Photovoltaic Developments
Source: DOE/EE
Date: 3/1/96    Record No.: 10286
Contact: Jim Rannels, \\Photovoltaics Division, 202-586-1721

Photovoltaic Developments
There are some noteworthy developments in the solar PV.

- The Enron-Amoco-Solarex project to build a 3+ MW solar PV plant in Hawaii is moving forward, with the building of a new factory in Virginia to make the cells.

- C-Star, Las Vegas NV, set up by DOE and the state of Nevada, and headed by Rose Mckinney-James, is reviewing 5 major bids to install solar projects at the Nevada Test Site. Plans call for as much as 500 MW of capacity for a number of diverse solar technologies.

- Cells and modules are getting cheaper all the time, with the current emphasis on new thin fim technology and mass production. Expect local home supply stores to be selling modules with integral inverters that can plug right into the household circuit, and slow or reverse the meter. Utilities better be planning how they're going to respond.

- United Solar, Troy MI, will put PV roofing shingles on the market in about one year. These will be featured along with many other innovations in the Atlanta Energy Showcase House, to coincide with the Olympics. Oak Ridge has the lead--contact Pat Love at 423-576-7942.

- Also at the Olympics, Georgia Tech and Georgia Power are putting in a major installation of PV panels on a 100-ft. high stadium roof. Expect very high profile nationally and internationally, with TV camera views from the blimp. This might well result in a resurgence of interest and inquiries about solar which utilities should consider preparing for--and possibly taking advantage of. Utilities would do well to make a conscious decision about this, and not get caught off guard.

- The Utility PV Group (UPVG), with 86 utility members, is a formally constituted independent organization set up 4 years ago with DOE's help at the request of a small group of utilities. It serves as a major forum for program development and interactions among utilities, PV developers and DOE. (Most but not all UFTO members are in UPVG. For $2000/year, it would seem a very cost-effective way to keep abreast of new developments.)