Dow debuts POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles in Colorado

Dow debuts POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles in ColoradoDow Solar, a division of the Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) introduced its POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles on Oct. 13 at the Spring Mesa community, being developed by D.R. Horton in Arvada, Colo. It’s the first market introduction for the company’s flexible Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS) photovoltaics designed to look like conventional roof tiles.

“We think that with this product we’re really reinventing the roof,” said Dow Solar Marketing Director Dan Pezolt. “We’ve invented a product that is both a roofing material and a solar energy producer.”

The news comes on the eve of Solar Power International, which starts next week in Dallas. But that didn’t drive the announcement, according to Pezolt.

“It was driven by our readiness and D.R. Horton’s readiness to move into the market, rather than a solar industry event,” Pezolt said.

D.R. Horton will install 3 kilowatt arrays of photovoltaic rooftop shingles as a standard feature on 50 of the homes being built in the Mesa Springs community, according to a Dow press release. The company launched the product at the Spring Mesa community at an event attended by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).

"We are excited that Dow has chosen D.R. Horton's Spring Mesa community to launch its POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle technology," Scott Davis, division president of D.R. Horton in Colorado, said in a press release. "We believe the addition of solar technology will attract new homebuyers to Spring Mesa.”

The company will roll the product out through a combination of community developments like Spring Mesa and with roofing companies.

“The early on focus is going to be with homebuilders and a network of roofing contractors to support new building and re-roofing application,” Pezolt said.

The shingles will, of course, cost more than conventional asphalt roof shingles, but Pezolt could not say by how much.

“There’s an upfront investment made to incorporate solar; when you install asphalt shingles, they depreciate from the day you install them. Versus when you install POWERHOUSE you now have an energy-producing device,” he said. “Over the life of the roof it will cost less than the comparable non-solar roof.”

Colorado is the first state to offer Dow's Solar Shingle because the state provides its financial incentives and its “market receptivity” to solar, Dow said. It will soon roll out availability in other markets.

“We have another dozen markets that are certainly on our radar,” Pezolt said.

Some decisions are still pending.

“But it’s safe to say [they’ll be] in California and Texas in coming months,” he said.

Then it’s likely the product will be introduced in the northeast and into the sunbelt states, according to Pezolt.

Image courtesy of Dow.