American worker.

“The Authority is proud to keep hardworking men and women on the job and in the field during this worldwide pandemic,” said Authority CEO Brian Kelly. “These individuals are more than ‘essential.’ Each day, these skilled workers are out building for California and the nation’s future, and their contribution is invaluable.”
In partnership with local trade unions, the State Building and Construction Trades Council and the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board, the Authority is proud to work alongside such skilled laborers. Electricians, cement masons, steel workers and others are helping bring the nation’s first high-speed rail system to life while contributing to the local economy across five counties.

“The High-Speed Rail Authority continuously lives up to its promise by providing opportunities to disadvantaged communities,” said State Building and Construction Trades Council of California President Robbie Hunter. “As more construction sites open, the opportunities grow for our growing workforce and apprentices eager to make high-speed rail a reality.”

Since the beginning of the high-speed rail project, the Authority has worked to ensure jobs created on the project benefit disadvantaged areas through the execution of a Community Benefits Agreement. The agreement includes a Targeted Worker Program that requires 30 percent of all project work hours be performed by individuals who come from disadvantaged communities where household income ranges from $32,000 to $40,000 annually.

Each of the project’s design-builders is implementing the Targeted Worker Program. Out of the more than 4,300 workers dispatched to the project, 226 reported living in Madera County, 1,791 living in Fresno County, 128 living in Kings County, 406 living in Tulare County, and 580 in Kern County. “It’s neat to be part of one of the biggest projects in California,” said Nicholas Godbey, a laborer working on an overpass at Davis Avenue in Fresno County. “I work with great people every day and I take a lot of pride in being a laborer. There’s not many who can say they are part of building high-speed rail.”

The Authority currently has 119 miles under construction within three construction packages. Design-builder contractors Tutor-Perini/Zachry/Parsons, Dragados-Flatiron/Joint Venture, and California Rail Builders have 32 active construction sites with more expected to open in the coming months. This work totals more than $4.8 billion in construction commitments.

https://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/25191-high-speed-rail-nears-1-100-daily-workers-at-central-valley-job-sites-california-high-speed-rail-authority-reports

California High-Speed Rail Authority releases video promoting project, jobs creation

Work is booming on more than 32 active construction sites across the Central Valley. As we move forward building the nation’s first high-speed rail system, we are proud to announce that more than 4,000 construction jobs have been created, with more than 73% of the workers dispatched to our various construction sites reported living in the Central Valley.

We expect to keep the momentum this summer by completing and opening several overcrossings along Construction Package 1 and 2-3. Watch our latest Construction Update video to see the work in action and to get the latest on construction anytime, visit BuildHSR.com.

http://www.oc-breeze.com/2020/07/15/184751_california-high-speed-rail-authority-releases-video-promoting-project-jobs-creation/

OmniTRAX’s Stockton Terminal and Eastern Railroad Works with San Joaquin Partnership to Launch Rail-Ready Sites Program

DENVER & STOCKTON, CA – OmniTRAX, one of the fastest growing railroads in North America and an affiliate of The Broe Group, is bringing its Rail-Ready Sites program to the Stockton Terminal and Eastern Railroad (STE). The program, started last year at the Winchester & Western Railroad (WW) in West Virginia and New Jersey, delivers the benefits of rail to shipping customers through rail-served sites.
OmniTRAX is working closely with the San Joaquin Partnership to promote the best developable, rail-ready property adjacent to the STE. The initial three sites, which total 83 acres and include a 65 acre parcel, are ideal locations for rail-served agriculture, manufacturing, asphalt, cement, chemicals, food processing, lumber, steel and distribution facilities.  “San Joaquin County and the greater Stockton region are going through an industrial and agricultural renaissance that our Rail-Ready Sites program will help to support. Working with the San Joaquin Partnership, OmniTRAX will bring new jobs and economic growth to the area through increased rail-served development,” said Ean Johnson, Vice President, Industrial Development at OmniTRAX. “We are strategically located in the heart of Northern California with the right land, infrastructure and workforce that will maximize success for rail-served sites. We provide a business-friendly climate and local government support that when partnered with the expert experience that OmniTRAX brings to the table, generate a winning formula for our community,” said Bob Gutierrez, Interim President & CEO of the San Joaquin Partnership.
About OmniTRAX, Inc.
As one of North America’s largest and fastest growing private railroad and transportation management companies, OmniTRAX’s core capabilities range from providing transportation and supply chain management services to railroad and port companies, to providing intermodal and industrial switching operations to railroads, ports and a diverse group of industrial companies. Through its affiliation with The Broe Group and its portfolio of managed companies, OmniTRAX also has the unique capability of offering specialized industrial development and real estate solutions, both on and off the rail network managed by OmniTRAX. More information is available at omnitrax.com.
About The Broe Group
Based in Denver, The Broe Group and its affiliates form a privately-owned, multi-billion-dollar real estate, transportation, energy and investment organization with assets owned and managed across North America. Together, Broe managed companies employ more than 1,000 people and support employment of thousands of others through operations such as its Great Western Industrial Park in Northern Colorado. Its transportation affiliate, OmniTRAX, Inc., is one of North America’s largest private railroad and transportation management companies specializing in: management services, railroad and port services, intermodal solutions and industrial switching operations. Its energy affiliates include Great Western Petroleum LLC, the largest private operator in the third most prolific U.S. basin. Broe Real Estate Group acquires, develops and manages office and industrial properties, medical office buildings and multi-family communities across the country, including premier assets in many of the most desirable markets. The Broe Group also has multiple investment affiliates, including Three Leaf Ventures, which is focused on innovative healthcare technology start-ups. For more information, visit broe.com.
About San Joaquin Partnership
The San Joaquin Partnership is a public/private non-profit economic development corporation serving all of San Joaquin County and its seven incorporated cities. For the past 30 years, the Partnership has attracted business and industry to the region with marketing and outreach strategies.  Our team provides custom tailored marketing plans, confidential due diligence, site selection, government affairs and match making with local businesses that will assist your company in establishing a successful future in San Joaquin County.

Aemetis provide updates of RNG, cellulosic ethanol projects

By Erin Voegele | March 13, 2020
Aemestis Inc. released fourth quarter financial results on March 12, reporting increased revenues and progress with the development of its cellulosic ethanol and renewable natural gas (RNG) projects. During an earnings call, Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis, said the company has signed participation agreements with 17 dairies for its RNG project. The company has also built and tested two dairy lagoon digesters, and has designed and permitted a 4-mile pipeline that is now under construction to connect the dairy digesters to its corn ethanol plant in Keyes, California. The RNG project is currently expected to begin generating revenue for Aemetis during the second quarter of this year. According to McAfee, the company plans to complete construction of the next 15 digesters by the end of 2021.

McAfee also provided an update of the company’s proposed 12 MMgy cellulosic ethanol plant in Riverbank, California, that will employ LanzaTech gas microbe ethanol production technology. Last year, Aemetis signed three significant financings related to the Riverbank project, including a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commision, a $12.5 million tax waiver that offsets equity funding required for the project, and the signing of a $125 million United States Department of Agriculture conditional commitment letter for a 20-year debt financing under the 9003 biorefinery program, according to McAfee. Currently, he said the company is focused on completing engineering of the plant required for the negotiation of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. McAfee said financial closing to being construction of the Riverbank plant is dependent on completing the engineering and procurement work required for the signing of the construction contract. During the call, McAfee also described several upgrades that are being made to the company’s Keyes ethanol plant. One upgrade involves the development of a carbon dioxide liquification plant by Linde Gas adjacent to the Keyes plant. McAfee said construction on the CO2 capture equipment and piping for the Keyes plant was complete in January. Once the project becomes fully operational in the second quarter, the new liquification plant is expected to convert approximately 150,000 tons per year of CO2 produced by the Keyes plant into liquid CO2 for sale to local food processors, beverage producers and other industrial users.

The Keyes plant is also adding a Mitsubishi membrane dehydration system to the Keyes plant. That dehydration unit was delivered to the Keyes plant in late February, McAfee said, and is currently being installed. Aemetis is also working to add a solar microarray, high-efficiency heat exchanger, and mechanical vapor recompression system to the Keyes plant. Aemetis also operates a biodiesel plant in India. The company reported revenues of $52.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, up from $38.8 million for the same period of last year. Gross profit was $5.8 million, compared to a gross loss of $1.9 million. Operating profit was $1 million, compared to an operating loss of $6.7 million reported for the same period of 2018. Net loss attributable to Aemetis was $6.7 million, compared to a net loss of $11.4 million for the fourth quarter of the previous year. For the full year, revenues reached $202 million, up from $171.5 million in 2018. Gross profit was $12.7 million, up from $5.4 million. Operating loss for 2019 reached $4.9 million, compared to an operating loss of $10.9 million for 2018.

http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/16886/aemetis-provide-updates-of-rng-cellulosic-ethanol-projects