SCOTTSDALE, USA: Kyocera Solar Inc. has joined local energy leaders as a Technology Sponsor of the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) Energy Innovation Center, which was recently dedicated in a ceremony with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. The Center is designed to be a LEED Platinum building that will be open to the public and is the embodiment of SDG&E’s commitment to sustainability and renewable energy design for homes and businesses.
Drawing inspiration from nature, the parking lot at the Center is planted with six Solar Tree arrays — unique structures that model the life processes of real trees by converting sunlight into clean electricity, helping to offset carbon emissions, providing shade to 48 parking spaces, and providing locally generated renewable energy to the electric grid.
Designed by Envision Solar International, the Solar Tree arrays are comprised of 312 Kyocera KD240 solar panels for a total of 75kW and employ Envision Solar’s proprietary EnvisionTrak technology, a hybrid multi-axis tracking system that enables the panels to track the movement of the sun and monitors system performance for optimal efficiency — generating up to 20 percent greater output than a stationary array.
Further enhancing the output of the system is the “zero negative tolerance” of Kyocera’s KD240 modules, which are guaranteed to produce a minimum of 240 watts upon delivery. With the adaptability to be outfitted with integrated electric vehicle charging stations, the Solar Tree arrays exemplify how businesses can improve the real estate value of their properties.
Architect Robert Noble designed the world’s first Solar Grove for Kyocera’s North American headquarters in San Diego in 2005. “Designing the Solar Grove for Kyocera was a life-changing experience and proved to be the genesis of Envision Solar, a company I founded shortly after the success of the project,” stated Noble, chairman of Envision Solar. “Continued innovations of this nature will benefit society by bringing sustainable solar energy solutions to the world.”
Recognizing the need and to meet the increasing demand for US-made products, Kyocera began manufacturing solar panels in June 2010 at its San Diego facility, located just a few miles from the Energy Innovation Center. With 37 years of experience in the solar industry, Kyocera continues to set standards for quality and longevity as demonstrated by repeatedly breaking records for cell efficiencies, and its distinction of producing the world’s first modules to have passed the Long-Term Sequential Test performed by TUV Rheinland Japan Ltd.
“Kyocera strives to remain at the forefront of environmental preservation by providing sustainable, innovative energy solutions for homes and businesses,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar. “Creative partnership opportunities like the Energy Innovation Center allow us to work with industry leaders and contribute to public awareness and understanding of how to integrate solar energy for high-quality, long-term energy results.”
This project brought together numerous San Diego-based partners and American-made products to create a dynamic solar system and illustrate the impact of renewable energy. The Center utilizes locally made Kyocera modules and the products and services of many other San Diego area companies.
The Energy Innovation Center is a showcase facility where customers can learn about energy efficiency, alternative fuel transportation, Smart Grid, and clean generation. The Energy Innovation Center will offer an array of seminars and demonstrations to help customers find the most cost-effective and energy-efficient solutions.