PowerLight Completes Installation of 42kW Solar-Electric System

March 20, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

PowerLight Corp. (Berkeley, CA) announced that it has recently completed installation of what PowerLight claims to be the largest roof-integrated, thin-film solar-electric system in North America. The project is located in a showcase eco-industrial park at the Port of Cape Charles, VA, nestled among permanently protected acreage on the Chesapeake Bay.

PowerLight's installation consists of 10,000ft square of PowerLight's state-of-the-art PowerGuard roofing tiles. "PowerGuard tiles are a revolutionary concept in building architecture," says PowerLight Executive Vice President Dan Shugar. "In addition to generating solar electricity, the tiles insulate the building, reducing the cost of heating and air-conditioning, while also protecting and extending the life of the roof."

The solar system uses a newly commercialized thin-film, solar-electric module called the Millenia. The modules are manufactured by BP Solarex in its Toano, VA, plant. "We believe the project demonstrates a very important vision," says Gerry Braun, director of thin-film marketing for BP Solarex. "Thin-film solar-electric modules will be one of the key new building materials of the 21st century."

PowerLight's 42kW solar array is mounted on Building Number One of the Cape Charles Sustainable Technology Industrial Park, a high-profile, public-private initiative funded in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the US Department of Energy, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Additional funding for the PowerLight system was provided in part by the Virginia Alliance for Solar Electricity and the Utility PhotoVoltaic Group's TEAM-UP program, which provides cost-sharing from the US Department of Energy for innovative solar business ventures.