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Washington Gas Energy Systems and Cogenra Solar Complete Innovative Solar Project for Tucson Electric Power

10/29/2014

1MW Arizona solar array showcases record-setting Dense Cell Interconnect Technology™


TUCSON, Ariz. & MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of WGL (NYSE: WGL) today announced the completion of a one megawatt (MW) Cogenra Solar array that will produce renewable energy for Tucson Electric Power (TEP). The array at the Solar Zone, located at the University of Arizona's UA Tech Park, consists of ground-mounted Cogenra T14 systems using Cogenra's Dense Cell Interconnect (DCI) technology, which recently set three world records for peak power output. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held to celebrate the completion of the solar array, the final project in the first phase of the UA Tech Park Solar Zone.

"We are proud to be leading adopters of innovative technologies like Cogenra's, which bring immediate financial benefits to customers and make it easier to choose renewable energy," said Sanjiv Mahan, chief operating officer of Washington Gas Energy Systems. "The range of technology at the Solar Zone exemplifies the range of opportunity for organizations to reduce their environmental impact, and we will continue to invest in renewable energy assets that help businesses and organizations reduce their bottom lines."

The 1MW Solar Zone facility will be owned and operated by Washington Gas Energy Systems under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Tucson Electric Power (TEP). Two independent laboratories confirmed that Cogenra DCI technology set three world records for peak power output by boosting module power up to 15 percent compared to currently available modules. By eliminating the need for ribbons, solder-joints and inter-cell gaps, DCI technology efficiently connects cells on the module. DCI modules achieve a range of benefits, including increased power, better reliability and improved aesthetics, at a lower cost-per-watt. Cogenra recently received a prestigious $2M award from the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative to scale automated manufacturing lines for DCI in the United States.

"Tucson Electric Power and the University of Arizona continue to lead the way in bringing innovative solar technology to scale," said Dr. Gilad Almogy, chief executive officer and founder of Cogenra Solar. "Together we are achieving the highest module power ever recorded, applying Cogenra's DCI technology to the exact same PV cells used in the past. As we can apply this innovative approach to well-established PV supply chains, DCI is poised to transform the market economics of going solar."

The installation will produce 1,986 megawatt-hours of solar energy per year, enough to serve the electrical needs of about 180 homes in Tucson. The output will help TEP to meet or exceed the mandates of Arizona's Renewable Energy Standard, which requires electric utilities to increase their use of renewable energy, each year, until it accounts for 15 percent of their power in 2025. This project will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to recycling more than 704 tons of waste annually, instead of sending it to a landfill, or taking approximately 392 passenger cars off the road for one year.

"This system is an exciting opportunity for Tucson Electric Power to secure reliable clean electricity while working to meet the Arizona Renewable Energy Standard," said Carmine Tilghman, TEP's director of wholesale and renewable energy. "Providing cost-effective energy that is free of greenhouse gas emissions is a win-win for the utility and for our customers."

The UA Tech Park's Solar Zone is one of the largest multi-technology testing, evaluation and demonstration sites in the world. Phase 1.0 of the Solar Zone occupies 165 acres of land. With the completion of the Washington Gas Energy Systems project, the Solar Zone now generates 23 megawatts of power.

Washington Gas Energy Systems celebrated the completion of another solar array on Monday, October 27, with a ribbon cutting event in Sacramento, Calif. The 1.5 MW system, completed in partnership with Conergy, is located at Sutter's Landing Park and will generate power for use by the City.

About Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc.

Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc., an affiliate of Washington Gas Light Company and a subsidiary of WGL Holdings (NYSE: WGL), design-builds and owns custom energy solutions that deliver financial, operational and carbon reduction results for customers across the United States. Washington Gas Energy Systems is focused on energy efficiency projects and distributed generation assets including solar and fuel cells. For more information on how Washington Gas Energy Systems can make solar power a reality for you, call 703-333-3900. For further information about Washington Gas Energy Systems, please visit www.wgesystems.com

About Cogenra Solar

Cogenra Solar is a manufacturer of innovative, low cost and high reliability PV panel and systems. Cogenra's proprietary technology is field proven in over forty installations worldwide. Originally developed to maximize the performance, output and reliability of the T14 low concentration PV system, the breakthrough DCI technology has gone through extensive internal and third-party testing to prove its superior reliability and performance. Cogenra is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For further information visit www.cogenra.com.

About Tucson Electric Power

Tucson Electric Power provides safe, reliable electric service to approximately 408,000 customers in southern Arizona. TEP was recognized this year as a leader in the development of solar energy when it was included in two Solar Electric Power Association's (SEPA's) "top 10" lists including of utilities that have added the most new solar power to their renewable energy portfolio, and the most solar on a watts-per-customer basis in 2012. In September, Valley Forward — an association of Arizona business, civic, academic and nonprofit organizations — presented Tucson Electric Power (TEP) with an environmental stewardship award for the company's leadership and continued investment in solar energy at the UA Tech Park. TEP currently has more than 150 megawatts (MW) of solar generating capacity, enough to meet the annual electric needs of more than 30,000 Tucson homes. To learn more, visit tep.com. For more information about TEP's parent company, UNS Energy (NYSE: UNS), visit uns.com.

About Tech Parks Arizona, UA Tech Park & Solar Zone

Tech Parks Arizona creates the interactive ground that generates, attracts and retains technology companies and talent in alignment with the research, mission and goals of the University of Arizona. Tech Parks Arizona directs the UA Tech Park, the UA Tech Park - The Bridges and the Arizona Center for Innovation, placing the highest priority on recruiting companies desiring connectivity to the UA. The UA Tech Park contributes $2.4 billion annually to Pima County's economy. It is one of the region's largest employment centers hosting approximately 45 businesses and organizations that employ nearly 6,500 people and has been nationally recognized as one of the premier university research parks in North America. The Solar Zone at the UA Tech Park is one of the largest multiple tenant, multiple technology demonstration sites in the United States. At completion, the Solar Zone will accommodate all significant components of the solar energy continuum: generation and storage; manufacturing and assembly; research and development; workforce development; and education and public awareness. Tech Parks Arizona is part of Tech Launch Arizona, a University of Arizona initiative to create an ecosystem of invention, commercialization and impact.

Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc.
Lauren Belisle, 703-739-2424 x 111
lbelisle@brightlinestrategies.com