SolarWorld recently announced it has begun construction of its 25 megawatt Desert Star Solar Projects in California’s Mojave Desert, which will be among the state’s largest solar panel installations.
Featuring more than 100,000 SolarWorld solar panels, the facility is situated on two plots totalling 164 acres. The panels will be mounted on single axis trackers, which the company says can boost a system’s electricity production by up to 21 percent compared with fixed ground-mount racking.
Desert Star will generate an estimated 58,312 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to power 9,000 U.S. homes each year and will avoid 31,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.
In other recent SolarWorld news, 83 Florida schools have been fitted with 10-kilowatt solar arrays; which will provide emergency power for school-based shelters in the event of storms.
The solar panel systems supplement the schools’ electricity during normal operations while charging a bank of deep cycle batteries. When the schools are acting as emergency shelters, the systems will power lighting and critical equipment, drawing on the batteries if electricity is interrupted. 100 schools in total will have these systems installed.
The company is also unveiling its 270-watt-peak Sunmodule solar panel this week at Solar Power International (SPI) in Orlando, Florida and says it has boosted its power density from 250-watt-peak to 270-watt-peak in less than 12 months.
“SolarWorld is among the first manufacturers to bring 60-cell solar panels to market at these power densities,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas. “Other manufacturers who promote a 270-watt module have done so in a 72-cell configuration, which requires more mounting hardware, area and labour and can increase the total cost of a solar installation.”
Bonn, Germany based SolarWorld has major production facilities in Freiberg, Germany, and Oregon, USA. SolarWorld also supports community aid projects using off-grid solar-power solutions in developing countries under the name Solar2World.