Today California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger dedicated the 2 megawatt solar power system at the Applied Materials campus in Sunnyvale, California, one of the largest corporate solar power installations in the United States. The Governor praised Applied's work in the solar industry after viewing the extensive parking lot-based solar array as well as a demonstration of the company's thin film solar technology.
"Applied Materials is a real California solar success story and they are demonstrating the potential of turning parking lots throughout the state into power plants at a time when we need innovative solutions to the growing energy crisis," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "The panels in the system were manufactured by a California company on equipment provided by Applied Materials, another California company, and they take advantage of one of our state's most famous and abundant resources, the California sun."
"California has the best solar program in the United States thanks to Governor Schwarzenegger's vision," said Mike Splinter, president and CEO of Applied Materials. "He has shown great leadership for the adoption of solar power in California through his Million Solar Roofs Plan and his support of the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32), but we still have a long way to go as a state and as a country."
The Applied Materials solar system in Sunnyvale incorporates more than 7,000 wafer-based solar panels made by SunPower Corporation using Applied's Baccini™ Cell Systems, and is capable of generating approximately 2 megawatts of power each year. The parking lot-mounted system tracks the sun to increase the efficiency of the panels while also serving as shade for several hundred employee cars. The solar power system is expected to prevent more than 2,700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of approximately 450 passenger cars.
"This is the new face of solar power, parking lots becoming power plants and solar panels incorporated into the middle of our urban landscape," continued Splinter. "Solar is a tremendous economic development opportunity for our state and our country and with the support of leaders like the Governor we have the opportunity to make solar a truly meaningful part of our energy supply."
The Governor also viewed a working, SunFab™ thin film solar panel, the largest commercially-available solar panel in the world. Applied demonstrated how a single Applied SunFab™ thin film production line, operating at full capacity, can produce enough panels for an installation the size of Applied's Sunnyvale system in about eight days. As an example of how manufacturing scale can change the industry and dramatically increase the availability of solar panels, Applied also showed how a gigawatt-scale SunFab factory with multiple production lines could produce the required number of panels in about one day.