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  • Axion Power Concentrator 387: Jan. 25, 2015 [View instapost]
    I've never understood why Vani was at these sales conferences based on his background. Its why several months ago I wondered aloud about Richard (Dick) Rosey who is Axion's Director of Marketing. These conferences and the fact that Mr. Rosey has 20+ years in the solar industry in the PA and Northeastern US should have meant that he has a solid rolodex and ability when the Pivot to Powercube occurred. Mr. Rosey's background would seem to be more in line and unless there is something else I never understood why it wasn't him instead of Vani at these events.

    Viridinty was not the software provider that BySolar decided not to work with. You are correct in that Viridinty has a problem. Their software is not as good as others and more expensive.
    Jan 30, 2015. 01:02 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 387: Jan. 25, 2015 [View instapost]
    Vani doesn't go to any conferences without his buddy HG Chissell.

    Look at any conference where Vani has been and HG has been there. In fact most of the conferences he has been with HG. There is a reason Axion has no name recognition - nobody has been out there doing it.
    Jan 30, 2015. 10:56 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 387: Jan. 25, 2015 [View instapost]

    Thats a big office for closure. Thanks for finding.
    Jan 28, 2015. 09:44 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 387: Jan. 25, 2015 [View instapost]
    Battery storage for wind and solar will be a long term trend I expect. However one would expect that this market will be a mix of long slow release and fast discharge (like the PbC). The positive nature of solar is that in certain markets there are economic incentives available which are growing solar and not wind. Where I live a stand alone solar is not economic (15 year payback). Solar + storage is worse. Solar + storage with FR capabilities like the PbC improves it but I get a 8-12 year payback (I'm conservative). However solar + storage in NJ gets you access to the FR market at rates in the PJM marketplace which are 2x the rates in the NYISO and New England ISO and MISO (where I live). That makes the economics better. However NJ, PA, MD and a few other states have something called SRECs or Solar Renewable Energy Certificates. These are only for solar and not other renewables. They are created and sold in a marketplace based on the amount of solar created. Currently in NJ one SREC in 2014 has averaged $170 and is trending up to $190 currently and are given when you create 1 MWh(1000 kwh). Other states such as Maryland, Delaware and PA are worth about $50. However, one will see that rates in DC are over $450 and Mass over $250 so I would expect to see new solar pushes in those states shortly. Last year I had read that Illinois was looking to starting a SREC program but I haven't seen if its been finalized. Chicago, unlike the rest of downstate Illinois IS part of the PJM market which should make the economics very good in that region.

    The SREC are why you hear about solar more than wind and the fact that the panels are a commodity today. I've done some math using some figures and that BySolar project probably cost $3.5-$4.0M upfront before the 60% tax rebate which if we split the middle lowers the upfront costs to $1.5M. At current prices the SRECs for this 500kw project is worth about $100k annually. I've seen estimates that the FR market could get $250k annually but if I use 200k that is still $300k savings annually on $1.5M spent or a 5 year payback before any utility savings.
    Jan 28, 2015. 03:55 PM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 387: Jan. 25, 2015 [View instapost]
    I use LinkedIn often when looking at new suppliers. Especially with small companies I can look around and see the real size and depth of the company.

    There are also a lot of personal massage and personal trainers on LinkedIn. Often these are more of the very personal and one on one time of services.
    Jan 28, 2015. 03:14 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 387: Jan. 25, 2015 [View instapost]
    I hope the key is the E/W guys and not the Pacific Ventures.

    In theory Axion should have taken its model that was developed with BySolar (and actually from a different company) that put together the economics of the project and hit up every solar installer in NJ. NJ is currently in a boom to install solar. I used to be the finance manager for some of the largest flat roofs in NJ and even back in the early 2000s solar guys would hit me up as it would be a flagship project for them. I used to ask everyone to come back to me with financing and show me the economics. None ever did back then. With NJ's SREC credits and the Cube ability to play in the FR market the value should be there.
    We should have had LOI with 20-30 solar guys in NJ. Not a 1:1 relationship but as another arrow in their quiver to use when it would make sense. We don't today.

    There is one other weird, random thing that I doubt will happen but I want to simply add it. If one remembers TG for a long time talked about work in the Caribbean which was a logical place for projects. This was a relationship TG had with one guy whom TG relied on to get him to people/projects. This was a doomed relationship as the guy caused Axion to work on projects such as the solar lighting project and some other solar projects promising good economics etc. As you all know nothing came of these. My understanding is that TG would front the money/time to build these tests to prove they would work and then the guy who brought the idea forward would go sell. The last project I was aware that TG and this group were working on was a solar project that would store energy in batteries and sell it to docked ships. Typical power in the islands can be $.40-$.50 kwh and these docks often would charge boats $1.00 -$1.25/kwh and take the difference to pay for the opportunity. The users are generally wealthy and basically held captive. The idea was to put solar/storage up and provide the same service but since it was solar it would add green credibility. I'd bet DDG probably saw the time wasted on these projects with no results. Maybe Anna Hofford with her bio (Ocean Sailing) could revive an old business case that is probably all done in New Castle. Extremely doubtful but I'd bet most of the work was done.
    Jan 28, 2015. 11:44 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 386: Jan. 12, 2015 [View instapost]
    I called Mr. Hammell over the summer when I first heard of the delay on this project. Had a short conversation with him but he didn't have any more info that I already had at that point.

    I haven't spoken to him further. To be honest why Axion isn't releasing this to their shareholder base has me concerned that the scope of the project may have changed. I doubt it as the batteries were supposedly on site this summer.
    Jan 23, 2015. 03:58 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 386: Jan. 12, 2015 [View instapost]

    Not sure. I've called BySolar multiple times and never gotten a call back. You should try it. Never have I gotten a person to answer only a voicemail.

    Maybe with you being in NJ you can get them to call you back. I'd love to know. If its operating then AXPW should have put out a press release. DDG may be worse than TG in that regard.
    Jan 23, 2015. 03:35 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 386: Jan. 12, 2015 [View instapost]

    Thanks for posting. This was actually one of the 2 topics I wanted to speak to DDG on. I've had this same info but have been unable to get anything back from Bysolar to confirm.

    Ferrara leases the building and has no stake in the solar and therefore no comment when I called a few weeks ago.

    The company that owns AH Realty (or atleast the address on the AH realty property) is called Cornell Pace.

    Initial Design review was done on 10/07/2013. On 10/10/2014 the installed project was complete and documents were turned over to review. The solar rebate check was issued on 11/12/2014 and the project is deemed to be complete. This means the project has to have the electronic system, which is what I was told was the holdup, approved, installed and working.

    On a positive side SRECs are holding at $160-$175 per. Earlier this year the future market (was expecting a reduction down to $110). This should be good for the economics. Hopefully they want to do more and can move quickly.

    I have no idea why DDG is doing these interviews referenced above and has this completed project and not putting out any news.
    Jan 23, 2015. 02:42 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 386: Jan. 12, 2015 [View instapost]
    I'll add a little color but nothing is 100% as my info is third hand as I've never been able to speak to anyone directly on the BySolar project (either the property owner or Bysolar).

    I doubt the owners of Bysolar project in NJ would extend outside the state. The economics of this project only really work in NJ due to the SREC credits. PA, Ohio, MD also have SREC credits but at a fraction of the value. (I haven't looked in 6 month but it was 20-25%).

    Therefore this would probably be a new customer if it came to fruition.

    Anyone who has been able to speak to DDG - can you private message me with any contact information that you would have. I have never spoken to him and have a few questions that I'd like answered. thanks in advance.
    Jan 23, 2015. 12:02 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 386: Jan. 12, 2015 [View instapost]
    I don't think my comment is a good news comment. The fact that Axion is willing to now take on these other customers tells me that they are not busy with others where presumably they were before.
    Jan 23, 2015. 11:16 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 386: Jan. 12, 2015 [View instapost]
    If DDG is focused on cost we're already sunk.

    In the FR market the battery isn't a huge cost of the total system. He'd be better to go to the installers and offer then a 10 or 20% commission on the batteries sold. I'd bet the others do. I'd guess the batteries are 10% of a full commercial solar + storage system. He'd be better served in this market to see how to eliminate or reduce the BMS system as that would materially change the cost more than moving the cost curve from $350 to $250/battery.

    The transportation market is different and II is right. DDG needs to have engineering attack both.

    Since this board is a little doom and gloom. A few months ago I posted a comment about what some of my calls told me about where we were as a company in the FR market. I received a PM from a guy in the Hawaii market who wanted to integrate some PbCs with another longer battery for a home installation and reached out to me. I received a follow up message from him last night that he had been in touch with Axion and had bought a few batteries to be shipped. This is all from a PM from him but maybe the NDA cloak is gone.

    Axion would be best served to give out a few batteries and build a few systems (maybe with Aquion) give them to people in different environments (Hawaii, PA, Puerto Rico) that they could use as a case study. Get some service time on this to use with potential partners. He's got a good product that just need partnerS to install them.
    Jan 22, 2015. 06:02 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 386: Jan. 12, 2015 [View instapost]

    I never considered the idea of it being a land grab for housing. My understanding is that its a pretty steep hillside which is why it wasn't originally developed.
    I too have been skeptical of the project as the financing seemed to be a big hurdle. My guess is that part of the delay is that CSI wants to use the school district to get the financing upfront (nice cheap bond).
    Jan 20, 2015. 11:13 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 386: Jan. 12, 2015 [View instapost]
    Thanks guys. I had chosen the dealer as it was who my wife has used for years and whom my BIL worked for 20 years and most importantly was on the way during my commute. This summer was the first time I had been there due to the new job.

    June - Oil Change. No problem. Started to drive home and oil light came on 2 minutes from home. Didn't have time to worry about it. pulled out from driveway next morning. light was still on and big puddle of oil under car. F#$%#$!!!
    Damn guys didn't put the cap back on fully so I leaked/sprayed oil the whole way home. Slid under myself, fixed issue, drove to dealer to chem them out.

    To their credit they agreed to it and gave some free oil changes in the future. This was my first time back there and they somehow dropped the garage door on the roof while backing out. There will be no third time.


    I agree with you guys on it not being Axion inside. If one thinks back to those BMW drawings the one from last April had what appeared to be a 3 battery system. At that time Axion could have been in play. A similar schematic from this fall only shows 2 batteries.

    Your questions on how much did Axion spend with BMW has been a raw nerve with me for a while. I spoke to TG one time about a year ago on this topic. I called his office up and got him for about 5-7 minutes and asked how they decide which projects to work on. Got a roundabout answer. I've often posted that Axion should have been billing for engineering support as part of their policy. The idea being that if Joe Garage/ePower/BMW or Cummins came calling there would be some level of baseline free understanding but after some time that beyond engineering time would be billed. That would clear up who is real and who isn't quickly. It would have ended the farce that was the Caribbean partnership on day 3.

    I'm currently doing this in my job. When I started mgmt. crowed about how valuable this worldwide partnership with a big company (we are a small fish) was worth to use. After running the numbers - the business is not our largest but 2nd. It constitutes less than 5% of revenues and gross margins 40% less than our normal US customers and 20% less than our international customers. Our P&L is almost entirely eaten up by engineering and marketing work that we do for them of which 50% may have another customer that we can sell to. I published my work last Friday and today has been defending my work. Going forward we are going to atleast bill them for some time. Infact the company asked us 3 months ago why we didn't.

    Looking back I'm so disappointed in myself. Every conversation I had with mgmt. told me to sell and run away but I believed in the tech so much I stayed and added on what I thought was a dip. Nope just a slope. Don't ever forget - Good mgmt./bad tech is better than bad mgmt./good tech.
    Jan 19, 2015. 05:16 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 386: Jan. 12, 2015 [View instapost]
    Thanks Indy.

    Had my car in at the local dealer for a free oil change due to a previous screwup and went over to visit the BMW lot. Ended up that I grew up playing soccer with the floor manager so we spent a few minutes. Rumors among BMW staff was that early April at the NY AutoShow is when BMW will officially announce the 2016 BMW X5 edrive with delievers in late summer. That would make sense as that is when the press started seeing the demo last year.

    I know some people are still holding out hope that it may have Axion inside so I thought I would throw that out there.

    I unfortunately didn't have much time as I had to run back as they dropped the garage door on the roof of my car as they were backing it out.
    Jan 19, 2015. 02:24 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment