Solar begets solar at Amonix factory

Amonix's Gold-LEED-certified manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas is running on 100 percent solar energy to make concentrated solar cells.

Candace Lombardi
In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.
Candace Lombardi
2 min read

Talk about walking the walk when it comes to solar energy.

Concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) manufacturer Amonix has built a factory and office space that uses solar panels as the sole power source, the company announced Wednesday.

The 214,000 square-foot facility uses eight of the company's MegaModule CPV solar systems, to serve the entire power need for the production plant and some connected office space. The system supplies "100 percent of the North Las Vegas facility's energy needs," according to Amonix.

Of course, it should be noted that this plant is located in Nevada, an area of the country known for its abundant sunshine. Amonix itself has been straightforward in saying that dry and sunny climates are the best type of region to benefit from its technology.

At Amonix, solar manufacturing is solar-powered (photos)

See all photos

"Technically, this means regions where the solar radiation averages 6 kilowatt-hours per square meter per day (6 kWh/m2/day) or more," Amonix notes on its product Web site.

The Nevada facility also incorporated a plumbing system that promises a 40-percent decrease in water usage compared to conventional systems, another important factor in a region of the U.S. plagued by droughts and water issues.

Amonix makes utility-scale solar systems and may be most noted for being the supplier to what will become one of the largest concentrated solar farms in the world, the 30-megawatt San Luis Valley solar farm in Colorado. The start-up is also known for having venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, as well as Goldman Sachs as one of its key investors.

The solar system and other finishes touches for the Nevada facility were installed in October, with a slew of photos documenting the installation process on the company's blog and online photo stream.

As you can see from our gallery above, these are industrial-size solar systems, and not something one would put on their home roof.