More thin-film solar panels could soon be available to property owners looking to install solar energy systems, as a Colorado-based maker is poised to expand its production.
In August 2008, Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) inked a large scale power purchase agreement (PPA) with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E).
Industry cost leader First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) soon may face increased competition in the thin-film solar market in the form of GE, which is making the switch from traditional silicon to cadmium-telluride—the same material that First Solar uses—in its production of solar panels. Apparently following the same logic as the Arizona-based solar giant, GE’s research arm released on Thursday news about its activities in cadmium telluride, which it has deemed the most potentially cost-effective material to use in manufacturing solar photovoltaic cells.
While thin-film solar is hardly a new phenomenon, an Ohio startup has decided to take it to the next level by producing solar panels that come in lightweight 3'x15' segments. While operating at a much lower effiiciency than standard photovoltaics panels, Xunlight's modules appeal on the grounds of ease of use. Rolled out across a rooftop or rolled up like a blanket and strapped to your backpack to power your Blackberry while hiking the Appalachian Trail, modular solar could bring power to the people in a fresh, innovative way.