Thanks to a program recently launched by SunPower, National Parks Conservation Association members can get a $500 cash rebate, plus generate a donation for the organization, when installing a home solar array through the program from now until July of 2019.
SunPower, which we’ve covered pretty extensively over the years, is primarily a solar manufacturer and not a residential installer, but the brand is well-known and the company’s solar modules are consistently ranked at or near the top of the list for most efficient panels. SunPower claims its products can generate “60% more energy” than conventional solar panels on a per-size basis over the course of 25 years, as the company’s solar technology allows it to manufacture 360 watt panels in the same form factor of a standard 260 watt panel.
In addition, the company boasts that its E-Series and X-Series solar panels, which are manufactured in both Mexico and France, are “the world’s first and only solar products to be Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver.”
“The Cradle to Cradle Certified designation is a great accomplishment for any product, but we’re especially honored that our DC solar panels, manufactured around the world, are the world’s first and only to receive this distinction. The principles for certification include sourcing materials safe for humans and the environment, and ensuring that these materials are recycled at the end of the products’ life. Also emphasized is the importance of honoring the natural environment and the people who create the product, as well as the use of renewable energy and preservation of water.”
The sustainability and lifecycle of the modules is an important aspect of solar power that is often overlooked in the race to get more clean energy installed. Assuming that most of the solar arrays now being installed will continue to function for 25 years or so, at the effective ‘end of life’ of these panels — whether that’s due to the owner upgrading to much newer, more efficient panels, or due to component failure — they will all need to go somewhere to be disposed of. With any luck, a reliable and efficient infrastructure for recycling the panels back into their raw materials will emerge to handle the eventual flood of old solar panels, and those which have been built with the end in mind, such as the SunPower technology, are setting the standard for corporate responsibility.
California-based SunPower is seeding this solar rebate program with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) with an initial $10,000 donation, after which each solar installation completed through the program will net the homeowner a $500 rebate, as well as generate an additional $500 donation to the NPCA.
“The health of our national parks is directly linked to the health of the air, waterways and communities that surround them. Through this program, our members and supporters have the opportunity to invest in the long-term health of our planet, supporting sustainable energy and our ongoing work to ensure our national parks have clean air and adequate funding.” – Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of NPCA