Residential Solar Photovoltaics Are Affordable – Now is the time to buy

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6.19.2008 12:38 PM

More Efficient, Lower

Impact Solar Panels Developed

Evergreen Solar Announces

Improved Solar Technology

Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar has announced a new line of high efficiency solar panels this month.

Called the ES-A Series, the 200, 205 and 210 W solar panels are made with Evergreen’s proprietary “String Ribbon” technology. Inside the company’s custom furnaces, a set of special parallel strings are pulled through a molten pool of silicon. A thin “ribbon” forms between strings as the silicon cools. The ribbon is then cut into wafers, which are fashioned into solar cells.

According to Evergreen, the carbon footprint of these new panels is up to 50% smaller than those of competitors, and they have a quicker energy payback — reportedly as fast as 12 months for installed panels. This last point is particularly exciting, since the amount of energy required to make solar panels has long been a bone of contention among critics of the technology.

Back in the late 90s, energy paybacks for solar panels were as high as seven years. Today, they are often reported as “1-5 years.”

Evergreen says it will begin production of its new panels by July. They will be built in its new manufacturing plant in Devens, Massachusetts, where the workforce has reportedly swelled from 300 to 1,000.

The company says its final products will include longer cables for easier installation, new clickable connectors and a new low voltage configuration for greater flexibility.



Evergreen Solar Gets

2 contracts worth about


 June 18, 2008

MARLBORO, Mass.—Solar panel producer Evergreen Solar Inc. said Wednesday it signed two sales contracts extending through 2012 with a combined value of about $600 million.

The contracts are with White River Junction, Vt.-based groSolar and Germany’s Wagner & Co Solartechnik GmbH, which designs and installs solar electric and hot water systems.

The solar panels for the new contracts will be made in Evergreen’s Devens, Mass., facility starting in July.

Evergreen Solar said its contractual backlog now stands at $1.7 billion.

Shares jumped $1.37, or 13.4 percent, to $11.56 in after-hours trading. The stock closed at $10.24 in the regular session.

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