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Solar-panel testing lab formally opens in Cortland

CORTLAND — The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Center for Evaluation of Clean Energy Technology (CECET) on Wednesday formally opened a new solar-panel testing laboratory in Cortland.

London–based Intertek Group plc (IKTSF), a global testing company that has operations in Cortland, created CECET and owns the lab, NYSERDA said in a news release.

The newly formed CECET entity is a university-industry partnership for accelerating clean-energy technology market commercialization.  NYSERDA is supporting the effort with a grant of $4.2 million.

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NYSERDA awarded CECET $1.7 million for the Cortland solar site, the authority said. It had previously awarded Intertek an additional $400,000 to help pay for the creation of CECET.

Intertek has four employees in the solar lab, “with job growth expected,” NYSERDA said.

CECET’s PV (short for photovoltaic) certification-testing lab provides both indoor and outdoor testing of solar panels. The lab tests such characteristics as generating capacity; performance over time; impacts of snow, extreme temperature and other adverse weather conditions; and other aspects of solar-generation performance.

As of now, the nearest solar-panel testing laboratories are located in the southeastern U.S. and California.

The New York location will allow scientists to test equipment performance during the extreme winter and summer conditions in the Northeast. The Cortland testing site is also seen as a “convenience” for solar-panel manufacturers based in the region, according to NYSERDA.

The use of certified photovoltaic equipment (such as solar panels) is a requirement of many state and federal incentive or similar programs.

“Through Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative, the State has seen a significant increase in the installation of solar power. By investing in CECET’s new solar panel testing laboratory, the State continues to demonstrate its commitment to the solar industry and its advancement of new technologies,” John Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA, said in the news release.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched the NY-Sun initiative to accelerate solar-power development in New York, NYSERDA said.

CECET is in the process of establishing its membership and will function as an organization that seeks to benefit manufacturers of clean-energy technology by providing access to testing equipment and expertise, according to a news release on the Intertek website.

 

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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