BP Solar International's recent opening of a thin film solar panel production plant in Fairfield, Calif., will help increase that state's production of solar cells by 25%. The new plant, the company's first in the United States, eventually will employ 100 workers. Vice President Al Gore threw the switch to begin production at the plant late last month. "This plant represents the kind of advanced technology and entrepreneurial spirit that will enable us to meet the challenge of climate change," says Gore.
The British Petroleum Co., of which BP Solar International is a subsidiary, intends to increase its sales of solar energy equipment from $100 million to $1 billion over the next 10 years. BP Solar International recently won a $30 million contract with the Philippines for 1,000 packaged solar systems for remote villages.