Solar Conference has Toledo flavorWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The use of renewable energy as a tool for economic development will be the primary focus of Solar 2007, the National Solar Energy Conference scheduled for July 7-12 at the Cleveland Convention Center.
Although the conference is taking place more than 100 miles away in Cleveland, Toledo will have numerous connections through the participation of local companies, individuals and UT.
“Toledo is the center of excellence for photovoltaic (solar energy) research,” said Norm Johnston, president and chief executive officer of Solar Fields, LLC in Perrysburg. “It will be well-represented at the solar conference.”
A group of attendees at the conference will travel by bus to tour several Northwest Ohio technology sites on Sunday, July 8. They will visit the Bowling Green wind farm, First Solar manufacturing plant in Perrysburg, Photovoltaic Innovation and Commercialization (PVIC) Center at UT, and a model home in Monclova Township built by Decker Homes of Temperance, Mich.
UT will have a significant presence at the solar conference in Cleveland.
Robert Collins, professor of physics and astronomy at UT and lead investigator of photovoltaic research at the PVIC center, and Bill Decker of Decker Homes will make presentations about integrating photovoltaic products in residential construction at a forum on July 9.
Collins is a leading researcher in the photovoltaic field that is aimed at improving materials and ways to lower production costs and improve the efficiency of solar technologies. Decker is a leading authority on building energy efficient homes using the Energy Star guidelines established by the U.S. Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.
The PVIC Center will have an exhibit at the solar conference in conjunction with the Ohio Dept. of Development. It will provide educational material about photovoltaic research being conducted at UT in collaboration with BGSU and The Ohio State University.
Also on July 9, there will be a poster session with one about the installation of 126 photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Sylvania United Church of Christ. The rooftop solar array, manufactured by First Solar, provides about 10 percent of the electrical energy needs of the church.
Al Compaan, head of the Physics Department at UT, will moderate a forum on July 11, “The Photovoltaic Experience Curve,” to discuss which technology will create the lowest cost panels and grid competitive electricity. That panel will include Chip Hambro, chief operating officer of First Solar, and Subhendu Guha, president of United Solar Ovonic in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Carol Campbell, vice president of human resources at First Solar, will speak at a seminar on July 11 about potential careers and job opportunities in the solar energy field. The company has 580 employees at its production, research and development facility in Perrysburg.
On July 12, there will be a forum about the thin-film photovoltaic research activities of the Wright Center for PVIC. That forum’s panel will include John Witte, vice president of Advanced Distributed Generation LLC, Xunming Deng, president and CEO of MWOE Solar, Inc., Professor Collins of UT, and Johnston of Solar Fields.
Advanced Distributed Generation (ADG) and MWOE Solar are operating out of the incubator at the Research and Technology Complex at UT. MWOE is developing low-cost thin-film photovoltaic cells and modules on flexible stainless steel.
ADG, a general contracting company specializing in the design and installation of photovoltaic systems, will have an exhibit at the solar conference. The firm’s partners, Witte and Mark Tuttle, have a combined 35 years of experience in the renewable energy industry that includes project management involving the installation, design, operations, and maintenance of photovoltaic systems.
The public is invited to visit the exhibit hall featuring more than 160 exhibitors with free access July 8. The day’s activities will include presentations on products and services, job recruitment with clean energy companies, and the annual meeting of Green Energy Ohio, the state chapter of the American Solar Energy Society.
The 36th annual National Solar Energy Conference is the largest and most prestigious annual gathering of sustainable energy professionals, according to the host organizations, American Solar Energy Society and Green Energy Ohio. It includes a technical conference, hands-on workshops, tours of renewable energy sites, consumer-oriented presentations, with a renewable products and services exhibition.