Toledo Solar’s new see-through solar glass will be on display in booth #3674 at RE+ in Anaheim, Calif. from Sept. 19 through Sept. 22.
“This is a pivotal moment for renewable energy as urgent climate change realities, unpredictable energy prices, and long-term sustainability are all on the line, ” said Aaron Bates, the founder of Toledo Solar. “We are excited to showcase our sustainable, accessible solar technology to the world’s largest, most influential solar audience.”
The solar glass is not the first unique innovation to come out of Toledo’s factory. The company is the first residential thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar panel manufacturer in the United States. It’s also currently developing solar modules with a glass-enameled steel back, rather than the traditional glass sheet. The company received a $200,000 Phase I federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the Department of Energy for the research and development of these lighter, steel-backed solar panels
Toledo Solar has been instrumental in the development of the Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium, which was formed to work toward making continued cost and efficiency improvements that will make CdTe more competitive on the global market. Toledo, Ohio is a hub of CdTe manufacturing due to the CdTe research taking place at the University of Toledo’s Wright Center for Photovoltaic Innovation and Commercialization.
Aaron Bates, the founder of Toledo Solar, told pv magazine USA that the technology has grown from a small fraction of solar projects to the dominant source of modules in utility-scale projects. And with the utility-scale sector making up 55% of solar installs in the US, CdTe is well established in the clean energy industry. According to Bates, there are many reasons to support CdTe and US-made solar, including technological advantages, bankability, recyclability, supply chain stability, improved labor practices, and more.
CdTe solar cells were first developed in the United States and make up about 20% of the market for solar modules. The Consortium intends to spur technological advancements in CdTe manufacturing that will help increase America’s competitiveness, bolster domestic innovation, and support clean electricity deployment supporting President Biden’s goal of achieving a net-zero economy by 2050.
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