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MEMPHIS, TN, June 21, 2011-- Today Sharp Manufacturing Company of America (SMCA), Sharp’s U.S. solar panel manufacturing plant, welcomed local officials to commemorate a significant addition to the company’s own solar electric system. The new system is comprised of 910 (200kW) roof mounted and 264 (59kW) ground mounted Sharp solar modules for a total of 259kW, more than doubling the facility’s current solar electricity generation capacity. The system was designed and installed by S & T Control Wiring, Inc. of Moscow, TN.
SMCA has used solar energy for 5 years, installing its first solar system, a 50kW ground mounted array, in 2006. It added a 150kW rooftop array in 2010. The two new systems commissioned today bring SMCA’s total solar power generation capacity to 460kW, the most in Memphis. The solar electricity generated at Sharp’s Memphis factory is equivalent to the power required to supply 53 homes or the carbon equivalent to taking 80 cars off the road.
“As a company that has been in the solar industry for nearly 50 years, there can be no doubt that Sharp truly believes in solar,” said Kozo Takahashi, CEO and Chairman, Sharp Electronics Corporation. “SMCA is one of several Sharp facilities around the world that generates a portion of its power through solar electricity, saving the company money and reducing our carbon footprint.”
Sharp Manufacturing Company of America was established in 1978 for the production of color TVs, and began producing solar panels in 2003. Current production capacity has increased tenfold since, and is now 200MW.
The two millionth solar module rolled off the Memphis production line in 2010. That’s enough solar modules to fully power more than 65,000 total average-sized American homes. Sharp employs approximately 450 to 500 union members (dependent upon production requirements) in the production of solar modules, up from 230 at the end of 2007.
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