Stand on the sidewalk in virtually any urban or suburban neighborhood in the world and look up. What do you see? Utility poles, supporting grid electricity, telephone lines, or street lamps. Until now, that was about all those poles were good for, that and as a roost for birds. But that’s about to change, thanks to companies like Suntech Power Holdings and Petra Solar.
Suntech, which manufactures crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules, and Petra Solar, a designer and manufacturer of intelligent utility grade solar energy and smart grid systems, are cooperating together to market utility-grade, pole mounted solar AC Systems. Their alliance will focus on unique pole mounted applications for utilities in the United States and the rest of the world.
Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s CEO recently commented, “We recognize that Petra Solar is the leader in the development of innovative utility grade, pole-mounted distributed PV systems. Their vision to create a market for intelligent solar energy systems attached to utility poles and street lights, which combines distributed solar generation and smart grid technology, has great potential for Suntech. We are excited about the value that we can bring to utility customers as a result of working with Petra Solar.”
Sunteck, based in China, is already the world’s largest crystalline silicon module manufacturer. For the purposes of this agreement the company will open a manufacturing plant in the United States, in South Plainfield, New Jersey.
Dr. Shihab Kuran, CEO of Petra Solar, said, “We applaud Suntech’s decision to establish manufacturing capabilities in the United States and are confident that this will contribute to the rapid deployment of our products in the U.S. We are confident that the Suntech-Petra Solar collaboration will lead to the creation of many green jobs.”
Petra Solar’s SunWave system is a utility grade solar module designed to mount easily on utility distribution and streetlight poles and deliver AC power directly to the grid. The systems consist of a high efficiency PV module and integral line voltage inverter with comprehensive communications and smart grid capabilities.
Once these modules make their way into widespread use, we’ll see more than birds on the tops of telephone polls.