EPA Recognizes Volkswagen Chattanooga for 'Green Power'
Volkswagen Chattanooga has received a 2013 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The annual awards recognize the country’s leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market.
EPA presented Volkswagen Chattanooga with the award at an event held in conjunction with the 2013 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Austin, Texas on September 23, 2013.
Volkswagen Chattanooga was one of only four organizations nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for the on-site generation of green power. The award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves using on-site renewable energy applications, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) or landfill gas. Volkswagen Chattanooga is currently generating more than 13 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually from an on-site solar energy system, which is enough green power to meet 12 percent of the organization’s electricity use.
“We are honored that the EPA has recognized us with a Green Power Leadership award for the renewable energy generated by the Volkswagen Chattanooga Solar Park at our LEED Platinum certified factory in Tennessee,” said Frank Fischer, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga.
“Volkswagen’s worldwide conservation program is called Think Blue and it’s a global call to sustainable ecological action on our blue planet,” Fischer said. “Generating green power onsite is an important part of Volkswagen’s efforts to be responsible for our footprint in everything from powering our factory to powering our cars.”
Volkswagen Chattanooga currently ranks No. 15 on EPA’s Top 20 On-site Generation list, which highlights EPA Green Power Partners that have achieved the highest annual on-site green power generation through July 3, 2013. EPA updates its Top Partner Lists quarterly at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/.
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power accelerates the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
“EPA is pleased to recognize Volkswagen Chattanooga with a Green Power Leadership Award for its distinguished commitment to using on-site renewable energy resources,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
“By investing in on-site green power, Volkswagen Chattanooga is generating cleaner electricity and reducing harmful carbon pollution, and providing a clear example of an organization thriving on innovation and sustainability.”
According to the EPA, Volkswagen Chattanooga’s current green power generation of more than 13 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 2,000 passenger vehicles per year, or is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly more than 1,000 average American homes annually.
The solar installation at Volkswagen Chattanooga is an element of the highly-coveted LEED Platinum certification awarded to VW by the U.S Green Building Council in late 2011. At that time, the Building Council called the Chattanooga manufacturing facility “the world’s greenest auto plant” and noted it was the first automotive manufacturing plant in the world to receive the top LEED certification. Today, the Chattanooga plant remains the only auto plant worldwide to earn the LEED Platinum certification.
The Volkswagen Chattanooga Solar Park occupies 33 acres, or half of the 66-acre land parcel adjacent to Volkswagen’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. The solar park contains 33,600 solar modules from JA Solar designed to produce 13.1 gigawatt hours of electricity per year -- equivalent to the energy consumed annually by around 1,200 homes in the area.
The electricity produced from the solar park is expected to meet 12.5% of the energy needs of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing plant during full production and 100% during non-production periods. The plant covers 1.9 million square feet and employs around 2,500 people who manufacture the highly-acclaimed Volkswagen Passat sedan. For Volkswagen, the solar park in Chattanooga will rank as the automaker’s largest photovoltaic installation worldwide.
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Last Update on May 26, 2015 17:47 GMT
CHARTER-TIME WARNER CABLE
NEW YORK (AP) -- Charter Communications will spend $55.33 billion to acquire Time Warner Cable in a cash-and-stock deal that would instantly create one of the largest pay-television and broadband operators in the U.S.
As part of the agreement, Charter will also buy Bright House Networks for more than $10 billion.
Charter will provide $100 in cash and shares of a new public parent company equal to 0.5409 shares of Charter for each outstanding Time Warner Cable Inc. share. The transaction values each Time Warner Cable share at about $195.71.
The companies on Tuesday valued Time Warner Cable at a total of $78.7 billion.
Shares of Charter Communications Inc. are up more than 3 percent in premarket trading.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods fell slightly in April. But orders in a category that indicates business investment posted a second increase, a hopeful sign that this key sector is starting to revive.
The Commerce Department says that total orders for durable goods slipped 0.5 percent from March, when total orders had surged 5.1 percent. The big swing was driven by changes in commercial aircraft, an extremely volatile category that had jumped in March but fell in April.
Orders in the business investment category rose 1 percent in April after a 1.5 percent increase in March. The results followed a sizable 5.1 percent fall in February. Business investment has been hurt by a stronger dollar cutting into exports and cutbacks in the energy industry.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Conference Board says consumer confidence rebounded this month as the job market showed signs of improvement.
The business research group's consumer confidence index rose to 95.4 in May from 94.3 in April. The April reading had been sharp drop from March's 101.4.
Consumers' assessment of current economic conditions improved, but their outlook for the next six months slipped. Their expectations for the for the job market improved, however.
Employers added a healthy 223,000 jobs last month, up from a lackluster 85,000 in March. And the unemployment rate slid to 5.4 percent, lowest since May 2008, six months into the Great Recession.
NEW HOME SALES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- More Americans bought new homes in April -- fresh evidence that the improved job market is powering the real estate sector.
The Commerce Department says new-home sales climbed 6.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000. Sales recovered from an annual pace of 484,000 in March.
Purchases of new homes are volatile on a monthly basis, although sales during the first four months of 2015 are 23.7 percent higher than in 2014. Employers have added 3.1 million jobs over the past year, with those new paychecks starting to trickle into housing.
Sales increased in the Midwest and South last month, while slumping in the Northeast and West where prices are generally higher.
The median sales price has risen 8.3 percent since April 2014 to $297,300.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home prices rose at a steady pace in March, pushed higher by a limited supply of houses for sale.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5 percent in March from 12 months earlier. Prices increased at the same pace in February.
Home values are rising at a faster rate than incomes, potentially pricing many would-be buyers out of the market. Yet current increases have moderated from the double-digit gains of late 2013 and early last year.
The biggest increases were in San Francisco and Denver, where prices rose 10.3 percent and 10 percent respectively.
The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The March figures are the latest available.
DEUTSCHE BANK-SEC SETTLEMENT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Germany's Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay $55 million to settle civil charges of filing incorrect reports during the financial crisis that downplayed risks of huge losses.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Tuesday with the big German bank, which is a prominent institution on Wall Street. Deutsche Bank neither admitted nor denied the allegations but did agree to refrain from future violations of the securities laws.
The SEC said that in some quarterly reports in 2008, Deutsche Bank inflated the value of its transactions designed to hedge against losses on securities in the credit markets, which were turbulent at the time. That created a "gap risk" worth billions of dollars that wasn't properly taken into account in the bank's reports, the agency said.
BEIJING (AP) -- An official of the International Monetary Fund says it believes China's currency is no longer undervalued -- a stance that might help Beijing in its wrangling with Washington over exchange rate controls.
The IMF's first deputy managing director, David Lipton, also said Tuesday that Beijing should work toward having a floating exchange rate in two to three years.
Lipton spoke after meeting Chinese officials to discuss economic and financial policy.
The United States and some other governments have complained for years that China suppresses the value of its currency, the yuan, giving its exporters an unfair price advantage and hurting their foreign competitors.
Referring to the yuan, Lipton said that after recent changes in global exchange rates, "We believe that it is no longer undervalued."
LONDON (AP) -- A British prosecutor says a former Citibank and UBS trader motivated by greed served as the ringmaster in the alleged manipulation of a key interest rate, the London Interbank Lending Rate, or Libor.
The charges against trader Tom Hayes, who specialized in products pegged to yen-denominated Libor, relate to the period from August 2006 to September 2010. He is charged with conspiring with employees from other leading institutions.
Prosecutor Mukul Chawla says the 35-year-old Hayes' greed "led to his dishonesty on an enormous scale."
Libor is a key rate that banks use to borrow from each other. Indirectly, the rate affects what people pay when they take out loans, such as a car loan.
Hayes denies all eight charges in the case that opened Tuesday at Southwark Crown Court.
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