Volume 46, Issue 3 - April 2011


company news
PPG Wins $3 Million DOE Grant to Advance PV Glass Technology
Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries has received a $3.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop the materials, coating designs and manufacturing processes necessary to commercialize a new glass article for the cadmium telluride (CdTe) module manufacturing industry.

CdTe is a thin-film coating that PPG says has the potential to improve the performance of photovoltaic (PV) glass. James McCamy, manager of solar technologies for PPG, says the new glass will combine three new technological innovations into a single product, with the goal of reducing CdTe module costs by 17 percent by 2015. “This could represent a significant step toward grid parity for solar energy,” McCamy adds.

The grant is part of a $20 million investment by the DOE in the Solar Energy Technologies Program. The PPG award will be delivered through the Photovoltaic Supply Chain and Cross-Cutting Technologies program, which aims to accelerate the development of PV products or processes with the aid of related technologies from non-solar companies.

PPG says technology and process development will be coordinated through its Solar Technologies Group and project partnerships with the Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics at Colorado State University and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.

Guardian Industries to Add Solar Energy Product Line in Galax
Guardian Industries will invest $2.1 million to expand operations at its Consolidated Glass and Mirror facility in Galax, Va. The project, a new solar energy product manufacturing line, will create 40 new jobs.

Founded in Galax in 1979, Consolidated Glass and Mirror Corp. became a subsidiary of Guardian Industries in 1992. The expansion will enable the company to produce specially coated mirrors used in the technology of concentrating solar power (CSP), a type of solar thermal power. The mirrors track the sun and radiate its energy onto a central receiver, creating the power equivalent of hundreds of suns. That power is used to vaporize water into steam to power a turbine for the generation of electricity.

Pilkington Adds to Solar Initiatives
Pilkington North America Inc. has gone solar, thanks to a new one-acre solar array project at its research and development center in Northwood, Ohio. Hull & Associates Inc., a newly formed renewable energy project development and asset management company, partnered with the company to develop and install a 250 kW ground-mounted solar photovoltaic energy facility on a brownfield site originating from the company’s former East Toledo float plant. This solar energy facility, which went online at the end of February, is the largest private sector, behind-the-meter, renewable energy project in Ohio.

“This project highlights the NSG Group’s commitment to responsible stewardship and the solar energy market both locally and around the world,” says Cliff Fleener, environmental manager.

The development uses solar panels incorporating the NSG Group’s solar energy glass products, supplied by First Solar.

The Northwood solar energy facility supplies approximately 12 percent of its power requirements, while reducing annual electric consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Development of the $1.5 million solar energy project was partially supported by a $680,782 grant from the Ohio Energy Office through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s State Energy Program.

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