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EBI News for October 06, 2021- Solar Industry Bumps Up Electricity Generation Goal

EBI News for October 06, 2021- The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, Solar industry bumps up electricity generation goal, acquisitions, and more!


Black & Veatch to determine cost of pending PFAS regulations

Black & Veatch (B&V, Overland Park, Kan.) has been selected by the American Water Works Assn. (AWWA) to lead a project to develop national cost models for compliance with the first national drinking water standard for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) treatment in the United States; more than 140,000 public water systems will be affected. Black & Veatch will develop an interactive national cost-modeling tool that evaluates the capital and operating costs for each public water supplier. The AWWA will use the analysis to provide input to the EPA. “This project will… help ensure final PFAS drinking water regulations are based on sound cost estimates that accurately reflect the costs utilities will incur as a result of the new regulations,” said Dustin Mobley, B&V’s Drinking Water PFAS Treatment Leader. According to B&V’s 2020 Strategic Directions: Water Report survey, nearly half of respondents named PFAS as the chief contaminant of concern for drinking water, followed by nitrate and nitrite (34%) and lead (26%).


Solar industry bumps up electricity generation goal

The Solar Energy Industries Assn. (SEIA) is aiming for solar to account for 30% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030; the organization’s previous goal was 20%. Solar accounted for 56% of all new electric generating capacity additions in the first half of 2021, however, the industry’s growth rate is not fast enough to meaningfully address climate change, according to SEIA: “To meet 30% solar by 2030 and President Biden’s clean energy goals, the solar industry must double its deployment pace. Without bold, long-term policy investments, solar will only account for 15% of electricity generation by 2030, far short of what is needed to reduce emissions and address climate change.”


Technology investment is key to Australian mining industry’s net zero emissions goal

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has confirmed the mining industry’s ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, saying this can only be achieved through significant investment in technology. “Member companies are proactively adopting or considering a range of technologies including those that are already available and others where breakthrough development technology is still required,” MCA reported. Activities identified as facilitating emissions reductions at scale include energy efficiency, considering where renewable energy can replace current energy sources, carbon capture and storage, additional flaring and gas capture equipment, flaring of underground emissions, ventilated air methane abatement, electrification, and funding medium- to longer-term negative emission technologies.


Hyundai Motor and partners to test recycled batteries for solar energy storage

Utility-scale developer OCI Solar Power and gas and electric utility CPS Energy, both based in San Antonio, Texas, have agreed with the Hyundai Motor Group (Seoul, S. Korea) to test recycled electric vehicle (EV) batteries for solar energy storage. By September 2022, the parties plan to install an energy storage system (ESS) developed by Hyundai Motor Group. OCI Solar Power will procure ESS components and supervise construction, while CPS Energy will operate the ESS. All will share data from the project. The collaboration is described as one of the first to study the performance and cost benefits of redeploying EV batteries.


Partnership to “democratize” lithium-ion battery recycling

Cleantech startup Princeton NuEnergy Inc. (Bordentown, N.J.) is partnering with Wistron GreenTech and eTak Worldwide “to democratize direct recycling of lithium-ion batteries (LIB) with reduced energy consumption, CO2 emissions and operational costs.” The joint pilot project aims to provide direct recycling and to repurpose LIB at scale. Princeton NuEnergy says it has developed a cost-effective, environmentally friendly technology for directly recycling aged LIBs and regenerating the battery materials for reuse in building new batteries, super capacitors, portable consumer electronics, and EVs. 


ERM announces mapping tool for electric vehicle infrastructure 

An online tool released by M.J. Bradley & Associates (MJB&A), part of the ERM Group (London, UK), in partnership with Georgetown Climate Center and Ceres, will help to identify the highest priority areas for electric vehicle fast charging infrastructure deployment. The Evaluation and Development of Regional Infrastructure for Vehicle Electrification Model, or E-DRIVE, comes as the U.S. Congress works on legislation proposing billions of dollars in investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  “We are excited to release E-DRIVE at this important juncture in the development of the electric transportation market and policy,” said Michael Bradley, MJB&A founder and ERM senior partner. “As policymakers, communities, utilities, and businesses look to make investments in charging infrastructure, this Model can help make smart and strategic decisions.”


Parsons wins $145M environmental contract for army ammunition plant

Parsons Corporation (Centreville, Va.) has been awarded a new four-year, $145-million contract by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Norfolk District. This is a design-build delivery project for a new Energetic Waste Incinerator/Contaminated Waste Processor located at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Virginia. “The new facility will be a critical component in modernizing waste disposal, as well as mitigating emissions during the process to help protect the surrounding community,” said Jon Moretta, president, engineered systems for Parsons.  


AECOM to develop hydrogen-powered railway in Central Italy

AECOM (Los Angeles, Calif.) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Spanish renewables group Iberdrola and Italian partners Cinque International and Ancitel Energy and Environment to upgrade Italy’s historic Apennine diesel railway with hydrogen trains. AECOM and its partners are working on four projects to support sustainable economic recovery in the region, which was badly affected by earthquakes in 2009 and 2016 and has suffered from decades of depopulation. The first project is the upgrade of the 300km Apennine line, which will be one of Italy’s first hydrogen railways.


McDermott joins AquaVentus to advance renewable hydrogen production

McDermott (Houston) has joined AquaVentus, a Germany-based consortium of more than 70 companies, organizations and research institutions collaborating on green hydrogen energy production in the North Sea. AquaVentus aims to develop 10 gigawatts of generation capacity for green hydrogen from offshore wind turbines by 2035. The wind power generated will be used to produce up to one million tons of production capacity of green hydrogen and transported to land via pipeline. McDermott will bring comprehensive engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) experience in the onshore, offshore, subsea and storage markets.


BART awards ICF $30 million environmental services contract

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) has awarded ICF (Fairfax, Va.) a new contract with a ceiling of $30 million to provide environmental services supporting major infrastructure expansion to its passenger rail network. ICF has pulled together a team of 25 partners, including 13 disadvantaged business enterprises, to support Phase 1 of the project from 2022-2024, which encompasses program development, environmental strategy, resource inventory, constraints and opportunities assessment, and alternatives evaluation. The contract also includes a multiyear option up to $140 million to extend the work through Phase 2, which includes the environmental review and permitting phases.


GFL expands solid waste footprint in the Midwest

Publicly traded waste management company GFL Environmental Inc. (Vaughan, Ontario) has acquired the solid waste management and recycling business of Peoria Disposal Company (Peoria, Ill.). “The acquisition of PDC provides us with a unique opportunity to acquire one of the best family owned and operated vertically integrated set of assets in the United States, while expanding our solid waste footprint within the U.S. Midwest,” said Patrick Dovigi, founder and CEO of GFL. Since July 1, 2021 GFL has completed 16 acquisitions across its North American platform for a total of 31 acquisitions year-to-date: “With another acquisition expected to close in mid-October, we have deployed C$2.2 billion to acquire approximately C$715 million of revenue or C$340 million of revenue excluding the acquisition of Terrapure Environmental Ltd.,” Dovigi concluded.


Survey reveals challenges and trends in municipal recycling

A survey by Recycling Today Media Group has revealed that the majority of materials recovery facility (MRF) operators (74%) and haulers (67%) are finding labor availability and costs either ‘very challenging’ or ‘challenging’, with some MRF operators citing labor among their top concerns in 2021. In addition, both MRF operators and municipalities have been affected by changes in material generation partly brought on by the pandemic; for example, 26% of MRF operators reported that volume of processed residential recyclables had increased 16% or more. MRF operators and government officials also indicated contamination is a primary concern, particularly from batteries due to fire risk.  Changes to material streams and quality have affected recycling contracts, with both local governments and haulers re-evaluating. Due to changing commodity prices, more MRF operators are adopting fee-for-service models. Asked how governments can best help with market development, 30% of MRF operators and 38% of recycling coordinators and government officials identified extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation. The State of the Municipal Recycling Industry report and special features are available from Recycling Today; survey findings were supplemented by three roundtables hosted earlier in the year.


Evolution Capital investment launches new Mainline Environmental platform

Evolution Capital Partners LLC has invested in EnviroScience Consultants Inc. (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.), an environmental consulting firm that provides inspection and testing services to schools, property owners and healthcare institutions. ECI represents the first investment for Evolution’s Mainline Environmental, a platform for environmental testing and compliance companies. Platform businesses will focus on consulting, inspection, testing and monitoring, and remediation of lead, asbestos, mold and other contaminants for commercial customers. “In addition to providing resources and know-how to enhance ECI’s business processes, we will also pursue complementary add-on acquisitions to further broaden its service offerings and geographic reach,” said Jeffrey Kadlic, Evolution’s founding partner.


ADEC Innovations acquires Cameron-Cole

Sustainable development firm ADEC Innovations (Geneva, Switzerland) has acquired Cameron Cole, LLC (Boulder, Colo.), a full-service environmental services and regulatory compliance consulting firm with national reach. The acquisition expands ADEC Innovations’ pure-play environmental and sustainability consulting business, currently operating as FirstCarbon Solutions and ADEC Innovations ESG Solutions. Cameron-Cole brings remediation, compliance and permitting, due diligence, waste, groundwater, wastewater, and hydrogeological services. Cameron-Cole joins ADEC Innovations’ 4,500-strong global workforce.


Ambient Energy expands Mead & Hunt’s sustainability services

Ambient Energy Inc. (Denver, Colo.), a design firm specializing in commissioning, energy analysis, and sustainable design, has joined the Mead & Hunt team. “We have been searching for ways to expand the sustainability practice of our firm,” said Andy Platz, CEO of Mead & Hunt (Middleton, Wis.). “Not only does incorporating sustainable solutions into our work make good business sense—it is also imperative as we face a growing population and a changing climate.” Founded in 2004, Ambient Energy’s focus has been on helping clients achieve resilient, regenerative, and sustainable goals in new and existing buildings, improving occupant comfort, and reducing utility bills. The firm serves aviation, transportation, K-12 and higher education, laboratory, multi-family, federal, and state markets.


WestLand acquires EM Strategies

WestLand Engineering & Environmental Services Inc. (Tucson, Ariz.) announced the merger of environmental services firm EM Strategies Inc. (Reno, Nev.). Founded in 2000, EM Strategies is employee-owned and has served natural resource development clients throughout the western United States, specializing in third party and proponent based work with the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and state and local governments. EM Strategies is focused on projects primarily serving the mining industry. Established in 1997, WestLand is 100% employee-owned and has offices in Arizona, Washington, Oregon and now Nevada totaling six offices throughout the west and more than 170 employees.


RTC platform adds Alden Research Laboratory 

Alden Research Laboratory Inc. (Holden, Mass.), an expert in the field of applied fluid dynamic consulting, has joined Round Table Capital’s national platform of environmental engineering companies, currently known as NECS Companies. Established in 1894, Alden is reported to be the oldest continuously operating hydraulic laboratory in North America. RTC platform companies are comprised of nearly 450 staff located in offices across the United States and include Hull & Associates, Duffield Associates, HSW Consulting, and GeoInsight. 


Buro Happold pursues U.S. expansion strategy

International engineering consultancy Buro Happold (Bath, UK) has acquired the sustainability consultancy Paladino and Company (Seattle, Wash.), driving its growth strategy in the United States. Buro Happold has worked alongside Paladino for nearly a decade, including on the Tower at PNC Plaza in Pittsburgh, a LEED Platinum-certified building also dubbed “the world’s greenest high-rise.”


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