Evolving Clean Energy Solutions Offer Consumers New Alternatives

NEW YORK, May 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The constant use of non-renewable energy resources such as coal, oil, and natural gas have all negatively affected the environment. To some extent, non-renewable resources are held accountable for adverse effects such as air and water pollution, damage to public health, wildlife damage, and global warming emissions. The growing concern over climate change has prompted governments the world over to launch clean energy initiatives. Primarily, clean energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal are among the popular alternatives. These renewable energies work by harness power through naturally occurring events and then store the energy within power solutions. For instance, solar panels harness energy emitted from the Sun and store in storage solutions. The storages continuously release energy throughout its duration even if the Sun is overshadowed by grim weather. As a result, renewable energy solutions can provide adequate and consistent power to cities, towns, homes, and businesses. Furthermore, increasing awareness of environmental safety and sustainability are propelling the renewable energy industry. Moreover, growing government initiatives and consumer shifts are also projected to accelerate the marketplace, as according to data compiled by Allied Market Research, the global renewable energy market was valued at USD 1.40 Trillion in 2016. By 2025, the market is expected to reach USD 2.15 Trillion while registering a CAGR of 4.9% from 2017 to 2025. Cleanspark, Inc. (OTC: CLSK), First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ), Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH), Sunrun Inc. (NASDAQ: RUN)

Many countries have already moved to establish renewable energy programs due to their environmental efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The hydro and ocean power segment in particular accounted for 63% of the market share in 2017 and is expected to hold the largest share until 2025. However, the solar energy segment is expected to witness the fastest growth, exhibiting a CAGR of 13.4% during the forecasted period. Solar energy is becoming widely popular because it is much easier to install in areas where wind and water may not be prevalent. Moreover, the cost of solar energy is much more practical when compared to that of fossil fuels. According to Energy Sage, solar energy costs approximately USD 0.029 cents per kilowatt as opposed to USD 0.05 cents per kilowatt for fossil fuels. Additionally, the Paris Climate Agreement is also a major driver for the renewable energy marketplace. The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change intended to deal with climate control beginning in 2020. The Agreement's goal is to keep global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius this century and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase further by 1.5 degrees Celsius. As of February 2019, 194 states and the European Union have signed the agreement in order to take action against growing environmental concerns. "It is also clear from the many, many comments by world leaders from China to India and Europe to Latin America and the Pacific that nations everywhere are standing shoulder to shoulder in their determination to achieve the Paris Agreement and move forward as one," said Nick Nuttall, Spokesperson of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, "Why? Because it is in everyone's national interest, it is not a straight-jacket but a flexible framework, it offers a road map to a more prosperous, healthier and job generating future and it can assist in avoiding risks to lives, livelihoods and our shared human existence."

Cleanspark, Inc. (OTCQB: CLSK) earlier last week announced breaking news that it has, 'achieved government acceptance of its solar plus storage microgrid located at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.'

Camp Pendleton is the major West Coast base of the United States Marine Corps and is one of the largest Marine Corps bases in the US. It is located on the Southern California coast, in San Diego County. Completed by general contractor Bethel-Webcor JV, the Communications Information Systems (C.I.S.) Operations Complex includes a data center, headquarters facility, maintenance and supply warehouse, and related communications infrastructure. The complete project receives backup power from UPS and traditional standby generators provided by other contractors. A subset of the critical loads are served by CleanSpark's advanced solar plus storage microgrid offering perpetual off-grid 100% renewable driven energy security through an all iron flow battery DC coupled with solar photovoltaic generation located on both carport shade structures and the buildings' roofs. CleanSpark was responsible for the optimization, design, engineering, and deployment of the solar plus storage microgrid which shows grid as backup can be a reality.

CleanSpark is in the process of evaluating several solar plus storage microgrid projects for defense, municipal, commercial and industrial use cases to provide benefits including energy savings, energy security, and sustainability. Recently, CleanSpark secured $20 million in financing to support Energy Savings Agreements on similar projects. Project developers and property owners with late stage developments are encouraged to inquire about financing opportunities by emailing info@cleanspark.com

The Problem

The defense community has well developed specifications for critical power support at important facilities. Just as technology continues to develop, these specifications for traditional fossil fuel driven standby systems continue to evolve. The C.I.S. Operations Complex has deployed a 100% renewable critical power microgrid to support critical loads and unlock many benefits including:

    --  Eliminate expensive UPS and standby generation systems.
    --  Make distributed resources available in normal operation in lieu of
        stand-by systems.
    --  Provide perpetual renewable driven energy security.
    --  Improve power quality to sensitive equipment.
    --  Reduce both first cost and operational expenses.

The Solution

CleanSpark's innovative team of cross-functional disciplines collaborated with ESS Inc. to deliver the first Solar PV, DC Coupled, Iron-Flow battery deployment in history. This solution operates in off-grid mode by default with the grid serving as backup. The configuration maximizes:

Generation to storage efficiency

Harvesting previously unusable solar power at early and late points in the day through DC charging

System lifetime through non-degrading, non-toxic, and non-flammable battery chemistry

Anthony Vastola, SVP of Projects for CleanSpark, said, "There have been quite a few technology achievements on this project, but what excites me the most is the functional outcome. This is a hybrid Zero Net Energy facility incorporating both off-grid and grid connected renewable generation that work together to support project economics while also providing energy security. With strong system modelling, innovative engineering expertise, and effective microgrid control, we believe economics and energy security should go together."

The Configuration

The first project to receive CleanSpark's latest mPulse DER Energy Manager, operational intelligence is co-located with the microgrid offering resilient communications disconnected operation and increased cyber-security leveraging its hybrid-cloud configuration. The on-site generation solution includes separating the building loads so that the priority loads are on the islanded system and non-priority loads are served from the utility with each renewable asset interacting with the grid based on mode of operation.

     The System

     Location:      Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

     Renewable Microgrid

     Features:      Microgrid Controller -mPulse DER
                      Energy Manager

                     Automated Monitoring and Control

                     Dynamic Data Visualization

                     Measurement and Verification

     Alerts and Alarms

     Analysis View

                     Power Quality Monitoring of both
                      Islanded Microgrid and Utility

     Cyber-security hardening

     Islanded, Grid Connected

     Renewable:     90 kW Solar PV (Islanded

                     60 kW Solar PV (Grid Connected)

                     Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Facility

     Storage:       400 kWh Iron-Flow Battery - ESS

Matthew Schultz, CleanSpark's Chief Executive Officer, said, "This new project builds upon our previous successes at Camp Pendleton including the Critical Power Fractal Grid commissioned in 2014 in partnership with the California Energy Commission. CleanSpark answered the call to deploy our innovative system and is honored to support the mission of our brave service members while continuing to build value for our shareholders."

About CleanSpark, Inc: CleanSpark provides advanced energy software and control technology that enables a plug-and-play enterprise solution to modern energy challenges. Our services consist of intelligent energy monitoring and controls, microgrid design and engineering, microgrid consulting services, and turn-key microgrid implementation services. CleanSpark's customers include not only energy consumers but the distributed energy ecosystem at large: developers, installers, EPCs, IPPs, and energy storage vendors. CleanSpark's software allows energy users to obtain resiliency and economic optimization. Our software is uniquely capable of enabling a microgrid to be scaled to the user's specific needs and can be widely implemented across commercial, industrial, military, agricultural and municipal, deployment. For more information on CleanSpark, please visit http://www.cleanspark.com

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. Recently, First Solar's Series 6 thin film photovoltaic (PV) module technology has met completion criteria in the newly published CSA/ANSI C450, PV Module Testing Protocol for Quality Assurance, administered by CSA Group's PV test lab, CFV Solar Test Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The test results provide confidence in the harsh climate durability and long term performance of Series 6 modules. Elaborating on the benefits of the standard to the PV industry, Parmenter said CSA/ANSI C450 consists of a portfolio of extended environmental tests including temperature cycling, damp heat exposure, mechanical load testing, UV exposure and PID (Potential Induced Degradation) testing. The test protocols were established because of their effectiveness in replicating actual field failure experiences. "This is a significant milestone demonstrating the robustness of our technology. Our relentless pursuit of rapid innovation and evolutionary design has paid off with a unique market offering that enables maximizing value and reducing risk," said Lou Trippel, First Solar's Vice President of Product Management. "These latest Series 6 durability results continue First Solar's industry leadership in the areas of product durability and reliability."

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) was founded in 2001 in Canada and is one of the world's largest and foremost solar power companies. Canadian Solar Inc. recently announced its first solar power project of 68 MWp in Mexico started commercial operations in January 2019. The solar plant, located in Aguascalientes, Mexico, is powered by over 200,000 Canadian Solar high-efficiency poly modules CS6U-P. The plant will generate 145 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity annually, enough to power 20,690 households and offset 72,700 tons of carbon dioxide emission each year. In addition to that, a total of 535 jobs were created during the PV plant construction and more than 15 new jobs are expected to be created for operations and maintenance during the upcoming 20 years the plant is in operation. Canadian Solar will provide operations and maintenance services to the plant. Canadian Solar competed for and won the Aguascalientes project in the first Long Term Auction in Mexico in 2016. According to the contract agreement, the electricity generated will be sold to ComisiĆ³n Federal de Electricidad (CFE) under a 15-year PPA for energy and capacity, and 20-year for Clean Energy Certificates. Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar commented, "Achieving commercial operations for the Aguascalientes project is a significant milestone for Canadian Solar. This definitely strengthens our position as a leading solar project developer in Mexico and Latin America. Mexico is a very important new market for us where we started solar project development business three years ago. We have a remaining pipeline of 368 MWp of solar projects in Mexico with awarded power purchase agreements. Construction of these late-stage projects will soon start and commercial operations will be achieved in 2020."

Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH), a global energy technology company, delivers smart, easy-to-use solutions that connect solar generation, storage and management on one intelligent platform. Enphase Energy, Inc. recently announced the availability of the Company's new Cellmodem-M1, which enables Enphase customers to stay connected to their systems remotely without the need for a dedicated local network. The Enphase Cellmodem-M1 is based on the LTE Cat-M1 communications standard. As part of the Enphase Mobile Connect family, the Cellmodem-M1 uses Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LP-WAN) technology to communicate home energy data from the Enphase Envoy(TM) communications gateway over long ranges at very low power. Once connected to an Enphase Envoy-S(TM) or IQ(TM) Envoy(TM), the Cellmodem-M1 eliminates the need for an on-site internet connection to monitor an Enphase Microinverter System. The new device provides plug-and-play internet of things (IoT) connectivity to the Enphase Enlighten(TM) monitoring and service platform for solar systems with up to 60 Enphase microinverters. The Enphase Cellmodem-M1 comes with a 5-year pre-paid data plan from AT&T and a 5-year equipment warranty. "The value of the high-fidelity energy monitoring provided by Enphase microinverters increases exponentially when those systems connect to a data network, and we are eager to deploy this new iteration of Enphase cell modems," said Arno Aghamalian, president and Chief Executive Officer at Solar Optimum in Los Angeles, California. "Our team serves thousands of customers, and the ability to quickly understand and resolve issues is only possible with an advanced monitoring platform that is always connected. This new IoT cell modem from Enphase will keep our customers informed about their solar systems and allow us to keep taking our customer service to the next level."

Sunrun Inc. (NASDAQ: RUN) is the nation's leading residential solar, storage and energy services company. With a mission to create a planet run by the sun, Sunrun has led the industry since 2007 with its solar-as-a-service model, which provides clean energy to households with little to no upfront cost and at a saving compared to traditional electricity. Sunrun Inc. recently announced it is launching an expansion of its low and moderate income solar offering. The company plans to develop a minimum of 100 megawatts of solar on affordable multi-family housing, where 80% of tenants fall below 60% of the area median income, over the next decade in California. Sunrun's commitment, when fully deployed, will directly benefit at least 50,000 moderate and low-income households. The installations will be done through building owners at no cost to the tenants, creating significant economic benefits and reducing cost for renters. This initiative will also improve local air quality, decrease reliance on fossil fuels and offer freedom from climbing electric utility bills. "Sunrun is built on the foundation that solar energy should be accessible to everyone," said Lynn Jurich, Sunrun Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. "In offering affordable home solar to residents in low and moderate-income housing, we're able to support the communities that often experience the most harmful effects of pollution and climate change. This expansion further illustrates the essential role of home solar in improving people's livelihoods, supporting a healthier environment, and building a more resilient energy system, for everyone."

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