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Partner Spotlight: News for Panasonic, Huawei, Itron, Siemens, IBM and more


Scroll down for quick news summaries from Council partners.

Tesla signs Panasonic to build solar cells
Council Lead Partner Panasonic will build solar cells and modules for electric car and solar products company Tesla at the company's 'Gigafactory' in Buffalo, New York. Tesla will use the cells to produce solar roof systems. It's not the first partnership for the two companies. Panasonic has been building the cells Tesla uses for its EV batteries.

Orders increased for ZTE and Huawei 5G gear
Japanese telecom SoftBank Corporation has raised its orders for 5G-ready mobile equipment from Council Partner ZTE and Associate Partner Huawei in preparation for a major nationwide next year. The two companies worked with SoftBank in September when it began its first commercial deployment of an antenna system that plays a major role in 5G technology.

Recognition for Itron
Council Lead Partner Itron has been has been named to the leaders quadrant in Gartner Inc.'s Magic Quadrant for Meter Data Management. "Itron Enterprise Edition (IEE) MDM is evolving to meet the needs of an IoT world, where more data processing and analysis is taking place in edge devices rather than solely in MDM systems and the back office," said Bruce Douglas, senior VP and general manager of software and services at Itron. It's the fourth consecutive year the company has won the recognition.

Shipbuilder adopts IBM's hybrid cloud solution
Fincantieri, one of the world's largest shipbuilding groups, is adopting a hybrid cloud solution from Council Lead Partner IBM to improve the efficiency of its design, production and deployment of new ships. The company said if it is to remain competitive and provide the services ship owners expect, it needs a modern IT infrastructure to help it meet growing global demand from the shipping industry.

Siemens wins government energy reduction contract
Council Associate Partner Siemens has won a series of contracts to help the U.S. government reduce energy use and comply with White House sustainability mandates. The Energy Savings Performance Contracts the company has secured over the past year are expected to save the government almost $300 million in energy costs. The energy saving improvements include LED lighting, solar thermal hot water systems, boiler upgrades and other energy and water conservation measures.

CH2M to support USAID's global humanitarian work
Council Lead Partner CH2M will provide infrastructure construction and knowledge management support for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The agency administers economic and humanitarian assistance programs in more than 80 countries worldwide. CH2M also will deliver expertise in infrastructure capacity building, risk management, sustainability, construction quality, estimating, project controls, contracts and more.

Doug Peeples is a Portland, Oregon-based writer specializing in technology and energy. Follow @smartccouncil on Twitter.