SolarWorld installed solar power modules at Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden Center for Sustainable Landscapes, which is located in Schenley Park. The installation can generate up to 125 kW from 250W Sunmodule solar panels that were placed on the roof and on the ground. The solar panels used in the Phipps project are high performance ones from SolarWorld, which is the largest solar manufacturer in the United States for more than 35 years.
The Phipps Conservatory project combines solar hot water, natural light capture, geothermal cooling and heating, as well as solar power. The target date of completion for the project is next spring. The project would drive innovation in sustainable architecture to new heights.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden Center would be the model building on how to construct sustainable structures that have small carbon footprints. Solar power would provide a clean power source. Improvements in solar technologies have made solar panels more efficient and made better use of the resources that are abundant at the site.
The site is also independent from off-site water. The project would be the first in the world to be built to meet or exceed the three most prestigious standards with regards to sustainable constructions. These are the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge, US Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum, and four-star certification of SITES landscape rating.
Most of the solar installation depended on domestic technology, labor and equipment. SolarWorld hires more than 1,100 Americans to manufacture and sell mono-crystalline and polycrystalline silicon solar panels in California and Oregon.
Installation of the solar panels was handled by Energy Independent Solutions, which is based in McKees, Pennsylavia. The mounting systems for the solar installation were provided by Solar FlexRack, which is another US-based company. The total cost of the Phipps project is said to be $24 million.
SolarWorld has been recognized by three independent rankings as the global renewable energy industry’s leader in sustainable corporate management, transparent financial reporting, and environmentally sound manufacturing. This is according to the 2011 annual report published by the Carbon Disclosure Project that was released in mid-October.
The CDP is a cooperative project by more than 551 institutional investors across the globe to improve corporate transparency on the emissions of greenhouse gas that affects the climate. Participating companies voluntarily submit their annual CO2 emissions and their plans to decrease their carbon footprint. SolarWorld was named as the company that fully disclosed its data and ranked on top of the CDP’s ranking.