For immediate release: April 6, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Opening of PV Tile Facility in Berkeley Will Highlight Bay Area's Role in the Maturing Solar Energy Industry


Powerlight Corporation opens its manufacturing facility for photovoltaic (PV) rooftop tiles - making the Bay Area a U. S. hub for the maturing solar energy industry.

Powerlight's 18,000 square foot facility will produce up to 15 megawatts a year of its flagship product, the PowerGuard® PV rooftop tile for use in commercial buildings. A megawatt is enough energy to power 1,000 average California homes per day.

The state-of-the art plant was co-funded in part by the California Energy Commission, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the California Trade and Commerce Agency.

When: 11 a.m., Friday, April 14, 2000
Where: 815 Heinz Street, Berkeley
Why: The opening of the facility signals the increasing viability of PV rooftop systems for use in large commercial buildings. The Energy Commission recognized the product's potential to produce clean renewable energy, improve reliability of the State's electricity system and create new manufacturing jobs. As a result it awarded Powerlight $959,000 through its Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program and another $249,000 from its Emerging Renewables Buydown Program.

Among the scheduled speakers at the event are DOE official Peter Dreyfuss, in-charge of President Clinton's Million Solar Roof initiative; Resources Agency Secretary Mary Nichols, Trade and Commerce Secretary Lon Hatamiya, Energy Commissioner Robert A. Laurie, Powerlight Corporation President Thomas Dinwoodie, Powerlight Executive Vice President Dan Shugar, and Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean.

The dignitaries also will help flip the switch to the plant's own rooftop PowerGuard® system. Capable of producing 15 kilowatts of electricity, the system's capacity is planned to expand to over 110 kilowatts.


For further information, visit the company's web site at:
or contact:
Robin Silke, Powerlight Corporation, (510) 540-0550, extension 228.

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