24 June 2011
Amonix new CPV system factory visited by US Energy Secretary Chu
Amonix Inc of Seal Beach, CA, USA, which makes concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems using III-V multi-junction cells, says that US Department of Energy Secretary Dr Steven Chu visited its new 214,000ft2 manufacturing facility in North Las Vegas, NV on 23 June to see how the Obama Administration’s renewable energy policies are turning into economic activity and energy independence.
Chu toured the facility (opened on 17 May) where Amonix produces CPV systems for utility-scale power plants, such as the 2MW plant in Tucson, AZ that showcases the technology. After the tour, Chu led a roundtable discussion with solar industry business leaders at the facility.
Chu was a co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997 and former director of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he led the lab in pursuit of alternative and renewable energy technologies.
“Secretary Chu has a long-standing interest in renewable energy sources,” says Amonix CEO Brian Robertson. “His visit emphasizes the reality that utility-scale solar energy is an economically viable reality,” he adds.
Renewable energy development is a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s long-term economic strategy. The Department of Energy also recently announced the SunShot Initiative in an effort to cut the cost of solar energy by 75% by 2020. The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included $70bn in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. The new Amonix facility was financed with a $5.9m investment tax credit from the Recovery Act awarded in 2010 plus $12m in private capital. The facility should bring $560m of overall economic impact (including more than 300 private-sector jobs) to Southern Nevada in the next five years, according to the Nevada Development Authority.