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C O M M E N T A R Y
Solar Power Systems
by McKINLEY CONWAY
It's easy to understand why so many people of ancient civilizations were sun worshipers. The sun gave them light, supported their food crops and brought heat to their cold abodes.
Today millions of people around the world are finding that the sun can also bring them electric power one of modern man's most vital needs. For those in the development field a long-awaited solar industry boom is underway. Huge solar farms are spreading across the deserts of the world and rooftops everywhere. New industrial plants are springing up to manufacture the equipment they need.
Some of the big new solar farms each contain tens of thousands of heliostats or mirrors laid out for miles across the landscape. They're the kind of customers that make the solar equipment people drool.
The rash of new growth is creating special new opportunities for U.S. development groups. A prime example is the announcement by the German solar energy firm Schott AG that it will build a new plant in the Mesa del Sol area near Albuquerque, N.M., to produce both photovoltaic (PV) modules and receivers for concentrated solar thermal power plants (CSP). Schott will invest approximately $100 million to start. That will include a 200,000-sq.-ft. (60,960-sq.-m.) facility that will employ 350 people. Plans call for expansion to 800,000 square feet (243,840 sq. m.) with 1,500 employees and an investment up to $500 million by 2012.
In Texas, thin-film producer HelioVolt has announced plans to site their first plant in the Expo Business Park in Austin. The construction will be financed by a record-breaking $101 million funding round one of the largest recorded solar power venture capital launches. The new plant will create more than 150 technical and engineering jobs.
Also in Texas, TekSun PV Manufacturing is building a plant for making amorphous solar panels in the town of Taylor. TekSun has the support of technology giant Applied Materials that employs approximately 14,000 people throughout Canada, China, Europe, Israel, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. The company is currently investing some $400 million in solar projects in Texas, Spain and Germany.
IBC Solar AG, another German solar company, has chosen Cleveland for its U.S. headquarters. The firm recently entered into a partnership with Hyderabad-based Solar Semiconductor, a rapidly growing producer of photovoltaic (PV) modules. That deal involves a reported $575 million.
IBC follows the lead of Sharp in setting up units in the United States. Several years ago the big Japanese firm located its sales and marketing subsidiary, Sharp Electronics Corp., in Memphis. That was Sharp's first solar panel manufacturing facility outside of Japan.
Isofoton, Spain's largest solar panel manufacturer with more than $400 million in annual sales, is another global player entering the U.S. market. The firm is said to be looking at sites in Ohio for its first plant in North America.
Meanwhile, Evergreen Solar Inc., manufacturer of the proprietary String Ribbon wafer technology, has undertaken an 80-MW expansion of its Devens, Mass., facility, doubling its capacity to 160 MW and providing 1,000 jobs in Massachusetts.
In Michigan, PrimeStar Solar Inc. is planning to double the workforce at its new Montague manufacturing facility. The company recently received a $3 million contract from the Department of Energy to develop utility-scale thin film solar modules. The company's CEO cited Michigan's high-skilled manufacturing base and its extended production equipment fabrication network as prime attractions of the location.
The booming solar industry is proving to be a fertile field for venture capitalists and technology incubators. This is giving California's Silicon Valley a fresh shot in the arm. Groups around Palo Alto are investing tens of millions in start ups seeking a slice of the global market for renewable energy. A number of firms are adapting technology used for years to produce silicon wafers for computer chips to find new ways to make silicon wafers for solar energy systems.
A good example is Solaicx, a start-up that is planning its first silicon manufacturing facility. The plant, which will have an initial run-rate of 48 MW, will create about 100 new jobs in its first year. Plans call for expansion to 142 MW of solar ingots and wafers per year.
Another Silicon Valley launch is San Jose-based SunPower, a spin-off of chipmaker Cypress Semiconductor. For 2007, the company had revenues of $775 million, more than three times that of 2006. Revenues were estimated at $1.2 billion for 2008 and a growth rate of 40 to 50 percent thereafter. SolFocus Inc. is a new venture coming out of Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). The combine has developed CPV systems that will deliver lower cost solar electric power and expects to compete with conventional electricity sources. The company has venture funding of $32 million.
Nansolar, the company that invented the cheap flexible "print out" type of solar cell, will be building a California plant with a proposed output of about 430 MW a year, utilizing venture capital of $100 million.
Energy Innovations, yet another start-up, has a staff of about 40 people and venture capital investments of $29 million. The company's core competencies are in engineering, solar power and software development. The devices it builds require a great deal of integration of all the parts and software to run them.
Another start-up, Prism Solar Technologies, will produce a holographic device that separates the most useful part of the light wave for electricity generation using patents licensed from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Starting with venture capital of a little over $5 million, the small firm hopes to reduce the silicon needed in solar systems by as much as 85 percent.
AVA Solar Inc. of Fort Collins, Colo., has announced plans for a new PV panel factory expected to employ up to 500. It will utilize technology developed by mechanical engineering Professor W.S. Sampath of Colorado State University, which will produce panels promising to reduce the cost of generating solar electricity to less than $1 per watt.
Energy Storage The New Frontier
The impressive growth of solar power to date has been achieved despite what many have thought would be a permanent handicap lack of storage capability. Critics have long said solar can't compete with coal or nuclear systems because it is limited on cloudy days and shuts down completely at night.
That assumption is rapidly becoming invalid.
It has been demonstrated that solar energy can be stored at high temperatures using molten salts. Salts are a preferred storage medium because they are non-flammable, nontoxic, low-cost, have a high specific heat capacity, and can deliver heat at temperatures compatible with conventional power systems.
Solar Two used molten salt storage to help adjust for cloudy days. The salt storage was 60 percent sodium nitrate and 40 percent potassium nitrate. The molten salt also allowed the energy to be stored in large tanks for future use such as at night. Molten salt storage is now being used in Nevada's Solar One power plant.
Using such a system, start-up Ausra says its plants will be able to store heat for up to 20 hours, allowing it to sell electricity to the grid whenever demand is greatest. Hamilton Sundstrand, a division of United Technologies, has announced the creation of a new company named Solar Reserve that will produce heat-resistant pumps and other equipment for handling and storing salt at temperatures over 1,000 F (538 C).
Another approach to energy storage that is getting much attention is fuel cells. Jadoo Power, a Mohr Davidow-funded company based in Folsom, Calif., is producing small hydrogen fuel cells for the military and private users. It plans to sell a rechargeable hydrogen fuel cell that can power homes.
Silicon Valley venture heavyweights Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates are backing Bloom Energy, a solid-oxide fuel cell company that has raised $102 million. Superprotonic, backed by San Francisco-based Nth Power, is commercializing solid-acid fuel cells for cars. Depending on what power source it's replacing, storage is predicted to be at least a $12 billion market by the end of the decade.
Rural areas in developing countries stand to benefit the most from new developments in the storage of solar energy. There are about 2 billion people whose homes are not connected to an electrical grid. Today rechargeable batteries are widely used to store electricity from small photovoltaic systems.
Also on the near horizon are solar systems that are basically more efficient. At Sandia Laboratories in New Mexico, a combine involving Stirling Energy Systems has set a new solar-to-grid system conversion efficiency record of more than 31 percent. The prototype model power plant consisted of a six-dish layout with each dish array having 82 mirrors.
All of these developments have led to an explosive market growth. When we began this study we expected to find several dozen firms active in the field. Now we know there are hundreds. Many of the smaller firms are getting big while we write.
In Germany and Spain where far-sighted officials have been pushing solar energy for years, investors have become accustomed to an annual growth rate for PV systems of 40 to 50 percent. Now, the emergence of big CSP systems in the United States has, within months, created a multi-billion dollar market. Analysts predict a $200 billion market by 2020.
Healthy Competition in Non-fossil Energy
Solar power is well-positioned among all forms of non-fossil and renewable energy sources. Already significant, it will soon become one of the major segments of the world energy supply. A comparison of current capabilities may be of interest:
The oldest and biggest renewable energy source is hydro. The big dams and integrated generating units produce electric power measured in thousands of megawatts. The new Three Gorges project in China is rated at 22,500 MW, eclipsing the Iguacu installation in South America and the James River complex in Canada.
Nuclear is important and will be for the foreseeable future. A typical nuclear power plant produces about 1,000 MW. With multiple reactors, some nuke plants produce 3,000 MW. However, there are significant environmental objections to both the dams and the atom smashers.
Our guess, and hope, is that from this date forward the world will focus on the friendlier sources wind, solar and ocean currents. They are now coming of age.
At this point wind systems are gaining market share fastest. New wind turbines can produce three MW each. A wind farm containing 500 turbines can thus produce 1,500 MW. Today the biggest PV solar plant has a capacity of about 40 MW. Big, new mirror solar plants such as Stirling Energy's 4,500-acre (1,821-hectare) desert farm of mirrors is rated at 500 MW.
Among ocean energy systems one of the leading designs, the Pelamis units, produce about 750 kW each. We speculate that it would take a farm of about 200 new and improved units to deliver 1,000 MW.
Very few places in the world offer optimum conditions for all types of energy projects wind, sun, and ocean. Thus, there is an important place for each. Good planning will find the right fit.
Of course the future of the solar industry is best where the sun shines brightest and longest. Prime locations in the United States are in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and other parts of the desert Southwest. In Europe preferred sites are located in Spain, Portugal and arid areas around the Mediterranean. From Renewable Energy Access, we learn that "harnessing the sun's energy falling on just 2,317 sq. miles (6,000 sq. km.) of desert in North Africa would supply energy equivalent to the entire oil production of the Middle East of nine billion barrels a year."
Geographic Selection of Solar Projects
(This is by no means a complete index of all significant projects around the world.)
An Australian company, Solar Systems successfully converted 14 solar thermal concentrators at White Cliffs, South Australia, installed in the 1980s to photovoltaic power generation in 1996.
Solar Systems has also constructed four new concentrator-dish power stations at Hermannsburg (192 kW), Yuendumu (240 kW), Lajamanu (288 kW) and Umuwa (220 kW). Together they generate 940 kW.
Solar Systems is also developing a $420 million, large-scale solar power plant near Mildura in northwest Victoria. The 154-MW solar power station is planned to have 250 heliostats (sun tracking mirrors) in multiple arrays. The firm is to receive a $75 million grant for the project under the federal government's Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund (LETDF).
The German government asserted leadership in 1998 with a bold program to achieve 100,000 rooftop PV installations within 10 years. The law provided low-interest loans for rooftop PV systems. The program was so successful that the target was met in five years. This was a powerful boost for German firms producing PV system components.
The Juwi group, based in Bolanden in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, has developed one of the world's largest photovoltaic (PV) power plants at a former military air base at Brandis east of Leipzig. The 40-MW solar power plant uses state-of the-art thin-film technology.
Shell Erneuerbare Energien GmbH and Saint-Gobain Glass Deutschland GmbH, recently announced plans to create AVANCIS to exploit Shell's Copper-Indium-Selenium (CIS) thin-film technology. AVANCIS will build a manufacturing plant in Torgau to produce photovoltaic panels using the CIS technology. A 25-MW polycrystalline facility was built in Gelsenkirchent by Royal Dutch Shell and Pilkington Solar International.
What at one time was reported to be the world's largest PV solar power plant is located in Pocking, Germany. It has a capacity of about 10 MW. Another early leader was the installation in the Muldentalkreis district in the state of Saxony, rated at 12 MW. Other significant projects include: Solarpark Gut Erlasee, Erlasee/Arnstein, 12 MW; Solarpark Penzing, Penzing; München, 3.5 MW; and Solarpark Mehringer höhe, Mehring; Trier- Saarburg, 3.5 MW.
Preliminary plans have been announced for three large solar plants near Ashalim in the Negev desert. Two of the facilities would be mirror arrays generating about 100 MW each. The third would be a PV plant with a capacity of 15 MW. Total cost would be about $700 million.
Following Germany's lead, Japan launched a 70,000-roof PV program that has accelerated solar development. (Well-known Sharp is a major producer with a plant at Kameyama.)
Also, world-famous Honda Motors has established a wholly-owned subsidiary, Honda Soltec Co. Ltd., to produce thin-film solar cells developed by Honda Engineering Co., Ltd., the production engineering subsidiary of Honda. Honda Soltec's new 27-MW manufacturing plant is located at the current site of Honda's Kumamoto factory.
Blessed with one of the best locations in Europe for capturing solar energy, Portugal is moving boldly with a gigantic project at Moura in the Alentejo region. When fully developed, the new solar farm will have 376,000 solar panels. The first stage will have 190,000 fixed and 52,000 on trackers. Costing $254 million, the farm covers more than 300 acres (121 hectares).
Acciona Energy, the Spanish conglomerate, was selected to build and operate the 62-MW plant. Acciona acquired 100 percent of the shares of Amper Solar owner of the rights to the solar plant authorized by the Portuguese Ministry of Economy.
To supply the components for the huge new farm, the company located a PV panel manufacturing plant in Moura with a minimum annual production capacity of 24 MW. Also, the firm gave $4 million to the social fund of the poverty-stricken area for infrastructure improvements.
One of the most impressive solar projects in Europe is taking shape at Seville. Beginning in 2001, elements have been added to an Abengoa complex that will rival anything in the world. Overall, investment will be about $1.6 billion.
The project began with an 11-MW plant in the municipality of Sanlucar la Mayor about 15.5 miles (25 km.) west of Seville. New components will result in a 300-MW facility by 2013. The development program includes the PS10, the world's first tower technology solar thermoelectric power plant constructed for commercial operation, and Sevilla PV, the largest low-concentration-system photovoltaic plant yielding a diverse technology macro-project that includes tower thermoelectric, parabolic-trough collector, Stirling dish, and low- and high-concentration photovoltaic plants.
The huge project, which is being developed by Solúcar, an Abengoa affiliate, will meet the power needs of the Seville area and contribute greatly to the economy of the Alijarafe district. Benefits will include 1,000 jobs during construction phases and some 300 for maintenance and service.
Another Spanish company, SENER, is developing Andasol 1, the first parabolic trough plant in Europe, a 50-MW system outside Granada. Other projects include: Parque Solar Hoya de Los Vincentes, Jumilla, Murcia, 23 MW; Solarpark Beneixama, Alicante, 20 MW; Planta Solar de Salamanca, Salamanca, 13.8 MW; Solarpark Lobosillo, Murcia, 12.7 MW; and Huerta Solar Monte Alto, Milagro, 9.5 MW.
Abu Dhabi's Masdar Initiative and Spain's Sener engineering firm have formed a joint venture to build and operate concentrating solar power plants across the world's sunbelt regions. The JV called Torresol Energy, will be 60 percent owned by Sener, an engineering group, with 40 percent held by Masdar, the Abu Dhabi government's umbrella group for all of its renewable projects. The venture's first order of business is to start work on three solar power plants in Spain with combined value of $1.2 billion.
The big news in solar energy in Arizona is the 280-MW "Solano" project proposed for a site near Gila Bend. It is a joint venture of Arizona Public Service and Abengoa Solar, a subsidiary of the Spanish utility firm based in Seville. Abengoa has been building solar thermal power generation plants for 20 years in Spain, Morocco and Algeria.
Solano will use parabolic mirrors to follow the sun and concentrate its energy, heating a fluid to 700 F (371 C) and using the fluid to make steam that will spin turbines to generate electricity. The plant will use an unspecified heat storage technology so the plant can continue generating electricity for six hours after sunset.
During three years of construction, the project will employ 1,500 workers at the 1,900-acre (769-hectare) site near Gila Bend. After completion, 80 permanent employees will work at Solano.
Abengoa plans to build a mirror manufacturing facility that will employ 100 workers at a yet-to-be-determined location in the Southwestern United States. Steel structures needed for Solano will be made at an existing Abengoa plant near Monterrey, Mex.
Solar Two used a molten salt storage to help adjust for cloudy days. The salt storage was 60 percent sodium nitrate and 40 percent potassium nitrate. The molten salt also allowed the energy to be stored in large tanks for future use at night.
Tucson Electric Power Co. currently has 26 PV collector systems installed at its Springerville generating plant. This facility started operations in 2001 and recently passed the five-year milestone of continuous operations.
Back in the 1980s, Luz International, a firm of Israeli origin, was the pioneer commercial developer of U.S. solar thermal electric projects. The company built nine plants, totaling 355 MW of capacity in the Mojave desert near Barstow. Despite an impressive start, the program came a cropper as result of intermittent government support, high costs, and technical problems. Luz had to file for bankruptcy in 1991.
After some years of frustrations, the California solar energy business is again active. The state government launched a Million Solar Roofs Initiative in 2006 part of a statewide effort to install 3,000 MW of new, grid-connected solar systems by 2016. The program provides $1.2 billion in rebates and cash incentives on solar systems to customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric Co.
The program has enticed large-scale solar energy developers to invest in California projects. Most notable is FPL Energy an affiliate of Florida Power and Light. FPL has joined with Israel-based Solel Solar Systems to undertake a 550-MW Mojave Solar Park. Solel had previously acquired the former Luz property in the Mojave.
The project will deliver 553 MW of solar power to PG&E's customers in northern and central California. When complete the park will cover up to 6,000 acres (2,428 hectares) or 9.4 square miles (23.3 sq. km.). The plant will use Solel's solar thermal parabolic trough technology with 1.2 million mirrors and 317 miles (510 km.) of vacuum tubing to capture the sun's heat.
Meanwhile, Stirling Energy Systems of Phoenix, AZ, has announced plans for a 500-MW solar project at Victorville, 70 miles (113 km.) northeast of Los Angeles, to serve Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric. Using Stirling-engine/solar-dish technology the project will deliver enough power to run half a million homes. The plan contains an option to expand the project to 850 MW. The 20,000-dish array would be expanded to 34,000.
A San Francisco-based start-up, Cleantech America is preparing to develop several 80-MW facilities in California. The firm is planning with Pacific Gas and Electric to build one of the world's largest and most advanced photovoltaic solar power stations CalRENEW-1 in the San Joaquin Valley near Fresno. It will cover about 600 acres (243 hectares).
In addition, Brightsource Energy, an Oakland-based firm, plans to develop a 400-MW solar thermal power complex in the Mojave desert utilizing Distributed Power Tower (DPT) technology developed by Luz II. It consists of mirrors that reflect the sun's light to a central tower to heat water and run a steam turbine to create electricity.
Also, Austra, a Palo Alto start-up, has announced plans for a 175-MW solar thermal power plant in Central California. Begun five years ago as an Australian company called Solar Heat and Power, Austra relocated to Palo Alto last year with the backing of well-respected technology investors Khosla, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, and Ray Lane, the former president of Oracle. Both sit on the company's board.
Southern California Edison has launched a project that will place 250 MW of advanced photovoltaic generating technology on 65 million sq. ft. (6 million sq. m.) of roofs of Southern California commercial buildings enough power to serve approximately 162,000 homes.
The pioneer here is the Alamosa Photovoltaic Solar Plant San Luis Valley, at Alamosa, with a capacity of eight MW.
District of Columbia
A new bill, H.R. 798, directs the General Service Administration to spend $30 million for a 300-foot (91.4-m.) long, 130-foot (39.6-m.) high solar array on the south wall of the DOE headquarters (also known as the James Forrestal Building) located on Independence Avenue.
Avista Utilities and a startup San Francisco company plan to test a new solar power system in North Idaho that could provide an electricity boost to help relieve peak summertime energy use.
GreenVolts Inc. will try out its utility-scale, sun-tracking solar array, billed as more cost-effective than traditional models, near an Avista substation in Rathdrum, Idaho. It will be the first project at the utility's new test bed for clean energy sources.
Produced by Spokane Valley-based Ecolite Manufacturing Co. and backed financially by Avista and other local investors, the prototype system could initially generate about 2.4 kW enough electricity for two homes, said Ed Caferro, Ecolite CEO.
With about 200 employees, Ecolite expects revenues of about $20 million this year. Caferro already is expanding his 80,000-sq.-ft. (7,432-sq.m.) manufacturing plant by 12,000 square feet (1,115 sq. m.), and he expects to double his work force if GreenVolts takes off. Ecolite makes optical sheet metal components used in lighting fixtures.
The U.S. Department of Energy created a "Brightfields" program to describe an abandoned or contaminated property (brownfield) redeveloped to use solar technology. A pioneering project is located in Brockton.
The Spanish firm Acciona Solar Power (formerly Solargenix) has launched a 64-MW project called Nevada Solar One, located near Boulder City. The project covers 300 acres (121 hectares) and contains 760 mirror arrays with a total of 184,000 mirrors. The parabolic trough plan features the Solargenix SGX-1 collector. The mirrors direct sunlight on an oil-filled tube. The oil is then used to create steam, which turns a turbine. The Boulder City plant will sell power to Nevada Power Co. of Las Vegas and Sierra Pacific Power Co. of Reno.
Another solar significant project in the state is an installation at the Nellis Air Force Base. It has a capacity of 14 MW.
Two Arizona companies, New Solar Ventures and Solar Torx, have announced plans for a $650 million, solar photovoltaic panel factory and power plant near Deming. The 300-MW facility is projected to occupy about 2,500 acres (1,012 hectares), employ several hundred people, and begin operations by 2011.
Companies Developing, Manufacturing and Servicing
Solar Energy Systems and Components
(This list includes firms that have reported their activities to us or have Web sites. We believe it represents a majority of active firms, but it is certainly not complete or guaranteed to be accurate.)
Abengoa is a large Spanish-based diversified energy company. Its affiliate, Solucar, is its active solar business unit.
Acciona: One of Spain's largest corporations, with activities in more than 30 countries on five continents with projects in renewable energies and other infrastructures. The firm has a workforce of more than 38,000. Tel: 212-593-6377, 860-810-5657, [email protected]. Includes Acciona Solar Power (formerly Solargenix), and Acciona Energy Oceania Pty Ltd., Level 1, 95 Coventry St., South Melbourne, VIC 3205, Australia Attn: "Waubra Wind Farm"
AES Ltd.: AES Building, Lea Road, Forres IV36 1 AU. Email: [email protected]. Tel: +44 1309 676911. AES is the UK's original solar thermal collector manufacturer and has been manufacturing collectors since 1979.
AES Solar Corp., Arlington, Va., and Riverstone Holdings, LLC, New York City, have formed a joint venture in which AES Solar will invest $1 billion in the next five years in new PV installations at sites yet to be named.
Akeena Solar, Los Gatos, Calif.: Solar-panel installation firm with 50 employees.
Al-Afandi Solar Wafers and Cells Factory: 21411 P.O. Box 452, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Tel: 966 2 6634442.
Amper Solar. Acciona has acquired 100 percent of the shares of Amper Solar.Applied Films. Bought by Applied Materials.
Applied Materials. 3050Bowers Avenue, P.O. Box 58039, Santa Clara, CA 95054-3299. Tel: 408-727-5555. Applied Materials creates and commercializes nano-manufacturing. The firm employs approximately 14,000 people throughout Canada, China, Europe, Israel, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the United States in the production of: semiconductor (aka integrated circuit) chips for all electronic gear, flat panel displays for computers and television, glass coatings for homes and buildings, web (flexible substrate) coaters for industry, and PV solar cells and modules using both thin film and crystalline photovoltaic technology.
Arise Technologies. 65 Northland Road Waterloo, ON, Canada N2V 1Y8. 877-274-7383. Produces PV solar cells.
Ascent Solar. Littleton, CO, a developer of thin-film photovoltaic modules.
Ausra Solar Heat and Power. Palo Alto, CA. Thermal power installations.
Avancis. Shell Erneuerbare Energien GmbH and Saint-Gobain Glass Deutschland GmbH, recently announced plans to join forces and create Avancis an entity that will develop, produce and market next-generation solar technology based on Shell's advanced Copper-Indium-Selenium (CIS) thin-film deposited on glass.
AVA Solar Inc.: 4557 Denrose Court, Unit B, Fort Collins, CO 80524. Tel: (970) 472-1580. Founded in 2007 to commercialize an advanced process for manufacturing cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic modules using 15 years of development at Colorado State University's Material Engineering Laboratory.
Bangkok Solar Co. Ltd.: 39/1 Moo 1, Bangpakong-Chachoengsao Road, Sanpudad, Banpho, Chachoengsao 24140, Thailand. Tel: 66(0) 3857-7373.
Bharat Electronics Ltd.: 2nd Floor S.N. Bldg., 25 M.G. Road, Bangalore 560 001, India. Tel: 91 80 5595729. PV components.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.: Integrated Office Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003, India. Tel: 91 11 51793242.
Big Sun Energy Technology: No.458, Sinsing Rd., Hukou Township, Hsinchu County 303, Taiwan. Tel: 886-3-5980288.
BIPV companies. BIPV stands for Building Integrated Photovoltaics and refers to solar energy technologies that are integrated into a building's façade or roof. There are numerous firms offering BIPV.
Bloom Energy. Silicon Valley venture heavyweights Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates are backing Bloom Energy, a solid-oxide fuel cell company that has raised $102 million.
Boading Yingli: No. 3055 Fuxing Middle Road, National New & High-tech Industrial Development Zone, Baoding, China 071000. Tel: 86 312 3100509. PV materials.
BP Solar: 630 Solarex Court, Frederick, MD 21703. Tel: 1 301 698 4200.The parent firm, BP, has been involved in solar power since 1973 and its subsidiary, BP Solar, is now one of the world's largest solar power companies with production facilities in the United States, Spain, India and Australia, employing a workforce of more than 2,000 people worldwide. BP Solar is a major worldwide manufacturer and installer of photovoltaic solar cells for electricity. The company has begun constructing two new solar photovoltaic solar cell manufacturing plants, one at its European headquarters in Tres Cantos, Madrid, and the second at its joint-venture facility, Tata BP Solar, in Bangalore, India.
BrightSource Energy Inc.: 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 2150, Oakland, CA 94612. Tel: 510-550-8161 x108, Email: [email protected].
CarouSol systems include 176 units, each containing a mirror that focuses sunlight onto a 0.4-inch- (one-cm.-) sq. solar cell made by a Boeing subsidiary, Spectrolab. The steel units rotate around a circular track and tilt vertically, allowing them to track the sun all day.
Canon Inc., E Business Division : 3-30-2, Shimo-Maruko, Ohta-ku, Tokyo 146-8501, Japan. PV systems.
Canrom Photovoltaics Inc: 108 Aikman Avenue, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8M 1P9. Tel: 1 905 526 7634.
Central Electronics Ltd.: 4 Industrial Area, Ghaziabad, 201 010, Sahibabad, India. Tel: 91 120 2895165. PV materials.
China Biotech Holdings Ltd.: China Merchants Zhangzhou Development Zone. Manufactures PV solar thin-film base plates.
China Electric Equipment Group: Zhongdian Avenue, Yangzhong. China. Tel: 0086-25-83275370. Email: [email protected]; one of China's largest producers of PV components. The CEEG consists of several subsidiary companies, namely, Jiangsu CEEG Electrical Equipment Manufacturing Co. Ltd.; Jiangsu CEEG Electrical Transmission and Distribution Equipment Co. Ltd.; Jiangsu CEEG Transformer Manufacturing Co. Ltd.; Shanghai DuPont Electrical Equipment Manufacturing Co. Ltd.; Jiangsu East China Microwave Instrument Co. Ltd.; and CEEG Shenyang Institute.
China Sunenergy: No. 123, Fochengxilu, Nanjing, Jiangning Economic & Technical Development Zone, China 211100. Tel: +86-25-52766688. E-mail: [email protected]
Cypress Semiconductor: San Jose. A long-established chip maker. In 2005 launched a spin-off, Sun Power, based in San Jose.
DayStar Technologies has signed a letter of intent with Juwi Solar GmbH, one of the leading companies in the renewable energy sector in Europe. The LOI identifies Juwi Solar GmbH as a sales partner for DayStar in commercializing its CIGS glass modules.
Ecolite Manufacturing Co.: Spokane Valley. With about 200 employees, Ecolite expects revenues of about $20 million this year. PV components.
Energy Conversion Devices Inc. Ovonics: 2956 Waterview Drive, Rochester Hills, MI 48309. Tel: 1 248 293 0440. PV components.
Energy Photovoltaics Inc.: 276 Bakers Basin Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648. Tel: 1 609 587 3000.
Eoplly New Energy Technology Co Ltd.: No.8, West Huanghai Rd Hai'an Jiangsu 226611 China. Tel: 86 88782787. Solar.
ErSol Solar Energy AG: Wilhelm-Wolff-Str. 23, 99099 Erfurt, Germany. Tel: 49 3 61 4 42 46 0.
eSolar Inc.: Pasadena, CA-based company launched by Google. eSolar heliostats are designed to minimize cost, realizing economy-of-scale benefits at much smaller power plant sizes than traditional solar thermal plants.
ET Solar US. 4900 Hopyard Road, Suite 290 Pleasanton, CA 94588. Tel: (925)-4609898. [email protected]
E-Ton Solar Technology. No. 498, Sec. 2, Bentian Rd., Tainan, Taiwan, 709. Tel: 886-6-3840777.
Evergreen Power Ltd.: 14-16 Hillwood Road, Suite 7-B, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, China 00001. Tel: 852 9673 6227. Photovoltaic modules
Evergreen Solar Inc.: 138 Bartlett Street, Marlboro, MA 01752. Tel: 508.357.2221. [email protected].
First Solar LLC. : 4050 E.Cotton Center Blvd., Suite 6-69, Phoenix, AZ 85040. Tel: 1 602 414 9300.
Free Energy Europe: 2, rue Leon Droux, BP 66, 62302 Lens, Cedex, France. Tel: 33 03 21 79 30 60. Solar.
Fuji: 2-2-1 Nagasaka Yokosuka, Chiyoda-ku, 240-01, Kanagawa, Japan. Tel: 81 46 857 67 30. PV.
Flagsol GmbH: Agrippinawerft 22, 50678 Koln, Germany. A pioneering developer of parabolic trough collectors. Large projects in California.
Flabeg GmbH & Co. KG: Waldaustraße 13, 90441 Nürnberg, Germany. Tel: +49 911 - 96 456-245. A leading manufacturer of high-precision solar mirrors. Flabeg developed a measurement process in cooperation with MAN as part of the "Ariane" aerospace program.
FPL Energy: Subsidiary of Florida Power and Light. P.O. Box 14000, Juno Beach, FL 33408-0420. Tel: 561-691-7171.
Frontway Enterprise Co.: Gong Gang Mission, 16 Fuzhou South Road, Qingdao 266071, China. Tel: (+86) 532 - 8597 1349. www.supesolar.com.
GE Energy (Solar Division): 231 Lake Drive, Newark, DE: Tel: 1 302 451 7500.
Gintech Energy (www.gintech.com): 8F, No. 396, Nei Hu Rd., Sec.1, Taipei 114, Taiwan. Tel: 886-2-2656-2000. Solar.
Google. The global information giant has entered the renewable energy field with a spin-off eSolar Inc., based in Pasadena.
Green Energy. See Yingli.
GreenVolts Inc.: 50 First Street, #507, San Francisco, CA 94105. [email protected]. Tel: 415 963-4030. A solar start-up with $1.5 million venture capital.
Heliodomi S.A.: P.O. Box 60212, Thermi 57001, Thessaloniki, Greece. Tel: 30 310 469 140.
Heliodinâmica: Rodovia Raposo Tavares km 41, Vargem Grande Paulista - CEP 06730-970, Caixa Postal 111, São Paulo, Brasil. Tel: 11 4158-3511.
Helios Technology: srl Via Postumia 11, 35010 Carmignano di Brenta (PD), Italy.
Huamei PV Company: No.86 Jianguolu, Qinhuangdao, Hebei, China 066000. Tel: 86 335-3035394.
IBC Solar AG: Am Hochgericht 10, 96231 Bad Staffelstein, Germany. Tel: +49 9573 9224-0.
ICP Solar Technologies Inc: 6995 Jeanne-Mance Montreal, QE, Canada H3N 1W5. Tel: 1 514 270 5770.
Iowa Thin Film Technologies: 2337 230th Street, Boone, Iowa 50036. Tel: 1 515 292 7606.
Isofotón SA.: c/ Montalban No. 9, 2 Izq. 28014, Madrid, Spain. Tel: 34 91 531 2625.
Jadoo Power: Folsom, CA. Whether produced by the sun, wind, or hydrogen, energy needs to be captured. Jadoo Power, a Mohr Davidow-funded company based in Folsom, Calif., is producing small hydrogen fuel cells for the military and consumers. Eventually it plans to sell a rechargeable hydrogen fuel cell that can power an entire home.
Jiangsu Huayang Solar Energy Co. Ltd.
JingAo Solar Co. Ltd.: JingLong Industrial Park, JingLong Street, NingJin County, Xingtai, Hebei, China 055550. Tel: 86 319 580 0751.
Juwi Solar GmbH: Bolanden, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Has developed more than 600 photovoltaic power plants with a total capacity of 80 MW. Partner of DayStar U.S. using photovoltaic products based on Copper Indium Gallium Selenide, or CIGS, thin-film semiconductor technology.
Kaifeng Solar Cell Factory. No. 45 XinhuaDongjie, Kaifeng, Henan, China 475000. Tel: 86 378 597722.
Kaneka Corporation. 3-2-4, Nakanoshima, Kita-ku Osaka 530-8288, Japan. Tel: 81 6 6226 5237. PV products.
Konarka Technologies Inc., Lowell, MA, has raised $32 million from ChevronTexaco, utility company Electricité de France and venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Konarka, which counts Nobel Prize winner Alan Heeger as a founder, will produce solar cells made of thin layers of plastic.
Kvazar JSC: 3 Severo-syretskaya str., 04136 Kiev, Ukraine. Tel: 81 75 604 3476. Solar.
Kyocera Corporation (Solar Energy Division). Kyocera Corporation Headquarters Bldg. 6, Takeda Tobadono-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto 612-8501, Japan. Tel: 380 (44) 205 34 50.
Kyocera Solar Inc. (US Division): 7812 East Acoma Scottsdale, AZ 85260. Tel: 480 948 8003. Kyocera Corp. has announced plans to reinforce production bases in Japan, the United States, Europe and China, investing a total of about $283.4 million through FY2010.
LDK Solar Co. Ltd.: Hi-Tech Industrial Park, Xinyu City, Jiangxi province, China. U.S. office in Sunnyvale, CA. IPO $300 million to finance two polysilicon plants currently under construction in China.
Maharishi Solar Technology Pvt. Ltd: A 14, Mohan Co-operative Industrial Estate Mathura Road, New Delhi 110 044, India. Tel: 91 11 6959701
Matsushita Battery Industrial Company (www.mbi.panasonic.co.jp/top): Photovoltaic Division, 1-1 Matshushita-cho, Moriguchi-shi, 570-8511, Osaka, Japan. Tel: 81 6 6991 1141.
Matsushita Seiko Co Ltd: 4017, Shimonakata, Takaki-cho, Kasugai, Aichi, 486-8522, Japan Tel: 81 0568 81 1511. Solar.
Microsol International: P. O. Box 4940, Fujairah Free Zone Phase II, Fujairah, United Arab Emirates 4940. Tel: 971-9-2282138. PV.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation: Mitsubishi Denki Building 2-2-3, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8310, Japan. Tel: 81-3-3218-2111. PV.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Power Systems Division) (www.mhi.co.jp/power/e_power/techno/index01.htm): 5-1 Marunouchi 2-Chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8315, Japan. Tel: 81 3 3212 9408.
Moser Baer Photovoltaic: 43 B, Okhla Industrial Estate, New Delhi 110020, India. Tel: 91 41635201
Motech Industries Inc., Solar Electricity Division: No 3, Da-Shun 9th Road, Tainan County, 744, Hsin-Shi, Taiwan. Tel: 886 6 505 07 89 x204
Nanosolar. A Palo Alto company, it has more than $100 million in funding. The company has developed a cheap flexible "print out" type of solar cell.
Nanosys of Palo Alto is working with Matsushita on sprayable solar coatings for roofs.
Neo Solar Power Corp.: 2, Wen-Hua Rd., Hsinchu Industrial Park., Hu-Kou, Hsinchu County, Taiwan 303. Tel: 886-3-598-0126
New Solar Ventures. Arizona firm.
Ningbo Solar Energy Power Co.: Zhou Fuuzhang, 315012 No. 80 Qiafengjie, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. Tel: 91 44 4836 351
Open Energy: Bought Toronto-based Solar Roofing Systems and its patented BIPV roofing membranes, SolarSave. Also, acquired Connect Renewable Energy Inc. maker of BIPV roofing tiles. Has $20 million in financing.
Pacific SolarTech. A Silicon Valley startup.
Pentafour Solec Technology Ltd. (licensee of Solec International): Chitra Towers, 332-2 Aarcot Road, Kodambakkam, Chennai 600 024, India. Tel: 86 574 712 1761
Perlight Solar Co. Ltd.
Photon Semiconductor & Energy Co. Ltd.: 300, Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, 440-746 Korea. Tel: 82 55 294 2116. PV.
Photovoltech NV SA: Grijpenlaan 18, 3300 Tienen, Belgium. Tel: 32 1 6805-850
Photowatt International SA: 33 rue St Honore, ZI Champfleuri, 38300 Bourgoin Jallieu, France. Tel: 33 474 93 80 20
Polar Photovoltaics: 268 Tanghe Road, Bengbu, Anhui 233030, China. Tel: 86 552 3178212
PowerLight: the nation's biggest solar panel installer.
PrimeStar Solar Inc.: HQ, 13100 W. 43rd Drive, Golden, CO 80403-7232. 303-278-3180.Prism Solar Technologies. PO Box 630, Stone Ridge, NY 12484. Tel 845.943.5374. [email protected]
Q-Cells AG: Guardian str.16, D-06766 Thalheim, Germany. Tel: 49 3494 66 86-0. The world's second largest cell manufacturer.
ReneSola. Shanghai, China. Raised $130 million in a stock offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
Renewable Energy Corporation. Based in Norway, with seven production plants in three different countries. Approximately 1,100 employees. Producer of polysilicon and wafers for PV applications.
Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd, Soft Energy Co. Business HQ: 222-1, Kaminaizen, Sumoto City, Hyogo 656, Japan. Tel: 81 799 23 2901. Produced $213 million worth of solar cells at its plant in Hungary in recent year.
Schott Solar Industrie: straße 13, Alzenau, Germany D 63755. Tel: 49 6023 91-17 12. One of the world's largest producers of solar photovoltaic technologies. Schott employs more than 900 people and has worldwide production capacity of more than 130 MW.
Sharp Corporation, Sharp Photovoltaics Div.: 282-1 Hajikami , Shinjo-cho, Kita-Katsuragi-gun, Nara Prefecture 639-2198, Japan. Tel: 81 745 63 3579. Sharp is the world's largest photovoltaic module and cell manufacturer, with major plants in Japan and the UK. Sharp Solar produces solar cells for many applications, from satellites to lighthouses, and industrial applications to residential use. Recently the firm undertook to build a new state-of-the-art LCD panel plant and solar cell plant for the mass production of thin-film solar cells in Sakai City, Osaka prefecture. This project is being developed as a "manufacturing complex for the 21st century."
Shecom K.K.: ShecomBldg, 2-22, Kotono-Cho, 3 Chome, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan 651-0094. Tel: 81-78-232-1974. Solar electric power systems, lithium ion batteries, LED lighting.
Shenzhen Topray Solar Co Ltd: 6th Floor, 2nd Block, Yuezhong Industrial Area, Zhuzilin, Futian Shenzhen, Guangdong, China 518040. Tel: 86 755 3709226
Signet Solar recently signed a contract to buy turnkey production lines from Applied Materials.
Sinonar Corporation: 8 Prosperity Road 1, Science-Based Industrial Park, Hsinchu, Taiwan. Tel: 886 3 5783366. Solar.
SkyFuel was awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop its advanced CSP/LPT system. LPT is a high-temperature linear Fresnel system with molten salt storage.
Sky Solar International Co. Ltd.: Hong Kong.
Solaicx: a Silicon Valley startup that manufactures silicon wafers.
Solarfun: 666 Linyang Road, Qidong, Jiangsu Province, China 226200. Solarfun: Eugene, OR. Tel: 541-228-8888. [email protected]
Solarfun Power Holdings Co. Ltd.: 218 Wusong Road, BM Tower, 26th Floor Shanghai, China 200080. Tel: 86 21 6307 0222
Solar Power Industries: 13 Airport Road, Belle Vernon, PA 15012. Tel: 724 379 2001
Solar Reserve: 2425 Olympic Blvd., Suite 6040 West, Santa Monica, CA 90404. 310-449-8680. [email protected]. A collaboration between United Technologies Corporation (UTC), a Dow 30 conglomerate, and US Renewables Group, a private equity firm focused exclusively on renewable energy. Solar Reserve holds the exclusive worldwide license to build state-of-the-art Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants that use equipment manufactured by HS Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of UTC. Rocketdyne, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, has invested $100 million in the design and manufacture of these components.
Solar Semiconductor recently purchased a Solar PV Module manufacturing line from P.Energy S.A.S. of Italy.
Solar Systems: 322 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia. 61 3 8862 8100. Contact [email protected]
SolarWorld AG: Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 12-14, 53113 Bonn, Germany. Tel: 49 - 228 / 55 92 00
Solar Cells: (formerly Koncar Solar Cells) Tezacki put BB, 21000, Split, Croatia. Tel: 385 21 374 510
Solartec s.r.o: 1 Máje 1000/M3, CZ- 756 64, Roznov pod Radhostem 3, Czech Republic. mailto:[email protected]
Solar Torx. New Arizona firm.
Solaria. Another Silicon Valley startup with $22 million in venture capital.
Solaris Technologies LLC
SolarWorld Industries America. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany. Purchased Shell Solar's crystalline silicon activities in 2006.
Solel. The Israeli company has helped to build and maintain the largest commercial solar power plant in California.
SolFocus is a Silicon Valley startup with initial funding of $25 million to develop solar concentrators.
Solmecs (Israel) Ltd: Omer Industrial Park, P.O. Box 3026, Omer 84965, Israel. Tel: 972 7 6900950
Solucar: An affiliate of Abengoa, the Spanish-based diversified energy company.
Sopogy: Produces a MicroCSP collector that produces 500 watts, roughly what a house consumes.
Spectrolab. 12500 Gladstone Avenue, Sylmar, CA 91342. Tel: (818) 365-4611. Boeing subsidiary.
Stirling Energy Systems Inc.: Biltmore Lakes Corporate Center, 2920 E. Camelback Road, Suite 150, Phoenix, AZ 85016. Tel: 602 957 1818. Email: [email protected]. Solar.
SunPower Corp: 3939 N. 1st Street, San Jose, CA 95134. Tel: (408) 240-5500. A subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor, SunPower Corporation designs and manufactures high-efficiency silicon solar cells and solar panels based on an all-back-contact "All-Black" design. They install them through their subsidiary, PowerLight. Recent projects include a large PV installation at the Nellis Air Force base in Nevada.
Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd.: 17-6 ChangJiang South Road, New District, Wuxi, China 214028. Tel: 86 510 5345000. E Mail: [email protected]. One of China's leading entrepreneurial businesses in the renewable energy field. World's third largest maker of solar cells.
Sunways AG: Macairestr. 3-5, 78467 Konstanz, Germany. Tel: 49 7531 99677-0
Superprotonic, backed by San Francisco-based Nth Power, is commercializing solid-acid fuel cells for cars. Depending on what power source it's replacing, storage is predicted to be at least a $12 billion market by the end of the decade.
TekSun PV Manufacturing Inc. Austin, TX.
Topraysolar raised about $60 million in its IPO. Chinese investors.
Torresol Energy. A joint venture of Spanish engineering firm Sener and Abu Dhabi firm Masdar.
Trina Solar: 13505 Oregon Flat Trail, Austin, TX 78727. A pioneering PV firm based in China. Has installed 39 solar power systems at sites in Tibet.
UPV Solar. City Coimbatore, State of Tamil Nadu, India
Udhaya Energy Photovoltaics Pvt Ltd (UPV Solar). 1/279Z Mudalipalayam, Arasur Post, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641 407, India. Tel: 91 4222361170. [email protected]. Has new plant at Mudalipalayam, about 9.3 miles (15 km.) east of Coimbatore.
United Solar Ovonic: 3800 Lapeer Raod, Auburn Hills, MI 48326. Tel: 248 475 0100. E Mail: [email protected]. A wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Ovonics currently employs 700 people.
USL Photovoltaics Private Ltd.: 1/473 Avinashi Road, Neeambur, Coimbatore 641 014, Tamil Nadu, India. Tel: 91 422 2627 851
West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation Ltd. (Webel SL Solar) (www.webelsolar.com): Plot No. NI, Block GP, Sector V Salt Lake Electronics Complex, Kolkata 700 091, India. Tel: 91 33 2357 8840. E Mail: [email protected]
Wurth Solar: Ludwigsburger Strasse 100, 71672 Marbach an Neckar, Germany. E Mail: [email protected]
Yingli Green Energy: No.3055 Fuxing Middle Road, National New & High-tech Industrial Development Zone, Baoding, China 071051. Tel: (86)312-8929700. E-mail: [email protected]. One of the largest manufacturers of PV products in China.
Zhejiang Sunflower Light Energy Science & Technology Co. Ltd.: Sanjiang Road, Paojiang Industrial Zone, Shaoxing, Zhejiang, China. Email: [email protected]
About the AuthorMcKinley Conway's development history is voluminous and distinguished. Just a few of his milestones include founding Site Selection, the first-ever magazine focused on corporate real estate and economic development, and founding two industry associations that set the standard for the industry's professional development the International Development Research Council (IDRC) and the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC).
And there's much, much more. Conway created the industry's first development-focused Internet site, SiteNet, all the way back in 1983. And he founded Spruce Creek, the pioneering fly-in community near New Smyrna Beach. For even more on Conway's sizeable development-industry legacy, click here.
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