Making Solar Panels Sustainably: Niagara Falls To Power New Solarworks Plant

niagara-falls photo

Niagara Falls. Image credit:State University of New York
What is the ultimate green solar panel? A true-green solar panel must have the following characteristics: design life of major components of equal length (functionality lasts as long as the shortest-lived component); renewable energy used to produce the energy-intensive materials as much as possible (silicon slices, backsheets, aluminum frames, etc.); green chemistry used to produce components and adhesives; and, finished panels easy enough to disassemble that recycling is cost-effective. With that as background, I have good news on one of the four listed precepts. The New York State Power Authority has "awarded a large block of low-cost hydropower to a fledgling California company that plans to build a plant in Western New York to manufacture solar panels."From the Buffalo News, Business Today section, Solar panel maker gets low-cost electricity.
Sunworks Solar plans to spend $200 million to build a plant that would employ 175. The New York Power Authority on Tuesday agreed to allocate five megawatts of hydropower, which it will sell to the San Francisco-based company for about one-quarter the market rate.

The plant would build large solar panels for utilities. Pay would range from $40,000 to over $100,000 a year, depending on the position.
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