The business recently relocated to Camas from Southern California.
Eric Hafter, a Sharp senior vice president who heads the company’s Solar Energy Solutions Group, said from the conference that the solar industry’s boom is reflected in the rise in attendance at the annual event. About 50,000 people are attending this year’s conference, which ends Thursday, and about 1,200 companies are represented, he said. The first Solar Power International Conference held 11 years ago attracted just 40 participating companies, he said.
Hafter, an industry veteran hired by Sharp Solar about a year ago, has attended the conference for eight years.
Sharp rolled out two products at this year’s show. One that Hafter says will become Sharp’s flagship residential appliance is called SunSnap AC Solution. The company says the system, to be available at retail outlets next year for as low as $1,000, is much easier to install than conventional solar energy modules and can be easily scaled to a size that fits a homeowner’s budget.
Sharp also said it would produce thin film panels using a glass-on-glass design suitable for hot climates. The thin-film technology offers the potential for greater savings and reduced installation time and expense.