Lockheed Martin Corp. will begin construction of a solar test center, which will be located at its Moorestown, New Jersey facility. Philly.com reports that the company has said the Solar System Test and Engineering System (SolSTES) Array test center will give the Lockheed engineers a chance to research different solar technologies and materials.
“This will allow us to test and model different ways to produce solar arrays and allow us to do risk reduction,” Ken Ross, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin, said yesterday. “So when we do get our first contract to construct one of these utility-scale solar-generation facilities, we will have the best-of-breed technology ready to go.”
Phill.com also noted that Ross acknowledged that Lockheed employs 5,600 people in South Jersey, including 5,000 in Moorestown, and agreed in November 2007 on a joint venture with Starwood Energy Group Global LLC to enter into the solar-energy market. The JV will concentrate on solar projects in California and the Southwest after researching marketing assessments.
“Given our nation’s need to engender energy independence, reduce greenhouse gases, and create new careers, the utility-scale solar-generation projects we are working on with Lockheed Martin are of critical importance,” stated Madison Grose, Vice Chairman of Starwood Energy.
The companies are calculating on around 10,000MW of solar power to come on line within the next decade with an anticipated cost-per-watt of generating capacity at $3.
“It’s definitely a growing movement,” Ross said. He continued by saying, “Solar has historically been more expensive, but now, it’s much more cost neutral with fossil fuel.”