Green Notes - 04 Dec 08
- Thin-film manufacturer Global Solar Energy has flipped the switch on its 750-kilowatt solar project in Tucson, Ariz., which it claims is the world’s largest system using solar cells made of copper-indium-gallium-diselenide. The company, which makes CIGS solar cells, announced this week that the project is fully operational. Covering 310,000 square feet at Global Solar’s manufacturing plant, the system features a ground-mounted solar array that uses 6,600 SOLON solar modules incorporating Global Solar’s CIGS thin-film solar cells. Offering cost and manufacturing advantages, CIGS thin-film is poised to become a leading solar technology. “This new solar system solidifies the vitality and longevity of CIGS technology in the thin-film space,” said Mike Gering, president and CEO of Global Solar Energy. “We are proud to be instrumental in this industry first and excited to be a part of one of MMA’s cutting-edge projects. As the only CIGS provider to have its technology powering a commercial-scale solar array, Global Solar Energy continues to prove itself as a solar industry leader.”
- California’s announcement last month of its aim to turn San Francisco Bay into the world’s electric car capital has been followed by Hawaii jumping on the clean energy bandwagon. In conjunction with the state government and the largest electric utility, thousands of charging stations will be installed all over the state, and they will be fed with as much renewable energy as possible. The first electric vehicles will be ready within 18 months and mass market availability by 2012. Their petroleum import bill combined with the pollution makes them ideal for a switch to electric vehicles powered by in state sources of power. Gov. Linda Lingle said Tuesday the program would help Hawaii meet its goal of slashing fossil fuel use 70 percent by 2030. “This is the preferred future,” Lingle said at a press conference. “Today is a part of the execution of our energy independence, and our getting off the addiction to oil.“
- Florida utility Florida Power & Light broke ground yesterday on a 75-megawatt solar thermal facility. The facility is combined with a natural gas plant so that when the sun goes down, natural gas powers the turbines. FPL says the facility in southeast Florida will be the world’s first hybrid solar plant to connect to an existing fossil fuel plant. “When heat from the sun is available to produce electricity, we’re going to use less natural gas,” said Lewis Hay III, chairman and CEO of FPL Group, Inc., Florida Power & Light’s parent company. The solar portion of the combined facility is to feature some 180,000 collectors with mirrored surfaces spread over 500 acres. The technology works this way: The mirrors reflect the sun onto receivers to heat liquid creating steam that in turn produces electricity whenever the sun is shining.