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Bechtel wins POWER award for huge Ivanpah solar facility: The Bechtel-built Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System pictured above has been awarded POWER magazine’s 2014 Plant of the Year award. Located in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, Ivanpah is one of the world’s largest solar thermal facilities and the first renewable plant to receive this top honor. POWER magazine’s Plant of the Year Award is presented to projects that lead the industry in the successful deployment of advanced technology while minimizing environmental impact. The project was a joint effort among Council Lead Partner Bechtel, NRG, Google and BrightSource Energy.
Enel helps launch first post-grad smart grid degree course in Milan: Council Lead Partner Enel and the Polytechnic University of Milan will partner on the electrical engineering course, which will focus on smart grids. Enel, a multinational power company based in Italy, is part of a more wide-ranging scientific partnership with the high-profile university. The aim is to provide specialized training programs to supplement the more classical courses for electrical engineers. “The Polytechnic University of Milan is a vast repository of skills and knowledge, allowing it to adopt an inter-disciplinary approach to providing an adequate response to the issues surrounding today’s complex energy needs,” said Giovanni Azzone, Rector of the university: “Working with a major partner like Enel means we can offer our students a course of study entirely devoted to smart grids which represent the future for this strategic sector.”
Cisco exec talks innovation and IoT in Chicago: The Chicago Tribune did a Q&A with Hardik Bhatt, who is managing director for global market development for Council Lead Partner Cisco’s Internet of Everything for Cities practice. Bhatt, who was previously CIO for the city of Chicago as well as commissioner for the city's Department of Innovation and Technology, offered an example of how the Internet of Everything (IoT) we hear so much about actually helps cities. "There is a direct correlation of the lighting condition in a particular area to how the city is perceived. If you have better lighting, then the perception of safety drives upper-class people into that neighborhood, schools are better, and the taxes you collect are much higher than in the darker, high-crime areas," he said. "Connected streetlights can let municipalities adjust the light on the street. If the City of Chicago has 300,000 light poles and has a way to know exactly the condition of each of these lights and for the lights to be intelligent to control the level of light below on the street, it will save administration and management time and electricity but still give the optimal amount of light."
ABB and Volvo partner on fast-charging electric and hybrid buses: Council Associate Partner ABB will collaborate with Volvo Buses, one of the world’s leading bus manufacturers, to co-develop and commercialize electric and hybrid buses with open standards-based direct current (DC) fast charging systems. The idea is to create a city-wide standardized charging system for electric and electric hybrid buses that can charge buses quickly through an automatic roof-top connection system at bus stops or through cabled charging systems overnight. The first joint project for Luxembourg’s public transportation system is planned for 2015. Pekka Tiitinen, head of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division, noted that “Urbanization is at a historic high and is stretching transport infrastructure of cities around the world. Our collaboration will help support sustainable and cost-efficient transportation solutions to meet rising commuter demand.”
How Enevo is 'giving voice to a planet:' An article on real-time sensor networks at psfk.com highlights Council Associate Partner Enevo and its "clever little system" that can help cities cut waste management costs by 40% by putting sensors on dumpsters. As the article explains, "By placing wireless sensors in waste containers, Enevo is able to create optimized pick-up routes based on the amount of garbage in each bin. Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that. The comprehensive system takes account of truck availability, traffic information, road closures and a lot more." The company's flagship smart collection solution is EnevoONe.