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Solar Industry Goes Mainstream: Revolutionary PV Module Rating System Empowers Solar Professionals

Solar Industry Goes Mainstream: Revolutionary PV Module Rating System Empowers Solar Professionals

The Principal Solar Institute (PSI) has launched the PSI PV Module Rating, the industry’s first and only comprehensive, independent rating standard for comparing PV modules. The rating method is constructed without bias: PSI has no affiliation with any PV module manufacturer and no interest in promoting one over another.

The ratings are designed to allow large-scale solar consumers to make informed, intelligent comparisons and decisions when selecting PV modules. The PSI PV Module Rating is a comparative number that can be used with pricing information to provide power plant designers, buyers and financiers with a consistent basis for choosing the best PV module for a specific application.

Listen to the authors discuss this whitepaper during a live webinar recorded on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.   View Now »

Ken Allen

COO, Principal Solar

Kenneth G. Allen brings a wealth of knowledge to Principal Solar from his experience as team leader in Administration and Engineering at Texas Utilities, at Texas Independent Energy and from Principal Solar Inc. Kenneth spent 30 years as a manager at TXU Energy, one of the nation’s largest electricity generation companies.  During that term, Kenneth oversaw construction of several gigawatts of generation.  After leaving TXU, Kenneth joined Texas Independent Energy, an entrepreneurial startup, where he spent nine years managing gas-fired facilities and selling electricity to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Following this experience Kenneth joined Principal Solar Inc. as the Chief Operating Officer. He developed a conceptual design for a 1 gigawatt PV Solar Power Plant and later performed the research and development to acquire data and assisted with implementing a PV Module Rating System for the solar industry.

Kenneth draws on his experience chairing Safety Committee upgrades and ensuring compliance with government and state regulatory agencies; developing a safety handbook; and implementing protection measures to meet regulatory requirements. Additionally, Kenneth is an experienced director of accounting and administrative review teams to streamline procedures, accounting, policies and procedures, and methods of purchasing and distributing materials.  Kenneth earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University

Rick Borry

CTO, Principal Solar

Rick Borry joined Principal Solar as CTO in May 2011 with their acquisition of Capstone Solar Conferences and subsequent re-branding as the Principal Solar Institute. In addition to his role at Principal Solar, Dr. Borry serves as an advisor for Solar Logic at the University of North Texas in Denton.

Dr. Borry is a co-founder of Capstone Solar, where he produced a series of online conferences around the needs of solar professionals.  While at Capstone Solar, Rick founded Webvent.tv, which is credited as the first platform to build communities around online conferences. Most recently, Rick was the Chief Software Architect for Certain Software beginning with their acquisition of his online event registration startup, Register123.com. At various stages during that tenure, Rick worked in every department while the company grew to over 150 employees around the world.

Rick earned his Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and his B.S. from Clemson University. Rick has worked as a research associate for Dupont in Delaware and an environmental engineer for Hoechst Celanese in South Carolina.

Dan Bedell

Executive Vice President – Marketing & Corporate Development, Principal Solar

Following a lifelong interest in renewable energy, Dan Bedell co-founded Capstone Solar, a think tank for solar professionals to exchange ideas on policy and technology and a platform for peer to peer branding, micro-networking and interactive solar webinars.

Dan previously worked on mergers and acquisitions in the global materials industry, integrating newly acquired businesses into a standard corporate footprint at Lehigh Hanson, Inc. Prior to that, Dan was COO and Director of Business Development for a Dallas-area construction company that was an early entrant into the “green” building market and the rooftop solar installation market. In that capacity, he was an advocate and evangelist for distributed solar generation in the state of Texas. He now brings that same passion for the inevitable mainstream adoption of solar power to Principal Solar.

Dan holds his B.B.A. in Economics from the University of North Texas where he graduated cum laude and spent a semester studying international finance in the UK. 

Kirk Blankenship

Institute Development, Principal Solar Institute

Kirk has over 25 years’ experience in planning, developing and leading a variety of company-wide initiatives to provide strategic and tactical direction for improved growth and profitability. He has consulted with small to multi-national Fortune 500 companies in the areas of Customer Experience, Marketing Planning and Performance, Market Research, Operations Analysis, and Operations Excellence.

Kirk spent more than 11 years at Synovate, Inc., as a vice-president in the Restaurant and Retail Practice where he guided large-scale ongoing customer experience programs.  Prior to that he designed, developed and managed a comprehensive Patient Satisfaction Measurement Program for the Kaiser Permanente Southwest Division. He also has over ten years of experience in various management areas of the airline industry, having worked for American Airlines in Network Planning, Marketing, and Operations Analysis. 

Kirk has an MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and a BA from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Matthew A Thompson

Executive Director, Principal Solar Institute

Matthew Thompson is a scientist with 23 years experience in semiconductor process development and yield enhancement at Motorola and at Freescale Semiconductor.

At Motorola’s Advanced Process Development Laboratory, he developed vertical gate oxidation processes and equipment. In a collaborative research and development project that included Motorola and IBM, he designed Synchrotron x-ray optics for deep submicron lithography, and supported x-ray mask design. The project culminated with a successful fabrication of fully functional memory chips using x-ray lithography. In another industry research project, Matthew worked with Motorola and Lucent Technologies to develop 200 mm mask manufacturing processes for a novel projection electron beam lithography technique. In addition to these advanced lithography research projects, he developed computer algorithms for Complimentary Phase Shift Masks, leading to volume manufacture of products with 50 nm gates using 248 nm imaging tools. At Freescale Semiconductor, he worked to improve profitability and performance by development and deployment of Design for Manufacturability methodology.

Matthew earned a B.S. in Physics at Texas Tech University, and a Ph. D. in Physics at The University of Texas at Austin. He holds seven patents in areas such as electronic design processing, x-ray mirror design, and advanced e-beam lithography, optical photo mask design and microcircuit pre-failure detection.