Applied Materials and SunPower Corp. recently announced the completion of two SunPower solar power systems totaling 2.1 megawatts at Applied Materials’ corporate facilities in Sunnyvale, Calif. The systems reportedly represent the largest solar power deployment at a corporate facility in the U.S.
“This is another exciting milestone in the adoption of solar power in California,” said Mike Splinter, president and chief executive officer of Applied Materials. “More companies are realizing the wisdom of integrating solar as a non-intrusive, clean, silent form of energy generation into our businesses and communities. We’ve converted our parking lots to power plants and we encourage others to join us in making solar power a meaningful part of the energy supply.”
The system includes a 950 kilowatt SunPower PowerGuard® installation and a 1.2 megawatt SunPower Tracker® installation atop an elevated parking canopy. The SunPower Tracker follows the sun as it moves across the sky, increasing sunlight capture by up to 25% over conventional fixed-tilt systems. Both systems use SunPower solar panels. SunPower uses Applied Materials’ Baccini technology in its solar cell manufacturing process.
Since the first phase of installation in November 2007, Applied reports that its solar installation has generated 1413 megawatt hours of power. The system is expected to replace more than 2700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is equivalent to the annual carbon emissions from approximately 450 passenger cars.
“Applied Materials has joined the ranks of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Air Force in recognizing the value of solar as a mechanism for reducing exposure to volatile electric rates and promoting energy independence through the use of clean, renewable solar power,” said Tom Werner, chief executive officer of SunPower.
Applied’s investment is supported by the federal investment tax credit (ITC) that encourages deployment of renewable energy systems across the U.S. Due to expire at the end of 2008, Congress is now considering legislation to extend the ITC.
“Congratulations to the leadership in the U.S. Senate for their efforts to forge a bipartisan agreement on a long-term extension of the ITC,” said Werner. “According to a new study from Navigant Consulting, an eight-year extension of the ITC would result in the creation of more than 1.2 million job opportunities and $232 billion in investment in the solar energy sector.”
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