Utility-Scale Solar Trial Underway

July 29, 2007
Greenvolts and Pacific Northwestern utility partner for solar power

Solar energy provider GreenVolts recently announced a demonstration project with Pacific Northwest Utility to test the company's utility-scale solar energy solution. The company also announced that Avista has made a strategic investment in GreenVolts for an undisclosed amount.

GreenVolts will site its high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) system at Avista's Clean Energy Test Site. The demonstration project will record performance data over two years and is expected to produce test data validating long-term system performance and costs.

The company's patent-pending technology is based on a superior photovoltaic collector that, when coupled with a tracking mechanism, is expected to deliver energy at a cost that is competitive with alternatives.

The company claims that the size and flexibility of the Greenvolts system allow it to be placed nearer to the demand than other alternatives, helping utility companies avoid constructing costly transmission lines or having to upgrade existing power grids.

The core of the company's solution is a low profile platform that tracks the sun as it moves across the sky. This 3kW platform is known as a CarouSol and uses low cost mirrors to concentrate 625 suns of energy onto a 40% efficient solar cell. The technology uses less than one-thousandth of the solar cell material of conventional solar panels, and the entire system is optimized for the lowest cost of energy. Other features of the CarouSol include:

  • No shading, off-axis optics
  • Low profile, self-leveling two-axis tracking
  • Automated storm stowing
  • Automated cleaning
  • Passive cooling
  • Scalable manufacturing
  • Rapid delivery and simple installation
  • 1-20MW distributed generation
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