Solar module testing laboratory to open in New Mexico

The new facility is set to start operations late this year and will test products for certification to North American and International PV-Test Standards. It will be located within the Mesa del Sol development of Albuquerque, close to the airport, Sandia National Labs, the University of New Mexico, and other major players in the photovoltaics (PV) supply chain.

Furthermore, Fraunhofer CSE and Fraunhofer ISE have announced that they will operate a research and development (R&D) facility at Mesa del Sol, focusing on long-term reliability, decreased cost and increased performance of PV modules.

"The decision to place this new solar testing facility in New Mexico puts us in the epicenter of the PV installation market in the U.S." said Randall W. Luecke, president of CSA International. "The conditions, from a business and testing perspective, made choosing Albuquerque a strategically smart move that will allow for market growth and excellent outdoor test conditions."

Governor Bill Richardson added: "As we build a thriving solar industry in New Mexico, it is important that we attract all aspects of the industry. That is why I am pleased to announce the establishment of the CFV Solar Test Laboratory and the Fraunhofer R&D facility. Today’s announcement shows that our renewable energy policies and pro-business attitude continue to draw international interest and investment."

"The decision to locate this unique solar testing lab in Albuquerque offers further evidence that New Mexico is fast becoming the West’s clean energy manufacturing hub. I’d like to be among the first to welcome Fraunhofer to our state. I am confident that our weather and our workforce will serve you very well," concluded Mr. Bingaman, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

CFV Solar Test Laboratory, a PV certification test company, is jointly owned by CSA Group, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, the Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE, and VDE Testing and Certification Institute.