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Companies announce partnership to build solar rooftop in Austin
Energy Conversion Devices and Austin Energy have announced they will team up to convert the rooftop of an Austin city building to a solar installation.
The Austin Water Utility's Glen Bell Service Center, which recently built a membrane roof to replace its old one, will install Energy Conversion Devices' Uni-Solar laminates to power a photovoltaic rooftop system.
The project was approved at a September 24 meeting of the Austin City Council to begin installation in November, when 1,000 laminates covering 23,250 square feet will be placed on the service center's roof.
Mark Morelli, CEO of Energy Conversion Devices, said the laminates "can be quickly installed and [will] not make holes in the brand new roof."
The new 136-kilowatt rooftop system's electrical output will not exceed 105 kilowatts and is expected to decrease the building's peak electrical demand by 24 kilowatts, which will conserve enough electricity to run 17 average-sized houses each year.
Technological advances in solar power will increase demand for electrical engineers by a projected 6 percent over the next seven years. Technicians with green education backgrounds such as associates, bachelors or masters degrees in sustainable management or green power generation will be at the head of the curve. In May 2006, median earnings for such professionals were $75,930 annually.