OptiSolar intends to submit an application to San Luis Obispo County for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in May. Construction is targeted to begin in 2010, after completing the local approval process. Installation of panels will occur over a period of up to three years.
OptiSolar is a vertically intigrated company manufacturing its own solar cells and panels and claims its amorphous silicon thin-film solar PV panels combine proprietary manufacturing processes and innovative design to yield affordable, durable panels that significantly reduce the cost of clean solar power. Their thin-film design requires only about 1% of the silicon used in crystalline systems, thus not being affected by the availability of crystalline silicon. The companies technology enables low-profile solar panels to be placed on simple concrete and steel ballasts with minimal grading.
Although photovoltaic solar panels are currently less efficient than solar thermal systems, OptiSolar claims that its solar cells are significantly more cost effective as they require less expensive silicon during manufacture, consume little water, and require far less maintenance than turbine based systems. In addition they avoid the need for large structures that turbine-based systems require, and do not result in the noise associated with such systems.
OptiSolar Farms Canada has 21 solar project in Canada under various phases of development including the 60-megawatt "Sarnia Solar" park, which will be broken into six construction phases with the first 10-megawatt phase expected to be completed by year's end and the balance competed in 2009.
Thanks to Tyler Hamilton in the Toronto Star for the tip