The first project commenced in the Spring and was completed in the early summer for Greenlight Power Company ("Greenlight") for the launch of a 125 kilowatt ("kW") field which was installed for a solar farm in a Kent County, Maryland business park using OPEL Solar TF-850 single-axis trackers. This was the first phase of a 1.4 Megawatt ("MW") multiphase solar development at the same location. The OPEL Solar trackers increased the project’s energy production approximately 24% over what would be expected from the same solar photovoltaic ("PV") panels using a fixed installation. The output from the project is being sold to Choptank Electric Cooperative, a Maryland company owned by Touchstone Energy Cooperative. This first phase of the Greenlight project is forecasted to produce approximately 182 Megawatt-hours ("MWh") of energy annually.
The second project was with Conergy U.S. OPEL was selected to supply its TF-800 series of single axis trackers for multiple projects in Northern California. The first project, located in California Central Valley, was successfully completed in September for a 480 kW solar power installation at a waste water treatment plant. Construction on the solar plant began in August with the plant scheduled to commence generating power later this year. Conergy chose OPEL trackers for this project because of their combination of cost efficiency and quality.
Conergy AG is one of the world’s largest solar energy manufacturers, having produced and sold more than 1.5 Gigawatts of clean solar power. "To have OPEL Solar tracking systems selected by such a premiere force in the solar industry is a testament to the advanced engineering behind our solar tracking systems," said Leon M. Pierhal, CEO of OPEL Solar. "We are pleased to say that adding our TF-800 to Conergy’s P 235W PV modules results in an increase of more than 20% in energy production when compared with fixed PV panel mounting. We look forward to developing a long-standing relationship in growing the solar energy industry," Pierhal added.
Another OPEL Solar installation now undergoing final commissioning tests is a 446 kW solar power plant at the 70-acre headquarters of Toray Plastics (America), Inc. ("TPA") in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. This new solar utility field represents Toray’s first solar installation in the U.S. and is the largest utility grade solar plant in Rhode Island. The field was inaugurated at an opening ceremony in late September which was attended by key government officials including Governor Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island. Toray Plastics chose OPEL Solar’s solution because of its higher energy production and lowest cost per kilowatt-hour generated. This higher system efficiency is largely due to OPEL Solar’s utility scale single axis tracker – the TF-800, which significantly increases the energy output of any type of PV panel.
The solar field is comprised of 1650 PV panels mounted on 75 of OPEL Solar’s TF-800 utility scale single axis trackers. Toray Plastics recognized the benefits of adopting a solution which would result in 20 percent higher energy output than that of conventional fixed-mounted PV panels. The Toray Plastics solar field is expected to generate 625 MWh per year, which is the equivalent of supplying electric power for an entire year to more than 100 homes.
Recent live testimony with the TF-800 tracker systems, which have been designed for extreme wind conditions, came by withstanding the high winds with the recent Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene, a large and powerful Atlantic hurricane that left extensive flood and wind damage along its path through the Caribbean, the United States East Coast and as far north as Atlantic Canada. These two OPEL Solar’s tracker installations took the brunt of Irene’s winds with no damage.
Again, the TF-800 tracker series will be a highlight on display for OPEL Solar at the upcoming 2011 Solar Power International Conference. The Show will take place in Dallas, Texas starting October 17th; OPEL Solar Inc. can be found in Booth 6219 in the Exhibit Hall.
The TF-800 tracker series of ground-mounted single axis trackers have proven to be very attractive commercially because of the ease of installation and their reverse tracking ability to avoid shadowing from adjacent trackers. The versatility of the solar trackers allows the use of any solar panels, flat panel or concentrated panels, currently being deployed on commercial and utility scale projects, making it solar panel indifferent and an ideal selection of most solar generation installations. The features of the TF-800 tracker products also favorably impact the installation as well as the operation and maintenance system ("O&M") of a solar power plant. The TF-800 tracker can be assembled by two people using just basic hand tools. The wireless tracker network control technology incorporated into OPEL’s TF-800 solar tracker product line helps lower the upfront construction costs while allowing tracker level monitoring. A solar generation plant owner is able to monitor the solar field remotely, including modifying the position of any one or all of the trackers in an installation. This capability reduces installation costs and O&M expenses, increases efficiency and helps maintain optimal performance.
With operations in Shelton, CT and head office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the Company, through OPEL, Inc., designs, manufactures and markets high-concentration photovoltaic panels and dual- and single-axis trackers for related CPV and PV systems for energy applications worldwide. The Company, through ODIS Inc., a U.S. company, designs III-V semiconductor devices for military, industrial and commercial applications, including infrared sensor arrays and ultra-low-power random access memory. The Company has 35 patents issued and 16 patents pending in PV systems technologies and for its semiconductor POET process, which enables the monolithic fabrication of integrated circuits containing both electronic and optical elements, with potential high-speed and power-efficient applications in devices such as servers, tablet computers and smartphones. OPEL’s common shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "OPL".