United Solar Ovonic Announces Multi-Year Agreement With ITOCHU For PV Laminates For Large-Scale Rooftop Applications

February 18, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

United Solar Ovonic LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc., announced that it has entered into a multi-year agreement to supply its UNI-SOLAR® brand solar laminates to ITOCHU Corp. for use on large-scale rooftop installations on industrial and commercial buildings worldwide.

"The agreement with ITOCHU underscores our significant and growing presence in the global solar market," said Mark Morelli, President and CEO of ECD. "We applaud ITOCHU for recognizing both the economic and environmental benefits of UNI-SOLAR’s lightweight, durable, and flexible thin-film PV laminates for rooftop installations."

"Since 2005, ITOCHU has been committed to growing our solar business as part of a broader commitment to environmental conservation and the development of alternative energy sources. Our agreement with UNI-SOLAR will help us further develop our solar energy business following our acquisition of California-based systems integrator and distributor Solar Depot in 2006. UNI-SOLAR laminates are a natural fit for us, because they can be integrated directly into roofing materials and provide a faster return on investment than competitive solar products," said Yutaka Kato, Chief Operating Officer of Industrial Machinery and Solution Division of ITOCHU Corp..

UNI-SOLAR laminates are described as being lightweight, durable, flexible, can be integrated directly with building materials, and as generating more energy in real-world conditions. They are said to be generally three-to-five times lighter than conventional solar modules (which use glass), offering an suitable solution for low-load bearing roof applications. UNI-SOLAR laminates can be installed without any structural changes or penetrations to the roof, and are claimed to provide superior wind and seismic load performance compared with conventional solar modules.