California-based SoloPower has announced that former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe Wesley Clark will be joining its board as an independent director. The retired four-star general has been involved in numerous roles since his retirement from the military in 2000, including investment banking, cable network military analysis and work as an author. In September 2003 he won the state of Oklahoma whilst running as a Democratic US Presidential candidate but returned to the public sector in 2004.

General Clark has philosophy and economics degrees from Oxford University. He also has numerous combat awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Silver Star, Purple Heart as well as an honorary knighthood from the British government. General Clark has chaired various public and private energy solution companies and is a current member of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Energy and Climate Change Advisory Board.

SoloPower’s new board member said, “I look for energy solutions that help to address the energy and environmental challenges we face as a global community, which is what SoloPower’s lightweight, flexible PV panels do by maximizing efficiency while keeping total installed costs low. With growth capital in place and strong demand from the United States, Japan, South Korea and Italy, among other countries, I hope to help support SoloPower’s continued global expansion.”

General Clark’s appointment follows the recent announcement from SoloPower that its next generation panel has achieved an aperture efficiency of 13.4% for flexible copper, indium, gallium and (di)selenide based modules. SoloPower is currently in the process of constructing a new high-volume manufacturing plant in Portland, Oregon that will begin commercial production later in 2012. The addition of this new facility is expected to bring the company’s capacity in Portland, Oregon to 400MW and create 450 new local jobs.