We’ve had our eye on solar shingles (and alternative to traditional solar panels) since 2009.
“Dow Chemical Company revealed a new line of solar shingles they say can be installed into roofs made of conventional asphalt shingles. The solar shingles should be available by mid 2010 in a limited supply and then readily accessible by 2011,” Jake Richardson wrote in October, 2009.
“One day, a person would no more think about buying a house without solar shingles than they would buy a house without plumbing. That is our hope, at least,” said John Cleereman, Senior Director of Solar Development at Dow Chemical Company.
So, what has happened? Are solar shingles up on people’s houses? Are they readily accessible or going to be readily accessible this year?
Solar Shingles Coming to Market
The first solar shingles were installed on a couple roofs in 2010. And, now, a new Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingle manufacturing facility is being built in Michigan. The plant is expected to begin production in 2012 and is projected to create 1,275 jobs by 2015.
“This new facility will increase production capacities of the Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingle and create advanced manufacturing jobs that are helping to make Michigan a ‘green tech’ hub of the new U.S. economy,” said Earl Shipp, Dow’s vice president for Michigan Operations.
Mark Wahl, co-owner of Cobblestone Homes, which has installed some solar shingles and praised the easy, quick installation process, said: “for Dow to take that to a mass market is really big…. Our company deals with solar panels, but we have to bring in an installation firm. Because builders can install these shingles, Dow will be able to easily sell them across America.”
A pilot plant is intended to produce solar shingles for a limited market by the end of this year while the larger production plant gets built.
Cost of Solar Shingles
The cost of an individual solar shingle has not been revealed yet, but “the estimated cost for a Michigan homeowner — with tax credits — to install solar shingles and an energy converter box is about $11,200.”
What do you think? Are solar shingles about to transform the solar power playing field? Or more hype than promise? (Or something in the middle?)
Photo via Dow Powerhouse Solar
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