U.S. Department of Energy

    Two Large Solar Power Systems On Order in California

    February 11, 2004

    PowerLight Corporation announced in January that it has been commissioned to install two large solar power systems in California: a 200-kilowatt system at the U.S. headquarters for SANYO North America, located in San Diego, and a 457-kilowatt system at Saint Francis Winery in Santa Rosa. The SANYO installation will be built of high-efficiency SANYO solar modules, and will consist of a 150-kilowatt roof-mounted system on the headquarters building and 50-kilowatt sun-tracking system on the company's adjacent carport structure. The installation will be completed in spring. The St. Francis Winery installation will provide more than 30 percent of the winery's energy needs, and will be completed in May. PowerLight is also providing energy-efficient lighting at the winery, which will reduce the winery's electricity demand for lighting by 48 percent. See the January 13th and January 26th press releases from PowerLight.

    Computer-generated image of German solar installation.

    This computer-generated image shows how the German solar installation will appear when complete.
    Credit: Shell Solar

    Meanwhile, Shell Solar GmbH and the Gesellschaft fur Solarenergie (GEOSOL) announced in January that they will build a 5-megawatt solar power system south of Leipzig, Germany. The system will rival similar large systems planned for southern California and Arizona. See the Shell Solar press release, and for background on the U.S. plans, see the article from the December 10th edition of the EERE Network News.

    Unfortunately, not all is rosy for the U.S. solar power industry. AstroPower, Inc., which has struggled financially since it was delisted from NASDAQ in July 2003, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company plans to sell some of its U.S. assets to GE Energy as part of its reorganization. In January, AstroPower laid off 10 percent of its work force. See the AstroPower press release.