Microgrids Could Spark a $2.8 Billion Investment Opportunity

Palm Beach, FL – January 14, 2020  – Nearly a million customers across California lost power in October 2019, as PG&E deliberately shut off power.  All as PG&E tried to battle high winds, and wildfire conditions.  Unfortunately, the costs of deliberate blackouts set the California economy back by as much as $1 billion, according to The Sacramento Bee.  Others, like Michael Wara of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment said the economic cost of the shutdown could have reached $2.5 billion, as noted by CNBC.  That’s why many people are calling for solutions, such as microgrids, or a smaller version of an electrical grid powered by local energy.  “A microgrid can be powered by distributed generators, batteries, and/or renewable resources like solar panels. Depending on how it’s fueled and how its requirements are managed, a microgrid might run indefinitely,” according to the U.S. Department of Energy.  Plus, according to GTM Research, the annual microgrid market could double over the next two years from $1.4 billion in 2017 to $2.8 billion by 2022.  That’s creating sizable, exciting opportunity for top companies like CleanSpark, Inc. (OTCQB:CLSK)(OTCQB:CLSKD), Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), and Ballard Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:BLDP)(TSX:BLDP).


CleanSpark, Inc. (OTCQB:CLSK)(OTCQB:CLSKD) BREAKING NEWS: CleanSpark, Inc. announced the signing of a MOU with the Shoreline Unified School District to form a Strategic Alliance for Microgrid Assessment and Deployment.  In accordance with the MOU, CleanSpark will evaluate two stages of grid resiliency for the District. The intended Resiliency Zones would utilize Solar Energy, Storage and Back-up Generation to meet the School District’s energy needs and provide back-up energy to the surrounding communities during emergencies. Bob Raines, Superintendent Unified School District said “The benefits of this partnership to the District are many. The presence of microgrids would protect our schools from power outages.  Additionally, we would be able to employ renewable energy in our schools, which would have a large scale benefit.”


CleanSpark will begin the first assessment in January and anticipates presenting the results of the Feasibility Study Report to the School Board in March.  CleanSpark’s Microgrid Value Stream Optimizer will be used to determine the best configurations for Solar PV, Battery Storage and Back-up Generation for each School District Facility in the designated areas to ensure a secure and optimized power solution. As part of this effort CleanSpark has assembled a team of industry advisors to provide guidance and support to the School District Microgrid Project, including representatives from PG&E, Sonoma Clean Power, Marin Clean Energy and CAISO.  CleanSpark’s team will provide guidance to the School District throughout the development process, with the goal of providing its expertise and mPulse software to maximize the value and resiliency of the Microgrid.


“CleanSpark is pleased to be working side-by-side with the Shoreline Unified School District to assess the benefits of creating a Grid Resiliency Zone for the District and surrounding community utilizing the School’s Facilities while providing an economic benefit and safety to the School District.  Microgrids controlled by our software can help support a community’s power needs in the case of natural disasters that may interrupt power supplies. This has become increasingly important as the wildfires continue to cause significant problems for communities, both regarding safety and the impact to local economies.” Said Zach Bradford CleanSpark’s CEO. “This agreement provides a path to contract directly with the School District to engineer, design, and construct, on an exclusive basis, energy systems, likely to be created under a power purchase agreement(“PPA”) or as an Energy Services Agreement (“ESA”).  CleanSpark anticipates that if the assessment results prove viable, for the District, that it would provide a portion of the project financing directly, in addition to engaging other financial partners.  Our goal is to design a system that, when controlled by our mPulse software, provides a significant return to our stakeholders while also serving the greater good in the community.”


Other related developments from around the markets include:


Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) achieved record production of almost 105,000 vehicles and record deliveries of approximately 112,000 vehicles. In 2019, we delivered approximately 367,500 vehicles, 50% more than the previous year and in line with our full year guidance. We continue to focus on expanding production in both the US as well as our newly launched facility in Shanghai. Despite breaking ground at Gigafactory Shanghai less than 12 months ago, we have already produced just under 1,000 customer salable cars and have begun deliveries. We have also demonstrated production run-rate capability of greater than 3,000 units per week, excluding local battery pack production which began in late December. Lastly, we want to thank our customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and supporters who made another record-breaking year possible. Our net income and cash flow results will be announced along with the rest of our financial performance when we announce Q4 earnings. Our delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5% or more. Tesla vehicle deliveries represent only one measure of the company’s financial performance and should not be relied on as an indicator of quarterly financial results, which depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of sales, foreign exchange movements and mix of directly leased vehicles.


PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) recorded third-quarter 2019 net losses attributable to common shareholders of $1.6 billion, or $3.06 per share, as reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This compares with net income available for common shareholders of $564 million, or $1.09 per share, for the third quarter of 2018. GAAP results include items that management does not consider part of normal, ongoing operations (items impacting comparability, or “IIC”), which totaled $2.2 billion after-tax, or $4.17 per share, for the quarter. This was primarily driven by an additional $2.5 billion pre-tax charge for estimated third-party claims related to the 2017 Northern California wildfires and the 2018 Camp fire. This additional charge reflects the previously announced agreement with insurance subrogation claimants. IIC for the quarter also include a charge for capital disallowances in the 2019 Gas Transmission and Storage (GT&S) rate case; enhanced and accelerated electric asset inspection costs; clean-up and repair costs related to the 2018 Camp fire; legal and other costs related to the 2017 Northern California wildfires and the 2018 Camp fire; and legal and other costs, partially offset by interest income, related to PG&E Corporation’s and Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (Utility) reorganization cases under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (Chapter 11). “We continue to make progress in our efforts to move expeditiously through the Chapter 11 process, and remain focused on a fair and prompt resolution of wildfire victims’ claims, while continuing to support California’s clean energy future. We also remain dedicated to the safe operation of our gas and electric systems, and in particular, to reducing the risk of wildfire in our communities. This work has involved in recent weeks shutting off power for safety in anticipation of dangerous weather conditions—a decision that we know causes hardship but is done solely in the interest of public safety,” said PG&E Corporation Chief Executive Officer and President Bill Johnson.


Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) will deliver 50 C-130J Super Hercules to the U.S. government through a C-130J Multiyear III award, which was finalized by the U.S. government on Dec. 27, 2019. The award comes as a delivery order under an existing Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract awarded in August 2016. The Department of Defense awarded more than $1.5 billion in funding for the first 21 C-130J aircraft on the multiyear award. The overall award, worth more than $3 billion, provides Super Hercules aircraft to the U.S. Air Force (24 HC/MC-130Js), Marine Corps (20 KC-130Js) and Coast Guard (options for six HC-130Js). Aircraft purchased through the C-130J Multiyear III award will deliver between 2021-2025, and will be built at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Georgia, facility. “The C-130J Multiyear III award represents a joint commitment between Lockheed Martin and the U.S. government in delivering proven capability that meets our operators’ mission and affordability requirements,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. “Our partnership with the U.S. government provides significant savings through multiyear procurement as compared to annual buys, and provides the best tactical airlifter to crews who fly and support the world’s largest Super Hercules fleet.”


Ballard Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:BLDP)(TSX:BLDP) and Deloitte China today announced the release of a joint white paper entitled “Fueling the Future of Mobility: Hydrogen and fuel cell solutions for transportation” at the Consumer Technology Association’s CES 2020 trade show being held in Las Vegas, Nevada. This white paper is the first volume in a series exploring how hydrogen is set to power the future of mobility. Randy MacEwen, Ballard President and CEO said, “In less than 10 years, it will become cheaper to run a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) than it is to run a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle for certain commercial applications.”


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