Sunrise brief: GAF Energy will shift solar roof production from Asia to Silicon Valley


GAF Energy said it plans to move its manufacturing out of Asia to a new facility in California as it develops technology to integrate solar panels with roof shingles.

Components for GAF Energy’s building-integrated solar products are produced in South Korea, but manufacturing will be moved to a renovated 112,000-squre-foot San Jose, California, factory later this year.

The facility will employ about 400 people in manufacturing, engineering, and research and development, and be capable of producing about 50 MW of solar panels a year.

GAF Energy reportedly expects to benefit from reduced risks associated with offshore production, including tariffs on Asian-made solar goods and rising transportation costs.

GAF Energy launched in 2019 and is a unit of Standard Industries, a privately held global industrial company. GAF has installed its product on more than 2,000 U.S. rooftops.

More community solar for Colorado

Pivot Energy and Standard Solar are developing three new community solar projects in Colorado with a total capacity of 4 MW.

One megawatt of the portfolio is dedicated to serving low-income subscribers. The remaining 3 MW have been subscribed to by local municipalities and organizations. Pivot Energy developed and built the solar gardens and will provide customer management services. Standard Solar will finance, own, and maintain the systems.

Two solar gardens, located in Garfield County in west central Colorado, will come online in June 2021. The third project, located just west of Denver in Jefferson County, will be energized later this summer.

Energy storage system for Dominica

A $50 million hurricane-resistant battery energy storage system is coming to the Caribbean island of Dominica through an investment by the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund. The project includes a 5 MW/2.5 MWh battery energy storage system.

The system is intended to stabilize the electricity grid and deliver reserve power and frequency control to the extreme weather-prone nation.

Dominica is building a 7 MW geothermal plant to help drive the country’s energy mix to 51% renewables. One government program enables foreign investors to obtain Dominica’s citizenship in exchange for a $100,000 investment to the Economic Diversification Fund, or $200,000 into pre-approved luxury real estate that supports Dominica’s ecotourism.

Dominica uses the investments for energy security, infrastructure, and housing as it aims to be one of the world’s first climate-resilient nations, as pledged by the government after Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017.

The UAE-CREF initiative is financed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the UAE’s national entity for international development aid. The fund is a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Masdar, which is leading project design and implementation. In March 2019, the first three renewable energy projects were inaugurated.

Carbon Neutral opens Texas office

Carbon Neutral Energy is opening a U.S. office in Texas, two months after launching in the UK. The company is pursuing market opportunities for mobile energy storage systems, which it said could help prevent emergencies like the loss of power in Texas earlier this year.

CNE uses mobile, modular energy storage systems with battery storage from 1 MW to 5 MW to address inadequacy in power infrastructure. The company also has launched a £300m ($424.5 million) fundraising effort.

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