U.S. Treasury chief says trade deal possible with U.K. in a year

Antelope Valley Press | January 26, 2020

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested Saturday that Britain and America would be able to conclude a trade deal this year, despite lingering disagreements on a digital services tax and whether to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to build aspects of a new high-speed mobile network. Britain leaves European Union in less than a week, severing decades of friction-less trade with a market of 650 million. Replacing those trade ties with other post-Brexit pacts is considered critical for the nation’s economy and future.

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First Lady Melania Trump attended a dedication ceremony for the REACH, part of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this evening.  As Honorary Chair of the Kennedy Center, the First Lady delivered opening remarks inside the new Welcome Pavilion.   Mrs. Trump acknowledged the Kennedy Center leadership, Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, and the generous donors who made the initiative possible.

Spotlight

First Lady Melania Trump attended a dedication ceremony for the REACH, part of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this evening.  As Honorary Chair of the Kennedy Center, the First Lady delivered opening remarks inside the new Welcome Pavilion.   Mrs. Trump acknowledged the Kennedy Center leadership, Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, and the generous donors who made the initiative possible.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Enphase Energy Technology Selected by Australian Government and Community Organizations

Enphase Energy, Inc. | November 29, 2021

Enphase Energy, Inc. , a global energy technology company and the world's leading supplier of microinverter-based solar and battery systems, today announced that Enphase microinverter-based solar systems are becoming increasingly preferred for commercial installations by government and community organizations in Australia seeking to offset daytime electricity costs and make progress towards net zero goals. Wollongong City Council in New South Wales recently deployed a total of 549 Enphase IQ™7A microinverter-based solar panels totalling 220 kW on the Council's multi-story Stewart Street car park. The installation is expected to reduce the adjacent 6 Star Green Star-rated Administration building's electricity costs by as much as one quarter annually. "The project utilizes the roof of the car park to generate renewable energy that could offset energy consumption and make progress towards the Council's net zero goals. The Council selected Enphase microinverters for the car park’s rooftop solar system because it had used them successfully to optimize performance, simplify maintenance, and ensure safety on smaller systems and wanted the same benefits for this larger-scale project." Nicolas Noslier, project manager at Autonomous Energy, an Enphase installer Enphase IQ microinverters leverage Enphase's unique software-defined architecture and semiconductor integration for excellent reliability and economies of scale. Enphase microinverters are subjected to a rigorous reliability and quality testing regimen with more than one million cumulative hours of power-on testing to provide exceptional performance under heat, high humidity, salty air, extreme cold, and harsh climate conditions. The Company's microinverters are designed to be long-lived energy assets and are backed by a 10-year limited warranty in the Australian solar market, which can be extended for a fee for up to 15, 20, or 25 years. In another example from New South Wales, the Milton Ulladulla ExServos Club deployed a 215 kW, 581 solar panel system fitted with Enphase IQ™7+ microinverters. With 85 employees and 13,500 members, the Club has deep roots in its community, supporting many local sports and other community organizations, making system reliability and solar fire safety critical to the project. "Microinverters provide us with monitoring for each solar panel, so we can see how well a panel is working and easily identify a problem,” said Darryl Bozicevic, chief executive officer at Milton Ulladulla ExServos Club. "With an average of 1,000 to 2,000 people visiting the club daily, safety was an important part of our decision, which also encouraged us to choose Enphase. We've budgeted on a five-year payback." The ability to monitor each panel's performance is essential to improving diagnostics, fault identification, and reducing long-term maintenance costs for commercial systems. The Wollongong Council and Milton Ulladulla ExServos Club sites are both outfitted with the Enphase IQ Gateway™, which connects the solar systems to the Enphase App™ and helps make per-panel energy monitoring and insights for operations and maintenance easy. "We proved to the club that solar panels equipped with Enphase microinverter-based systems perform better than panels using string inverters," said Glenn Cooper, managing director at installer SunnyAfternoons, an Enphase Installer Network Platinum member. "In addition to the advantages of module-level reporting, safety was paramount. Enphase microinverters convert DC energy produced by the panels to AC energy right on the panel, so there are no high voltage DC cables running through the roof, which eliminates the risk of a DC arc-fault fire." "Our distributed and all-AC architecture combined with panel-level monitoring means there is no doubt that Enphase microinverter-based solar systems are smart and safer choices for solar assets installed on commercial facilities," said Dave Ranhoff, chief commercial officer at Enphase Energy. "We are proud to see our technology leveraged by government and community-based organizations in Australia to not only help reduce their energy bills, but also to help meet their renewable energy goals." About Enphase Energy, Inc. Enphase Energy, a global energy technology company based in Fremont, CA, is the world's leading supplier of microinverter-based solar and battery systems that enable people to harness the sun to make, use, save, and sell their own power—and control it all with a smart mobile app. The company revolutionized the solar industry with its microinverter-based technology and builds all-in-one solar, battery, and software solutions. Enphase has shipped more than 39 million microinverters, and over 1.7 million Enphase-based systems have been deployed in more than 130 countries.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Intel Wins US Government Project to Develop Leading-Edge Foundry Ecosystem

Intel | August 23, 2021

What’s New:The U.S. Department of Defense, through the NSTXL consortium-based S2MARTS OTA, has awarded Intel an agreement to provide commercial foundry services in the first phase of its multi-phase Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes - Commercial (RAMP-C) program. The RAMP-C program was created to facilitate the use of a U.S.-based commercial semiconductor foundry ecosystem to fabricate the assured leading-edge custom and integrated circuits and commercial products required for critical Department of Defense systems. Intel Foundry Services, Intel’s dedicated foundry business launched this year, will lead the work. “One of the most profound lessons of the past year is the strategic importance of semiconductors, and the value to the United States of having a strong domestic semiconductor industry. Intel is the sole American company both designing and manufacturing logic semiconductors at the leading edge of technology. When we launched Intel Foundry Services earlier this year, we were excited to have the opportunity to make our capabilities available to a wider range of partners, including in the U.S. government, and it is great to see that potential being fulfilled through programs like RAMP-C.” – Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO How It Works: Intel Foundry Services will partner with industry leaders, including IBM, Cadence, Synopsys and others, to support the U.S. government’s needs for designing and manufacturing assured integrated circuits by establishing and demonstrating a semiconductor IP ecosystem to develop and fabricate test chips on Intel 18A, Intel’s most advanced process technology. “The RAMP-C program will enable both commercial foundry customers and the Department of Defense to take advantage of Intel’s significant investments in leading-edge process technologies,” said Randhir Thakur, Intel Foundry Services president. “Along with our customers and ecosystem partners, including IBM, Cadence, Synopsys and others, we will help bolster the domestic semiconductor supply chain and ensure the United States maintains leadership in both R&D and advanced manufacturing. We look forward to a long-term collaboration with the U.S. government as we deliver RAMP-C program milestones.” Intel recently announced plans to become a major provider of U.S.-based capacity for foundry customers, including an investment of approximately $20 billion to build two new factories in Arizona. These fabs will provide committed capacity for foundry customers and support expanding requirements for Intel products. Why It’s Important: The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has recently sought to diversify its approach to securing advanced microprocessors by leveraging commercially available technologies developed by U.S. companies. Other than Intel, the majority of U.S.-based chip designers are fabless, which means they design and sell integrated circuits that are fabricated by contract manufacturers called foundries. Today, more than 80 percent of leading-edge manufacturing capacity is concentrated in Asia1, leaving the DOD with limited onshore access to foundry technology capable of meeting the country’s long-term needs for secure microelectronics. The RAMP-C program was created to facilitate the use of a commercially viable onshore foundry ecosystem that will ensure DOD access to leading-edge technology, while allowing the defense industrial base to leverage the benefits of high-volume semiconductor manufacturing and design infrastructure of commercial partners like Intel. About the Broader Efforts: The RAMP-C program is part of a larger initiative to strengthen government supply chain security and accelerate U.S. leadership across the full spectrum of integrated circuit design, manufacturing and packaging. In October 2020, DOD launched the RAMP program using the Advanced Commercial Capabilities Project Phase 1 Other Transaction Authority. RAMP advances and demonstrates commercial leading-edge physical “back-end” assured design methods that transform a high-level chip design into the complex, technology-specific polygon form that is required as input for the wafer fabrication process. Intel is a participant in this project. Last year, DOD also awarded Intel the second phase of its State-of-the-Art Heterogeneous Integration Prototype (SHIP) program. The SHIP program enables the U.S. government to access Intel’s U.S. advanced semiconductor packaging capabilities with the goal of developing new approaches toward measurably secure, heterogeneous integration and test of advanced packaging solutions. SHIP will develop the capability to use advanced commercial technology to package and test the integrated circuits designed in RAMP and fabricated through RAMP-C. About Intel Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is an industry leader, creating world-changing technology that enables global progress and enriches lives. Inspired by Moore’s Law, we continuously work to advance the design and manufacturing of semiconductors to help address our customers’ greatest challenges. By embedding intelligence in the cloud, network, edge and every kind of computing device, we unleash the potential of data to transform business and society for the better.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Planet Builds Business in State and Local Government Sector

Planet | November 24, 2021

Planet, a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, today announced a number of new contracts with state and local governments, including entities in the states of Alaska and Mississippi. Operating about 200 earth imaging satellites, Planet provides near-daily images of every terrestrial location on earth, enabling their customers to track environmental change, support regional enforcement efforts, and make informed decisions. Through their 7-month pilot program, Planet and the State of Alaska explored solutions for department managers that have historically been challenged by Alaska’s unique geography, marked by severe winter storms and remote landscapes. Notably, 82% of Alaskan communities are inaccessible by roads, and it is time consuming and costly to get boots on the ground for evaluations. Previously, employees would take small aircrafts to monitor approximately 50 weather stations across 90 million acres of land to determine when a station became snow-free. With daily PlanetScope images, their team was able to look back at satellite imagery day-by-day to determine the exact moment the station became snow-free, saving substantial time, costs, and energy, and increased the accuracy of the data collected. By decreasing the number of aircraft trips needed to these remote regions, Planet’s data also significantly increased employee safety. Using Planet’s SkySats, the State of Alaska was also able to support inspectors for mining operations. With more frequent visibility, managers tracked mining activity on a month-to-month basis to plan inspections and support regulatory enforcement. They further utilized PlanetScope and SkySat data to provide environmental situational awareness for wildfires and reveal final fire perimeters. Additionally, the state leveraged Planet imagery of forestland to determine enforcement policies prior to on-site evaluations. Using Planet’s datasets under a multi-department license, the State of Alaska ensures this data is shared through the State’s Imagery portal so that the imagery data can be used by various agencies. For example, the satellite data collected for mining inspection analysis by the Department of Mining Land and Water is also open and accessible to the State Department of Conservation, Fish and Game. By sharing this data across agencies, there is increased project transparency to support economic development and sustainability efforts. At the other end of the continental U.S., Planet’s satellite data also supports the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR). The Mississippi gulf coast is home to some of the nation’s most productive fin fish and shellfish waters. To ensure the sustainable use of these wetland ecosystems, the DMR works to regulate and restore these habitats yearly. Using PlanetScope imagery, the DMR was able to conduct necessary due diligence to protect wetlands and enforce accurate permitting programs. Wetland habitats are home to a variety of submerged aquatic vegetation, including seagrasses that are vital to the ecosystem. As part of their role, the DMR provides permits to allow clients to mitigate and transport sections of vegetation for coastal development. In one instance, a client reported that in their designated zone, the aquatic vegetation was no longer present and requested a permit modification. It was critical that the DMR was able to ensure that the movement of this growing vegetation was a natural phenomenon and not due to human interference, such as mechanical removal or obstruction of light from a barge. Using PlanetScope’s high-cadence imagery, the DMR team was able to go back day-by-day through the previous year to ensure that there was no man-made structure, barge, or interference to the vegetation on the site. They concluded that the species movement was indeed a natural phenomenon, and thanks to Planet’s high temporal resolution imagery, they were able to support the changing permit status with confidence. This case highlighted how daily transparency allowed the DMR to increase local enforcement and conduct their due diligence to keep the wetlands safe. As a new customer, the Mississippi DMR was able to see immediate results from Planet’s product; and they are now exploring further uses for the data. These explorations will dive into identifying point sources of wetlands sedimentation, monitoring seagrass movement, and evaluating tidal marsh health and water quality. By working with Planet’s high-cadence imagery, the DMR will be able to better gauge secondary and cumulative impacts when projects are implemented. Each year, more and more state and local governments are using Planet’s data to support their regional planning processes, manage their local industries, and protect their ecosystems. Their additional customers include the New Mexico State Land Office, the Port of Long Beach, Humboldt County, California, City and County of San Francisco, Autoridad Nacional de Licencias Ambientales in Colombia, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the County of San Luis Obispo in California. Working with state and local governments aligns with Planet’s goals to support communities and protect the environment. Earlier this year, Planet entered into a definitive merger agreement with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (NYSE:DMYQ), a special purpose acquisition company, to become a publicly-traded company. As it joins the public market, Planet will become a public benefit corporation (PBC), in which its mission will be encoded into its corporate DNA, obligating Planet’s directors to stay true to their mission as part of their fiduciary duty to their stockholders. Planet’s public benefit purpose is: “To accelerate humanity to a more sustainable, secure and prosperous world by illuminating environmental and social change.” About Planet Planet is the leading provider of global, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions. Planet is driven by a mission to image the world every day, and make change visible, accessible and actionable. Founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists, Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest earth observation fleet of imaging satellites, capturing and compiling data from over 3 million images per day. Planet provides mission-critical data, advanced insights, and software solutions to over 700 customers, including the world’s leading agriculture, forestry, intelligence, education and finance companies and government agencies, enabling users to simply and effectively derive unique value from satellite imagery.

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