New Solar, Wind Rebate Program Launched in Massachusetts

New Solar, Wind Rebate Program Launched in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) Executive Director Mitchell Adams recently unveiled a new $5 million program from the state’s Renewable Energy Trust to expand the production and use of solar photovoltaic, wind electric and micro-hydroelectric technologies in Massachusetts.

“Supporting hundreds of new clean energy projects will help create new jobs and economic opportunity for small, medium and large clean energy businesses that manufacture, install and service solar and wind technologies,” - Rob Pratt, Renewable Energy Trust Director The Trust is providing rebates to homeowners, businesses, municipalities, nonprofits and other organizations seeking to harness clean energy. The goal is to support 400-500 small-scale renewable energy installations across the state. Through its highly successful Solar-to-Market Initiative and similar programs, the Trust spurred the installation of 206 solar systems during the past two years with an additional 70 systems in the pipeline.

“Just in time for spring and summer, Massachusetts is open for business with clean energy rebates that will jumpstart more solar and small wind projects than ever in the state’s history,” said Adams. “In the past two years alone, we exceeded the total number of solar systems installed in Massachusetts during the previous decade.”

Applicants are encouraged to work with experienced, professional designers and installers listed online at or The rebates are designed to offset 25% - 50% of the cost of these clean energy systems. A well designed, on-site renewable energy system on an energy efficient home or building can meet 40% - 75% of the site’s electricity needs.

“Supporting hundreds of new clean energy projects will help create new jobs and economic opportunity for small, medium and large clean energy businesses that manufacture, install and service solar and wind technologies,” said Renewable Energy Trust Director Rob Pratt. “These technologies offer ways for individuals to impact the way we generate electricity by tapping into clean, renewable sources of power.”

“My solar panels are operating flawlessly and provide much of the electricity I need for my apartment,” said Ethan Hoag, a resident of East Boston who had a system installed in 2003. “I am concerned about our environment, and I would definitely recommend others pursue clean energy opportunities.”

“When I was thinking about some home improvement projects like a new roof, I really wanted to do something good for our environment,” said Janis Anderson, a resident of Jamaica Plain. “I am thrilled with the solar panels I had installed through this program, which made it easy and more affordable. It enabled me to do my part to help reduce the pollution of our environment.”

Competitive grants from the Trust drive down the cost of installing systems in Massachusetts. The Trust is working with the IBEW-Local 103 electricians union to expand the number of qualified electricians who install small-scale solar and wind systems. The Trust is also working with the Solar Energy Business Association of New England to promote the solar industry so it can compete effectively in the global marketplace.

Massachusetts is home to some of the fastest growing renewable energy companies, which are creating hundreds of new jobs and producing cutting-edge technologies to harness power from the wind, sun, water, biomass and fuel cells. Companies like RWE Schott Solar and Evergreen Solar are manufacturing and exporting solar panels. The Trust’s new $5 million program includes extra incentives for products made in Massachusetts as a way to strengthen the growing cluster of clean energy companies in Massachusetts.

September 20th, 2005 - Posted in Other Alternative Energy, Solar Energy News, Solar Power News | | 1 Comments



Solar Tours demonstrate how solar technology works, what it costs, and why it makes sense.

National Solar Tour – Saturday, October 1

A record attendance is expeceted at the 10th Annual National Solar Tour to be held October 1st throughout the U.S.

More than 60,000 tour participants will find out how to trim energy bills by harnessing the power of the sun. The tours include solar powered and energy efficient buildings, electric and biodiesel vehicles, and many green building strategies.

With over 43 states, hundreds of counties, and thousands of tour sites included, the 2005 Solar Tour is primed to make solar education history.

September 19th, 2005 - Posted in Solar Power News | | 0 Comments

IdaTech Demonstrates Extended Run Module and Portable Power Solution

IdaTech Demonstrates Extended Run Module and Portable Power Solution at INTELEC ‘05

daTech, LLC, a global fuel cell solutions developer and manufacturer, today unveiled a suite of targeted backup power fuel cell products in its first appearance at INTELEC ‘05, a premier telecommunications event in Berlin, Germany. In addition to operating IdaTech’s recently CE certified ElectraGen(TM)5, IdaTech will demonstrate an industry first 5kWe Extended Run Module and the company’s iGen(TM), a 250 Watt portable power fuel cell system. The Extended Run Module allows operation of ElectraGen(TM)5 using liquid fuel for extended periods of run time, thus eliminating the need for bottled hydrogen onsite. The iGen(TM) is a highly compact fuel cell system, which also runs on liquid fuel as opposed to bottled hydrogen. The iGen(TM) can be used as a battery replacement or extender in remote or grid connected telecommunication applications.

IdaTech’s Extended Run Module works with the company’s hydrogen-fueled ElectraGen(TM) family of critical backup power systems, converting liquid fuel into pure hydrogen to seamlessly provide power in the event of grid failure. The system replaces multiple hydrogen cylinders, eliminating the need for hydrogen storage when onsite storage is not feasible. Like the ElectraGen(TM)5 fuel cell system it complements, the Extended Run module is intended to deliver 10 years of reliable backup power operation.

IdaTech’s iGen(TM) is a compact 250 Watt portable proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system with on-board fuel reformer, developed to generate power continuously as long as fuel is supplied to the system. The system can be packaged for indoor or outdoor applications as a long-duration backup power source, or integrated with solar power components to provide primary 24/7 power for remote applications where there is no electric grid. IdaTech’s iGen(TM) system is designed for very low maintenance and autonomous operation.

“We are thrilled to demonstrate leading-edge technologies at an important industry event such as INTELEC ‘05, indicating the strong expansion of our solution-based portfolio to the critical power market,” said Claude Duss, IdaTech president and chief executive officer. “Based on IdaTech’s proprietary PEM and fuel processor technology, both the Extended Run Module and the iGen(TM) can provide our customers and partners with fuel cell power solutions that can have an immediate impact in improving system reliability and cost effectiveness. We believe IdaTech’s solutions can provide an unmatched range of backup time from hours to days, and a few hundred Watts to about 15kWe.”

“We have started shipping ElectraGen(TM)5 backup power fuel cell systems to customers in Europe and believe the addition of the Extended Run Module and the Portable Power System could increase our rate of penetration. It is a clear differentiating factor for IdaTech’s solutions,” added Harol Koyama, IdaTech senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Additionally, IdaTech has expanded its channel network and can now supply systems virtually anywhere in Europe. An example of how we work with our partners is our shared demonstration area at INTELEC with our partner Rittal.”

September 18th, 2005 - Posted in Solar Technologies | | 0 Comments

SunPower Announces Discovery of Surface Polarization Effect

SunPower Announces Discovery of Surface Polarization Effect

SUNNYVALE, Calif., August 22, 2005 - SunPower Corp., a Silicon Valley-based subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY), today announced the discovery of a new performance effect observed in high efficiency silicon solar cells. This new effect, called “surface polarization,” creates the non-destructive and reversible accumulation of static charge on the surface of high-efficiency solar cells such as the company’s all-back-contact A-300.

Surface polarization occurs when minute amounts of electrical current leak through the face of the solar cell and accumulate on the surface. Current leakage of this sort is present in all solar systems but will accumulate or dissipate on the solar cells’ surface depending on system grounding polarity and configuration. The presence or absence of surface charge can decrease or increase solar cell current generation in a fashion analogous to the switching of a programmable memory transistor.

SunPower found that electricity production in systems using high-efficiency solar cells could be significantly decreased or increased by varying the system wiring and grounding configurations, and that these performance changes were relatively rapid and completely reversible. As the result of their discovery, SunPower scientists have developed and applied for patents on new solar cell and system designs that eliminate surface polarization.

Dick Swanson, SunPower’s founder and CTO, noted, “We believe that the surface polarization effect will be seen in many types of high-efficiency crystalline solar cells. We are pleased that our research and development team discovered and characterized surface polarization and subsequently developed practical measures to eliminate this effect in real-world PV system configurations.”

About SunPower
SunPower-a Silicon Valley-based majority-owned subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. ( NYSE: CY )-designs and manufactures high-performance silicon solar cells and panels based on an all-back-contact design. SunPower’s solar cells and panels generate up to 50 percent more power per square foot than similarly sized conventional solar technologies and have an attractive, all-black appearance. For more information on SunPower or solar technology, please visit the SunPower website at

About Cypress
Cypress solutions are at the heart of any system that is built to perform: consumer, computation, data communications, automotive, industrial, and solar power. Leveraging a strong commitment to customer service and performance-based process and manufacturing expertise, Cypress’s product portfolio includes a broad selection of wired and wireless USB devices, CMOS image sensors, timing solutions, network search engines, specialty memories, high-bandwidth synchronous and micropower memory products, optical solutions, and reconfigurable mixed-signal arrays. Cypress stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CY. More information about the company is available online at

September 18th, 2005 - Posted in Solar Energy News, Solar Power News | | 0 Comments

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