MIDLAND, Mich. - The Dow Chemical Co. announced that it has picked Midland, Mich., as the site for the first full-scale production facility for its Dow Powerhouse solar shingle, if the company obtains sufficient local, state, and federal funding. That became more likely when the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) awarded $61.3 million in tax credits over 15 years to Dow for a variety of projects, including the manufacturing plant.
The proposed facility will produce solar shingles that can be integrated into rooftops with standard asphalt shingles. The devices employ low-cost, thin-film solar modules made from copper indium gallium diselenide, or CIGS. The CIGS materials are deposited on a flexible stainless steel substrate by Global Solar Energy, which recently confirmed that its solar modules can convert 13.2 percent of the sunlight hitting them into electricity, setting a record for thin-film, flexible solar modules. Dow forms the shingles by encasing the modules in a proprietary plastic.
The company is already manufacturing solar shingles in a small-scale market development plant in Midland, thanks to a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant of $20 million awarded in 2007 under the Solar America Initiative Pathways Program. The full-scale plant could be operational by 2014, bringing more than 1,200 jobs to the area.
For more information, visit www.dowsolar.com.