Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SolarWorld Solar Panels Will Supply 1 MW System in Trail-Blazing 5 MW Project at College in Arizona

HILLSBORO, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--One megawatt of high-performance solar panels from SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar technology manufacturer since 1975, has been selected to represent mono-crystalline silicon photovoltaic technology in an innovative, multi-technology series of utility-scale, tracker-mounted solar power systems totaling 5 MW at Arizona Western College in Yuma.
The AWC project, to be dedicated today in a ceremony in Yuma, will employ 1 MW each of five types of solar power technology. SolarWorld has produced mono-crystalline solar panels at its factory in Camarillo, Calif., since the late 1970s; the company has manufactured them at its U.S. headquarters plant in Hillsboro, Ore., since opening the site in 2008. SolarWorld also produces poly-crystalline solar photovoltaic panels.

At AWC, each variant of solar technology will make up one of five 1 MW systems at sites around the Yuma campus, where sun-tracking single- or dual-axis trackers will maximize their energy generation. Combined, the systems will provide virtually 100 percent of AWC’s daytime electricity needs and save the college more than $40 million over the first 30 years. The systems will be owned and operated by Main Street Power Company Inc. in partnership with its long-term financing partner, MS Solar Solutions, a fully owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley.

Moreover, the installations will generate opportunities for AWC to enrich its educational offerings and spur the region’s economic growth. New offerings will include certificate and degree programs in renewable energy, and plans to partner with universities on bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are in the works. Resulting workforce training, combined with the economic-development influence of the installations themselves, are expected to create thousands of regional jobs over coming years.

“We at SolarWorld cheer AWC’s embrace of the dual economic power of solar energy development,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas. “The financial savings, energy independence and price stability that will ensue from these installations will bolster AWC’s educational and training missions. Moreover, the commitment to a clean energy project and source will stir opportunities for training and jobs to put the region’s workforce back to work in a sustainable economy.

“SolarWorld taps this dual effect as well,” Kilkelly said. “Every hour, we manufacture enough solar panels to equip or otherwise power many, many systems, enabling end customers to accrue gains in financial and energy independence. In so doing, we have built a U.S. manufacturing workforce that is more than 1,300 strong, not to mention helped create jobs for employees of our supply, installation and distribution partners.”