As solar panel manufacturers reach new heights in efficiency, it is encouraging to see the warranty process is starting to move forward as well. SunPower Corp, the leader in panel efficiency, is setting itself apart from the crowd yet again with the unveiling of its new, industry-leading panel warranty. Standard efficiency panels (non-SunPower) on the market today offer a standard warranty as well. Though listed at '25 years,' these warranties typically consist of a 10 year defects warranty and a 10 year, 90% power output warranty. SunPower's new 25 year warranty covers material defects and workmanship for the full 25 years by replacing any panel during this period with a functionally equivalent one. When investing in a long term investment, such as solar energy, the equipment warranty becomes a major decision maker, especially as installers project customer savings and incentives over periods of 10- 20 years. On top of the defects and workmanship warranty, SunPower has significantly beefed up its panel power warranty. The new warranty guarantees 95% power output for the first 5 years then a degredation of no more than 0.4% per year for the next 20 years, surpassing the competition by up to 9% more power over a 25 year period. When looking to invest in a long-term investment such as solar power, customers are coming to realize the importance of warranty on product and power so their investment realizes its full potential.
As the 99 kilowatt solar system gets installed at School District 51's Career Center, the students who will be using the energy produced by the panels also get an opportunity to help watch, and participate, in the installation process. High Noon Solar, the company installing the system, is excited to be a part of the learning process.
"The system will actually be cash flow positive from day one and the kids get an opportunity to see how it's installed, said Heidi Ihrke, co-owner of High Noon Solar.
The system is part of an SPPA, or 3rd party ownership situation, which benefits an entity like School District 51 finanacially right away. Plus, the students get an opportunity to see and learn about the technology right on their own building.
Students like Sam Gaurmer, who wants to be a construction worker when he graduations, will benefit greatly from helping the professionals as they install the panels.
"I've always liked the idea of solar panels, but this is going to help me a lot in the future for when I want to be able to install them on my roof," says Guarmer.
The solar installation will offset more than a third of the building's total power usage annually. This is the second of five schools to receive solar from High Noon Solar, the first being a 75KW system on Dual Immersion Academy earlier this year.
Ed Bozarth Chevrolet is selling the first plug-in electric hybrid vehicle to High Noon Solar, who will power the vehicle completely by solar power. The Chevy Volt is a hybrid electric car, meaning the owner can drive completely on electricity for 35 miles, then use a gas engine to go another 340 miles, for longer trips. The 35 mile electric range allows the average U.S. driver to make their daily commute with absolutely no tailpipe emissions. Plus, pairing the car with a No Cost Solar program from High Noon Solar allows drivers to run their cars on clean, renewable solar power. This provides a new solution to an on-going transportation problem, where our fuel comes from highly polluting sources bought from conflict-ridden areas of the world.
The 2012 Chevy Volt will be on display at Ed Bozarth Chevrolet this Saturday the 22nd, from 10am- 2pm. High Noon Solar representatives will be on hand to answer questions and give out information about the No Cost Solar program from High Noon Solar, which allows homeowners to receive a solar system with 40-80% annual savings and no capital investment.
High Noon Solar will be using the 2 solar electric grid ties already installed at their offices to power the car. The car will be used as a staff vehicle, for meeting with clients and performing site visits. Here's some more information on the Volt, from an article written by High Noon Solar in the Grand Junction Free Press.
SunPower Corp, one of the leading solar manufacturers based in the US, was at the receiving end of a misinformed scandal perpetuated by Fox News this week. Riding on the high ratings from the Solyndra news cycle, Fox News jumped on board when they heard a story written by 'Guns & Patriots' editor saying SunPower was in a similar situation. The only problem? It wasn't true. Read the whole story here.
As a dwindling budget begins to affect School District 51, there is a ray of hope with saving on their energy bills, beginning in 2012. School District 51 will be receiving solar installations on the roofs of seven school facilities, beginning with Dual Immersion Academy and the Career Center. High Noon Solar has been chosen as the installation company for the project.
"We see it as a win-win," said Eric Anderson, Energy Manager with School District 51, "not only for ourselves but for the solar industry in a our community as a whole."
The School District is receiving these systems with no capital investment and will realize immediate cost savings after installation.
"They still get the benefits from the solar system, but they don't have to make any investment, so it's great for taxpayers. They start seeing savings immediately," said Heidi Ihrke, co-owner of High Noon Solar.
The installations will also provide an opportunity for students to learn about new technologies right in their own buildings, as each system will have online datamonitoring for students and faculty alike to use.
The solar industry in general has gotten a lot of attention lately, due to the demise of Solyndra, a solar manufactuer that filed for bankruptcy this month. Solyndra was a thin film solar panel manufacturer that was backed by a DOE loan guarantee and hosted President Obama for a speech about technology's part to play in the future. For solar's opposition, it presented a perfect opportunity to make this bankruptcy an example of the industry as a whole, creating an environment by politicians and pundits of wild inaccuracies and blatant misstatements about the industry as a whole. However, the truth of the matter is that this company was just poorly run and shows more about mismanagement than technology's feasibility.
Some of the real facts about the solar industry include:
* The solar industry employs more than 100,000 Americans, more than twice as many as in 2009. They work at more than 5,000 companies, the vast majority being small businesses, in all 50 states.
* The U.S. solar industry grew by 69% in the past year, making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. economy.
* Since the beginning of 2010, the price of solar panels has dropped by 30%, and costs continue to fall making solar an even more viable choice for residential and business customers.
* The U.S. was a net exporter of solar products in 2010 by $2 billion. We were even a net exporter to China.
* Solar power in the U.S. now exceeds 3,100 megawatts (MW), enough to power more than 630,000 homes.
* Continued industry growth enhances our energy security and diversifies our domestic energy portfolio.