TBEA SunOasis poised to overtake First Solar in global EPC field

first_imgTBEA SunOasis poised to overtake First Solar in global EPC fieldWhile First Solar is focusing primarily on North America, the Chinese group is thriving in its domestic market, which is expected to grow 31% this year. May 15, 2014 Edgar Meza Manufacturing Markets Markets & Policy Share First Solar installed 1.1 GW of PV last year, meeting expectations and solidifying its position as the leading engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company in the global photovoltaic industry.Yet the Arizona-based company looks set to lose the top spot to China’s TBEA SunOasis in 2014. With up to 1.5 GW of installations in China this year, TBEA has the potential to soar past leading PV integrators according to the IHS report IHS PV EPC and Project Market Tracker. Published by IHS’s Power & Energy service, the report found that First Solar remains centered on North America after a strong year of installing 22% of the non-residential PV capacity in the U.S. and Canada. First Solar’s large-scale projects in the U.S. will make up around 93% of an anticipated 1.3 GW of additions in 2014, IHS adds, pointing out that these projects were acquired in early-stage development and are now being constructed and sold primarily under the U.S. investment tax credit scheme. However, First Solar is building up a global project pipeline through acquisitions and joint ventures in an effort to mitigate the risk of depending on one market, the report adds. The company claims to have pipelines of 1 GW each in Latin America and the Middle East. “After 2015, depending on the evolution of solar support in the U.S., First Solar risks slowed-down growth in terms of PV system integration,” explains senior IHS analyst Josefin Berg. “The development pipeline in emerging countries gives a good start, but will be much more challenging to pursue than the U.S. projects.” TBEA, meanwhile, is thriving on the rapidly growing domestic market, installing 1 GW in 2013 – 10% of China’s non-residential PV additions. In 2014, the power equipment manufacturing group will continue growing its PV systems business, with expected additions to reach as high as 1.5 GW.While focusing on utility-scale opportunities in China, TBEA is also involved in power projects in markets such as Pakistan, where it has announced the construction of a 100 MW PV plant in 2014 and 2015. “TBEA’s global reach as a power equipment provider opens up possibilities for EPC contracts in new PV markets,” Berg adds. “Yet, as the domestic market will grow by 31% this year, TBEA is set to keep the systems business growth focused on China.” Global PV project pipeline at 140 GW and growing According to the IHS Global PV Project Database, which consists of nearly 30,000 projects, the global PV pipeline has now reached 140 GW — an increase of 5 GW since February. Of those 140 GW, 21 GW are either under construction or have signed power purchase agreements (PPA). The remainder of projects are at various levels of planning.“It is obvious that a large chunk of these pipeline projects will never be built,” explains Berg. “Developers have to compete for PPAs, grid access, permits, and, not least, financing. 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Pearl Jam Shares New Single, “Quick Escape” [Listen]

first_imgPearl Jam has released the latest single set to appear on the rock band’s forthcoming Gigaton studio album, scheduled to arrive this Friday, March 27th. Entitled, “Quick Escape”, the new song shared on Wednesday follows previously-released singles from the Gigaton tracklisting including “Dance of the Clairvoyants” and “Superblood Wolfmoon”, in addition to “River Cross” which debuted during a commercial which aired during this year’s Super Bowl.The raw-sounding track powers its way through an erratic intro to open into a full-blown rock performance. The song’s visual accompaniment adds to the listening experience as it provides viewers with a series of well-edited scenes pulled from Mother Nature.Dive into the band’s new single below.Pearl Jam – “Quick Escape”[Video: Pearl Jam]The band was supposed to head out on a run of spring tour dates beginning this month, but that tour was one of the first major concert runs to be postponed due to COVID-19.Pearl Jam had also planned to host an official listening event for Gigaton in over 200 movie theaters in North America, the U.K., Europe, and Australia, but those plans have also since been scrapped. Fans still have the chance, however, to dial into the Gigaton phone hotline to hear some of the unreleased material set to appear on the album when it arrives this Friday by calling 585-20-PEARL (585-207-3275).Head to the band’s website for updates on their touring plans going forward.last_img read more

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Scientists discover previously undetected vessels linking brain and immune system

first_imgShare Share on Facebook Share on Twitter LinkedIn Pinterestcenter_img In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. That such vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own, but the true significance of the discovery lies in the effects it could have on the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis.“Instead of asking, ‘How do we study the immune response of the brain?’ ‘Why do multiple sclerosis patients have the immune attacks?’ now we can approach this mechanistically. Because the brain is like every other tissue connected to the peripheral immune system through meningeal lymphatic vessels,” said Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, professor in the UVA Department of Neuroscience and director of UVA’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG). “It changes entirely the way we perceive the neuro-immune interaction. We always perceived it before as something esoteric that can’t be studied. But now we can ask mechanistic questions.”“We believe that for every neurological disease that has an immune component to it, these vessels may play a major role,” Kipnis said. “Hard to imagine that these vessels would not be involved in a [neurological] disease with an immune component.” Email New Discovery in Human BodyKevin Lee, PhD, chairman of the UVA Department of Neuroscience, described his reaction to the discovery by Kipnis’ lab: “The first time these guys showed me the basic result, I just said one sentence: ‘They’ll have to change the textbooks.’ There has never been a lymphatic system for the central nervous system, and it was very clear from that first singular observation – and they’ve done many studies since then to bolster the finding – that it will fundamentally change the way people look at the central nervous system’s relationship with the immune system.”Even Kipnis was skeptical initially. “I really did not believe there are structures in the body that we are not aware of. I thought the body was mapped,” he said. “I thought that these discoveries ended somewhere around the middle of the last century. But apparently they have not.”‘Very Well Hidden’The discovery was made possible by the work of Antoine Louveau, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in Kipnis’ lab. The vessels were detected after Louveau developed a method to mount a mouse’s meninges – the membranes covering the brain – on a single slide so that they could be examined as a whole. “It was fairly easy, actually,” he said. “There was one trick: We fixed the meninges within the skullcap, so that the tissue is secured in its physiological condition, and then we dissected it. If we had done it the other way around, it wouldn’t have worked.”After noticing vessel-like patterns in the distribution of immune cells on his slides, he tested for lymphatic vessels and there they were. The impossible existed. The soft-spoken Louveau recalled the moment: “I called Jony [Kipnis] to the microscope and I said, ‘I think we have something.’”As to how the brain’s lymphatic vessels managed to escape notice all this time, Kipnis described them as “very well hidden” and noted that they follow a major blood vessel down into the sinuses, an area difficult to image. “It’s so close to the blood vessel, you just miss it,” he said. “If you don’t know what you’re after, you just miss it.”“Live imaging of these vessels was crucial to demonstrate their function, and it would not be possible without collaboration with Tajie Harris,” Kipnis noted. Harris, a PhD, is an assistant professor of neuroscience and a member of the BIG center. Kipnis also saluted the “phenomenal” surgical skills of Igor Smirnov, a research associate in the Kipnis lab whose work was critical to the imaging success of the study.Alzheimer’s, Autism, MS and BeyondThe unexpected presence of the lymphatic vessels raises a tremendous number of questions that now need answers, both about the workings of the brain and the diseases that plague it. For example, take Alzheimer’s disease. “In Alzheimer’s, there are accumulations of big protein chunks in the brain,” Kipnis said. “We think they may be accumulating in the brain because they’re not being efficiently removed by these vessels.” He noted that the vessels look different with age, so the role they play in aging is another avenue to explore. And there’s an enormous array of other neurological diseases, from autism to multiple sclerosis, that must be reconsidered in light of the presence of something science insisted did not exist.The findings were published in the journal Nature.last_img read more

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Montréal automated metro contracts signed

first_imgCANADA: CDPQ Infra signed the contracts for the Réseau Électrique Métropolitain automated metro project in Montréal on April 12, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held on the same day.The 67 km network is intended to link the south shore suburbs, the city centre, the airport, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and Deux-Montagnes, serving 26 stations. Testing is due to start at the end of 2020, ahead of the first phase opening in mid-2021. Construction is budgeted at C$6·3bn, and operations and maintenance costs have been confirmed at C$0·72 per passenger-km. In February CDPQ Infra announced the winning bidders for the two contracts. The NouvLR General Partnership won the C$5bn infrastructure engineering, procurement and construction contract. This consortium includes SNC-Lavalin, Dragados Canada, Groupe Aecon Québec, Pomerleau and EBC. The Lemay Perkins + Will Bisson Fortin Architectes consortium is responsible for design and urban integration. The Groupe des Partenaires pour la Mobilité des Montréalais comprising Alstom and SNC-Lavalin has signed a contract covering rolling stock, signalling, operations and maintenance. Alstom’s share of the C$2·8bn contract is estimated at C$2·2bn. Alstom will supply 106 two-car Alstom Metropolis trainsets and Urbalis 400 CBTC signalling. The contract also covers a control centre, platform screen doors, wi-fi connectivity, depot equipment, and 30 years of operations and maintenance. Alstom intends to establish a centre of excellence in Montréal to undertake R&D in urban transport control systems.last_img read more

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