December 04, 2013
High-Tech Test Center, Only One in Northeast, Will Help Promote Growth of Solar Power Business and R&D in New York State
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and
the Center for Evaluation of Clean Energy Technology (CECET) celebrated
the opening of a new solar panel testing laboratory in Cortland today.
by the worldwide testing company Intertek, CECET's PV Certification
Testing Lab provides both indoor and outdoor testing of solar panels.
Using sophisticated technology, the lab tests such characteristics as
generating capacity; performance over time; impacts of snow, extreme
temperature and other adverse weather conditions and other aspects of
solar generation performance.
Currently, the nearest solar panel
testing laboratories are located in the southeastern United States and
California. Locating a testing site in New York will allow scientists to
test equipment performance during the extreme winter and summer
conditions in the Northeast, as well as offer ease of access and
convenience to solar panel manufacturers based in this region.
equipment will also perform electroluminescence testing, which can be
used to spot stress cracks and other minute damage to panel composite
materials. Specialized ovens will be used to test for accelerated aging
in heat and cold to simulate years of aging in only a few weeks. In all,
the lab can provide more than 10 types of tests to meet U.S and
The use of certified photovoltaic
equipment (such as solar panels) is a requirement of many state and
federal incentive or similar programs.
"Through Governor Cuomo's
NY-Sun initiative, the State has seen a significant increase in the
installation of solar power. By investing in CECET's new solar panel
testing laboratory, the State continues to demonstrate its commitment to
the solar industry and its advancement of new technologies," said John
B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. "Being the only high tech solar
panel facility in the Northeast, it will bring economic activity to the
State, and help expand New York’s clean energy economy."
Cuomo launched the NY-Sun initiative to accelerate solar power
development in New York State. Combined efforts of NYSERDA, New York
Power Authority (NYPA) and Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) in 2012
led to the successful installation of more than 58 megawatts (MW) of PV
in the State, nearly doubling the amount of customer-sited PV installed
“For companies working on mature and next-generation
solar technologies, this lab will provide a state-of-the-art facility at
which to validate the success of their research and development,” said
Rick Lewandowski, CECET’s Executive Director. "Our test facilities
demonstrate that New York is ready for the expansion of both the
renewable marketplace and its industry and is making the necessary
investment to lead in this area. We are thankful to NYSERDA for its
vision and funding, which helped make this joint effort possible."
site, located only a few hours from the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing
Consortium (PVMC) in Albany, is designed to encourage increased
research and development of solar power technology in New York and the
Northeast. The solar lab is currently supporting four employees, with
job growth expected.
“The opening of this facility further builds
on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative to position New York as a
hub for innovative clean energy research and advanced manufacturing,”
said Dr. Pradeep Haldar, CNSE Vice President for Clean Energy Programs
and Chief Operating and Technology Officer of the U.S. PVMC. “We see
strong potential for collaboration between CECET and the Photovoltaic
Manufacturing Consortium on reliability and field performance testing
that is essential to enhance the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and,
ultimately, the adoption of next-generation solar energy technologies.”
awarded $1.7 million to CECET for the Cortland solar site and $877,000
for a wind turbine blade testing center at Clarkson University in
Potsdam. An additional $400,000 was previously awarded to Intertek to
help pay for the creation of CECET.
The blade test facility,
which opened this past summer, serves manufacturers of small and
medium-size turbines, which range from backyard-sized residential
turbines to turbines capable of providing significant power to a
municipal facility, large farm or manufacturing complex.
Last Updated: 12/04/2013