December 10, 2008 Arizona is now home to the world’s largest solar array using Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells. The 750-kilowatt (kW) system, located at Global Solar’s manufacturing facility in Tuscon, is the first commercial-scale deployment of the company’s CIGS technology.
The new array, which covers 310,000 square feet and uses 6,600 SOLON Corporation solar modules, is designed to help power the manufacturing facility. The ground-mounted system will generate more than 1.1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable electricity annually and offset an estimated 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide over its expected 25-year lifetime.
The solar modules used in the array incorporate Global Solar’s CIGS thin-film solar cells. According to the company, these offer cost and manufacturing advantages as well as creating more electricity from the same amount of sunlight than other thin-film photovoltaic (PV) and therefore having higher conversion efficiency capabilities. CIGS conversion efficiency is also very stable over time, whereas many other PV materials can rapidly decline with use. Unlike other CIGS solar panels that are produced on glass, Global Solar’s modules are produced on flexible materials meaning they are lightweight, flexible and durable.
“CIGS technology will contribute to driving down solar energy prices, bringing renewable energy to the masses,” said SOLON Corporation’s CEO Olaf Koesterhe.