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With Uni-Solar in bankruptcy,Grand Rapids will import roof panels from foreign supplier
Michigan Live ^ | March 13, 2012 | Matt Vande Bunte

Posted on 03/13/2012 1:20:51 PM PDT by mdittmar

GRAND RAPIDS – A solar-panel installation on the roof the city’s water building will proceed with a foreign supplier.

Grand Rapids officials tonight are expected to rescind a November commitment to use panels made in Greenville by United Solar Ovonic, or Uni-Solar, which is now in bankruptcy. Instead, the city will get panels with a 25-year warranty from Canadian Solar, Inc. in Ontario.

“With Uni-Solar going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, we do not know how it’s going to be set up and what the courts are going to allow in terms of warranty items for this project,” said Mark DeClercq, city engineer.

“The original base bid was to use Canadian Solar as the supplier, so we want to go back to them.”

The city's Utility Advisory Board in Novemberapproved spending up to $500,000 on solar panels for the roof of the Grand Rapids Water/Environmental Facility, 1900 Oak Industrial Dr. NE. Half the cost is being paid by a federal grant, with the city's water fund covering the rest of the tab.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events

January 21, 2010

United Solar Ovonic Receives $13 Million Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit from Stimulus Program

Rochester Hills, Mich., January 21, 2010 - Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) (NASDAQ: ENER), the leading global manufacturer of thin-film flexible solar laminate products for the building integrated and commercial rooftop markets, today announced that its affiliate United Solar Ovonic LLC has received stimulus support from the Department of Energy and the Department of Treasury.

The company was notified late last week that its application for a Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit was approved. The $13.275 million credit will support United Solar Ovonic's plan to invest $42 million in its Auburn Hills 1 facility to upgrade equipment used in its commercial solar deposition process.

Upon successful completion of the upgrades, the deposition machines will have significantly greater output. These improvements will lower the company's cost of manufacturing while increasing the efficiency of the solar laminates and is expected to create approximately 600 jobs in Michigan.

"We are very appreciative of the Obama Administration's efforts to support American clean technology through the stimulus programs," said Mark Morelli, ECD President and CEO. "We are also grateful for the support from Senators Stabenow and Levin, Congressman Peters and other members of the Michigan congressional delegation. Governor Granholm and her staff were also critical in supporting our application. These elected officials do an important job in Washington and here in Michigan of delivering a consistent message of support for American manufacturing jobs and business in Michigan."

1 posted on 03/13/2012 1:20:53 PM PDT by mdittmar
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To: mdittmar
panels with a 25-year warranty

These companies are going out of business right and left.

Anybody want to take bets on whether the company will be around in 25 years to honor its warranty?

Or five years for that matter.

2 posted on 03/13/2012 1:44:48 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
I put a solar hot water panel system on my house in San Diego in 1986. System had a 20 year warranty. The installing company and panel supplier were out of business 18 months later. The panels lasted 6 years before the insulated holding tank on the roof failed due to high mineral content in San Diego tap water. The cheap freeze plugs crapped out the 2nd year. I had to spent $85 each for good quality brass units to replace the crappy PVC. My side yard got pretty wet as the failed units dripped hot water off the edge of the roof.

As a system, it provided 100% hot water from March 1st to Nov 1st each year. I had to go to "pre-heat" mode Nov 1st to Feb 28th where the warm water from the roof is boosted to preferred temperature by the natural gas water heater.

The natural gas prices never reached a level that would have paid back the investment vs staying with the old natural gas only water heater.

I removed the inoperative system from the roof when replacing the roof. The tank went to the dump at my expense. The quartz heating panels were picked up by a local solar contractor who still had a few other victims of the same vendor who had a potential need in the future.

3 posted on 03/13/2012 1:56:15 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Myrddin

I have considerable experience dealing with the results of “active” solar house heating. The panels and connections spring leaks and water damage the house. Not to mention freezing and bursting.

Not good.

Anything with hundreds or thousands of plumbing connections in your home is not a good idea.

4 posted on 03/13/2012 1:59:45 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: mdittmar

Now THAT is funny! I was in GR for 4 years of school. The town gets direct sunlight only a bit of the year. The rest of the time it’s covered with gray, life-sucking, depressing clouds.

5 posted on 03/13/2012 2:22:51 PM PDT by lurk
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To: Sherman Logan
Thanks. I'll avoid that too. I've since relocated from San Diego to Pocatello, ID. The solar hot water heater would be a non-starter with temps dropping to -20F and topping out at +103F. One possible viable approach puts liquid filled loops deep into the earth around the house. A giant, subterranean heat exchanger. See geothermal loops
6 posted on 03/13/2012 3:24:25 PM PDT by Myrddin
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