Sunday, November 9, 2008

PRS Neoweb Creates Green & Efficient Instant Roads

PRS Neoweb Cellular Confinement System is a ‘soil stabilization’ solution based on innovative honeycombed geocells. It confines, stabilizes and reinforces soft soils in road construction as well as in slope and earth stabilization. This unique polymer-based solution, originally developed by the US Military and utilized by American troops in the Gulf War, has been enhanced by Israeli PRS for long-term use in civil engineering and construction projects.

The PRS Neoweb Cellular Confinement System provides a cost-effective, green and environmentally engineered soil reinforcement solution for a wide range of needs and industries including; load support, slope and channel protection, reservoirs, landfills and retaining walls for leading erosion control specialists, energy and civil engineering contractors, infrastructure companies and railroads.

Neoweb can also be used for the creation of green roofs on buildings and to encourage vegetative growth on eroded slopes; the honeycomb geocells hold the soil in place, while perforations in the material allow plant roots and soil nutrients to move freely between the cells and the ground, encouraging natural landscape growth.

About PRS

PRS provides the industry’s most advanced Cellular Confinement Systems for geotechnical construction. Since 1996, PRS has been leading the field in soil stabilization research & development with field-proven innovations in hundreds of successful projects in over 40 countries. The PRS Neoweb system delivers high-performance solutions for a wide range of road, rail, civil infrastructure, energy and mining applications.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

American Monsanto Collaborates with Israeli Evogene on Plant Yield and Environmental Stress Research

American Monsanto Company and Israeli Evogene Ltd. have entered a five-year research and development collaboration to identify key plant genes related to yield, environmental stress and fertilizer utilization. The agreement is intended to enhance research efforts to discover and deliver novel yield-enhancing technologies at a time of increasing global demand for grain.

Under this collaboration, Evogene will provide Monsanto with candidate genes discovered by its computational platform that are predicted to improve yield, fertilizer utilization and a plant’s reaction to environmental stress.

This collaboration follows an announcement that took place in 2007, concerning collaboration between the two companies to improve nitrogen use efficiency in corn, soybeans, canola and cotton.

In a separate agreement, Monsanto has purchased an $18 million (USD) equity stake in Evogene and has agreed to purchase an additional $12 million in the future, subject to certain Evogene diligence requirements.

In addition to Evogene's contracts with American Monsanto and Orfuel, the company has just announced, together with Leviev Group and Orfuel, the establishment of a biodiesel company in Namibia, Africa. The new company will focus on the growth of specialized castor plants for use as feedstock for biodiesel.
About a year back, Evogene and Orfuel Inc, a US subsidiary of Ormat Industries Ltd, started their own collaboration in the field of alternative energy and biofuels, aimed at providing substantially improved feedstock sources for biodiesel production.

More about Evogene

Evogene is a leading developer of improved plants for the ag-biotech and biofuel industries. The company’s proprietary product development platform combines state of the art computational gene discovery technologies, plant and field validation capabilities and unique selection systems. The platform’s computational biology component - the ATHLETE - is based on Compugen's in-silico predictive discovery capabilities. Evogene's current programs focus on yield under normal and various environmental stress conditions (such as drought), fertilizer utilization and the improvement of plants specifically for biofuel uses.

The City of Los Angeles Signs an Agreement with Israeli Kinrot Incubator

The city of Los Angeles signed a collaboration agreement with Kinrot Incubator, a company located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee that helps entrepreneurs and researchers with water-based technological innovations.

This agreement will enable Israeli start-up companies to use water and power facilities in Los Angeles for pilot projects and to conduct joint research with the University of California, Los Angeles, on water projects. Los Angeles is interested in using the Kinrot model to establish its own incubator for water-related technologies.

About Kinrot

Kinrot was founded in 1993 as part of the Israeli Incubator Program ( In August 2006, Kinrot was privatized by Stern Partners from Vancouver, Canada. Kinrot provides an incubated environment for innovative entrepreneurs to examine their water-related technology, in order to integrate it into the water industry.

LeFleur Transportation to Use GreenRoad Technologies’ Safety Center

American LeFleur Transportation, a developer of comprehensive human service transportation systems, has announced that it is about to add Israeli GreenRoad Technologies’ safety center to its entire fleet, which consists of over 300 vehicles. GreenRoad’s safety center will increase LeFleur’s fleet's safety, improve its services quality, and strengthen its driver training level - all while reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

About a month back, GreenRoad has also signed agreements with British Derby Council and St. Edmundsbury Borough Council to install its Safety Center in the council's fleet. These councils have joined Adur and Worthing Council Services which has installed GreenRoad's Safety Center in its fleet and Staffordshire Council which is installing the device in local teens’ cars to improve road safety.
Earlier this year, Amadeus Capital Partners, the European technology investor, has joined Virgin Green Fund, Benchmark Capital, and Balderton Capital in providing C round financing of $17.5 million to expand GreenRoad’s R&D, sales and marketing efforts.

More about GreenRoad Safety Center

GreenRoad improves driver safety, and significantly reduces crashes and fuel consumption. The GreenRoad service instantly identifies risky drivers, and at the same time empowers drivers to manage their own safety by giving instantaneous, in-vehicle feedback—without privacy invasions. As a result, drivers learn while driving, and are positively motivated to change their behavior behind the wheel.
With 100% visibility to all driving maneuvers, our service consists of an in-vehicle device for feedback, comprehensive online Web reporting for drivers, fleet managers, and insurers to measure safety progress, and dedicated risk consultants.
The GreenRoad safety center can instantly assesses which drivers are the highest risk (red drivers) and the company works with its customers to design programs that quickly change drivers from red to green, and sustain green driving behavior over time.
Members of Israeli GreenRoad’s executive team are Dan Steere, Ofer Raz, Hod Fleishman, Pete Allen, Aidan Rowsome and Eric Shishko. Its US headquarters is located in California, its EMEA Headquarters in London, while its R&D center is located in Or-Yehuda, Israel.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Solel in Contract with San Francisco, California's PG&E

Solel, a designer, manufacturer and installer of solar fields for large-scale power generation, has entered into a contract with Pacific Gas and Electric Company to construct a renewable energy project – The Mojave Solar Park in California's Mojave Desert.

On July 2007, Pacific Gas and Electric Company entered into a landmark renewable energy agreement with Solel-MSP-1 to purchase renewable energy from the Mojave Solar Park, to be constructed in California’s Mojave Desert. The project will deliver 553 megawatts of solar power, the equivalent of powering 400,000 homes, to PG&E’s customers in Northern and Central California. The Mojave Solar Park project is now the world’s largest single solar commitment. “The solar thermal project announced today is another major milestone in realizing our goal to supply 20 percent of our customers’ energy needs with clean renewable energy,” said Fong Wan, vice president of Energy Procurement, PG&E. “Through the agreement with Solel, we can harness the sun's climate-friendly power to provide our customers with reliable and cost-effective energy on an unprecedented scale.”

The plant utilizes Solel’s patented and commercially-proven solar thermal parabolic
trough technology. Over the past 20 years, the technology has powered nine operating solar power plants in the Mojave Desert and is currently generating 354 MW of annual electricity.
When fully operational in 2011, the Mojave Solar Park plant will cover up to 6,000 acres, or nine square miles in the Mojave Desert. Solel is working closely with URS Corporation in the development of the Mojave Solar Park, which when commercial will rely on 1.2 million mirrors and 317 miles of vacuum tubing to capture the desert sun’s heat.

“We are thrilled to bring 553 MW of clean energy to California,” said Avi Brenmiller, Chief Executive Officer of Solel Solar Systems. “Our proven solar technology means Solel can economically turn the energy of the warm California sun into clean power for the state’s homes and businesses.”

Solel Solar Systems of Israel, the world’s largest solar thermal company, is the parent company of Solel-MSP-1 LLC. Solel’s leading technology utilizes parabolic mirrors to concentrate solar energy onto its patented UVAC 2008 solar thermal receivers. The receivers contain a fluid that is heated and circulated, and the heat is released to generate steam. The steam powers a turbine to produce electricity, which can be delivered to a utility’s electric grid. The electricity generated by Mojave Solar Park will use some of the transmission infrastructure originally built for the now dormant coal-fired Mojave Generation Station to deliver the power to PG&E’s customers.

The agreement with the California Public Utilities Commission is part of PG&E’s broader renewable energy portfolio. PG&E currently supplies 12 percent of its energy from qualifying renewable sources under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program. With more than 50 percent of the energy PG&E delivers to its customers coming from generating sources that emit no carbon dioxide, PG&E provides among the cleanest energy in the nation.
PG&E is aggressively adding renewable electric power resources to its supply and is on target to exceed 20 percent under contract or delivered by 2010. With the Solel-MSP-1 announcement, and other renewable agreements, PG&E now has contracts to provide18 percent of its future energy supply from renewable sources. PG&E has also signed several other renewable energy agreements including an 85 MW wind project with PPM Energy, 7 MW of utility-scale solar projects with Cleantech America and GreenVolts, and a 25.5 MW contract with Western GeoPower, Inc. for a new geothermal energy facility in Sonoma County, California.

PG&E is seeking regulatory approval of these five renewable energy contracts.
California’s RPS Program requires each utility to increase its procurement of eligible renewable generating resources by one percent of load per year to achieve a twenty percent renewables goal by 2010. The RPS Program was passed by the Legislature and is managed by California’s Public Utilities Commission and Energy Commission.

Solel Solar Systems also provides key technology components for new solar thermal plants currently under construction in the U.S. and in Spain. In addition, Solel and Sacyr-
Vallehermoso are jointly building solar power plants in Spain and Solel recently completed the upgrading of more than 100 MW of solar facilities in California. Solel‘s headquarters, manufacturing plant, research and development center are in Beit Shemesh, Israel with its U.S. development office in Los Angeles, California.

More about Solel
Israeli based Solel designs, manufactures and installs solar fields for large scale power generation. It has more than 20 years of proven experience, field tests, and solar thermal research, along with commercial implementations. Solel provides systems that improve the yearly electrical output of the solar fields and reduce their installation, operations and maintenance costs, resulting in significant improvements to the overall cost-effectiveness of the parabolic trough solar technology.

SDE Cooperates with the Chinese Government to Build Hydraulic Power Plant in China

SDE, sea wave power plants, will supply China's southern province, Guangzhou, with hydroelectric power. Depending on the project's success, the company will build 100 additional plants across China. The final deal is estimated in hundreds of millions of dollars.
China's choice of hydraulic hydro-electric power plants complies with its need to find alternative power sources facing the soaring oil prices (it is estimated that within the next two decades, a barrel of oil may cost between 175$ to 300$) and the many typhoons and earthquakes afflicting the country make it difficult to sustain wind or nuclear based power plants.

SDE's deal with China follows another $50 million deal the company signed with China-based Yudean in 2005. China's Nuclear Power Guangzhou is also said to be exploring a similar deal with SDE.
SDE has recently signed a $20 million deal with a San-Francisco power company and another with the Gambian government, as well as with the Federated States of Micronesia.

About SDE
SDE is a world leader in the planning, building and marketing of power stations, which produce power from sea waves. The company's methods consist of using sea wave motion to generate hydraulic pressure, which is then transformed into electricity. The system takes advantage of the wave's speed, height, depth, rise and fall, and the flow beneath the approaching wave, thus producing energy. SDE's system produces clean energy without detrimental effects on the environment.
SDE's aim is to help convert developing countries into 100% Integrated Clean Energy Industries, support Energy Conservation, Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs. In addition, SDE helps these developing countries fund the joint projects by addressing various financial agencies, including the World Bank and the United Nations. In recent years, various international organizations are providing more than 40% of funding to Renewable Energy producers.

Project Better Place

Renault-Nissan has joined forces with Project Better Place and will supply electric vehicles as part of the "Project Better Place" operations in Israel as early as this year. Mass production, according to Mr Shai Agassi, founder of Project Better Place, could begin by 2011.

Project Better Place cooperates with the Israeli and Danish governments to transform these countries' transportation infrastructure from oil-based to electricity based, composed of mostly renewable energy in order to significantly reduce harmful emissions. The renewable energy will be supplied through Israel’s growing renewable power sectors.

Renault's vehicles will run on electricity for all functions. The project's objective is to achieve zero emissions, while at the same time offer driving performance similar to a 1.6 liter gasoline engine. Renault's electric vehicles will be equipped with lithium-ion batteries, which will ensure greater driving range and longevity.

About Project Better Place

Project Better Place was founded in October 2007, and is run by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Shai Agassi. Better Place is an electric vehicles developer that collaborates with the Israeli government's first of its kind challenge, that by the year 2020, 10% of the country's energy sources will be alternative. As oil prices rise higher and with environmental pressures and increased regulation, the automotive industry is undergoing enormous disruption, but the opportunities far outweigh the challenges. In March of 2008, DONG (Danish Oil & Natural Gas) Energy signed an agreement with Better Place as well; Denmark will thus be one of the first countries to have electric vehicles.

Better Place works towards zero emissions, electric car infrastructure and battery technology. Its model is based on consumers subscribing to transportation as a service, similar to mobile phone subscribers today; automotive companies manufacture the electric cars that plug in to the Better Place electric recharge network of charging stations and battery swap stations; energy companies provide the network’s power through growing renewable energy projects; and Better Place provides the batteries that make owning an electric car affordable and convenient.

BrightSource Energy Develops Contacts in Phoenix, Arizona

BrightSource Energy, a designer and builder of large scale solar plants that deliver low-cost solar energy in the form of steam and/or electricity, has very recently made contact with potential partners in Phoenix, Arizona, to build a site that could host up to 400 megawatts from it's solar generating stations.

The city of Phoenix would like to use solar power in order to reduce its energy costs. Partnering with a solar provider would also bring in additional jobs and a more diverse economy to the region.
In April this year, BrightSource Energy and Pacific Gas & Electric signed a multi-year deal that is believed to be Brightsource's biggest ever, with potentially 900 megawatts supply. About a month later Google invested $10 million in the company; it had made a $10 million equity investment by buying a stake in BrightSource Energy’s $115 million venture round through its arm.
According to BrightSource, its solar power plants will provide enough electricity to power more than 3.2 million homes and counter the emissions equivalent produced by approximately one million cars.

About BrightSource
BrightSource Energy, Inc. builds solar plants at prices that are competitive with those of fossil fuels for industrial and utility customers worldwide, thus enabling industrial and utility companies to lessen their dependency on fossil fuels by providing a low cost, reliable source of clean energy during periods of peak usage. BrightSource Energy's headquarters are located in Oakland, California.
BrightSource Energy's goal is to develop and commercialize new solar thermal technology that can compete with fossil fuel plants. BrightSource Energy’s leading technology, DPT (Dynamic Power Towers), which uses mirrors to whip up steam to drive turbines to produce power, a method known as solar thermal, is the lowest costing and most reliable method to generate central solar power.