US F-22 Stealth Jets Take on Norway’s F-35 in Simulated Dogfights

10:53 PM

Two U.S. F-22 stealth fighter jets squared off in simulated dogfights with two of Norway’s expanding fleet of F-35 aircraft Wednesday as part of an exercise aimed at strengthening the NATO alliance and increasing its deterrent power.

The two U.S. F-22s are among 13 in Europe for a series of short-term deployments in places such as Greece and Poland, with further training missions planned in undisclosed locations in coming days.

The Norwegian deployment lasted one day but will lay the groundwork for NATO allies as they work to integrate their stealth warfare capabilities, Colonel Leslie Hauck, chief of the fifth generation integration division at the U.S. Air Force’s headquarters in Europe, told reporters in Norway.

The deployment is part of U.S. efforts to reassure European allies after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

F-35s arriving in Europe

Growing numbers of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35s are arriving in Europe as the world’s most advanced warplane and most expensive weapons program matures following a raft of cost increases and technical challenges in its early years.

“Every training opportunity that we have betters our readiness for any potential adversary of the future,” Hauck said at the Orland air base, home to six of Norway’s expected 52 F-35s.

Hauck leads a new office at Ramstein Air Base in southwestern Germany, that is working to ensure a smooth transition for about 40 F-35s scheduled to be in Europe by year’s end. The first of which are set to arrive in 2021.

Next month, a group of senior officials from the United States and seven other F-35 operator countries — Norway, Denmark, Italy, Turkey, Israel, Britain and the Netherlands — will meet to compare notes on the new warplane, which was first used in combat by Israel in May.

Better battlefield overview

The United States has more than 150 of the aircraft, whose sensors pilots say give them the most extensive overview of a battlefield of any combat jet available.

Norwegian Air Force Major Morten Hanche, who piloted one of the Norwegian F-35s, said the mock fight with the F-22s was great practice, especially since the F-35s generally surprise and overpower other nonstealth aircraft.

He declined to name the winning aircraft, saying only: “The F-22 is a very formidable opponent.”

US F-22 Stealth Jets Take on Norway’s F-35 in Simulated Dogfights US F-22 Stealth Jets Take on Norway’s F-35 in Simulated Dogfights Reviewed by NewsDr. on 10:53 PM Rating: 5

Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s PDA game on Instagram Will Make You Drool

9:51 PM

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Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s PDA game on Instagram Will Make You Drool

Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone have not announced it officially but their actions speak a lot about them.

The way they express their love for each other by commenting on each other’s image. They are the lovebirds of B-town. However, Kabir Bedi has confirmed that Ranveer and Deepika are getting married on 20th November in the beautiful city of Italy, near Lake Como.

Gradually over last one year or so, these lovebirds have made us giggle, gush and admire their equation from time to time with the way they displayed their affection for each other on social media. From kisses to hearts and hugs, from love to admiration and flirting, Ranveer and Deepika’s social media love speaks volumes of feelings for each other. It would only be right to say that these lovebirds have aced their PDA game on Instagram and they don’t mind any of the attention it draws towards them.

Have a look at their comments so far:

The latest picture of Ranveer that ensured Deepika has no Monday blues

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A throwback picture gets her to react like this…

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Her comment says it all

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She loves it when he appreciates

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She likes it when he clowns around

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They even exchange virtual kisses, lots of ’em

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Deepika is all hearts…

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He is crazy and she likes it

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Ranveer is just fida on this baby tomboy

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He’s proud of his lady and he has a unique style of expressing it

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Kisses, kisses and more kisses

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They even exchange virtual hi-hellos JLT *shrugs*

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They’re both equally fun

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When distance doesn’t matter… Look how Ranveer rooted for Deepika as she walked the Cannes red carpet

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Yes, she is his queen.

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He’s all smitten by her beauty

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She leaves him at a loss for words

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When he finds her too hot to handle…

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His comment says it all

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And they agree with each other

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When he misses her, she knows…

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The cute couple is winning our hearts with their social media PDA. When not going on romantic vacations, Ranveer and Deepika spend their time leaving adorable comments on each others’ pictures.

Now everyone is eagerly waiting for their November wedding when we will get to witness their union as they exchange wedding vows in Italy. They could then officially call each other ‘Mine’, the way they leave comments on each other’s Instagram pictures.

Isn’t this cute?

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

Published by Minal Gupta on 14 Aug 2018
Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s PDA game on Instagram Will Make You Drool Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s PDA game on Instagram Will Make You Drool Reviewed by NewsDr. on 9:51 PM Rating: 5

Tesla Appoints Independent Directors to Weigh Any Deal

8:08 PM

Tesla’s board named a special committee of three directors on Tuesday to evaluate possibly taking the electric carmaker private, although it said it had yet to see a firm offer from the company’s chief executive, Elon Musk.

The Silicon Valley billionaire last week said on Twitter he wants to take Tesla private at $420 a share, valuing it at $72 billion, and that funding was “secured.”

That earlier tweet triggered investor lawsuits and an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into the accuracy of his statement, according to multiple media reports.

Musk on Monday gave his most detailed vision of how a take-private deal could work, but shares ended flat, indicating investor skepticism.

The shares were last down 1 percent at $352.88 on Tuesday.

Musk said Monday he had held talks with a Saudi sovereign fund on a buyout that would take Tesla off the Nasdaq exchange – an extraordinary move for what is now the United States’ most valuable automaker. Tesla has a market capitalization of $60 billion, bigger than Detroit rivals General Motors Co or Ford Motor Co, who produce far more cars.

The company said in the statement the special committee has the authority to take any action on behalf of the board to evaluate and negotiate a potential transaction and alternatives to any transaction proposed by Musk.

Tuesday’s announcement means three members of Tesla’s board will now weigh whether it is advisable – or even feasible – to pursue what could be the biggest-ever go-private deal, and they are doing so before receiving a formal proposal from the CEO.

“The special committee has not yet received a formal proposal from Mr. Musk regarding any Going Private Transaction,” the company said in a public filing with U.S. securities regulators, the first it has made since Musk’s tweets last week.

Asked about the outcome of the special committee, analyst Chaim Siegel at Elazar Advisors said, “This is not easy. Anything is possible from pulling something together to nothing. I hope nothing – so the stock can trade and benefit from the earnings inflection,” he said, referring to a promise by Musk the company would turn profitable later this year.

A blogging, tweeting CEO

Musk has yet to convince Wall Street analysts and investors that he can find the billions needed to complete the deal. Tesla’s handling of Musk’s proposal and its failure to promptly file a formal disclosure, meanwhile, have raised governance concerns and sparked questions about how companies use social media.

Musk first tweeted he planned to go private and that funding was “secured” last week, sending Tesla shares soaring 11 percent, but investors have appeared skeptical about the details he has provided since.

He blogged on Monday that recent talks with a Saudi sovereign wealth fund gave him confidence funding was nailed down, but that he was still talking with the fund and other investors. He tweeted later he was working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Silver Lake as financial advisers, though a source said the private equity firm was working in an unpaid, informal capacity and also not discussing participating as an investor.

Goldman had not been formally tapped as a financial adviser by Musk when he revealed plans last week to take the automaker private and said he had secured the funding for the transaction, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Goldman did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

“Despite Elon Musk’s frustration with being a public company, I think there are more advantages to remaining public,” said CFRA analyst Efraim Levy, citing cheaper access to capital and media exposure due to interest in a public company.

Three-member panel

Tesla said the committee consists only of independent directors: Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm and Linda Johnson Rice.

But corporate governance and shareholder voting advisers Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services said they do not consider Buss an independent director, due to his connections to a solar panel business the company bought two years ago.

Buss was chief financial officer of solar panel installer SolarCity for two years before retiring when Tesla paid $2.6 billion for the sales and installation firm in 2016. It was Tesla’s last big deal and was criticized by some on Wall Street because the company, founded by two of Musk’s cousins, had seen its business shrink before the takeover.

Denholm, the first woman on Tesla’s board, is chief operations officer of telecom firm Telstra and the ex-CFO of network gear maker Juniper Networks.

Rice, the first African-American and second woman to join the board, is CEO of Johnson Publishing Company and Chairman Emeritus of EBONY Media Holdings, the parent of EBONY and Jet brands, according to Tesla’s website.

Tesla’s other board members include Musk; his brother Kimbal Musk; Twenty-First Century Fox’s CEO James Murdoch; Antonio Gracias, founder of Valor Equity Partners; and Ira Ehrenpreis, founder of venture capital firm DBL Partners.

One director, Steve Jurvetson, is currently on leave of absence following allegations of sexual harassment.

Tesla’s board said on Aug. 8 that Musk had held talks with the directors in the previous week on taking the company private.

Latham and Watkins LLP has been retained by the committee as its legal counsel. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati will be legal counsel for Tesla itself.

Tesla Appoints Independent Directors to Weigh Any Deal Tesla Appoints Independent Directors to Weigh Any Deal Reviewed by NewsDr. on 8:08 PM Rating: 5

WhatsApp backups will no longer count against Google Drive storage

6:45 PM

WhatsApp Inc. has reached an agreement with Google to no longer count backups against Google Drive storage quotas, starting November 12, 2018. However, users must back up their messages, photos, and/or videos at least once a year or the backups will be automatically removed from Drive storage. The email announcing this agreement was sent out to users earlier today, as confirmed by our very own Steven Zimmerman.

WhatsApp Google Drive storageEmail sent to WhatsApp users today confirming the agreement with Google

For those of you who actively use Drive and back up large amounts of WhatsApp data, you’ll surely appreciate the extra storage space you’ll soon have access to. While some users only back up kilobytes of text data, others may back up hundreds of megabytes or even gigabytes of photos and videos. One of our writers, Arol Wright, backs up 2GBs of WhatsApp data to Google Drive.

This announcement comes as Google opened up the Google One cloud storage subscription service for more users worldwide. Google One is a consolidation of all of Google’s subscription services, including Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail, and offers the following subscription tiers:

  • 15GB – Free for all Google accounts

  • 100GB – $1.99 per month

  • 200GB – $2.99 per month

  • 2TB – $9.99 per month

For those of you who pay for Google One, the extra space that will be made available once WhatsApp data no longer counts against Drive’s storage quota won’t be that appreciable. But for the majority of users on the free tier, saving hundreds of megabytes or a few gigabytes can make a big difference. As stated in the email and at the beginning of this article, this agreement won’t take effect until November 12, 2018, so be sure to manually back up your data before we reach that date so you won’t lose any of your data. You can download the latest version of the app from the Google Play Store link below.

WhatsApp Messenger

WhatsApp Messenger

Price: Free

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WhatsApp backups will no longer count against Google Drive storage WhatsApp backups will no longer count against Google Drive storage Reviewed by SocialDr. on 6:45 PM Rating: 5

Following Alfred Russel Wallace's footsteps to Borneo, where he penned his seminal evolution paper

6:45 PM

The chirping of cicadas is deafening, my clothes are sticky and heavy with heat and sweat, my right hand is swollen from ant bites, I am panting, almost passing out from exhaustion – and I have a big grin on my face. At last I’ve reached my goal, Rajah Brooke’s cottage, at the top of Bukit Peninjau, a hill in the middle of Borneo’s jungle.

This is where, in February 1855, naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace wrote his hugely influential “Sarawak Law” paper. It’s as crucial to Wallace’s own thinking in disentangling the mechanisms of evolution as the Galàpagos Islands famously were to his contemporary, Charles Darwin.

Three years later, in 1858, two papers that would change our understanding of our place in the natural world were read before the Linnean Society of London. Their authors: Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. In another year, Charles Darwin would publish “The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection,” squarely positioning him as the father of evolution. Whether Darwin or Wallace should justly be credited for the discovery of the mechanisms of evolution has stirred controversy pretty much ever since.

Comparatively little has been written about Wallace’s seminal work, published four years earlier. In what’s commonly known as his “Sarawak Law” paper, Wallace pondered the unique distribution of related species, which he could only explain by means of gradual changes. This insight would ultimately mature into a fully formed theory of evolution by natural selection – the same theory Charles Darwin arrived at independently years before, but had not yet published.

I am an evolutionary biologist who has always been fascinated by the mechanisms of evolution as well as the history of my own field, and it’s like visiting hallowed ground for me to trace Wallace’s footsteps through the jungle where he puzzled through the mechanics of how evolution works.

An 1874 map of the Malay Archipelago, tracing Wallace’s travels. Trustees of the Natural History Museum, 2018, CC BY-ND

Forgotten founder of evolutionary theory

Alfred Russel Wallace, originally a land surveyor from a modest background, was a naturalist at heart and an adventurer. He left England to collect biological specimens in South America to finance his quest: to understand the great laws that shape life. But his trip back home was marred by terrible weather resulting in his ship sinking, all specimens being lost and a near-death experience for Wallace himself.

Portrait of Alfred Russel Wallace taken in Singapore in 1862. James Marchant

In order to make back the money he’d lost in the shipwreck, he headed to the Malay Archipelago, a region to which few Europeans had ever ventured. Wallace spent time in Singapore, Indonesia, Borneo and the Moluccas.

There he wrote a succinct, yet brilliant, paper, which he sent to Charles Darwin. In it, he described how organisms produce more offspring than necessary, and natural selection only favors the most fit. The ideas he’d arrived at on his own were revolutionary – and closely mirrored what Darwin had been mulling over himself.

Receiving Wallace’s paper – and realizing that he might be scientifically “scooped” by this unknown naturalist – prompted Darwin to rush his own writings, resulting in the presentation to the Linnean Society in 1858. Wallace’s paper, now known as the “Ternate paper,” was an elaboration of his thinking, based on an earlier, first foray into the realm of evolutionary biology.

A waterfall in Sarawak. Hugh Low, ‘Sarawak; its inhabitants and productions; being notes during a residence in that country with the Rajah Brooke.’

A few years earlier, when in Singapore, Wallace had met James Brooke, a British adventurer, who through incredible circumstances became the rajah of Sarawak, a large state on the island of Borneo. James Brooke would create a dynasty of Sarawak rulers, known as the white rajahs.

Upon their encounter, Brooke and Wallace became friends. Wallace fell in love with Sarawak and realized that it was a perfect collecting ground, mostly for insects, but also for the much sought after orangutans. He stayed in the area a total of 14 months, his longest stay anywhere in the archipelago. Toward the end of his sojourn, Wallace was invited by Brooke to visit his cottage, a place up on the Bukit Peninjau that was pleasantly cool, surrounded by a lush and promising forest.

Wallace described it in his own words:

“This is a very steep pyramidal mountain of crystalline basaltic rock, about a thousand feet high, and covered with luxuriant forest. There are three Dyak villages upon it, and on a little platform near the summit is the rude wooden lodge where the English Rajah was accustomed to go for relaxation and cool fresh air…. The road up the mountain is a succession of ladders on the face of precipices, bamboo bridges over gullies and chasms, and slippery paths over rocks and tree-trunks and huge boulders as big as houses.”

The jungle surrounding the cottage was full of collecting possibilities – it was particularly good for moths. Wallace would sit in the cottage’s main room with the lights on at night, working, sometimes furiously fast, at pinning hundreds of specimens. In just three evening sessions, Wallace would write his “Sarawak Law” paper in this remote setting.

Whether consciously or not, Wallace was laying the foundation for understanding the processes of evolution. Working things through in this out-of-the-way cottage, he started to synthesize a new evolutionary theory that he’d fully develop in his Ternate paper.

The birdwing butterfly Trogonoptera brookiana was named by Wallace for Sir James Brooke, the rajah of Sarawak. Lyn, CC BY-ND

Following in Wallace’s Sarawak footsteps

I’ve been teaching evolution to college students for over two decades and have always been fascinated by the story of the “Sarawak Law” paper. On a recent trip to Borneo, I decided to try to retrace Wallace’s steps up to the cottage to see for myself where this pioneering paper was written.

Tracking down information about the exact location of Bukit Peninjau turned out to be a challenge in itself, but after a few mistakes and contradictory directions obtained from local villagers, my 16-year-old son Alessio and I found the trailhead.

The moment we started, it was obvious we had ventured off the beaten path. The trail is narrow, steep, slippery and at times barely recognizable as a path. The very steep incline, combined with the heat and humidity, make it difficult to negotiate.

The author with an Amorphophallus flower. Alessio Bernardi, CC BY-ND

While much has disappeared since Wallace’s time, a huge diversity of lifeforms is still visible. In the thick of the jungle along the lower part of the trail, we spotted several stands of the tallest flower in the world, the aptly named Amorphophallus. Hundreds of butterflies were everywhere, along with other peculiar arthropods including giant ants and giant pill millipedes.

In some stretches, the trail is so steep that we had to rely on the knotted ropes that have been installed to help with the climb. Apparently red ants love those ropes as well – and our grasping hands just as much.

The author on the former site of the Brooke cottage. Locals sprayed the area with weed-killer to reclaim the clearing from the jungle. Alessio Bernardi, CC BY-ND

Eventually, after about an hour and a half of climbing and struggling, we reached a somewhat flat portion of the trail, not more than 30 feet long. On the right, a small path led up to a clearing, the former site of the cottage. It’s hard not to imagine Alfred Russel Wallace, thousands of miles from home, in complete scientific isolation, pondering the meaning of biological diversity. I was at a loss for words, though my teenage son was puzzled by the emotional meaning of the moment for me.

I walked around the cleared space where the cottage used to be, imagining the rooms, the jars, the nets, the moths and the notebooks. It’s an incredible feeling to share that space.

We walked down a slope to the huge overhanging rock where Brooke and Wallace found “refreshing baths and delicious drinking water.” The pools are gone now, filled in with natural debris, but the cave is still a welcome shelter from the sun.

The author in the spot where Wallace described ‘a cool spring under an overhanging rock just below the cottage.’ Alessio Bernardi, CC BY-ND

We decided to climb to the top of the hill. Thirty minutes and buckets of sweat later, we arrived at a viewpoint where we could take in a view of the entire valley, unobstructed by the jungle. We saw oil palm farms, houses and roads. But my focus was on the river in the distance, used by Wallace to reach this place. I imagined what the primary forest, full of orangutans, birdwing butterflies and hornbills, must have looked like 160 years ago.

In the midst of this gorgeous but very harsh environment, Wallace was able to keep a clear head, think deeply about what it all meant, put it down on paper and send it to the most prominent biologist of the time, Charles Darwin.

Like many other evolution aficionados, I’ve visited the Galàpagos Islands and retraced Darwin’s footsteps. But it’s in this remote jungle, far from anyone and anything – perhaps because of the physical difficulties of reaching Rajah Brooke’s cottage combined with the raw beauty of the surroundings – that I felt a deeper connection with that long-ago time, when evolution was discovered.

Following Alfred Russel Wallace's footsteps to Borneo, where he penned his seminal evolution paper Following Alfred Russel Wallace's footsteps to Borneo, where he penned his seminal evolution paper Reviewed by SocialDr. on 6:45 PM Rating: 5

California primary candidate faced cyberattacks for a year

6:21 PM

Campaign manager Kyle Quinn-Quesada didn’t belive the hacks affected the primary results, where Keirstead placed a close third. The manager also claimed that Keirstead’s problems weren’t unique and had “become the new normal” for political runs.

It’s not clear who launched the attacks or why, although the FBI is investgating. Word of the hacking efforts follows just weeks after Senator Claire McCaskill warned of Russian attempts to compromise her campaign using phishing attempts, however, and days after Senator Bill Nelson said that Russians had compromised Florida’s election systems. Rolling Stone noted that House seat incumbent Dana Rohrabacher has been an outspoken opponent of any attempt to sanction Russia for its US election interference, although it’s not clear that the intruders were motivated by his pro-Russia stance.

Whoever’s responsible, Keirstead’s case shows just how wide-ranging election-related hacking attempts have been. It’s not just nominated candidates who’ve had to worry — it’s anyone who stood even a vaguely realistic chance of taking office. This probably won’t be the last reported incident between now and November.

California primary candidate faced cyberattacks for a year California primary candidate faced cyberattacks for a year Reviewed by TechDr on 6:21 PM Rating: 5

Powered by $25 million, Arcadia Power looks to expand its distributed renewable energy services

6:21 PM

As renewable energy use surges in the U.S. and the effects of global climate change become more visible, companies like Arcadia Power are pitching a nationwide service to make renewable energy available to residential customers.

While states like New York, California and regions across the upper Midwest have access to renewable energy through their utilities and competitive marketplaces, not all states in the country have utilities that are building renewable power generation to offset coal and natural gas energy production.

Enter Arcadia Power and its new $25 million in financing, which will be used to redouble its marketing efforts and expand its array of services in the U.S.

Right now, renewable energy is the fastest growing component of the U.S. energy mix. It’s grown from 15 percent to 18 percent of all power generation in the country, according to a 2018 report from Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

And while Arcadia Power is only accounting for 120 megawatts of the 2.9 gigawatts of new renewable energy projects initiated since 2017, its new $25 million in financing will help power new projects.

When we first wrote about the company in 2016, it was just developing solar projects that would generate power for the grid to offset electricity usage from its customers.

Now the company is expanding its array of services. All customers are automatically enrolled in a 50 percent wind energy offset program, where half of their monthly usage is matched in investments in wind farms — and they can upgrade to fully offset their energy usage with wind power. Meanwhile, community solar projects are also available for free or customers can then purchase a panel and receive a guaranteed solar savings on each monthly power bill.

Reduced prices are given to customers through the consolidation of their buying power across multiple competitive energy markets.

Finally, Arcadia is offering new home efficiency upgrades like LED lighting and smart thermostats, along with smart metering and tracking services to improve customers’ payment options, the company said.

“The electricity industry hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years, and we believe that homeowners and renters want a new approach that puts them first. Our platform places clean energy, home efficiency and data insights front and center for residential energy customers in all 50 states,” said chief executive Kiran Bhatraju.

Kiran Bhatraju, chief executive officer Arcadia Power

Funding for the new Arcadia Power financing was led by G2VP, the investment firm that spun out from Kleiner Perkins cleantech investing, ValueAct Spring Fund, McKnight Foundation, Energy Impact Partners, Cendana Capital, Wonder Ventures, BoxGroup and existing investors, according to the company. As a result of the investment, Alex Laskey, Opower’s founder and president; Ben Kortlang, a partner at G2VP; and Dan Leff, a longtime investor in energy technology companies, will all join the Arcadia board of directors.

“We’re taking a piece of the savings that is a part of the power purchase agreement,” says Bhatraju. “Customers get a 5 percent guaranteed savings against the utility rate. In competitive markets like Ohio or Maryland, it’s a shared savings model.”

Beyond the savings, the offsets can do something to reduce the carbon emissions that are exacerbating the problems of global climate change.

“When you build community solar projects you are displacing former fossil fuel plants from being used because these of customers,” Bhatraju said. But the entrepreneur recognizes that they have a long way to go to make a difference. “120 MW is not nearly enough,” Bhatraju said. “We’ve got a long way to go.”

Powered by $25 million, Arcadia Power looks to expand its distributed renewable energy services Powered by $25 million, Arcadia Power looks to expand its distributed renewable energy services Reviewed by NewsDr. on 6:21 PM Rating: 5
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