AstroPower, has announced an agreement with Premier Homes that will make solar electric power a standard feature in Premier Homes’ newest community.NEWARK, Delaware – April 22, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Under the agreement, AstroPower will supply a minimum of 50 solar electric home power systems for Premier Homes’ Premier Point II community in Lincoln, California.The companies have established a goal of building a total of 250 homes powered by AstroPower solar electric power systems by 2003. “As one of the nation’s most innovative builders, Premier Homes is constantly working to increase the value of the homes it builds,” said Bob Ruggio, Manager, Residential Sales, at AstroPower. “Premier recognized that solar electric power would add value, and it would do so in more ways than one. Not only would new homeowners experience lower utility bills, they would gain control over their own electricity generation and increase their energy independence.” Premier Homes will offer AstroPower’s 2.4-kilowatt SunLine(TM) packaged solar electric power system as a standard feature in Premier Point II. However, homebuyers will have the option to upgrade their solar electric power systems to include battery backup via an AstroPower SunUPS(R) system and to increase either system to 3.2 kilowatts. Both the SunLine and SunUPS systems feature all necessary components for ease of installation and operation, and are designed to integrate seamlessly into the construction process. The systems generate solar electric power and deliver it through a home’s existing circuits. When a system produces more electricity than a home requires, excess electricity is sent back to the utility grid. Not only does this spin the utility meter backward, it generates a credit on the homeowner’s utility bill. The SunUPS system provides homeowners uninterrupted power during utility outages via battery storage. “The solar electric power market in California is growing more rapidly than our industry expected,” said Howard Wenger, Vice President, Premium Power, at AstroPower. “The state has implemented incentives, which provide a rebate of US$4.50 per watt or 50 percent of the installed cost of a system. Governor Gray Davis has established a goal of increasing renewable electricity generation from 12 percent to 17 percent over the next five years. In addition, a revenue bond was passed in San Francisco, which will lead to the installation of 10 to 12 megawatts of solar electric power on city-owned facilities.” Wenger said partnership with Premier Homes is a “sign of the times” and proves that homebuilders are embracing solar electric power and are eager to pass the value of onsite electricity generation on to new homebuyers.