Distributor News: 1.10.2012

North Coast Electric’s charging station powered by the sun

Last year in Seattle, North Coast Electric opened an EV charging station in its parking lot. The company called the station “Washington State’s First Energy Transfer Merchant.”

Tom Woltjer, energy solution manager for the distributor, posted a first-hand account of the company’s effort to complete the Energy Transfer Merchant on the North Coast Electric blog. Woltjer said, “The logistics of going from feasibility to function are daunting. There are so many details to attend to even for a little project like ours. The non-stop decisions about, permits, signatures, drawings, materials additions deductions, schedules positioning, etc, etc. make it hard for me to imagine how anyone ever builds a skyscraper.”

According to Woltjer’s blog, the company erected the Energy Transfer Merchant in two phases. The second phase includes installation of “a bank of batteries [to store the solar power] and a smart-grid interface.”

An overview of North Coast Electric’s solar system’s energy production (apparently in real-time) is posted to an Enphase Energy site. At the time of tedmag’s visit, the readily visible data showed 18.2 kWh of energy production over the past 7 days. Above: A read-out showing the net carbon offset of the North Coast Electric Energy Transfer Merchant.

Details on the installation can be found on Solarworld-USA.com, too. The page claims that North Coast Electric distributes Solarworld’s products.

Additionally, local TV station, King 5 also reported on the unveiling of the EV charging station and North Coast Electric posted more than 200 photos from the construction site and the ribbon-cutting online.

Separately, in mid-December, GridMobility won an award, in the “Smart Power” category, in the 2011 Cleantech Open Global Business Competition. North Coast Electric was one of four companies that GridMobility cited as being among “innovative projects with leading energy firms.”

Shealy & EDI: New image, website

EDI, Inc., of North Carolina, has revamped its website to reflects the company’s merger into Shealy. Below: The company’s new logo

Executives from Shealy and EDI were featured in a video explaining how the two companies fit together. The video also offers a look at the companies’ future plans.

How HD Supply consolidated data centers saved millions

Symantec Corp. said in a news release that HD Supply’s (HDS) implementation of the IT company’s Veritas Storage Foundation High Availability and Veritas Operations Management Software saved the distributor millions of dollars.

A revealing statement from Brad Cowles, senior director of IT platform services for HDS, seemed to explain how the company came to this decision. Cowles said, “We deployed traditional Linux-based clusters to maximize the availability of business-critical applications, but when internal network problems occurred, and a multi-node Linux cluster for a mission-critical Oracle database didn’t fail over as expected.

 “Downtime of this type exposes HD Supply to potential revenue loss in the range of hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars an hour, depending on the system. The cluster did nothing to protect us, and we had nowhere near the level of confidence we needed to start attacking the migration of the next wave of business-critical apps, most notably SAP. That’s when we turned to Symantec for help.”

HDS now has three data centers, according to the release, replacing 22. The distributor also said, “As a result, HD supply realized more than $2 million in storage and disaster recovery costs, eliminated Severity 1 and 2 incidents, experienced a two-fold faster cluster server deployment, and significantly reduced the time IT staffers must spend on cluster management.”

MSC’s Q1: Sales up 15.4%

MSC Industrial Direct, a diversified distributor and direct-marketer of maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) products, ended Q1 of FY12 on Nov. 28, 2011, with sales of almost $546 million, up 15.4% over FY11’s first quarter.

In the financial data release, David Sandler, CEO, said, “As customers increasingly demand more value from their distributors, our results reflect the advantages that the MSC model delivers to the marketplace. We continue to execute upon our longer-term strategy and expect to capitalize on the incredible land-grab opportunity that we continue to see before us.”

MSC’s gross margin in Q1 was 46.2% in FY12 compared with 46.04% in FY11


Frost to expand: An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said, “Another Collinsville business, Frost Electric Supply is planning a $3 million expansion on Horseshoe Lake Road.”

United’s revamped solar website: The Solar Energy Solutions website for of United Electrical Supply of Delaware, touted on the company’s main website as “brand new,” features a catalog, training, photovoltaic FAQs, and more. The company says its Renewable Energy Systems Group is led by someone with 22 years of solar industry experience. Below: A piece of the start page of the site’s solar products catalog.

WESCO pursues goals: A recent WESCO news release noted that it was redeeming some convertible senior debentures (debt). In the first days of 2012, WESCO announced completion of its acquisition of RS Electronics.

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