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Capstone Turbine Corp. Message Board

josfnpbch 64 posts  |  Last Activity: Mar 23, 2014 4:04 PM Member since: Mar 25, 2012
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  • josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 23, 2014 4:04 PM Flag

    no doubt genie is out of the bottle (FCEL)2014 should be interesting year for this baby..

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Sniper attacks and alarming media reports bring the physical grid security debate to the fore.
    It appears that 2014 is the year that the power grid’s physical security is going to come to the forefront of national attention. Now the question for utilities and regulators is whether they’re going to overreact, under-react, or find a balanced response.

    It all started last month, when a Wall Street Journal article revealed previously unknown details on how an unknown assailant (or assailants) managed to disable a California substation last year by shooting out a series of high-voltage transformers with a rifle.

    The attack on Pacific Gas & Electric’s Metcalf substation didn’t cause any blackouts. But it did lead former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) chairman Jon Wellinghoff to label it the “largest incident of domestic terrorism” against the grid in U.S. history -- despite a lack of evidence regarding the identity or intent of the attacker, or attackers, in question.

    That helped boost the story to headline status on cable news shows, as well as in Congress, where lawmakers moved quickly to demand that FERC, which has federal jurisdiction over the power grid, do something about it. Earlier this month, FERC issued an order (PDF) directing the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), the industry-funded nonprofit that manages grid security via its critical infrastructure protection guidelines, to identify the critical assets in the nation’s power grid and “develop, validate and implement” plans to protect them against attack.

    Then, last week, Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca Smith followed up with another article, citing a previously undisclosed federal analysis that indicated that similar attacks on as few as nine substations around the country could cause a nationwide blackout. That remote possibility would require a coordinated assault on unidentified critical targets, but could lead to extended blackouts, depending on the available supply of replacement high-voltage transformers, which are built by only a handful of manufacturers.

    This most recent article has led grid authorities to attack the messenger. The Edison Electric Institute industry group has called for a federal investigation into Smith’s sources. FERC Acting Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur said in a statement that the article “crosses the line from transparency to irresponsibility, and gives those who would do us harm a roadmap to achieve malicious designs.”

    Meanwhile, FERC’s demand for new physical vulnerability protection standards has put NERC under the gun to deliver not only a list of the nation’s most critical grid sites, but also a plan to protect them -- all within 90 days. That’s an extremely tight deadline, as Tom Alrich, Honeywell’s energy sector security lead and a grid security blogger, pointed out in a recent blog post. Indeed, given the complexity of the task, it’s unlikely to be met, he wrote.

    There’s also a danger of overreaction, as FERC Commissioner John Norris noted in a statement appended to the commission’s March 9 order. The rush to implement physical security rules could lead to “the electricity sector potentially spending billions of dollars erecting physical barriers,” while diverting attention from cybersecurity, natural disaster protection and other threats, he wrote. “We simply cannot erect enough barriers to protect North America’s [more than] 400,000 circuit miles of transmission, and 55,000 transmission substations.”
    The Pros, Cons and Unknowns of Assault-Proofing the Grid

    So what’s the measured course to take in response to these threats? Cybersecurity expert Andy Bochman said in a recent interview that a good first step is not to jump to conclusions.

    “People use the terms ‘military-style’ and ‘terrorist-style’ assault, and these two terms immediately amp it up to the max,” he said. But commentators “use these words while admitting they don’t know who did it, or what their backgrounds were, or what their motivations were.”

    Still, the debate does represent “an opportunity for everybody to revisit their current policies for physical security,” said Bochman, who advises organizations including The Chertoff Group, the security and risk management consultancy headed by former Department of Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff.

    “Utilities across the country are reviewing their plans,” he said. “In some cases, they’re deciding to double down on their protective measures. That can include more surveillance cameras, more sensors. Sometimes it includes more security personnel at their substations -- you can’t put people at all of them, but you can decide which are most important and staff them appropriately.”

    But less costly improvements can also help, he noted. One seemingly simple, yet potentially effective solution is to place an opaque screen in front of transformers and other vulnerable grid gear to shield them from view from outside the fences that surround substations. “It could be wood," he said. "It doesn’t have to be bullet-proof, it just has to be vision-proof,” to prevent snipers from having line of sight on the critical parts of the equipment they’re trying to disable.

    It’s also important to remember that “the lion’s share of the solution here has to be preventative, versus reactive with assault rifles,” he noted. Utilities can’t post guards with orders to shoot at trespassers, after all. But they can do things like stockpile replacement transformers, and coordinate how they can share them with each other in response to emergencies, he said.

    This is the same kind of preparation that can help utilities prepare for extreme weather events and other more predictable grid challenges, he noted. In that light, exercises like last fall’s GridEx II, which simulated a combined cyber attack and physical attack on grid assets across the country, help illustrate how important it is to maintain communications and coordination in the midst of extreme events.

    That’s a work in progress, as the recently released GridEx II After-Action Report (PDF) indicates. That report on last year’s two-day exercise involving 115 utilities highlighted the need to share information early and often, and the need to “identify redundancies or alternatives to ensure viable communications channels in crises.”
    Communications and Resiliency on the Grid Edge

    Eric Byres, a security expert for industrial and grid communications and IT vendor Belden, noted in an interview last week that redundant communications are critical for defense. In the case of the Metcalf substation incident, the attacker cut fiber-optic cables adjacent to the site in an attempt to sever communications. But PG&E was still able to receive video and motion-sensor alerts from the site in minutes after the shooting started, according to the Wall Street Journal's February article -- an indication that communications weren’t completely disabled.

    Even so, “one of the things they did wrong at Metcalf was camera placement,” Byres said -- the cameras were facing inward at the substation, not outward to view attackers. “If you don’t have visibility into what’s going on, you can’t defend yourself. […] As soon as we lose communications, we’ve lost the war -- whatever the war is.”

    Belden has its own set of hardened, cyber-secure field communications and IT equipment to sell to utilities that want to beef up their substation perimeter defense, he added. But as for the relatively few sites that FERC and NERC may end up deeming most important, he said, “We have to make sure the ten to fifteen substations in America that are actually critical for the grid to operate are secured like Fort Knox” -- something that may be hard to do without giving away the location of those critical assets to would-be attackers.

    Indeed, focusing too much on “guns, guards and gates augmented by cameras, dogs and drones” distracts from the challenge of making the grid itself more resilient to any single point of failure, Erich Gunther, chairman and CTO of grid technology consultancy EnerNex, pointed out in a March article for IEEE’s Smart Grid newsletter.

    “By and large, we have designed a very resilient transmission grid with systems that are capable of automatically reacting to equipment damage no matter what its cause, isolating the damage and almost instantaneously routing power to end consumers from other sources,” he wrote. “This type of performance doesn’t happen by accident.”

    At the same time, he cited his work with the team that provided electrical security to the Super Bowl this January as a potential guide to how distributed energy resiliency could help maintain broader grid security (as well as preventing a repeat of the 2013 Super Bowl blackout). The team for this year's Super Bowl prepared for “multiple element contingencies by verifying that automated systems are correctly configured, that multiple energy sources capable of supplying the load are available, and that physical assets are properly maintained and monitored,” he wrote.

    “All of the actions we took to ensure a successful outcome of that event could be employed on the electric power system nationwide to further improve the reliability, resiliency and event response posture,” he wrote. DISTRIBUTED ENERGY RESOURCES, microgrids and other grid edge technologies could come into play in this conceptualization of a grid that’s both guarded like Fort Knox in the middle and capable of independence at the edges

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Public transport will be free from Friday until Sunday evening in Paris as the authorities try to encourage drivers to leave their cars at home, as much of France suffers severe air pollution caused by unusually warm weather.

    The French capital and 30 other regions of France have been on maximum pollution alert for several days, with conditions set to continue until the end of the weekend.

    The European Environment Agency says the pollution is the worst since 2007, and almost three-quarters of France is affected.

    The air pollution has also affected neighboring Belgium where authorities have introduced a maximum speed limit to reduce the concentration of polluting particles.

    Jean-Paul Huchon, head of the STIF organization that manages Paris’s complex transport network, said that public transport would be free from Friday morning until Sunday evening.

    “I am asking all residents in Paris and neighboring areas to favor the use of public transport,” Huchon said.

    Subways, buses and trains will be free, as will bike-shares and one-hour sessions in electric cars.

    The cities of Caen, Reims and Rouen, all in northern France, are following Paris’s lead and also offering free transport.

    As air quality dipped Thursday to the same as Beijing, Ecology Minister Philippe Martin admitted that air quality was “an emergency and a priority for the government."

    But France’s Green Party wants to go even further, and has called for vehicles to be banned on alternate days, depending on their number plate, and for trucks to be temporarily banned in Paris.

    An environmental group also denounced the government earlier in the week for not doing enough, and accused it of putting lives in danger.

    Parisians showed a mixture of stoicism and contempt for the general public transport situation in Paris, arguably one of the best in the world.

    “People should be riding bikes, taking the metro, taking the bus. But there is little incentive to do it. The trains are packed and you arrive late for work,” Christine Ouedraogo told the Local.

    Michelle Leclerc, 69, also put the blame at the government’s door.

    “I think something must be done about the pollution in Paris,” she said. “The government puts forward some initiatives but they seem more interested in fighting each other.”

    Mohamed Korbi, 62, said he was having breathing problems.

    “I have asthma and I’ve been having trouble breathing,” he said. “I have to use my inhaler. I think the government ought to bring back the driving restrictions based on license plate numbers. We haven’t done that for years, and it works.”

    A lack of wind and cold nights followed by balmy days have conspired to create conditions where polluting particles, most of them emitted by vehicle exhaust fumes, have been stuck under a warm layer of air.

    Monitoring centers have been reporting a particularly strong concentration of so-called PM10 particles, which have a diameter of less than 10 microns.

    Pollution alerts in France are issued when these PM10 particles reach 80 micrograms per cubic meter.

    These tiny particles are also some of the most dangerous to public health and can cause asthma, allergies and other respiratory ailments.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to


    by josfnpbch Mar 12, 2014 11:43 AM
    josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 12, 2014 12:00 PM Flag

    Management’s tone around large contracts,they are “waiting on final customer and regulatory approval.
    $10 coming I assure you.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Shares of Plug Power plummeted 42% yesterday, Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) tumbled 26%, Hydrogenics (HYGS) fell 15% and FuellCell Energy fell 17% even as it reported in-line earnings.

    After a day to digest yesterday’s action, Cowen’s Robert Stone has downgraded the shares of FuelCell Energy. He explains why:

    We believe the recently completed fuel cell parks in Bridgeport, CT and Korea should open a $12B DG opportunity, and hydrogen co-generation adds $3B. Orders in H1 should drive Q4:F14 revenue and GM to EBITDA break-even. We raise our PT to $2.70 (vs. $2.00), but lower our rating to Market Perform (2) from Outperform (1) as we feel expected progress this year is priced in around the current level.IMO This simply means accumulation for their clients which is a good sign.

    Stifel’s Jeffrey Osborne and team raised their price target to $4.10 from $2.30 following yesterday’s earnings report from FuelCell Energy. They explain why:

    FuelCell Energy shares have seen strong performance recently on renewed interest in the fuel-cell sector more broadly and commentary from utilities in the U.S. and abroad around seeking base load distributed generation resources. Management’s tone around large contracts, core to our thesis, was encouraging, with the team noting they are “waiting on final customer and regulatory approval” and “inquiries and activity levels globally remain high.” We are tracking close to 100MW of large scale ( 5MW) projects in the U.S. in which we believe the company is well positioned given generation costs of ~$0.10 kWh and the base load nature of their product. We expect sizable wins over the coming months to drive further investor interest in the stock and pave a path to profitability

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to

    Cramer should be in jail

    by aggressiveinvestor Mar 12, 2014 11:14 AM
    josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 12, 2014 11:30 AM Flag

    watch the video he was bashing plug from an OIL rig .was telling Long's you can't find me if you come after me it's actually very funny it's on CNBC.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 11, 2014 5:51 PM Flag

    ''for all of us you are correct but not for Seeking Alpha my friend.''I don't follow...
    Lack of knowledge of the stock markets is an age-old problem with the retail investors. Many times, such investors depend on the news in the market or tips from technical analysts to trade in stocks. On the contrary, institutional investors have their own talented research teams which conduct a thorough stock research before investing.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 11, 2014 5:34 PM Flag

    institutional investors are major part of the stock move regardless the low or high equity price.
    Retail investors are less than 10%(.investment 101)

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • stock moves due to institutional participation not retail investors.
    So please if you are pumper/basher save your self time and energy by not writing these long pages of nonsense like what you think in your imagination .cause stock will most likely to behave the opposite in the following day.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to


    by josfnpbch Mar 11, 2014 9:44 AM
    josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 11, 2014 2:19 PM Flag

    you are missing the point I am not saying it's a man-made.We all know it is a cycle happening every a few thousand years.
    But we cannot ignore the reality of the danger we are facing rather its financial damaging, or health issues. that's why green investment is on focus.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to


    by josfnpbch Mar 11, 2014 9:44 AM
    josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 11, 2014 1:40 PM Flag

    onsite generation market, that’s one to five megawatts at a time, is still going to be important, but probably more and more important is going to be the market for these larger scale systems for utility generation,”

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to


    by josfnpbch Mar 11, 2014 9:44 AM
    josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 11, 2014 11:37 AM Flag

    For those that need clean distributed generation, stationary fuel cells seem to be an option more recognized globally as a good solution

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to

    Good call

    by stproz Mar 11, 2014 10:51 AM
    josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 11, 2014 11:15 AM Flag

    Wall Street Is Going Crazy For A Revolutionary Technology That Could Change The Energy Market As We Know hold on to your shares you would be the awarded handsomely great call

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Oil refineries and drilling platforms in the U.S. are vulnerable to sea level rise and greater storm surge. Fuel pipelines, barges, railways and storage tanks are vulnerable to melting permafrost and severe weather. Warming seas and water shortages put nuclear and other electric power plants at risk. Power lines can be blown away by hurricanes and other extreme weather.

    In other words, all the infrastructure Americans rely on to heat their homes, power their lights and fuel their trains, trucks and cars is becoming more and more exposed to failure in a changing climate.

    That may seem clear to any one of the 1.1 million people who lost power in the New York area during and after Hurricane Sandy, but those are the conclusions of a U.S Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released in January and just made public.

    The report summarizes much of the research published in recent years about the vulnerability of U.S. energy infrastructure to a changing climate. It is a response to a request from members of Congress for details about risks posed by global warming, how infrastructure can be adapted to withstand the ravages of a changing climate and what role the federal government plays in helping make the adaptation happen.

    The GAO report shows that climate change is a practical concern for U.S. energy producers and operators of energy transmission and distribution lines, said Klaus Jacob, a seismologist at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and an expert in climate change adaptation. Jacob is unaffiliated with the GAO and was not involved in the report.

    Multiple effects of climate change are likely to work together to threaten U.S. energy infrastructure, the GAO reported. Increased air and water temperatures are likely to wreak havoc on the U.S. electricity sector, helping to reduce water available for cooling electric power generators, reducing electricity supply while increasing consumers’ demand for electricity, the GAO said.
    RELATED Trillions at Stake in Sea Level Rise for 20 Global Port Cities
    Sea Level Rise: It Could Be Worse than We Think
    NY State Expects All Utilities to Prep for Climate Change

    Sea level rise along with more extreme weather and coastal erosion threaten infrastructure in low-lying areas, while warmer temperatures and drought increase flooding risk and wildfires, eventually limiting the amount of electricity that can be generated and transmitted during periods of high demand.

    Because the report focuses on the financial risks posed by taking no action in the face of climate change, government officials may take the report more seriously than if it were only making an environmental argument for taking action, Jacob said.

    The GAO report does not question scientific findings on global warming and it shows that many energy companies recognize the risk they face from climate change, said Steven Weissman, director of the Energy Program at the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law.

    "This nonpartisan report should shift the burden of proof for any firms or agencies that are dragging their feet," Weissman said, adding that the report could focus the attention of the public and policymakers on the need to strengthen all public infrastructure to better stand up to climate change.

    Jacob said the GAO's report may help accelerate the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s assessments of aging nuclear power plants in the U.S., set higher standards for those plants and encourage the federal government to appropriate more money for the research and development of new renewable energy production and storage technologies.

    He criticized the report for underestimating sea level rise. The report says that the sea level rise is occurring faster than at any time in the last 2,000 years, and “sea levels are projected to continue to rise, but the extent is not well understood.”

    Sea levels have risen globally by roughly 8 inches since the beginning of the 20th century, and a new study published in February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences projects that sea levels could rise between 9 and 48 inches by 2100, depending on the uncertain rate of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet melting.

    The 8 inches of sea level rise over the past 114 years is already enough to have made storm surges more powerful, put pressure on infrastructure in places like South Florida and exposed millions living along the coast to additional flooding. Three more feet expected over the remainder of the century will make these problems exponentially worse, threatening electric power plants already at risk from water shortages and higher temperatures, the GAO concluded.

    Both coal and nuclear power plants require a significant amount of water to generate, cool and condense steam. In 2007, a drought in the southeastern U.S. forced some power plants to shut down or reduce power production because water levels in lakes, rivers and reservoirs nearby dropped below intake valves supplying cooling water to those plants, according to the report.

    The Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in Alabama had to reduce its power output three times between 2007 and 2011 because the temperature of the nearby Tennessee River was too high to receive the plant’s discharge water. The opposite situation occurred in 2012 when the Millstone Nuclear Station in Connecticut shut down one reactor when water from Long Island Sound was too warm to be used for cooling the plant, according to the report.

    Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear power plant in Westchester County, N.Y., sits at sea level on the Hudson River north of New York City.

    “Higher temperature of intake cooling water does not pose an additional risk if proper operational procedures are followed, but it means that the efficiency of nuclear power production is reduced, and that when that happens, there will be additional need for power produced largely by fossil fuel, which in turn accelerates climate change,” Jacob said.

    The report emphasizes that sea level rise and extreme weather are just as much of a threat to electric power plants, which often exist in low-lying areas and along coastlines.

    Hurricane Sandy forced several Northeast coastal nuclear power plants to shut down, and a 2013 Stanford University paper identified three coastal nuclear power plants in the path of the storm as among the nation’s most vulnerable nuclear power plants to storm surge.

    Renewables are also vulnerable to climate change, the GAO said.

    Hydropower is possibly the renewable energy source most vulnerable to climate change because rising temperatures leading to increased evaporation can reduce the amount of water available for hydropower and degrade fish and wildlife habitat. For example, a 1 percent decrease in precipitation leads to a 3 percent drop in hydropower generation in the Colorado River Basin, the GAO reported. Climate change is expected to make precipitation events come in heavier bursts, while increasing the length of dry spells in between in many regions.

    High temperatures and poor air quality from regional haze, humidity and dust in the air can reduce the energy output of utility-scale photovoltaic (solar) power plants, while concentrated solar plants that don’t use photovoltaic cells are susceptible to drought because they require water for cooling, the report said.

    The GAO said energy and power companies are taking measures to shore up, or "harden" — make the infrastructure more resistant to extreme weather — their equipment, lines and infrastructure so they can withstand high winds, more significant storm surge and other challenges posed by climate change.

    Such measures are expected to be implemented in New York State as power companies there plan for power line and equipment improvements. The expectation was outlined in a Feb. 20 settlement between the New York Public Service Commission and Consolidated Edison, the New York City-area’s largest utility, requiring ConEd to study how climate change will affect its systems and find ways to mitigate those effects.

    “We have performed extensive analysis of our system and the impact of climate patterns and believe our proposals are a significant step toward protecting critical equipment and customers from major storms," ConEd spokesman Allan Drury said Friday via email when asked about the GAO report. "We plan to spend $1 billion on storm hardening and resiliency measures over four years to protect our electric, gas and steam systems and in fact have already put many protections in place. With the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, temperature increase, and violent storms becoming more frequent, we expect our storm-hardening and resiliency program to evolve for many years.”

    The GAO concluded that the federal government’s role in adapting the nation’s energy infrastructure to withstand climate change is limited, but it said the government can support the private sector in its adaptation measures through regulatory oversight, technology research and development and providing information about the climate.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to

    institutions don't trade after-hours

    by josfnpbch Mar 10, 2014 7:05 PM
    josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 10, 2014 7:25 PM Flag

    the last a few days volume indicates buyers on long terms it would be difficult to find shares.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to

    institutions don't trade after-hours

    by josfnpbch Mar 10, 2014 7:05 PM
    josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 10, 2014 7:14 PM Flag

    it's typical to trade 4- 5 millions after hours considering the recent volume.
    One thing for sure from now on, only positive uptrend from here on.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • watch for the blast tomorrow.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to

    Hyundai Tuscon...

    by gbpete357 Mar 10, 2014 10:51 AM
    josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 10, 2014 11:04 AM Flag

    zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), hydrogen fuel cells play a significant role in reducing California's greenhouse gas and smog emissions

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • josfnpbch josfnpbch Mar 7, 2014 3:35 PM Flag

    California has 13 research hydrogen fueling stations, 9 public stations and an additional 18 that have been funded and are expected to be operational in the next few years. Some of these stations have been co-funded by the State of California.

    I am confidence they will give a great 2014 guidance.
    stock could jump another 50%after the cc.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Posted Mar 6th 2014 6:33PM

    OK, but let's see how well Honda can control hydrogen refueling temperature in Houston or Buffalo. That's what some pessimists may be saying now that the Japanese automaker has installed a fast-fueling hydrogen station in the oh-so-temperate environs of Torrance, CA. That city is about 20 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles and a sliver of it actually touches the Pacific Ocean, so we're not talking about wild swings in air temperature here.

    Honda is calling its fast-refueling platform the MC Fill (we'd expect a lawsuit if it was McFill, even though that'd be clever) and says that filling up takes about 45 percent less time than the typical hydrogen-refueling station. That's because the system monitors the ambient temperature in order to speed up the process. There's more scientific stuff in there - for example, the fact that the MC name comes from the "two key values in a heat transfer equation- 'M' for mass and 'C' for specific heat" - but the long and the short of it is that a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle can fill up in less than three minutes. That's pretty impressive, despite the distinct lack of vehicles needing to charge that fast today.

    Honda unveiled its FCEV Concept vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November. The five-seat vehicle has a range of more than 300 miles, while its fuel-stack power density is about 60 percent higher than its previous version. The production version is due to arrive in the US in 2015.( Check out Honda's press release )
    FCEL hydrogen fuel-cell stations are coming to the corner near you.( Big industry )

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

2.13+0.05(+2.40%)10:23 AMEDT

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