Saturday, February 16, 2008

Nanosolar sells first flexible solar cells

After five years, more than $100 million, and the financial blessings of some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley (the founders of Google, eBay and others), Nanosolar is finally selling something: the first megawatt of its solar panels will be used as part of a power plant in eastern Germany.

Printed like a newspaper directly on to aluminium foil, solar cells are flexible, light and, if you believe the company, expected to make it as cheap to produce electricity from sunlight as from coal. The technology is particularly exciting because it can be used nearly everywhere.

"This is the world's lowest-cost solar panel, which we believe will make us the first solar manufacturer capable of profitably selling solar panels at as little as 99 cents a watt," said Roscheisen.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

SEAT to install solar panels at Martorell plant

SEAT is this year planning to become one of the world's largest solar energy generators, with the firm's factory at Martorell to see the large-scale installation of solar panels generating enough renewable power to avoid the emission of more than 11,700 tonnes of CO2 a year.

By putting up a 8.5 megawatt (MW) array of solar photovoltaic panels, the system will generate 11.2 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity a year by the end of 2008. The first phase of solar panels will be placed on the roof of SEAT's corporate building in Martorell, as well as on the support structure of one of the finished vehicle parking lots.

The next step will be to cover two more distribution areas with a total surface area of more than 66,000 m2 (16.3 acres). Adding panels to the roofs of several other assembly buildings will further increase generating capacity by 139,000 m2 (34.3 acres).

Another recent advance at Martorell is expected to remove up to 25,000 trucks from Spain’s roads. On 18th January the first FGC (Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat de Catalunya) train carrying vehicles from the SEAT factory in Martorell reached the Port of Barcelona.

The trip marked the culmination of a €6.8 million (£5 million) project to connect SEAT-Martorell and the port by rail. To create the connection between the Martorell factory and the port a new branch line had to be built, part of the main railway line adapted and a new access point to the unloading area of the port created. When fully operational the new goods transport service will see two trains per day transport an expected 80,000 vehicles per year.

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