Global Solar Energy, a leading manufacturer of Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells, today announced the full operation of the largest solar electric array worldwide using CIGS photovoltaic (PV) technology. The 750-kilowatt (kW) system, located at Global Solar's manufacturing facility in Tucson, is the first commercial-scale deployment of the company's highly efficient CIGS thin-film solar technology and will help power its manufacturing plant.
The innovative system is financed, owned and operated by MMA Renewable Ventures, LLC, a subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC (OTC:MMAB.PK). SOLON Corporation, a fully-owned subsidiary of SOLON AG, produced and installed the PV modules and designed the array. 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.”
Global Solar is purchasing the power generated from MMA Renewable Ventures under the terms of a long-term commercial financing agreement. The thin-film solar power system will generate more than 1.1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable electricity annually at Global Solar's 100,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The ground-mounted solar energy system will offset 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide over its expected 25-year lifetime.
“This operational solar array is a monumental step in America's energy revolution,” SOLON Corporation's CEO Olaf Koester said. “CIGS technology will contribute to driving down solar energy prices, bringing renewable energy to the masses.” SOLON Corporation's vision is to help spark the widespread adoption of solar energy in the United States by designing, constructing and maintaining large-scale photovoltaic power plants.
“We are constantly looking for ways to deliver affordable energy at scale,” said Matt Cheney, CEO of MMA Renewable Ventures. “Global Solar is a leader in CIGS materials and we value the opportunity to showcase its thin-film technology, an innovation in the solar market.”
Tucson Electric Power helped fund the project through its agreement to purchase the renewable energy credits generated by the array's clean energy. The credits will help TEP pursue goals established under Arizona's Renewable Energy Standard, which calls on electric utilities to work toward securing 15 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2015.
“This project helps us build toward the clean energy future we envision for Arizona,” said Philip Dion, vice president of Legal and Environmental Services for Tucson Electric Power and its parent company, UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE:UNS). “Companies such as Global Solar, MMA and SOLON exemplify the best and brightest in renewable energy technology, and we're proud of their contribution to our community's renewable energy resources.”