AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 21, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- United Solar , a leading global manufacturer of lightweight, flexible, thin-film solar modules and a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices (Nasdaq:ENER), announced the completion of a 1.05 megawatt solar power system on a total of 21 school rooftops across the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada. United Solar's UNI-SOLAR® brand photovoltaics were installed on 18 elementary schools and three middle schools with standing seam metal roofs.
The installation is expected to save the district $14,000 per year at each school in energy costs, totaling more than $300,000 annually, and will provide a carbon offset of 166 metric tons per year. The annual energy generation to the district is projected to be over 2 million kWh per year – approximately 100,000 kWh offset per school.
PK Electrical, Inc., an electrical engineering firm and the design professional on the project for the Washoe County School District, indicated that UNI-SOLAR was the laminate of choice for two main reasons: outstanding aesthetics that "are not intrusive" as they blend in nearly perfectly with the building roof lines, building architecture and community goals; and for the ability to adhere the laminates directly on the metal roofs as opposed to relying on an anchor system for glass-panel solar that sticks up above the roof line. PK Electrical was very concerned over potential damage to each school's roof structures with glass panels acting as an airfoil on windy days and pulling too hard on the attachment parts and on the metal roofs." UNI-SOLAR laminates are the most flexible and light weight, therefore seamlessly-integrated solar products on the market globally, and on metal roofs like those in Washoe County School District the fit and look is outstanding," said Ken Fox, President-Americas of United Solar. "Educational partnerships such as this are important because today's youth seem to best understand the need for sustainable energy to help make their world a better place. Projects like this have as much to do with generating power as they do with empowering future generations." A computer monitoring system has been installed at each school, displaying real-time usage data. The monitors will detail energy and cost savings, providing school visitors, students and staff a clear understanding of the advantages of this earth-friendly technology, and a hands-on educational tool.