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2nd Half of 1999

News Archives 199719981st Half of 1999

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12/28/1999 Solar Energy Will Heat Up Florida
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in cooperation with American Dream Builders in Florida is working on putting solar water heating systems on new homes in Florida, which is known as the "Sunshine State" in the country. The effort is part of a subcontract under the Department of Energy's Solar Buildings Program to improve solar water heating technology and to better understand public acceptance of solar water heating products. (iwr)
12/21/1999 Solar World AG Takes Over Swedish PV Module Producer GPV 
Solar World AG from Berlin, Germany, took over Gällivare Photo Voltaic, GPV, from Gällivare, Sweden, a producer of photovoltaic modules. Dipl.-Ing. FankH. Asbeck, spokesman of the Solar World directory said that the acquisition of GPV Solar World AG has considerably extended its portfolio by the addition of the production of solar modules. The takeover of GPV will also foster Solar World's entry into the rapidly growing European solar market. Asbeck added that the independence of GPV will be maintained in the future so that GPV will continue to operate under its own name worldwide. (iwr) 
12/15/1999 Solon Corp. Strengthens Its Presence on International Market
In its accounts for the third quarter of 1999, documented a successful development on the domestic market. As compared to last year, SOLON, reached an almost 300% increase to about DM 5.2 millon. SOLON also successfully entered the international market by concluding a preliminary contract for a 400 kWp large-scale system in Marocco, which will amount to approximately DM 7.5 million. To extend its international involvement, SOLON participates in international biddings for PV systems. (iwr) 
12/14/1999 Germany's 100,000 Roof Program: 3.392 Systems with 8,4 MW Were Approved Until the End of November
The Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), which works on applications and grants for  support regarding Germany's 100.000 Roof Program, approved of 3.392 million photovoltaic systems with a total capacity of 8,4 MW until the end of November. Statistics.... (iwr) 
12/08/1999 Joint Venture of Astro Power (U.S.A.) and Atersa (Spain) for Production of Solar Cells
Astro Power Inc. from the U.S.A. and Atersa (Applicaciones Technicas de la Energia, S.A.), from Spain, both leading manufacturers of  solar electric power modules, formed a European joint venture company, called Astro Solar. Astro Solar is currently constructing a solar cell manufacturing facility in Valencia, Spain, with an annual capacity of 10 MW. Solar cell production will begin during the first quarter of 2000. (iwr)
12/01/1999 BP Solarex Developed Solar Module with Record Effciency
BP Solarex acnnounced that is Apollo (R)thin film solar module achieved a record 8.3% eficiency with a corresponding power output of 72.2 Watts. These resultts were verified by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Enery Laboratory (NREL). BP Solarex, a merger of BP Solar and Solarex of the past April, has become the largest PV manufacturing and marketing company in the world, i.e. BP Solarex holds 20% of the global market share in the solar electric industry. The company's manufacturing operations are currently restricted to four countries: the U.S.A., Spain, India, and Australia. (iwr) 
11/30/1999 The World's Largest Solar Neighborhood in Amersfoort, the Netherlands 
The magazine "Photon" reported that the world's largest solar residential neighborhood was dedicated in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. Thus far 500 kW have been installed in the Nieuwland neighborhood and additional 1.3 MW will be installed in the Waterkwartier neighborhood. Only in some cases are special modules needed, which are produced by the companies Colt and RBB. Most of the solar modules have been and will be provided by Shell and BP Solarex. (iwr) 
11/24/1999 BP Opens First Solar Powered Service Station in France
BP announced that it opened up its first solar-powered service station in France. The service station (i.e. its lighting and petroleum pumps) is powered by 200 photovoltaic panels, made by BP Solarex. This initiative is part of BP Amoco's worldwide  program to equip 200 service stations with solar systems by 2001. (iwr) 
11/16/1999 Solar Cell Factory in Gelsenkirchen/Germany Opens Today
One of the biggest solar cell factories in the world will be opened in Gelsenkirchen today in the presence of the German Chancellor Schroeder and NRW-prime minister Clement.The factory was build by the German Shell AG and Shell Solar Deutschland GmbH.  In the final stage of completion an annual production of 25 MW is planned. (iwr) 
11/09/1999 Intelligent Solar Systems
During the 4th symposium Energy System Technology in Kassel/Germany, the Solar Institute ISET introduced a new product developed together with the firm SMA Regelsysteme. The battery static convertor "Sunny Island" is designed for independent photovoltaic island systems. It will be able to supervise and optimize the interaction of all components of a solar system. Photovoltaic island systems can be installed at places without public power supply system where it is cheaper to use solar systems. Sunny Island is supported by the German ministry for economy and will be available on the market  at the beginning of the year 2000. (iwr) 
11/02/1999 Education Program for Students´ Understanding of Solar Energy in Maryland, USA
BP Solarex, BP Amoco, and the Maryland Energy Administration will sposor an education program in Maryland, USA, with the intention to improve students´understanding of solar energy. Permanent solar energy demonstration programs shall be established at six elementary and middle schools with each school receiving a solar array and a solar electric meter. In an effort to further promote solar energy education, a special solar energy classroom curriculum designed by BP Solarex shall be made available to school throughout the United States. (iwr)
10/27/1999 Spectrolab and NREL Achieve World-Record Solar Cell Conversion Efficiency Exceeding 32%
Spectrolab and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have achieved a world record conversion effieiency rate of 32.3% for a solar cell. This breakthrough could lead to the doubling of power output of terrestrial applications in operations today. Spectrolab  is now seeking industry partners with demonstrated field experience for the development of its technology into large photovoltaic systems. (iwr) 
10/26/1999 Shell Builds its Smallest Solar Panel for a School Energy Set
Shell announced that school children will soon be able to build their own solar-powered LEGO models with a new product developed by LEGO in conjunction with Shell Renewables. This new LEGO Dacta eLAB product is intended to help children understand the common forms of energy, including renrewables. Later this year, the product will enter the market, being initally introduced in the UK, the USA, and Germany by LEGO Dacta, the company's education division. (iwr)
10/20/1999 Solar Energy in Germany: North-Rhine Westphalia and Bavaria were Most Supportive of Solar Energy in 1998
In a survey which is conducted every year, IWR found out that the states of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) and Bavaria were the most supportive statesof solar energy in Germany in the last year. In total, 1,5000 phtovoltaic systems with a capacity of approximately  4.5 MW were subsidized in German in 1998; 900 of which are located in NRW. In addition to that 30,000 solar heat systems (with a total collector face of 220,000 m2) for warm water conditioning and heating were built in Germany. Bavaria installed 14,000 systems (100,000 m2) and NRW 7,300 systems (51,000 m2). (iwr)
10/19/1999 Japan: US-$ 470 Million Earmarked for PV Support in 2000
According to press releases the Japanese Department of Industry, MITI, will  make available approximately US-$ 470 for the support of photovoltaic systems in 2000. (iwr)
10/13/1999 Solon Inc. Goes International With Decentralized Solar Systems
Solon, Inc. from Berlin, Germany, entered the international market with decentralized power plants. As a part of this extension of its business sectors, Solon Inc. signed an agreement for the construction f the world's biggest solar power insular grid in Marocco. It is intended that a tourist resort in Marocco can be fully supplied with power entirely provided by a large PV-system. (iwr) 
10/06/1999 1:50 p.m. (CET)
Spectrolab Reaches Production Milestone
Spectrolab Inc., a supplier of more than half of the world's spacecraft solar cells, has reached a production  milestone of 25,000 triple-junction gallium-arsenide solar cells. These solar cells have an efficieny rate of 24.5%, the highest average efficieny that has yet been achieved. Thus far, Sepctrolab Inc. has primarily supplied satellites in space with solar cells; at the end of the year, the first spacecraft is supposed to fly with these solar cells.  (iwr) 

10:35 a.m. (CET)
Spire Corp. Will Provide BP Solar Malaysia with PV Manufacturing Line
Spire Corp., the world's leading supplier of photovoltaic manufacturing equipment and production lines, announced that it will provide a turn-key photovoltaic production line to BP Solar Malaysia Sdn. Bhd, a joint venture between BP Solarex and Projas Enercrorp. Sdn. Bhd. The new manufacturing line will help to support Malaysia's efforts in using solar electricity in rural development programs. (iwr) 

09/28/1999 Germany's 100,000 Roof Program: 2,603 Systems with 6.28 MW Were Approved Until the End of August
The Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), which works on applications and grants for  support regarding Germany's 100.000 Roof Program, approved of 2,603 million photovoltaic systems with a total capacity of 6.28 MW until the end of August. Statistics.... (iwr)
09/22/1999 Spire Will Provide $ 6 Million Worth of Solar Electric Systems to Utility
Spire Corp. announced  that it will provide $ 6 million worth of solar electric (photovoltaic) systems to the utility Commonwealth Edison Company of Chicago (ComEd) over the next 30 months. In addition to that the City of Chicago has commited to buy $ 2 million worth of PV systems. The systems will be manufactured at a new manufacturing plant in Chicago, which is called Spire Solar Chicago. Spire, ComEd, the City of Chicago, and the U.S. Department of Energy made a collaborative effort to bring about this business formation. (iwr) 
09/15/1999 16th European Phtotovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
May 1 through May 5, 2000 the 16th European Phototvoltaic Solar Energy Conference will be held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center in Glasgow, UK. The program for the conference will comprise plenary lectures focusing on the state-of-the-art in PV, oral and poster presentations of specific research development and demonstration projects, PV applications and market aspects, exhibition of PV products and services as well as scientific tours and a social program. Papers will be presented in plenary, oral and poster sessions. Those who want to make a contribution should turn in their abstracts by October 15. (iwr) 
09/01/1999 Booming PV Market in Canada
The Canadian Association for Renewabele Energies (C.A.R.E.) recently announced that the market for PV cells in Canada grew by 33% in 1998. The installed PV capacity in Candada reached altogether 4.5 MW last year. Over the past six years the Canadian PV market has experienced an average annual growth rate of 26%. The large growth rates have  also had a positive effect on job creation. (iwr) 
08/26/1999 Solar Project "Village Power 2000" Provides Energy in Uganda
The U.S. Department of Energy pioneers a solar energy project in Uganda, called "Village Power 2000,"which is supposed to improve energy access in rural areas. The principle objective of the project is to set up 150 solar generating plants that will provide electricity to civic buildings such as schools, homeless shelters, an orphanage, etc. As part of the project, 25 U.S.students were sent over to Uganda last month to demonstrate the capabilities of solar power and Internet technology to Ugandan students. (iwr)
08/18/1999 New Production Facility for Solar Cells Will Start Production Soon
One of the biggest production facilities for solar cells in the world will start production in Gelsenkrichen, Germany,  November 16. The plant is being built by Shell Solar Germany Ltd. and by Pilkington Solar International. (iwr)
08/11/1999 Kyocera Inc. Took Over Golden Genesis Company
Kyocera International Inc. announced that it acquired 100% of the common shares of Golden Genesis Company.  Golden Genesis Company, which has been renamed Kyocera Solar Inc. (KSI), will move its headquarters from Colorado to Scottsdale, Arizona. KSI will continue with the same product line, but will add a marketing section for solar photovoltaic modules. (iwr) 
08/10/1999 Solar Eclipse on the Internet
If you want to make sure that your eyes and retina will not be damaged during tomorrow's solar eclipse, have a look at the following websites. 

Live pictures of the solar eclipse from different German cities 

Live pictures of the solar eclips, gas explosions on the sun; complete view of the progress of the eclipse 

Live pictures of the solar eclips 

official website of NASA 

07/23/1999 NASA Trying to Build Sun Towers in Space
According to a press release the U.S. space agency is studying the feasability of collecting solar energy in space, which can be transmitted down to the earth. For this reason, NASA is spending $ 6 million on a study that tries to find out, whether "towers" that can collect solar energy can be built in space. The sun towers, which are meant to collect 1.2 billion watts, would rest in a stationary orbit 22,000 miles away from earth. Each one of these towers would consist of a series of 22-mile PV cell structures. The contractors of this project will meet in approximately nine months to discuss preliminary research results.
07/13/1999 Application Eligibility for 100,000 Roof Program was Issued by EU Commission for Small and Medium-Sized Companies
According to EUROSOLAR the European Commission authorized the elegibility for small and medium-sized companies to apply for subsidies of the 100,000 Roof Program. Companies with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than EURO 20 million fall into this category. The solar sector is now expecting a strengthened PV boom. (iwr)
07/07/1999  PV System Provides Power to the Pentagon 
According to a press release by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), at the end of June the DOE and the Department of Defense dedicated a state of the art PV system which will provide power to the Pentagon, the largest office building in the world. The PV system is expected to have a generating capacity of 30 kilowatts, and thus it will be the largest system of its kind on the East Coast. Secretary of Energy, Bill Richardson said that the DOE and the Department of Defense followed a directive of President Clinton in erecting this PV system, as Clinton recently issued an executive order to utilize more renewable energies at public facilities.  (iwr) 

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