NEWARK, Del., Feb. 19, 2002 — AstroPower, Inc. announced today that Atersa (Aplicaciones Tecnicas de la Energia, S.A.), an AstroPower company based in Valencia, Spain, has been selected by the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) to participate in a rural power project in Maranhao, Brazil.
Atersa, a Spanish photovoltaic supplier recently acquired by AstroPower, will supply packaged solar electric power systems to 582 schools that do not have access to the conventional power grid. Atersa will also train the local technicians who will install the equipment.
Atersa’s solar electric power systems will provide lighting for each of the schools as well as power for critical loads such as refrigerators, radios, and televisions. Each system will include all necessary components for seamless installation and operation, including a number of 120-watt modules, an inverter, batteries, mounting hardware, and DC fluorescent lighting. Atersa plans to ship the systems during the first half of 2002.
Valued at approximately $3 million, the project is part of the National Program for Energy Development of States and Municipalities (PRODEEM) in Brazil. An MME rural electrification program, PRODEEM is designed to promote the use of renewable energy in villages not connected to the utility grid. The program was established in 1999 to bring electricity to the 20 million residents who do not have access to utility power in Brazil.
“This project is of great importance to Atersa, as it will increase our visibility in Brazil as well as Latin America,” said Fernando Monera, President of Atersa. “More importantly, however, the project will enable us to take an active role in improving the quality of life in rural villages. By bringing power to these 582 schools, the Brazilian government will provide children with a better education and increased opportunity. Atersa is extremely proud to be a part of such a vital initiative.”
“Atersa’s expertise in serving rural electrification markets is a key component of our long-term growth strategy,” said Dr. Allen Barnett, President and CEO of AstroPower. “The PRODEEM project award is an early example of our ability to successfully execute on this strategy.”