August 08, 2011 09:00 ET

Sharp® Solar Powers Duke Energy Convention Center With 101kW Array, Reducing Energy Costs and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

More Than 400 Sharp Modules Complete the Largest Solar Installation in Downtown Cincinnati

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 8, 2011) - Sharp Electronics Corporation's Solar Energy Solutions Group, and its customer, Third Sun Solar, completed the largest downtown Cincinnati solar project to date -- a 101kW installation powering the Duke Energy Convention Center (DECC). The project is part of an aggressive conservation strategy by both the City of Cincinnati and the venue designed to make the 750,000 square-foot convention center a more attractive destination for environmentally conscious groups. The project was completed in time to power GovEnergy 2011, August 7-10 at the DECC.

The DECC, managed by Global Spectrum, was chosen by the City for its spacious rooftop to collect ample sunlight. A total of 324 220-watt Sharp ND-224UC1 and 105 235-watt Sharp NU-U240fl modules were combined with 42kW Sunny Tower inverters in a 429-panel array. The Sharp modules are popular for commercial applications such as the DECC because of their balance of size and weight to power and performance, as well as their 25-year warranty.

"The City of Cincinnati and Duke Energy Convention Center should be commended for their aggressive pursuit of clean energy with a clear understanding of the long-term economic and environmental benefits," said Eric Hafter, senior vice president, Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group. "With nearly 50 years of experience in solar, we offer clients like Third Sun and the DECC peace of mind. Sharp stands behind our product and ensures our clients maximize their return on investment."

The installation is ideally positioned to receive 1,000 hours of sunlight annually, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 57.9 metric tons and save about $10,000 in annual utility costs. The installation is scalable and will enable future expansion.

As with all municipal energy projects, local and federal support were critical, including funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). To receive ARRA funding, the solar modules had to be domestically manufactured -- a requirement satisfied by Sharp's Memphis, Tenn. production facility, which has been in operation since 2003 and has been expanded several times since opening. The energy services company Ameresco oversaw the project and worked collaboratively with all parties to bring the project to fruition.

"We look at a number of factors when we select solar modules for a project, including technical specifications, where modules are produced and the brand that stands behind them," said Gerald Kelley, communications director, Third Sun Solar. "Since Sharp's manufacturing facilities are right here in the United States, our clients were able to take advantage of federal funding, and we were able to work with a 'bankable' company that stands behind its product."

Third Sun Solar completed the installation of Sharp solar panels in an array area of 11,500 sq. ft. and a solar panel surface area of 7,500 sq. ft. despite unique challenges of this space. The DECC is booked year-round for events. At three stories tall, roof access is limited to a freight elevator and crane. The installation was further complicated by the start of the baseball season (the Cincinnati Reds play at the nearby Great American Ballpark). Third Sun Solar worked collaboratively with the facility management and City of Cincinnati to overcome these challenges and the process took just three weeks to completely power up.

"The Duke Energy Convention Center solar project is just the tip of the iceberg for our center's efforts with green initiatives," said DECC General Manager Ric Booth. "Our hope is to use this project to enhance our facility to national planners and to help 'grow' the solar panel site to double or triple the amount of panels in place on the roof of the center."

Deck Monitoring has provided a tracker that allows viewers to see the progress of the solar panel array in real time. To learn more about the energy that the Sharp solar modules are generating visit

Sharp Electronics Corporation is the U.S. subsidiary of Japan's Sharp Corporation, a worldwide developer of one-of-a-kind home entertainment products, appliances, networked multifunctional office solutions, solar energy solutions, LED lighting and mobile communication and information tools. Leading brands include AQUOS® Quattron™ LCD televisions and 3DTVs, SharpVision® projectors, Insight® Microwave Drawer® ovens, Notevision® multimedia projectors and Plasmacluster® air purifiers. For more information visit Sharp Electronics Corporation at Find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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Contact Information


    Kevin Oates
    Phone: 310-295-3320
    E-mail: Email Contact

    Ellin Everson
    Sharp Electronics Corporation
    Phone: 201-529-8630
    E-mail: Email Contact