Hawaii’s clean energy initiative

Hawaii is already ahead of a lot of places when it comes to solar energy. The government is entering into a an agreement with private industry to install solar panels on government facilities, and Costco just converted some of their businesses in paradise to solar.

Hawaii was the 2nd state in the US to establish a cap on greenhouse gases. On the islands research is being conducted to turn algae into biofuels, garbage is used to create electricity, wind and solar plants are going in and companies are installing geothermal plants to take advantage of the volcanic activities. The Hawaiian Clean Energy Initiative comes as no real surprise…although it is welcome news.

According to the agreement Hawaii would get at least 70 PERCENT of their energy from renewable sources by 2030.

“This innovative, unprecedented partnership builds on the progress the state has made to increase energy independence by decreasing Hawai’i’s reliance on imported oil,” Gov. Linda Lingle said in a news conference today. “Our islands’ abundant natural sources of energy, combined with the considerable capabilities of the Department of Energy, will help Hawai’i lead America in utilizing clean, renewable energy technologies.”

The plan calls for converting the smaller islands to 100 percent renewable and the utilization of local crops for producing energy.

The plan also draws upon information from federal agencies and research laboratories to develop solar, wind, and biofuel solutions to the islands energy needs. The eventual goal is to make Hawaii one of the worlds first clean energy economies.

Anyone who has ever spent time in Hawaii understands that just about everything you get on the Islands carries with it the costs of transportation. So much more than in more conventional states fuel has to be transported great distances and has the dubious distinction of having the country’s highest prices at the pump. To repeat a much overused cliché, “necessity is the mother of invention.” While we here on the mainland may not have the drastic need that Hawaii has, we will eventually benefit from the advances made by them.

Solar Silicon 4.0 reduces the amount of silicon needed for solar panels


AOS solar, in this press release, announced that they are working towards developing “Solar Silicon 4.0” combining crystalline silicone with low cost thin film photovoltaic technology.

AOS Solar’s mission is to achieve c-Si efficiencies while reducing the amount of required silicon by 90%, the manufacturing energy budget required to achieve each Watt peak of output by 50%, and the capital equipment required by 50%.

The technology will be presented for the first time at the International Business Forum’s nanotechnology investment forum on Feb 6th.

CEO Anikara Rangappan explains, “If we had to invent solar panels today we would certainly use silicon because that is a very well known material with a proven field life of 20+ years in solar PV applications. But we would not pull ingots, saw 6” diameter wafers, and wire them together to manufacture a solar PV module. Current high efficiency silicon solar cells have a very high materials cost and the manufacturing cost for both cells and modules is too high.

AOS has developed manufacturing processes to produce their patented new technology that should result in a greatly reduced cost of manufacturing photovoltaic modules.

Sanyo’s Solar Ark


The Gifu Prefecture is the located in the center of Japan; the crossroads of Japan connecting the east to the west. “Control Gifu and you control Japan” is the old saying

Well the Gifu Prefecture is also the home of Sanyo’s Solar Ark; 345 yard long photovoltaic power generating facility, lab and museum. The museum, located in the center of the ark, hosts exhibitions, classes and workshops to raise awareness of environmental issues and solar power. There is an indoor lab, an outdoor field lab, and interactive informational tables.

Just what is “a prosperous life?” And what is necessary to ensure that it lasts into the future?

The 21st century has been named the century of the environment. Finding solutions to environmental problems is something we cannot ignore if we want to ensure the future of mankind. What is necessary right now is to improve the awareness of each and every one of us, so we can accumulate the strength and ability needed to solve this problem. It’s also a matter of generating the wisdom needed to live in harmony with the earth.

It is because of this that we would like to work with our children-who will bear with them the responsibility for the future-to develop an empathy for both science and ecology.

With this in mind, we created the SOLAR ARK project as a place where people can feel the vital importance of the environment, as well as the enjoyment and wonder of science.

We hope to continue to work on this project together with your help-to develop and expand the SOLAR ARK project so that it participates in society on a larger scale, and provides a link to a more prosperous life for the people of the world. This is our wish.

The Solar ark is not just learning facility but working solar power plant. It produces 630KW’s of electricity from 5046 solar panels.


Concentrated Photovoltaic Plant Goes Online In Spain

cpv.jpgXerox Palo Alto, the people who brought us the mouse and the GUI interface, Ethernet, the laser printer, object oriented programming and now low cost solar power. Solfocus, the child of Xerox Palo Alto, has begun installation of the first array in the 3 MW installation in Castilla-la Mancha, Spain.

The government sponsored project in addition to producing power will be used to to carry out R&D and studies on the maintenance, reliability and technology involved.

According to Dr. Pedro Banda, Director General of the ISFOC, “This is a very important occasion as it brings the industry one step closer towards commercial deployment of CPV technologies. For this unprecedented and ambitious program, the ISFOC has selected CPV technologies that are the most advanced and have the brightest futures.” He added, “SolFocus’ first installation marks the official launch of the power-generation phase of the program.”


The installation will consist of concentrated photovoltaic panels; the sun’s rays are concentrated before hitting the solar cells producing a greater output. Heat sinks have to be provided to dissipate the increased heat and the panels work best in sunny weather and suffer more in reduced efficiency than traditional panels under overcast skies. The CPV panels will be mounted to track the sunlight.

Clear Skies to Convert Hawthorne Machinery to Solar Power

commi.jpgIn a press release Tuesday, Clear Skies Holding (a renewable energy solutions provider) announced that they would be installing 850 panels at Hawthorne Machinery’s 25 acre headquarters in Rancho Bernardo, California. The 159 kw photovoltaic system will provide 281986 kilowatt hours of electricity a year; a system capable of offsetting the majority of the current usage of the campus.

The installation will cost $1,281,800. After tax credits, the company will only being paying about 20% of the total.

Hawthorne Machine provides heavy construction equipment to the construction industry in worldwide; employing 850 people worldwide.