SolarTech and Santa Clara University Share in Award
Santa Clara, California, January 22, 2009 -- Silicon Valley-based Act Solar, Inc. was recently awarded a $750,000 research grant from the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. Act Solar, Santa Clara University and SolarTech, a Silicon Valley Leadership Group initiative focusing on tangible solutions to advance the solar industry, will deploy several photovoltaic (PV) arrays. These new PV systems will use Act Solar's innovative PowerString technologies to lower the costs of generating solar electricity.
"To date, most R&D grants have focused on lowering the upfront costs of materials, components and labor. While these efforts are critical, the most powerful contributors to lowering generation costs per kilowatt-hour lie in improving and assuring power output over the life of the array," said Andrew Foss, CEO of Act Solar. "Even with today's relatively high material and panel costs coming down, the solar industry will only reach grid parity through improved system performance in optimized and managed PV arrays. We applaud the Energy Commission for their vision in enabling Act Solar to continue the vital work that we're doing to help drive solar energy costs down."
As the lead technology recipient of this grant, Act Solar will deploy its patent-pending PowerString technology with active power management in several of SolarTech's commercial demonstration sites - enabling these arrays to run at peak performance for many decades. "Our intelligently managed approach to PV operations allows a solar array to deliver assured peak performance for many decades, a quantum leap in output performance," added Foss.
SolarTech is a non-profit industry-driven organization focused on creating a Solar Center of Excellence in Silicon Valley with the goal to identify, prioritize, and resolve the complex technological, administrative, and financing challenges inherent in the delivery of solar PV systems today.
About Act Solar, Inc.
Act Solar is a power management technology company that provides optimization solutions for solar power installations. Its flagship product, PowerString, improves the performance, operation and longevity of solar power plants. Act Solar was founded in 2006 by a diverse team of Silicon Valley professionals focused on making solar energy more productive, competitive, and a mainstream source of power in the world market.
About the Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research program
The PIER program supports energy research, development and demonstration projects that will help improve the quality of life in California by bringing environmentally safe, affordable and reliable energy services and products to the marketplace. PIER annually awards up to $84 million to conduct public interest energy research by partnering with organizations including individuals, businesses, utilities, and public or private research institutions. PIER brings new energy services and products to the marketplace and creates statewide environmental and economic benefits.