Dow Chemical to begin US market introduction of Powerhouse solar shingle BIPV product

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Dow Chemical said it will make the commercial introduction of its Powerhouse solar roofing shingle to U.S. markets this month. The company plans a rolling launch into markets from California to the East Coast that will continue through 2012, starting with the debut program in Colorado in October.

The solar shingle is manufactured at Dow’s small-scale manufacturing facility in Midland, MI. The company has begun construction of a new, large-scale facility at its Midland site, which it said will create up to 1,275 jobs over the next four years.

The building-integrated PV product, which features CIGS thin film, is designed to be installed directly onto the roof deck along with standard asphalt roofing shingles when the house is being built or the roof replaced.

Dow said it has positioned the UL-backed Powerhouse product as a “complete solar solution,” which includes a custom-designed array that fits the homeowner’s goals and complements the home’s style; an inverter that converts the DC into AC and a monitoring system delivering real-time readouts showing how much energy the system is creating and how much the home is using.  

Dow will be partnering with national homebuilders, developers and professional roofing contractors to bring the solar shingles to US homeowners through two service models: Powerhouse solar communities, in which Dow will provide a full turnkey service to production homebuilders, utilities, and developers to create more such communities and Powerhouse rooftops, in which the company will address the re-roof and custom home market through an authorized dealer network comprised of professional roofing contractors.

Leading construction firm D.R. Horton and its Colorado division has signed a deal with Dow to be the first national homebuilder to offer the BIPV shingles on their new homes. The materials company said that it will issue more details about this and other market-specific launches later this month.

Approximately a dozen states have been targeted for introduction of the Powerhouse product by the end of 2012, chosen because they have the best financial and public receptivity “solar landscape.” Dow said it will ramp up in each market as product quantities increase, and authorized dealer networks are put in place.

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