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Energy

Qatari government buying stake in upstate utilities' parent firm

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The Spanish firm Iberdrola owns upstate's NYSEG and RG&E.

An investment firm owned by the Qatari government is set to buy about 6 percent of Iberdrola, the Spanish utility that owns Rochester Gas & Electric and NYSEG.  Adam Schreck at AP reports.

Qatar Holding will pay $2.82 billion for the stake, which will mostly come from new shares. It said the deal is part of its strategy of building a diverse portfolio of global businesses. "In addition to a strong, stable European franchise, our investment inIberdrolaprovides significant exposure to other important global markets including Brazil, Mexico and the United States of America," Qatar Holding managing director and CEO Ahmad Mohamed al-Sayed said in a statement.

WindTamer becomes Arista Power

WindTamer, the maker of small building mounted wind turbines, is changing its name to Arista Power, reports Andrea Deckert at the Rochester Business Journal.  The move has gotten the thumbs up from the board of directors and goes next to shareholders at a May annual meeting.  In a statement the firm's CEO said the change better reflects the company's full line of products.

AWS Truepower

A merger between AWS Truepower outside Albany and a Spanish firm won't affect domestic operations, reports Larry Rulison at the Times Union.  The two companies will operate under AWS' name

[AWS spokeswoman Amber] Trendell said Monday that the deal with Meteosim will help the company's international footprint, which has grown as the renewable energy business becomes more multinational, with clients like the Spanish utility Iberdrola, which is developing many projects in the United States. "Our historical market emphasis on the wind and solar energy industries in North America is reflective of sheer customer demand," AWS Truepower president Bruce Bailey said in a statement. "However, we continue to see a rising demand from customers looking to develop wind and solar projects around the globe."

Fracking

James Odato reports at the Times Union that a geologist working for the State Museum says concerns about fracking are being trumped up in the media:

"The worst spin on the worst incidents are treated as if it's going to be the norm here," said Taury Smith, the state geologist, a self-described liberal Democrat more concerned with global warming than extraction of natural gas from one of the largest sources available in the United States. "This could really help us fight climate change; this is a huge gift, this shale." He said he has been examining the science of hydrofracturing the shale for three years and has found no cases in which the process has led to groundwater contamination, although several portrayals by anti-fracking groups and featured in the press have raised concerns about underground pools being harmed because of drilling.

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