MiaSolé donates Photovoltaic Modules to the City of Santa Clara

[Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, California USA]

1000 CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide) photovoltaic (PV) modules donated for a 125 kiloWatt (kW) system being constructed by the City of Santa Clara.
Impromptu parking survey of MiaSolé Building 2.


View Planned Jenny Strand Park PV System in a larger map

After the recent 10% layoff at MiaSolé, I renewed my search for their second manufacturing site and stumbled upon RESOLUTION NO. 11-7893, “A Resolution of the City of Santa Clara, California, Accepting the Donation of 1000 Solar Modules from MiaSolé”, passed and adopted on December 6, 2011.

Per the donation agreement (contract), MiaSolé is donating one thousand (1000) MR Series MR-107 PV modules, later amended to 125 Watt MS Series MS125GG PV modules, backed by the full MiaSolé warranty, and remote monitoring equipment to the City of Santa Clara.

The City is responsible for installing the PV modules on land adjacent to Jenny Strand Park located at the southwestern tip of Santa Clara next to Interstate 280 as shown on the Google Map. The PV system will be interconnected to the distribution system of the City of Santa Clara’s municipal electric utility, Silicon Valley Power.

Though subject to change, MiaSolé told me the estimated 2012 project timeline is:

  • Construction/installation RFP (Request For Proposal) to be approved by the Santa Clara City Council by the end of February
  • Proposal review and selection of the contractor by May
  • Ground breaking June

The City of Santa Clara has not yet confirmed the expected timeline.

According to the site plan drawn by McCalmont Engineering, the southern facing 125 kW PV system will consist of ten (10) sub arrays each with one hundred (100) modules arranged twenty (20) lengthwise by five (5) widthwise and tilted at twenty-five (25) degrees. The modules are connected as fifty (50) strings of twenty (20) modules to a lone central inverter.

JennyStrandParkPVSystemExhibitC

MiaSolé Building 2
Subsequent to the resolution, I found MiaSolé’s second manufacturing building not in Santa Clara as I had assumed but in Sunnyvale around three corners from the Corporate Headquarters. On an afternoon drive, I decided to check out Jenny Stand Park and verify the MiaSolé location. Two Sundays after the layoff news, I found the MiaSolé Building 2 parking lot full of cars, and I presume at full tilt module production. The building has no MiaSolé signs and the front windows are covered with plain brown paper as shown in the inset photos. I’ve heard the new MiaSolé CEO John Carrington may have plans to get some signage and create a real world presence for the company.

From The second MiaSolé manufacturing location
From The second MiaSolé manufacturing location

A couple of my emails to MiaSolé bounced when I asked about the donation. In the case of the MiaSolé press contact, I heard a media rumor last week alleging that Ben Williams is a fictitious person. I’ve asked a few folks at MiaSolé this very question since then, and either they have declined to comment or ignored it.

Will the real Ben Williams please stand up?

3 comments

  1. Lucian says:

    Why they donate the panels ? For advertising purposes or they really want to make something good ?

  2. admin says:

    MiaSolé gets to monitor the energy generation of the site. The PV system will be seen by thousands of motorists daily and is near the planned new Apple campus.

    Now maybe MiaSolé also uses up some of their lower efficiency PV module inventory.

  3. Rob says:

    Does the warranty include recycling of the panels after use?

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