Published on December 4th, 2008 | by Timothy B. Hurst15
World’s Largest CIGS Thin-Film Solar Array Goes Live
December 4th, 2008 by Timothy B. Hurst
On occasion, we will write headlines praising developments in things like the ‘the world’s first tidal power turbine‘ or ‘the world’s largest offshore wind farm.’ To set the record straight, we don’t do this only for the purposes of sensationalist self-aggrandizement, we also do it because there are really some exciting developments in the fast-moving world of cleantech; such language is normally apropos.
Global Solar Energy announced Wednesday the full operation of the largest solar electric array worldwide using CIGS photovoltaic technology. CIGS, or copper indium gallium diselenide thin-film solar cells are not dependent on silicon and instead use highly-available raw materials that are easily integrated into a wide range of applications.
The 750-kilowatt system, located at Global Solar Energy’s Tucson, Arizona, manufacturing facility, features a ground-mounted solar array consisting of 6,600 thin-film solar cells generating more than 1.1 million kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity annually. Owned, operated, and financed by MMA Renewable Ventures, the plants power will be sold to Global Solar under the terms of a long-term commercial financing agreement.
Thin-film solar tends to be less efficient with a shorter lifespan. But where thin-film lacks in longevity and efficiency it excels in price per watt. Offering cost and manufacturing advantages, CIGS thin-film is poised to become a leading solar technology.
Needless to say, officials from the partnering companies were pretty jazzed about the project—and rightfully so. “This new solar system solidifies the vitality and longevity of CIGS technology in the thin-film space,” said Mike Gering, president and CEO of Global Solar.
The array will provide about 25% of the manufacturing facility’s electricity needs, offsetting 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide over its expected 25-year lifetime.
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