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A Plasma Gasification plant

A Plasma Gasification plant

Kankyo endeavors to be a one-stop shop for waste management

India generates about 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste annually. Of the 43 million tonnes collected, only 11.9 million is treated while 31 million is dumped in landfill sites.

No wonder then,...

Indian cement plants strive to be globally competitive

Energy efficiency has been a major driving force in the country’s cement industry seeking to go green. The effort put together by various companies and technology suppliers has helped bring about significant reduction in specific energy...

Otis India President Sebi Joseph on elevators becoming ‘greener’

As urbanisation takes over, high rise buildings are known to consume about 40 per cent of the world’s energy and elevators account for between two to 10 per cent of a building’s energy use. But now, with more ‘Green’ buildings...

A lot has changed for the wind industry since the first capacity auction in February, writes M Ramesh

One event changed it all. Until around mid 2016, the Indian wind power industry, which comprises wind turbine manufacturers and their customers, was mumbling and moaning about the future....

With a capacity of 1,000 MW, Kurnool Ultra Solar Park has already outpaced the 648 MW facility developed by the Adani group in TN

With more than 900 MW of the 1,000 MW already commissioned, and the rest expected to be ready soon, the Kurnool Ultra Solar Park has become the largest single...

Tata Cleantech Capital Limited (TCCL), a joint venture between Tata Capital Limited and International Finance Corporation (IFC), has been significant in helping the country’s renewable energy sector achieve the 175 GWgoal set for 2022. It has thus far funded projects with a cumulative output of...

Country’s utilities and government regulators are focused on aggressive electrification, decentralization, and digitization efforts, report finds

A second structural impediment to fully realizing DER benefits is the current grid planning approach, which biases grid design toward traditional infrastructure rather than distributed alternatives, even if distributed solutions better meet grid needs. Outdated planning approaches rely on static assumptions about DER capabilities and focus primarily on mitigating potential DER integration challenges, rather than proactively harnessing these flexible assets.

Section II demonstrated how California could realize an additional $1.4 billion per year by 2020 in net benefits from the deployment of new DERs during the 2016-2020 timeframe. This state-wide methodology was then applied to the planned distribution capacity projects for California’s most recent GRC request, showing how the deployment of DERs in lieu of planned distribution capacity expansion projects in PG&E’s next rate case could save customers over $100 million. 

Motivated by the challenge faced in designing a grid appropriate to the 21st century, this report first focuses on determining the quantifiable net economic benefits that DERs can offer to society. The approach taken builds on existing avoided cost methodologies – which have already been applied to DERs by industry leaders – while introducing updated methods to hardto-quantify DER benefit categories that are excluded from traditional analyses. While the final net benefit calculation derived in this report is specific to California, the overall methodological advancements developed here are applicable across the U.S. Moreover, the ultimate conclusion from this analysis – that DERs offer a better alternative to many traditional infrastructure solutions in advancing the 21st century grid – should also hold true across the U.S., although the exact net benefits of DERs will vary across regions.

Designing the electric grid for the 21st century is one of today’s most important and exciting societal challenges. Regulators, legislators, utilities, and private industry are evaluating ways to both modernize the aging grid and decarbonize our electricity supply, while also enabling customer choice, increasing resiliency and reliability, and improving public safety, all at an affordable cost.

The share of renewables in overall power generation is rapidly increasing, both in developed and developing countries. Furthermore, many countries have ambitious targets to transform their power sector towards renewables. To achieve these objectives, the structure and operation of existing power grid infrastructures will need to be revisited as the share of renewable power generation increases.

Renewable energy technologies can be divided into two categories: dispatchable (i.e. biomass, concentrated solar power with storage, geothermal power and hydro) and non-dispatchable, also known as Variable Renewable Energy or VRE (i.e. ocean power, solar photovoltaics and wind). VRE has four characteristics that require specific measures to integrate these technologies into current power systems: 1) variability due to the temporal availability of resources; 2) uncertainty due to unexpected changes in resource availability; 3) location-specific properties due to the geographical availability of resources; and 4) low marginal costs since the resources are freely available.

A transition towards high shares of VRE requires a re-thinking of the design, operation and planning of future power systems from a technical and economic point of view. In such a system, supply and demand will be matched in a much more concerted and flexible way. From a technical perspective, VRE generation can be ideally combined with smart grid technologies, energy storage and more flexible generation technologies. From an economic perspective, the regulatory framework will need to be adjusted to account for the cost structure of VRE integration, to allow for new services and revenue channels, and to support new business models.

There are several technological options that can help to integrate VRE into the power system grid: system-friendly VREs, flexible generation, grid extension, smart grid technologies, and storage technologies. New advances in wind and solar PV technologies allow them to be used over a wider range of conditions and provide ancillary services like frequency and voltage control. Flexible generation requires changes in the energy mix to optimise production from both dispatchable and non-dispatchable resources. Smart grid technologies can act as an enabler for VRE integration, given their ability to reduce the variability in the system by allowing the integration of renewables into diverse electricity resources, including load control (e.g. Demand Side Management (DSM), Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), and enhancing the grid operation and therefore helping to efficiently manage the system’s variability by implementing advanced technologies (e.g. smart inverters, Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) and Fault Ride Through (FRT) capabilities).

Energy storage technologies can alleviate short-term variability (up to 2 Renewable Energy Integration in Power Grids | Technology Brief several hours), or longer-term variability through pumped-storage hydroelectricity, thermal energy storage or the conversion of electricity into hydrogen or gas.

Two immediate applications for deploying innovative technologies and operation modes for VRE integration are mini-grids and island systems. The high costs for power generation in these markets make VREs and grid integration technologies economically attractive since they can simultaneously improve the reliability, efficiency and performance of these power systems. This is, for example, the case of the Smart Grid demonstration project in Jeju Island, South Korea.

Furthermore, the right assessment and understanding of VRE integration costs are relevant for policy making and system planning. Any economic analysis of the transition towards renewables-based power systems should, therefore, consider all different cost components for VRE grid integration, such as grid costs (e.g. expansion and upgrading), capacity costs and balancing costs. Integration costs are due not only to the specific characteristics of VRE technologies but also to the power system and its adaptability to greater variability. Therefore, these costs should be carefully interpreted and not entirely attributed to VRE, especially when the system is not flexible enough to deal with variability (i.e. in the short-term).

Moreover, RE integration delivers broader benefits beyond purely economic ones, such as social and environmental benefits. Even though not straightforward, these externalities should be considered and quantified in order to integrate them into the decision-making process and maximise socio-economic benefits.

Due to the rapid technological progress and multiple grid integration options available, policy makers should build a framework for RE grid integration based on the current characteristic of the system, developing technological opportunities and long-term impacts and targets. In particular, policy makers should adopt a long-term vision for their transition towards renewables and set regulatory frameworks and market designs to foster both RE development and management of greater system variability. Such regulatory frameworks could include new markets for ancillary services and price signals for RE power generators that incentivise the reduction of integration costs.


There has been 40 per cent (more than one third) increase in transmission capacity from 5,30,546 MVA in March 2014 to 7,40,765 MVA in March 17, the ministry said.

AIIB in which India is the second largest shareholder has approved the project with the objective to strengthen the power transmission and distribution system in AP, bank said.

The NTECL, a joint venture company between NTPC and Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, is engaged in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.

A new breed of electrics is out to sex up the car ownership experience, writes S Muralidhar

In the past, hybrids and electrics have been the ugly ducklings of the automotive industry. Over practical, and over focused on efficiency, these cars were somehow designed to be especially drab and...

The energy efficient system in Rashtrapati Bhavan set up by Honeywell promises huge savings on energy consumption and costs associated with it

Rashtrapati Bhavan now has a robust energy efficient system covering its chiller plant, air-conditioning cum energy management system, a retrofit...

A project to clean the mighty river showcases its research in the capital

Imagine the pollution-wrought Yamuna river flowing clean and pristine through the Capital city. Imagine it interspersed by a series of hybrid bridges, cultural corridors and public spaces, promoting equality and harmony...

SAO PAULO, May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --  

Platts Survey of Analysts (1H May)

  • Cane crush: 36.15 million metric tons (mt)
  • Total recoverable sugar (ATR): 119.06 kilograms per metric ton (kg/mt)
  • Sugar production: 1.88 million metric tons (mt)
  • Total ethanol production: 1,369 million liters (ltrs)
  • Hydrous ethanol production: 795.86 million ltrs
  • Anhydrous ethanol production: 573.43 million ltrs
  • Sugar mix: 45.87%
  • Ethanol mix: 54.13%

The amount of sugarcane crushed in Center-South (CS) Brazil in the first half (1H) of May is expected to be 36.15 million mt, down 9% from the same period last year, but up 50% from the second half of April, an S&P Global Platts survey of analysts showed Wednesday.

About 1.2 days of crushing was lost to rain, the survey showed, while in the second half (2H) April roughly three days were lost.

Industry association UNICA is expected to release the official production figures for the key Center-South region in the coming days, possibly as early as Thursday. The 2017-18 sugarcane season began April 1 in the region, the largest sugarcane and sugar producer in the world.

If the expectations for the cane crush in 1H May are confirmed, the cumulative cane crushed so far this season would total 77.86 million mt, down 28% on the year.

Last season mills started crushing early as there was a lot of "cana bisada" (left over cane from the previous season) available. The drier-than-average weather also favored the pace of crushing last year. 

The range of analysts' expectations for cane crushed in 1H May was 34.3 million-37.3 million mt, while the expectations for the total recoverable sugar (ATR) ranged from 115 to 122.7 kg/mt of cane.

The survey's average for the ATR was 119.06 kg/mt, down 4.3% from a year earlier, but up 4.7% from 2H April. The percentage of cane crushed directed to produce sugar is expected to come in at 45.87%, up from 42.91% a year earlier. The balance, or 54.13%, was used for ethanol production.

Sugar production is expected to be approximately 1.88 million mt, down 9% on the year, while ethanol output is expected to have fallen 16% on the year to 1.37 billion liters. Of the total, hydrous ethanol is likely to have accounted for nearly 58%, or 796 million liters, and anhydrous for the balance.

In Parana state, one of the sugarcane producing regions of CS Brazil, the amount of cane crushed in 1H May fell 6% year on year to 1.95 million mt, according to local industry association Alcopar. The ATR in the state was 130.1 kg/mt of cane, up 12.84 kg/mt from 2H April and up from 128.51 kg/mt in 1H May 2016.

Total fuel and industrial ethanol sales (anhydrous plus hydrous) in CS Brazil in 1H May to the domestic market are expected to be roughly 900 million liters, down 9% on the year, according to a forecast by Platts Kingsman, an agricultural analysis unit of S&P Global Platts.

Hydrous fuel ethanol is used in flex-fuel vehicles, while anhydrous is mixed with gasoline under a 27% mandate.

CS Brazil Cane Production Data –  1H May, 2017 (as of May 16)




UNICA (2016-17)   


var. Vol. y-o-y*

Cane crush

(million mt)    






(kg/mt cane)





Sugar output    

(thousand mt)    





Ethanol total   

(million ltr)   





Hydrous output  

(million ltr)   





Anhydrous output

(million ltr)   





Sugar Mix




Ethanol Mix     




CS Brazil Cane Production Data -- 2H April, 2017 (as of May 1)





Cane crush

(million mt)    




(kg/mt cane)



Sugar output    

(thousand mt)    



Ethanol total   

(million ltr)   



Hydrous output  

(million ltr)   



Anhydrous output

(million ltr)   



Sugar Mix




Ethanol Mix     




Sources: S&P Global Platts Pre-Report Survey of Analysts Results--Unica Sugarcane Crush, Platts Kingsman, UNICA.

Y-O-Y= year over year

*Y-O-Y variance volume =Year over year. Such compares Platts Survey against UNICA's figures for 2016-17

Visit the S&P Global Platts and Platts Kingsman websites for more information on sugar and biofuels.

Contact Platts Communications to arrange interviews with Platts Kingsman sugar and ethanol analysts:  Alessandra Rosete, Beatriz Pupo, Claudiu Covrig and Maria Nunez. If you would like to receive this on a regular basis, please select Agriculture at this alerts sign-up link.

Media Contacts:
Global, Americas, Asia: Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About S&P Global Platts
At S&P Global Platts, we provide the insights; you make better informed trading and business decisions with confidence. We're the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets. Customers in over 150 countries look to our expertise in news, pricing and analytics to deliver greater transparency and efficiency to markets. S&P Global Platts coverage includes oil and gas, power, petrochemicals, metals, agriculture and shipping.

S&P Global Platts is a division of S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI), which provides essential intelligence for individuals, companies and governments to make decisions with confidence. For more information, visit www.platts.com.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/unica-sugarcane-crush--2017-18-season-1h-may-sp-global-platts-pre-report-survey-of-analysts-results-300463643.html

SOURCE S&P Global Platts

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WASHINGTON, May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Great Lakes Protection Fund and American Water Works Association are pleased to announce the finalists in the Water Utility Energy Challenge (WUEC), an innovative program which engages water operators in a competition to reduce the emissions sourced in their energy generation. The inaugural 2017-2018 competition, focused on the Great Lakes Basin, is aimed at connecting the utilities with new innovative software while fostering an awareness of the associated emissions, particularly mercury.

The six finalist water utilities are:

American Water Works Association, Great Lakes Protection Fund
American Water Works Association, Great Lakes Protection Fund


United States

"We're really excited with the breadth of the WUEC finalists. They were chosen from a broad field of applicants and these six utility leaders represent a wide range of communities, from Bayfield, Wisconsin, which serves fewer than 1,000 residents, to the Great Lakes Water Authority, which serves more than 4 million residents in 125 communities across southeast Michigan. The fact that there were both U.S. and Canadian finalists also illustrates that regardless of the operation's scale or location, utilities can use the cleanest energy to deliver clean, safe drinking water to their customers," said David LaFrance, AWWA CEO.

"These finalists characterize the next generation of water utility who will reduce emissions while improving the financial health of their systems. We're excited to see the geographic range of utilities across the entire Great Lakes Basin as well as a mix of water and combined water/wastewater systems. The competition is another step toward protecting and restoring the health of our shared Great Lakes waters," said David Rankin, Vice President of Programs, GLPF.

The competition will run through April 2018, with award and cash prizes presented later in the spring. More information on the challenge can be found by visiting www.AWWA.org/competition.

About the Water Utility Energy Challenge

The Water Utility Energy Challenge (WUEC) is a technology competition focused on water utilities in the Great Lakes Basin. Offering two top cash prizes of $20,000 and $10,000, the Water Utility Energy Challenge is supported by the Great Lakes Protection Fund. It is a collaborative effort of the American Water Works Association, CDM Smith, E2I, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Growth Capital Network, and Wayne State University.  For more information, visit www.AWWA.org/competition

Follow WUEC on Twitter                       Like WUEC on Facebook

About the Great Lakes Protection Fund

The Great Lakes Protection Fund (GLPF) is a private, nonprofit corporation formed in 1989 by the governors of the Great Lakes states. It is a permanent environmental endowment that supports collaborative actions to improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. To date, the Fund has made 269 grants and program-related investments representing over $78 million to support the creative work of collaborative teams that test new ideas, take risks, and share what they learn. www.glpf.org

About the American Water Works Association

Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world's most important resource. With approximately 50,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.

Related Links

LEEM technology information and downloads

WUEC Finalist Utilities

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-great-lakes-water-utility-energy-challenge-announces-its-six-finalist-utilities-300463483.html

SOURCE American Water Works Association, Great Lakes Protection Fund

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, announced today that Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Scott Tozier, will present at the Deutsche Bank Global Industrials and Materials Summit in Chicago on Thursday, June 8, 2017, at 3:10 p.m. EDT. Tozier's presentation is part of the larger two-day conference comprised of keynote addresses, company presentations, panel discussions as well as one-on-one and small group meetings with investors. In addition to Tozier, Sharon McGee, Vice President, Investor Relations, and Jim LaBauve, Vice President, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, will be in attendance.

A webcast of this presentation will be available on the Events and Presentations section of Albemarle's web site at http://investors.albemarle.com.

About Albemarle
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts. We power the potential of companies in many of the world's largest and most critical industries, from energy and communications to transportation and electronics.  Working side-by-side with our customers, we develop value-added, customized solutions that make them more competitive. Our solutions combine the finest technology and ingredients with the knowledge and know-how of our highly experienced and talented team of operators, scientists and engineers.

Discovering and implementing new and better performance-based sustainable solutions is what motivates all of us. We think beyond business-as-usual to drive innovations that create lasting value. Albemarle employs approximately 4,500 people and serves customers in approximately 100 countries. We regularly post information to www.albemarle.com, including notification of events, news, financial performance, investor presentations and webcasts, non-GAAP reconciliations, SEC filings and other information regarding our company, its businesses and the markets it serves.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Albemarle Corporation's business that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/albemarle-corporation-to-present-at-deutsche-bank-global-industrials-and-materials-summit-300463500.html

SOURCE Albemarle Corporation

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HOUSTON and SAN ANTONIO, May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- EP Energy Corporation (NYSE: EPE) and Tesoro Corporation (NYSE: TSO) announced the formation of a drilling joint venture, through respective subsidiaries, to fund oil and natural gas development in EP Energy's Altamont program located in the Uinta Basin of Utah. Additionally, EP Energy and Tesoro signed a multi-year Crude Oil Supply Agreement for yellow and black waxy crude oil to supply Tesoro's Salt Lake City Refinery.

Drilling Joint Venture Highlights

  • 60 well program
  • Tesoro to provide a capital carry in exchange for 50 percent of EP Energy's working interest in joint venture wells
  • Tesoro to purchase all oil production from joint venture wells
  • EPE's net share of capital is expected to be approximately $64 million
  • EPE will retain operational control of the joint venture assets

Tesoro and EP Energy also entered into a Crude Oil Supply Agreement, through which Tesoro will purchase all of the oil produced through the drilling joint venture, along with additional waxy crude oil produced by EP Energy in the Uinta Basin. This oil will provide assured supply of local crude oil for Tesoro's Salt Lake City Refinery.

"In the Altamont field we have a deep inventory of high-return drilling opportunities. This joint venture will enable us to significantly increase the well-level returns and capital efficiency of our program," said Brent Smolik, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of EP Energy Corporation. "We plan to keep two rigs active in the Uinta Basin and look forward to building a long-term relationship with Tesoro, an in-basin refinery partner."

"This agreement with EP Energy is an important step to further enhance our integrated value chain in the Rockies by supporting the growth of waxy crude oil production in the Uinta Basin, and allowing us to secure additional supply of this advantaged crude oil to further optimize the operation of our Salt Lake City Refinery," said Greg Goff, Chairman, President and CEO of Tesoro. "We believe this investment in crude oil production in Utah is good for our shareholders, our communities and for the State of Utah as it supports economic development in the region."

The first wells under the joint venture are expected to begin production in July 2017.  EP Energy's average working interest in the joint venture wells is currently approximately 80 percent.

EP Energy did not change its 2017 guidance for the new drilling venture; however the company expects to update its full year 2017 outlook mid-year.

About EP Energy
The EP Energy team has a passion for finding and producing the oil and natural gas that enriches people's lives.  EP Energy has a proven strategy, a significant reserve base, multi-year drilling opportunities, and a strategic presence in a number of the country's leading unconventional resource areas in North American. EP Energy is active in key phases of the E&P value chain—acquiring, developing and producing oil and natural gas. For more information about EP Energy, visit epenergy.com.

About Tesoro
Tesoro Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Tesoro, through its subsidiaries, operates seven refineries in the western United States with a combined capacity of over 895,000 barrels per day and ownership in a logistics business, which includes an interest in Tesoro Logistics LP (NYSE: TLLP) and ownership of its general partner. Tesoro's retail-marketing system includes over 2,500 retail stations under the ARCO®, Shell®, Exxon®, Mobil®, USA Gasoline(TM), Rebel(TM) and Tesoro® brands.

EPE: Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This release includes certain forwardlooking statements and projections of EP Energy. We have made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and assumptions on which these statements and projections are based are current, reasonable, and complete. However, a variety of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, anticipated results or other expectations expressed, including, without limitation, the supply and demand for oil, natural gas and NGLs; the company's ability to meet production volume targets; the uncertainty of estimating proved reserves and unproved resources; the future level of service and capital costs; the availability and cost of financing to fund future exploration and production operations; the success of drilling programs with regard to proved undeveloped reserves and unproved resources; the company's ability to comply with the covenants in various financing documents; the company's ability to obtain necessary governmental approvals for proposed E&P projects and to successfully construct and operate such projects; actions by the credit rating agencies; credit and performance risk of our lenders, trading counterparties, customers, vendors and suppliers; changes in commodity prices and basis differentials for oil and natural gas; general economic and weather conditions in geographic regions or markets served by the company, or where operations of the company are located, including the risk of a global recession and negative impact on natural gas demand; the uncertainties associated with governmental regulation, including any potential changes in federal and state tax laws and regulations; political and currency risks associated with international operations of the company; competition; and other factors described in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. While the company makes these statements and projections in good faith, neither the company nor its management can guarantee that anticipated future results will be achieved. Reference must be made to those filings for additional important factors that may affect actual results. EP Energy assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forwardlooking statements made herein or any other forwardlooking statements made by EP Energy, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

TSO: Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including without limitation statements concerning: Tesoro's operational, financial and growth strategies, its ability to successfully effect those strategies and the expected timing and results thereof; statements regarding Tesoro's agreement with EP Energy, the terms thereunder, and the expected benefits thereof, including benefits to Tesoro's business, shareholders, communities and the State of Utah; and expected timing of well production. For more information concerning factors that could affect these statements, see Tesoro's annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other public filings and press releases, available at www.tsocorp.com. Tesoro undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

EPE Contact:
Investor and Media Relations
Bill Baerg
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tesoro Contacts:
Investors: Sam Ramraj, Vice President, Investor Relations, (210) 626-4757
Media: Tesoro Media Relations, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (210) 626-7702

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ep-energy-and-tesoro-announce-drilling-joint-venture-in-the-uinta-basin-300463481.html

SOURCE EP Energy Corporation; Tesoro Corporation

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SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumer Watchdog today called on the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to reject staff recommendations for minor fines against the Governor's top aide Nancy McFadden and the Democratic Party, and to reopen the cases and interview witnesses not contacted. The FPPC meets tomorrow to decide the matters.

The nonprofit public interest group produced correspondence showing enforcement staff declined to interview witnesses with information that McFadden intervened to gut fracking legislation while owning part of an affected company as well as to interview witnesses within the Democratic Party about improper activities.

The group also produced complaints it lodged with the Commission in 2012 showing that like Brown's executive secretary McFadden, Steve Maviglio, then top communications aide to the former Assembly Speaker (also opposed to a fracking ban), held up to $1 million in the same oil and gas company, Linn Energy, that benefited from weakened legislation. McFadden and Maviglio are friends who vacation together at the latter's castle in Italy.

"The top aide to the Governor and the former top staffer to the former Assembly Speaker owned up to $1 million dollars in the same oil and gas company that benefited financially when they used their posts to blunt tough regulation of fracking in the legislature," Consumer Watchdog wrote to the FPPC Chair Jodi Remke, appointed by Brown, and the other commissioners.

"What did the FPPC do about these serious allegations?" the letter continued. "Fail to interview witnesses, ignore evidence of a pattern of conflict of interest indiscretions, and send a message that this type of conduct is okay in the future."

Read Consumer Watchdog's letter to FPPC Commissioners here.

"As our communications with the Commission attached show, Consumer Watchdog has repeatedly offered to connect enforcement staff with witnesses in these matters but was rebuffed," the letter continued. "These are not trivial issues. California has no fracking ban, while the states of New York, Vermont, and Maryland do, because of the positions of Governor Brown and Assembly Speaker John Perez, decisions the subjects of our FPPC complaints influenced while holding in a company that benefited from them."

Among the evidence produced in the filing with Commissioners was an analysis sent to FPPC staff showing McFadden met the threshold for violating the prohibition on decision making while holding Linn shares, and that amendments to SB 4, which witnesses claimed she was involved in, materially affected Linn's economic position enough to produce a violation of the law. The exhibits also show staff never responded to Consumer Watchdog's offer to interview confidential witnesses in this matter or to interview a Democratic Party insider in a related complaint.

Consumer Watchdog took issue with the proposed $300 fine FPCC staff recommended for McFadden based on a failure to disclose her holdings given the fact that other allegations against her would almost certainly have constituted a conflict of interest but for the statute of limitations.

"The FPPC should not condone the highest ranking appointee in the executive branch—expressly tasked with overseeing appointments, legislation, and policy—being involved in such public decisions affecting her portfolio," Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court and consumer advocate Liza Tucker wrote to the commissioners. "This is particularly true when that official would have been subject to investigation but for a five-year statute of limitations in a related issue.

"Another of the initial complaint's allegations against Ms. McFadden was that she intervened in official decisions related to stock holdings in Pacific Gas & Electric. When McFadden began working for Governor Brown, she held up to $1 million in PG&E stock, and in addition had been paid a $1 million bonus by PG&E on her way out the door.

"Strong evidence was conveyed to the FPPC that McFadden interfered in the appointment of a commissioner to the Public Utilities Commission on behalf of Pacific Gas & Electric lobbyist Brian Cherry. (See Exhibit F, emails "You can call her directly if you'd like" and "back door route") Emails released under the Public Records Act showed Cherry advising then-PUC President Michael Peevey (now under criminal investigation for an under-the-table deal with another major investor-owned utility involving billions of dollars) to feed names of pro-industry candidates for the Public Utilities Commission to Nancy McFadden.

"One of the emails could not have been clearer. 'Nancy asks if you have any names you would recommend,' Cherry wrote Peevey in January 2011. 'You can call her directly if you'd like.' Elsewhere, Cherry had called McFadden 'the back door route' in the Governor's office on whispering names of appointees into Governor Jerry Brown's ear. A pro-utility industry investment banker was soon named to the PUC who helped steer decisions benefiting PG&E and other major investor-owned utilities.

"When queried, enforcement staff informed us that the emails may have been strong enough to prompt an investigation but the acts took place five years ago, beyond the statute of limitations.

"Viewed in the context of this troubling pattern, the recommended $300 fine for McFadden's failure to disclose seven figure holdings looks like a whitewash. This is particularly true because McFadden concealed multiple financial assets for multiple years."

Consumer Watchdog also shared with commissioners more evidence of the Democratic Party's malfeasance, including: internal communications suggesting that appointments within the Brown Administration might have been up for sale, an invitation to an illegal Brown fundraiser post-election in which contributions went to the Democratic Party, and an itinerary for Brown's wife Ann Gust to visit a bevy of Sacramento lobbying firms with Democratic Party officials.

McFadden worked as fundraiser for the California Democratic Party while serving as Brown's Appointments Secretary. Maviglio was just hired by the California Democratic Party this weekend as a spokesperson, according to news media reports.

In its letter, Consumer Watchdog pointed out that previous allegations against Maviglio and top Assembly staffers who had holdings in fracking companies while working to gut fracking legislation fell into a black hole at the FPPC.

"The fracking legislation interference is the type of case for which the FPPC exists, because no one else has the independence to pursue it," wrote Consumer Watchdog. "Whether the failure to proceed stemmed from political interference by the Brown Administration, or the belief that campaign finance laws couldn't sustain a prosecution, at minimum all witnesses should have been interviewed.

"Affirming the proposed slap on the wrist in this matter would show that the Commission is prone to take the path of least resistance and does not understand the import of the decisions affected by these abuses of power," the letter continued. "The decision about whether the state allows fracking, and if so, whether it will be strictly regulated or not, has major public health implications for the people of California."

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/state-ethics-commissioners-asked-to-compel-witness-interviews-in-complaints-against-mcfadden-and-maviglio-for-owning-fracking-shares-and-stopping-fracking-ban-in-ca-reports-consumer-watchdog-300463537.html

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog

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TULSA, Okla., May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE: OKE) President and Chief Executive Officer Terry K. Spencer today provided an update on the company's business operations at the company's annual meeting of shareholders.

Spencer discussed the previously announced ONEOK and ONEOK Partners (NYSE: OKS) merger transaction and the long-term value it will create for shareholders.

"This acquisition of the balance of ONEOK Partners underscores the strategic value we place on the business we have successfully built since we ventured into the midstream space nearly 20 years ago," said Spencer. "A broad asset footprint, stable cash flows and attractive growth prospects remain core to our long-term growth strategy. Through the acquisition of the 60 percent of the limited partner interests in ONEOK Partners that ONEOK does not already own, ONEOK becomes a standalone operating company with a lower cost of funding and stronger cash flow generation."

Spencer touted the company's earnings growth during 2016 with net income attributable to ONEOK  and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) increasing 44 and 17 percent, respectively, compared with 2015.

"Increased fee-based earnings drove double-digit adjusted EBITDA growth in all three of our business segments," he said. "Multi-service capability in growing basins was a key driver of this growth. We have significantly increased our fee-based earnings since 2015 as a result of our contract restructuring efforts in the natural gas gathering and processing segment; increased fee-based natural gas liquids gathered and fractionated volumes in the natural gas liquids segment; and completed fee-based projects in the natural gas pipelines segment.

"With this line of sight into growth opportunities and improving market fundamentals, we have many future potential growth projects in the development phase," he continued.

Spencer also discussed continued growth opportunities for the remainder of 2017 and beyond.

"Our 2017 financial guidance reflects continued growth across our asset footprint as market fundamentals continue to improve and producer customers are increasing their activity in the NGL-rich shale plays where ONEOK is well-positioned," he said.

Spencer also noted that ONEOK's natural gas liquids segment is positioned to benefit from the growing petrochemical demand for ethane over the next two to three years as additional ethane cracking facilities are completed, without significant capital costs to the partnership.

Spencer thanked and recognized the company's employees for the company's continued success.

"The safe, reliable and environmentally responsible operation of our assets is dependent upon our workforce, which is our greatest resource," he said.  "Their hard work and commitment delivered solid results for the company, our customers and our investors."

Shareholders approved the following proposals at today's annual meeting:

  • The election of 10 director nominees to the ONEOK board of directors;
  • The ratification of the selection of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the independent registered public accounting firm of ONEOK for the year ending Dec. 31, 2017;
  • The company's compensation of its named executive officers on a nonbinding, advisory basis; and
  • An annual frequency of the shareholder advisory vote on executive compensation on a nonbinding, advisory basis.

ONEOK, Inc. (pronounced ONE-OAK) (NYSE: OKE) is the general partner and as of March 31, 2017, owns 41.2 percent of ONEOK Partners, L.P. (NYSE: OKS), one of the largest publicly traded master limited partnerships, which owns one of the nation's premier natural gas liquids (NGL) systems, connecting NGL supply in the Mid-Continent, Permian and Rocky Mountain regions with key market centers and is a leader in the gathering, processing, storage and transportation of natural gas in the U.S.  ONEOK is a FORTUNE 500 company and is included in Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 index.

For information about ONEOK, Inc., visit the website: www.oneok.com.

For the latest news about ONEOK, follow us on Twitter @ONEOKNews.

This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws. Words such as "anticipates", "believes," "expects", "intends", "plans", "projects", "will", "would", "should", "may", and similar expressions may be used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical fact and reflect ONEOK's and ONEOK Partners' current views about future events. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the proposed transaction involving ONEOK and ONEOK Partners, including future financial and operating results, ONEOK's and ONEOK Partners' plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, the expected timing of completion of the transaction, and other statements that are not historical facts, including future results of operations, projected cash flow and liquidity, business strategy, expected synergies or cost savings, and other plans and objectives for future operations.  No assurances can be given that the forward-looking statements contained in this news release will occur as projected and actual results may differ materially from those projected. 

Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and assumptions that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and are not guarantees of future results.  Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such statements and, therefore, you should not place undue reliance on any such statements and caution must be exercised in relying on forward-looking statements.  These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the following:

  • the ability to obtain the requisite ONEOK stockholder and ONEOK Partners unitholder approvals relating to the proposed transaction;
  • the risk that ONEOK or ONEOK Partners may be unable to obtain governmental and regulatory approvals required for the proposed transaction, if any, or required governmental and regulatory approvals, if any, may delay the proposed transaction or result in the imposition of conditions that could cause the parties to abandon the proposed transaction;
  • the risk that a condition to closing of the proposed transaction may not be satisfied;
  • the timing to consummate the proposed transaction;
  • the risk that cost savings, tax benefits and any other synergies from the transaction may not be fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected;
  • disruption from the transaction may make it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees or suppliers;
  • the possible diversion of management time on merger-related issues;
  • the impact and outcome of pending and future litigation, including litigation, if any, relating to the proposed transaction;
  • the effects of weather and other natural phenomena, including climate change, on OKE's and/or OKS' operations, demand for OKE's and/or OKS' services and energy prices;
  • competition from other United States and foreign energy suppliers and transporters, as well as alternative forms of energy, including, but not limited to, solar power, wind power, geothermal energy and biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel;
  • the capital intensive nature of our businesses;
  • the profitability of assets or businesses acquired or constructed by us;
  • our ability to make cost-saving changes in operations;
  • risks of marketing, trading and hedging activities, including the risks of changes in energy prices or the financial condition of our counterparties;
  • the uncertainty of estimates, including accruals and costs of environmental remediation;
  • the timing and extent of changes in energy commodity prices;
  • the effects of changes in governmental policies and regulatory actions, including changes with respect to income and other taxes, pipeline safety, environmental compliance, climate change initiatives and authorized rates of recovery of natural gas and natural gas transportation costs;
  • the impact on drilling and production by factors beyond our control, including the demand for natural gas and crude oil; producers' desire and ability to obtain necessary permits; reserve performance; and capacity constraints on the pipelines that transport crude oil, natural gas and NGLs from producing areas and our facilities;
  • difficulties or delays experienced by trucks, railroads or pipelines in delivering products to or from our terminals or pipelines;
  • changes in demand for the use of natural gas, NGLs and crude oil because of market conditions caused by concerns about climate change;
  • conflicts of interest between OKE, OKS, ONEOK Partners GP, and related parties of OKE, OKS, and ONEOK Partners GP;
  • the impact of unforeseen changes in interest rates, debt and equity markets, inflation rates, economic recession and other external factors over which OKE and OKS have no control, including the effect on pension and postretirement expense and funding resulting from changes in equity and bond market returns;
  • our indebtedness could make us vulnerable to general adverse economic and industry conditions, limit our ability to borrow additional funds and/or place us at competitive disadvantages compared with our competitors that have less debt, or have other adverse consequences;
  • actions by rating agencies concerning the credit ratings of ONEOK and ONEOK Partners;
  • the results of administrative proceedings and litigation, regulatory actions, rule changes and receipt of expected clearances involving any local, state or federal regulatory body, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the National Transportation Safety Board, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC);
  • our ability to access capital at competitive rates or on terms acceptable to us;
  • risks associated with adequate supply to our gathering, processing, fractionation and pipeline facilities, including production declines that outpace new drilling or extended periods of ethane rejection;
  • the risk that material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in our internal controls over financial reporting could emerge or that minor problems could become significant;
  • the impact and outcome of pending and future litigation;
  • the ability to market pipeline capacity on favorable terms, including the effects of:
    • future demand for and prices of natural gas, NGLs and crude oil;
    • competitive conditions in the overall energy market;
    • availability of supplies of Canadian and United States natural gas and crude oil; and
    • availability of additional storage capacity;
  • performance of contractual obligations by our customers, service providers, contractors and shippers;
  • the timely receipt of approval by applicable governmental entities for construction and operation of our pipeline and other projects and required regulatory clearances;
  • our ability to acquire all necessary permits, consents or other approvals in a timely manner, to promptly obtain all necessary materials and supplies required for construction, and to construct gathering, processing, storage, fractionation and transportation facilities without labor or contractor problems;
  • the mechanical integrity of facilities operated;
  • demand for our services in the proximity of our facilities;
  • our ability to control operating costs;
  • acts of nature, sabotage, terrorism or other similar acts that cause damage to our facilities or our suppliers' or shippers' facilities;
  • economic climate and growth in the geographic areas in which we do business;
  • the risk of a prolonged slowdown in growth or decline in the United States or international economies, including liquidity risks in United States or foreign credit markets;
  • the impact of recently issued and future accounting updates and other changes in accounting policies;
  • the possibility of future terrorist attacks or the possibility or occurrence of an outbreak of, or changes in, hostilities or changes in the political conditions in the Middle East and elsewhere;
  • the risk of increased costs for insurance premiums, security or other items as a consequence of terrorist attacks;
  • risks associated with pending or possible acquisitions and dispositions, including our ability to finance or integrate any such acquisitions and any regulatory delay or conditions imposed by regulatory bodies in connection with any such acquisitions and dispositions;
  • the impact of uncontracted capacity in our assets being greater or less than expected;
  • the ability to recover operating costs and amounts equivalent to income taxes, costs of property, plant and equipment and regulatory assets in our state and FERC-regulated rates;
  • the composition and quality of the natural gas and NGLs supplied to OKS's gathering system, processed in OKS's plants and transported on OKS's pipelines;
  • the efficiency of our plants in processing natural gas and extracting and fractionating NGLs;
  • the impact of potential impairment charges;
  • the risk inherent in the use of information systems in our respective businesses, implementation of new software and hardware, and the impact on the timeliness of information for financial reporting;
  • our ability to control construction costs and completion schedules of our pipelines and other projects; and
  • the risk factors listed in the reports OKE and OKS have filed and may file with the SEC, which are incorporated by reference.

These reports are also available from the sources described below.  Forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management at the time the statements are made. Neither ONEOK nor ONEOK Partners undertakes any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The foregoing review of important factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included herein and elsewhere, including the Risk Factors included in the most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q and other documents of ONEOK and ONEOK Partners on file with the SEC. ONEOK's and ONEOK Partners' SEC filings are available publicly on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.

Additional Information And Where To Find It

This communication is not a solicitation of any vote, approval, or proxy from any ONEOK stockholder or ONEOK Partners unitholder. In connection with the proposed transaction, ONEOK filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") a registration statement on Form S-4, as amended (the "Form S-4") which includes a prospectus of ONEOK and a joint proxy statement of ONEOK and ONEOK Partners. The Form S-4 was declared effective by the SEC on May 11, 2017, and the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus was filed with the SEC by both ONEOK and ONEOK Partners on May 19, 2017. Each of ONEOK and ONEOK Partners may also file other documents with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction. The definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus was mailed to ONEOK stockholders and ONEOK Partners unitholders on or about May 25, 2017. This document is not a substitute for any prospectus, proxy statement or any other document which ONEOK or ONEOK Partners may file with the SEC in connection with the proposed transaction. ONEOK and ONEOK Partners urge investors and their respective stockholders and unitholders to read the Form S-4 and any other relevant documents filed with the SEC, including the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus that is part of the Form S-4, because they contain important information. You may obtain copies of all documents filed with the SEC regarding this transaction (when they become available), free of charge, at the SEC's website (www.sec.gov). You may also obtain these documents, free of charge, from ONEOK's website (www.oneok.com) under the tab "Investors" and then under the heading "SEC Filings." You may also obtain these documents, free of charge, from ONEOK Partners' website (www.oneokpartners.com) under the tab "Investors" and then under the heading "SEC Filings."

Analyst Contact:

Megan Patterson


Media Contact:

Stephanie Higgins


To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/oneok-president-and-chief-executive-officer-provides-update-at-annual-meeting-of-shareholders-300463407.html


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Top Stories

Grid List

International collaboration enables the sharing of risks, rewards and progress, and the co-ordination of priorities in areas such as technology, policy, regulation and business models. In order to reach the goals set out in this roadmap, smart grids need to be rapidly developed, demonstrated and deployed based on a range of drivers that vary across regions globally. Many countries have made significant efforts to develop smart grids, but the lessons learned are not being shared in a co-ordinated fashion. Major international collaboration is needed to expand RDD&D investment in all areas of smart grids – but especially in standards, policy, regulation and business model development. These efforts will require the strengthening of existing institutions and activities, as well as the creation of new joint initiatives.

The old definition of a microgrid was usually an electricity source, often a combined heat and power natural gas plant or a reciprocating engine generator, that provided fulltime or backup power for an industrial site, military installation, university, or remote location.

Today’s definition is much broader, incorporating cleaner technologies and more diverse customers, establishing microgrids as a key component of tomorrow’s more resilient, efficient and low-emissions electricity system.

Market Research Hub (MRH) has recently announced the inclusion of a new study to its massive archive of research reports, titled as “Global Microgrid as a Service (MaaS) Market Status, Size and Forecast 2012-2022.” This report provides an in-depth evaluation on the market for Microgrid as a Service (MaaS), elaborating on the prime dynamics influencing the development of this market. These dynamics include the major drivers, opportunities, restraints etc. Geographically, the global market is categorized into EU, United States, China, India, Japan and Southeast Asia.

With an extensive forecast period of 2016 to 2021, the analysts have studied major dynamics for the market, which can be helpful for the established players as well as new entrants in this market. In terms of geography, with constant rising industrial sector, countries such as China, India, Japan and South Korea are gaining extensive market share of the MaaS market.

A grid-connected microgrid can be defined as, a set of distributed energy resources and interconnected loads mainly use to supply power to the main grid or utility grid. Microgrids can operate as stand-alone 'islands' and are able to provide reliable electricity even during bad weather. According to the key findings, from several years, the escalating demand for power, along with an increased need for secure, reliable and emission-free power propels the demand for microgrids. Also, it is projected that the microgrids as a service market are recording healthy growth due to various benefits offered by Microgrids, such as highly reliability, economical & effectual energy power, improvement of renewable energy sources and smart grid integration etc.

These microgrids can be divided into Grid type and Service type.

On the basis of grid type, it covers:

Grid Connected

By service type, it includes:

Monitoring & Control Service
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Engineering & Design Service
Operation & Maintenance Service

On the other hand by applications, the report has segmented the market into Military, Industrial, Government & Education, Utility, Residential & Commercial. The Microgrid as a Service Market is having significant growth in many areas where continuous power is must such as industries, Residential & Commercial, hospitals and universities among others.

Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) said last week that global annual revenue from microgrids rose 29 percent between 2015 and last year, according to Microgrid Knowledge. The revenues totaled $6.8 million at the beginning of 2017. The report, which was prepared by Navigant Research, said that the market in the United States has more than doubled since 2011. The sector reached $2.2 billion last year after enjoying a 16 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), between 2015 and 2016.

Today, the microgrid technology only produces 0.2 percent of U.S. electricity (about 1.6 GW). That capacity is expected to double in the next three years, however.

Microgrids not only improve reliability and resilience – keeping the lights on during a widespread disaster that affects the main grid -- but also increase efficiency, better manage electricity supply and demand, and help integrate renewables, creating opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy.
But financial and legal hurdles stand in the way of accelerating their deployment.

Each microgrid’s unique combination of power source, customer, geography, and market can be confusing for investors. Microgrids can run on renewables, natural gas-fueled turbines, or emerging sources such as fuel cells or even small modular nuclear reactors. They can power city facilities, city neighborhoods, or communities in remote areas. As we heard during our research, “If you’ve seen one microgrid, you’ve seen one microgrid.”

The legal framework can be confusing, too. Most states lack even a legal definition of a microgrid, and regulatory and legal challenges can differ between and within states. Issues include microgrid developers’ access to reasonably priced backup power and to wholesale power markets to sell excess electricity or other services. Also, franchise rights granted to utilities may limit microgrid developers’ access to customers.