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Solar company Solaria corralled political dignitaries such as California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to show off a new headquarters and adjacent demonstration array of its solar panels in Fremont Friday. The occasion marks a milestone for a company that took a while to engineer a product that could attract customers. We talked to Solaria’s CEO, Dan Shugar, earlier this week to learn more about the company’s expanded production capacity and market outlook.
The 110KW array features framed and frameless panels, which come with optics that concentrate the sunlight onto solar cells. The concentrating effect makes it possible to use half the silicon material in each panel. The optics is made up of parabolic grooves that are part of the glass sheet that covers and protects each panel. The array also shows how the panels could be mounted on single-axis or dual-axis trackers, which position the panels to follow the sun’s movement (the dual-axis one can track the movement more precisely).
Aside from Newsom, other speakers include Jared Blumenfeld, U.S. EPA’s pacific northwest administrator; Mike Brune, executive director of Sierra Club; Karen Douglas, a California Energy Commissioner; Mark Ferron, a California Public Utilities Commissioner; Marco Krapels, executive vice president of Rabobank; and Tristan Grimbert, CEO of enXco.