Nanosolar Inc. today announced that it has completed a 1 MW ground-mounted solar installation at Camp Roberts, the largest of California's National Guard training facilities, located in San Miguel, California.
The installation is part of the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) Energy Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), which is testing various green technologies to identify viable solutions to address rising energy costs and minimize the reliance on fossil fuels. The DoD spends over $4 billion annually on electricity use, accounting for more than 90 percent of the federal government's energy use.
Nanosolar is contributing to the ESTCP program with its solar demonstration project at Camp Roberts, designed to show the effectiveness of using its low-cost, thin-film CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenium) utility panels.
The installation, which is comprised of 4,992 of Nanosolar's thin-film panels, will be used to test the capabilities of the solution for producing energy in areas where solar irradiance is above average. At Camp Roberts, strong annual insolation of 1892 kWh/m2 is typical. The project was installed in an area of flat, unused land.
"Our project at Camp Roberts shows how our technology can be used for both military and non-military applications, on a path to greater energy independence," said Eugenia Corrales, CEO of Nanosolar. "Nanosolar is on track to deliver the most cost-efficient solar electricity, with the expectation that we can achieve grid parity with non-renewable energy resources."
Founded in 2002, Nanosolar aims to produce the world's lowest-cost solar panels through the use of its proprietary CIGS printing technology. The company uses a unique high-throughput, roll-to-roll printing process to coat aluminum foil with proprietary CIGS inks, while avoiding the use of high-cost vacuum deposition processes. It also has a novel metal wrap-through (MWT) back-contact design that enables it to produce cells more efficiently. This design offers Nanosolar customers a panel that offers high mechanical and electrical stability, which enables easier installation at lower total cost. With manufacturing capacity of 115 MW, Nanosolar is currently producing 230W panels with 11.5 percent module efficiency and expects to be at 14 percent in 2013.
Camp Roberts hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion and energizing of this project on May 11, 2012.
Nanosolar designs, engineers, and manufactures innovative thin-film solar cells and panels based on printing CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenium) inks on low-cost aluminum foil. The company's current product, the Nanosolar Utility Panel, enables competitively priced peak power and installed system economics at utility-scale. Nanosolar operates the industry's first roll-to-roll solar cell printing factory at its headquarters in San Jose, Calif., and a panel-assembly factory in Luckenwalde, Germany. For more information, please visit http://www.nanosolar.com.