SAN JOSE, Calif., Jun. 1, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- SolarTech, a collaborative industry initiative created by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, today announced the establishment of the Solar Center for Excellence in Silicon Valley, a technical and educational resource focused on regional economic development and cost competitive solutions for the industry and its customers.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the Energy Summit 2007, a major daylong conference of top industry officials and companies conducted by the Leadership Group in partnership with the Stanford University Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency, and hosted by SunPower at Cypress Semiconductor. The conference featured a keynote address by former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz.
The energy summit examined ways of making Silicon Valley the epicenter for solar energy, energy efficiency and clean energy technology. Energy efficient technologies and practices are fundamental for three important goals -- enhancing the economy, improving national security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"The Solar Center for Excellence will be a catalyst for the solar industry in Silicon Valley to thrive and take its place next to high tech, biotech and life sciences as core economic sectors," said Tom McCalmont, chairman of SolarTech and CEO of Campbell-based REgrid Power, a leading California solar integrator and charter member company of SolarTech.
"In order to sustain the solar industry over the long term, the cost of solar-generated power must be competitive with the cost of conventional electricity," McCalmont added. "The Solar Center will be a driving force for lowering costs and increasing photovoltaic, or PV, use in California. It will also provide access to training and certification for prospective and industry professionals."
The center will focus on resolving the complex technological, administrative and financing challenges inherent in the delivery of PV systems -- installation and performance standards, utility interconnections, rebate processing, building permits, education and workforce training, and financing.
"Many of the new technologies achieved by the solar industry originated, and are now flourishing, in Silicon Valley due to our culture of innovation together with abundant human and financial capital," said Justin Bradley, Energy Director of the Leadership Group, which represents 210 Silicon Valley employers.
"The work of our energy committee in creating the Solar Center for Excellence will enable us to help chart a stable and disciplined course for this fast maturing industry, creating high quality jobs for the region," Bradley added.
Silicon Valley is well positioned to build upon California's leadership in energy efficiency, added Bradley. The implementation of AB32, the state's pioneering greenhouse gas initiative, provides opportunities for, and challenges to, Silicon Valley companies. Renewable portfolio standards for electricity generation likewise provide opportunities and challenges.
SolarTech is a collaborative effort founded by members of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group to create a Solar Center of Excellence in Silicon Valley. Its purpose is to identify, prioritize, and resolve technical and adoption barriers to solar technology by addressing issues of performance, processes, standards, and workforce readiness. SolarTech's charter members include: REgrid Power, Horizon Energy Systems, Miasole, Silicon Valley Power, SunPower, NOVA Workforce Board, and PG&E, as well as Sharp Solar, SolFocus, SV Solar, Generating Assets, Tyco Electronics, and the Silicon Valley-based colleges.
About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, represents 210 of Silicon Valley's most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley, including energy, transportation, education, housing, health care, tax policies, economic vitality and the environment. Leadership Group members collectively provide nearly 250,000 local jobs, or one of every four private sector jobs in Silicon Valley. For more information, visit http://www.svlg.net/, or call (408) 501-7864.
About the Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency (PIEE)
PIEE is a research Institute, founded in October 2006 at Stanford University, and funded by a generous gift from Stanford Alumnus Jay Precourt. PIEE conducts research designed to improve opportunities for and implementation of energy efficient technologies, systems, and practices, including research into policies to support such improvements in energy efficiency. For more information, visit http://piee.stanford.edu/.
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SOURCE: Silicon Valley Leadership Group
CONTACT: Duffy Jennings of Silicon Valley Leadership Group,