Indian solar firm bags US award for clean energy

April 7th, 2008 - 10:21 pm ICT by admin  

Bangalore, April 7 (IANS) Solar power systems provider Orb Energy has bagged $1 million award from the US State Department for developing and deploying clean energy technologies, the company said here late Monday. The city-based Orb manufactures a wide range of solar energy solutions for the Indian market, with a view to making solar energy affordable, accessible and hassle-free to residential and commercial customers as an alternative energy.

The US State Department has instituted the prestigious award in support of the Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP) on clean development and climate. Besides India, Canada, China, Japan and South Korea are partners in the joint initiative to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technologies.

“We are honoured to have been selected for the award by the US. The award will enhance our ability to serve the growing number of customers in India who are turning to solar as a reliable, cost-effective source of energy,” Orb CEO Damian Miller said in a statement here.

Orb will also use the award money to execute in-country assembly of Swiss-designed inverters and enter the country’s newly emerging grid connected market for solar. The award will also help the company expand franchise for operating its branch network.

With 30 branches across Karnataka, Orb is planning to set up 60-70 branches across the country in the next 12 months.

Orb’s photovoltaic systems are used for back-up power and solar thermal systems for hot water and a range of solar lighting solutions.

Solar energy offers huge potential for climate protection. The production of solar photovoltaic cells has dramatically increased by 48 percent each year since 2002 to become one of the fastest growing technologies.

To foster the solar energy market in India, the ministry of new and renewable energy recently announced higher feed-in tariffs for large-scale solar power plants.

“The APP is committed to helping innovative firms bring clean energy solutions to market. Orb is one such company the APP was designed to support - innovative, expansive, and focused in its mission,” state department programme manager Griffin Thompson said.

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