Solar Center for Excellence Launched at Energy Summit 2007

SolarTech, a collaborative industry initiative created by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, recently established 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 Energy Summit 2007, a day-long 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 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.

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.

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