While oil interests are still an undeniable motive to U.S. operations in the Middle East, the benefits of renewable energy are making some small inroads with the U.S. military. Solar-powered lights are now marking runways at the U.S. Air Force base in Kirkuk, Iraq, and will soon be used to mark obstructions and a helipad perimeter at the base.Victoria, BC – October 20, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Carmanah Technologies Corporation, which had already provided 400 solar-powered lights to the base, announced early this month that the company received an order for 120 more lights. The company sees the second order as a vote of confidence for the solar technology, which uses energy-efficient light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, as a light source, powered by small photovoltaic (PV) cells mounted on top of the units. More than 2,600 of the solar lights are now being used at military airfields throughout the world. “This contract is significant for Carmanah”, said the company’s CEO Art Aylesworth. “It represents the first significant reorder for our aviation lighting and provides confirmation from end-users that our lights are an ideal alternative to hardwired systems”. Carmanah said their ability to provide permanent and/or temporary airfield lighting that requires no cabling or external power infrastructure has enabled air bases to install high-performance, reliable airfield lighting at a fraction of the cost of hardwired systems. The bases are also able to eliminate significant installation and labor costs, as well as any ongoing maintenance, said the company. Carmanah will now be supplying 120 Model 702 solar-powered LED lights to be used for obstruction lighting and helipad perimeter lighting. The order is valued at approximately $146,000, (US$110,000) bringing the total for this air base up to 520 units of Model 702 and Model 601 valued at approximately $297,000 (US$225,000) Since introducing its aviation lighting products in December 2002, Carmanah now has more than 2,600 units (approx. $1.1 million, US$830,000) in the Middle East, SW Asia and the United States for permanent, temporary or expedited airfield lighting at military installations. In other company news, Carmanah has acquired all the issue and outstanding securities of AVVA Technologies. AVVA designs, manufactures and distributes energy-efficient, illuminated sign products for corporate identity, point-of-purchase sales, architectural and signage applications.