SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–()–The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation today inaugurated a new 250-kilowattAC solar photovoltaic (PV) power system donated by First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) which will help power the historic Taliesin West campus. The commissioning marks the successful completion of the first phase of the Energizing Taliesin West™ initiative, a pioneering effort to transform the entire National Historic Landmark Taliesin West site into a “net zero” energy customer, producing as much energy as it consumes annually, while maintaining the historic and architectural integrity of the site. The comprehensive project, led by energy efficiency consultant Big Green Zero, is focused on the twin goals of maximizing the campus’ energy efficiency through improved lighting, insulation, climate controls and other techniques while also generating renewable energy on-site.
“And in the pursuit of energy efficiency, this is just the beginning. Over the next several years, the Energizing Taliesin West team will be installing and experimenting with additional energy efficiency technologies. Our goal is to make Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West a Big Green Zero.”
Many local Arizona companies donated materials and labor to make the project possible. Tempe-based First Solar designed the system and donated approximately 4,000 of its advanced thin-film solar panels as well as Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services. Power-One donated an Aurora PVI-Central-250kW inverter manufactured in nearby Phoenix and the associated performance-monitoring equipment for the project, and Klondyke Construction donated electrical construction services. Other companies with operations in Arizona that contributed include Buesing Corp. (structural post installation), OMCO Solar (panel mounting structural materials), CLP Resources (structural and modular installation labor), Rummel Construction (site grading), Rapid (electrical equipment), Syntech (surveying), and Oldcastle (precast inverter pad). Other donors included Highway Safety Corp. (structural steel posts) and Olson Motor and Control Co. (electrical equipment).
The entire solar power system is engineered to provide maximum renewable energy with minimal impact. The ground-mounted First Solar PV system at Taliesin West is expected to generate more than 500 megawatt-hours per year of emission-free electricity with no water or waste, displacing more than 300 tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking more than 50 cars off the road. Native cacti and other plant species which were removed during construction will be transplanted throughout the project site, and the entire site will be seeded to restore native vegetation. Visible portions of the mounting system have been painted to help blend into the desert environment. In addition, the solar modules at the site are covered by First Solar’s industry-leading, prefunded module and recycling program, under which the company will collect and recycle its modules at no additional charge.
“We are excited to have partnered with Big Green Zero and First Solar to complete the first phase of Energizing Taliesin West and are on track to making a world-famous National Historic Landmark site entirely self-sustaining,” said Sean Malone, CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “As we continue to move forward with this endeavor we remain consistent with the values of Taliesin West and advancing the Foundation’s mission to preserve and expand the heritage of Frank Lloyd Wright. We will continue to educate and empower new generations of innovative thinkers to address the critical issues of sustainability and healthy living environments.”
“We are very proud to be a part of this historic landmark, and we are confident the integration of clean solar power into Taliesin West will help advance the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright and educate visitors from around the world about renewable energy,” said Jim Lamon, First Solar’s Senior Vice President of Engineering, Procurement and Construction and Operations and Maintenance. “This project represents a microcosm of the solar industry in Arizona, and we are gratified that many of the same partners we work with to build utility-scale projects like Agua Caliente and APS Paloma joined in to support our community and make this vision a reality.”
Bob Roth, CEO of Big Green Zero, explained that the Energizing Taliesin West™ project started with a 2011 energy audit which found the site’s nearly $200,000 energy bill could be reduced 51 percent through energy efficiency improvements and balance could be offset by renewable solar energy. As a result, Big Green Zero proposed developing the Energizing Taliesin West™ program to demonstrate best-of-breed energy efficiency and solar energy technologies at this profoundly historic property.
“Today, we are celebrating this absolutely beautiful 250 kilowatt solar system,” Roth said. “And in the pursuit of energy efficiency, this is just the beginning. Over the next several years, the Energizing Taliesin West team will be installing and experimenting with additional energy efficiency technologies. Our goal is to make Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West a Big Green Zero.”
About the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is a non-profit organization that was established by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1940 to be a cultural and educational institution and the primary conservator of his work. The Foundation owns two world-famous National Historic Landmarks – Taliesin in Spring Green, Wis. and Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Ariz. – both open to inspire the public. The Foundation also owns and manages the vast Frank Lloyd Wright Archives and operates the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, a continuation of the apprenticeship program Wright established in 1932. www.franklloydwright.org
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced thin-film modules. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module collection and recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. On a life cycle basis, systems using First Solar modules have the lowest carbon footprint and fastest energy payback time—the amount of time a system must operate to recover the energy that was required to produce it—of any photovoltaic technology. This enables systems using First Solar modules to provide the greatest and fastest environmental benefits. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
About Big Green Zero
Big Green Zero, LLC is a team of sustainable energy engineers, project planners, and historic preservation enthusiasts. The team provides commercial and institutional property owners with commercial-grade energy assessments and sustainable energy project planning services. Big Green Zero is developing and managing the Energizing Taliesin WestTM project. http://www.biggreenzero.com/
Power-One designs and manufactures energy-efficient power conversion and power management solutions, including inverters for alternative/renewable energy (solar and wind) and products for routers, data storage and servers, wireless communications, optical networking, semiconductor test equipment, industrial markets and custom applications. Power-One, with headquarters in Camarillo, California, has global sales offices, manufacturing, and R&D operations in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Power-One is a public company listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol PWER. For more information about the Company, please visit www.Power-One.com.