Volume 44, Issue 5 - May 20099

Solar Watch

company news
Abound Solar Opens First Production Facility

Abound Solar, a manufacturer of low-cost, thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, has opened a full-scale production facility in Longmont, Colo. The fully automated facility will create more than 300 new jobs and, when at capacity, will produce 200 MW of solar modules annually. Its manufacturing process employs a proprietary continuous in-line semiconductor equipment to convert glass lites into solar panels in less than two hours. 

“[This] facility opening represents a milestone for Abound. We have moved into commercial production, which allows us to keep pace with demand from our customers as the market expands,” says Pascal Noronha, chief executive officer of Abound Solar. “We are now well positioned to deliver high-performing, cost-effective, solar modules that can accelerate clean energy usage around the world.” www.abound.com 

DuPont Installs Solar Panel Array at Research Facility 

DuPont has installed its largest photovoltaic (PV) solar energy facility at its Pioneer Hi-Bred Waimea Research Center in Kauai, Hawaii. 

The Waimea PV installation is comprised of 1,500 panels—made from several DuPont PV materials—produced by Evergreen Solar and installed by REC Solar. The one-acre array is capable of generating about 85 percent of the energy needs of the research facility. The installation was completed and fully operational in December. 

DuPont has already installed PV solar power systems for its research and development and business facilities in Wilmington, Del., and Taoyuan, Taiwan. 

“This installation is a great example of our commitment to be both a key materials and technology supplier to the PV industry, and also a leader of solar power use,” says Marc Doyle, global business director of DuPont PV Solutions. 

DuPont offers a number of materials and technologies to the PV industry including a number of cell encapsulants.

3M Forms Renewable Energy Division; Names Executive to Lead the Business

St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M has formed a Renewable Energy Division to maximize the company’s technologies, products and responsiveness to this fast-changing industry. The products within the new division will include products currently sold to the industry, new-to-the-world products invented for the renewable energy market and products adapted from existing technologies. 

Michael Roman, previously the vice president of business development Optical Systems Division, Asia, has been appointed as vice president and general manager of the new division. Within the new division, two business units have been established to serve this industry: Energy Generation, led by business director Tracy Anderson, and Energy Management, led by business director Ranjit Thakur. 

For Energy Generation, 3M will offer solar energy, wind energy, geothermal and biofuel product solutions such as films, tapes, coatings, encapsulants, sealants and adhesives that help reduce the cost of renewable energy. For example, 3M solar concentrator panels concentrate light and are manufactured to match customer specifications. 3M mirror films demonstrate potential to provide cost savings over similar glass-based systems. And other next-generation films provide durability and reliability required in solar panels, with added properties for ultraviolet stability, low flammability and self-cleaning. www.3m.com 


3M Forms Renewable Energy Division; Names Executive to Lead the Business

ODL Inc. in Zeeland, Mich., now offers a dimmer for its Energy Star®-qualified tubular skylight. The solar powered dimmer allows users to control the amount of light entering a room through their tubular skylight. The dimmer does not require hard wiring, using solar energy instead, resulting in quicker and less expensive installation than competitive products. 

The shade dimmer controls the amount of natural light received into the building and is powered by an attached solar panel located in the skylight tube. The solar panel also powers two LED nightlights that the user can turn on and off by remote. During the day, sunlight charges the four AA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries. www.ODL.com 

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