March 13, 2007

CARDINANNOUNCES $7.5 MILLION FOR BP SOLAR TO PROMOTE SOLAR ENERGY USE

Frederick Company to Receive DOE Funding

Susan Sullam, 410-962-4436

Oren Shur, 202-224-4524


WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin announced today that BP Solar International, based in Frederick, will receive $7.5 million in funding this year from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of an initiative to promote solar energy and to reduce our nation's dependence on foreign energy.

BP Solar was selected because of its low-cost approach to grid parity. BP Solar could receive another $19 million over a three-year period based on future progress.

"BP Solar is a leader in the field of solar power, and I am extremely pleased that the DOE has chosen BP to help in the development and distribution of this important energy source," said Sen. Cardin, who has long advocated the development of alternative energy sources as a way to enable the United States to become energy independent within 10 years.

"Solar technology is crucial to building energy efficient homes and businesses and to reducing our nation's dependence on foreign energy," said Sen. Cardin.

BP Solar is one of 13 teams nationally selected by DOE for its solar energy initiative. These teams have formed partnerships with laboratories, universities and non-profit organizations to accelerate the drive toward commercialization of U.S.-produced solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Project partners with BP include: Dow Corning, Ceradyne, Bekaert, Ferro, Specialized Technology Resources, Komax, Palo Alto Research Center, AFG Industries, Automation Tooling Systems Ohio, Xantrex, Fat Spaniel, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Recticel, The Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Central Florida and Arizona State University.

Solar energy is a clean, widespread, and renewable energy source that can be used to increase electricity generating capacity while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Photovoltaic-based (PV) solar cells convert sunlight directly into electricity.