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Sunday, April 05, 2015

First Solar Teams With Clean Energy Collective For Distributed Solar Energy

Two of the nation’s leading solar companies are joining forces to offer customers the most affordable solar available—making solar power accessible to more Americans than ever before.

Clean Energy Collective (CEC), the nation’s leading community solar developer, has partnered with First Solar, the leading global provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, to broaden the availability of clean, affordable energy for residential and commercial customers. Together, the companies will combine their expertise and pursue community solar opportunities throughout the U.S. to meet the growing consumer demand for more renewable options.

First Solar’s financial support, engineering technology and project management experience will enable CEC to develop a higher volume of community solar facilities that provide greater value for consumers. For example, recent developments in First Solar’s PV panel technology will increase efficiency levels, requiring fewer raw materials and reducing manufacturing costs. When CEC utilizes First Solar’s high-quality, PV panels in its community solar arrays, the savings will translate into lower prices for consumers.

The residential market potential for community solar in the U.S. is enormous. Unlike traditional rooftop solar, where only 22 to 27 percent of homes are able to host an on-site array, community solar is available to anyone with a utility bill. This means, according to the 2013 U.S. Census, that the community solar market encompasses nearly 133 million households—about five times the market potential of rooftop solar. For any residential or commercial customer who has spoken with SolarCity, Vivint Solar or other rooftop providers and were told they can’t go solar—now there’s a way.

The partnership between First Solar and CEC is also anticipated to create more American jobs, as the rapid expansion of community solar arrays will require an increase in panel manufacturing and greater assistance with facility construction and ongoing maintenance. With access to First Solar’s PV recycling plant, CEC will be able to accelerate the deployment of community solar projects in a socially responsible manner—recycling up to 95 percent of each PV panel at the end of its lifecycle.

With a combination of renowned technology, financial backing and environmental responsibility, this partnership provides for a superior product for consumers, taking us one step closer toward a clean energy future.