CAMAS, Wash., April 16, 2012 – Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Solar Energy Solutions Group celebrated the grand opening of the state’s largest utility-scale single-axis tracking solar system in Tennessee at the Agricenter International in Memphis, Tennessee on Wednesday, April 11th. The nearly 1 MW (megawatt) solar farm features 4,160 Sharp solar modules that were manufactured at its Memphis-area plant. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place as part of the Sharp-sponsored Tennessee Valley Solar Solutions Conference.
“The Agricenter installation exemplifies state economic development,” said T.C. Jones, vice president of human resources and general affairs, Sharp Manufacturing Company of America. “The array’s modules are manufactured in Tennessee and installed by local contractors, helping Tennessee simultaneously create jobs and improve the environment.”
Array Technologies made the single-axis solar tracking support structure that now sits on five acres. The solar farm will generate as much as 1,600,000 kWh (kilowatt-hours) annually—enough to equal all of the electricity consumed by 150 homes a year. The tracker allows the solar modules to follow the path of the sun to produce approximately 20 percent more solar power than a fixed-tilt array. Sharp’s ND-240QCJ 240 watt solar module incorporates an advanced surface texturing process to increase light absorption and improve efficiency.
The solar farm was installed by LightWave Solar, which has operations throughout Tennessee, and will generate electricity to be sold to Memphis Light, Gas and Water.
The grand opening of the solar farm took place during a ribbon cutting on April 11, at 1:30 p.m. on the east side of the array. The unveiling of the array was part of the Tennessee Valley Solar Solutions Conference, of which Sharp is a sponsor. The conference took place from April 10 - 11 and brought together policy makers, industry leaders, solar researchers and solar providers to celebrate the state’s growth in the solar industry. The conference is a joint venture between the TVA and the Tennessee Solar Institute.
“As a sponsor of the Tennessee Valley Solar Solutions Conference, we’re proud to be a pioneering member of the Tennessee clean energy economy and look forward to continued strong growth of this emerging industry in Tennessee,” Jones added.
Sharp is celebrating 50 years in the solar industry and began manufacturing solar modules in its Hickory Hill plant in 2003. In the past four years, the plant doubled its local employment to 500 people. Sharp partners with Tennessee suppliers for materials used to turn 180,000 solar cells that arrive every morning into approximately 3,000 solar panels that ship out at the end of every day.
The Sharp ND-240QCJ solar modules are backed by the Sharp 25-year limited warranty on power output and a 10-year limited warranty on materials or workmanship. Please visit www.sharpusa.com/SolarElectricity.aspx for more information.
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