Solar, Utility Integration

AstroPower Awarded SMUD, SEC Contract

AstroPower, Inc. has been awarded a cost-shared contract by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to complete a research and development project funded in part by the California Energy Commission (CEC).

Newark, Deleware – August 29, 2002 [] The Optimization of Residential Photovoltaic (PV) Systems project calls for the development of an integrated solar electric power system tailored to the California residential market. The CEC will fund more than US$1.1 million of the US$2.3 million project, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2004. AstroPower will provide the remaining US$1.2 million. The purpose of the project is to improve the performance and enhance the aesthetics, functionality and usability of solar electric power systems, while decreasing consumer costs. The Commission developed the project as part of its Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, which is designed to bring environmentally safe, affordable, and reliable energy products to the California marketplace. PIER provides funding for the research and development of products that address existing and future needs of California’s electricity system. “This agreement is a prime example of the type of collaborative research that helps resolve California’s electricity challenges and demonstrates a commitment to a diverse and affordable energy future,” said Energy Commissioner Art Rosenfeld. “By bringing a solar power system specifically designed for the California market to consumers, we’ll be able to reduce the cost of electricity in California, while increasing value. AstroPower is developing solar electric power systems that allow electricity customers to use the technology to help them respond dynamically, in real time, to demand. This solar electric power system will be tied to the home’s energy use profile. This is a hugely important step in the continuing development of the technology. “Furthermore, through our partnership with AstroPower, the State of California and the Commission will be better able to realize its goal of increasing renewable energy generation from 12 percent today to 17 percent within the next five years,” Rosenfeld added. The nation’s leading utility developer of solar power, SMUD will serve as project manager for the Optimization of Residential PV Systems initiative. SMUD will support AstroPower in its development of an enhanced solar electric power system for the California market in an effort to increase its use of renewable electricity generation, reduce peak demand for electricity, and create broad renewable energy markets throughout California and the western United States. (NASDAQ: APWR)