Gov. Patrick (center) and (from left to right) Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Innovation and Industry Support Senior Director Jeremy McDiarmid, SolarOne’s Founder and CEO Moneer Azzam, Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Alicia Barton, and visit a SolarOne solar-powered streetlight installation on a road in Masdar City.
Governor Deval Patrick, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton and Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia yesterday visited the installation of a Massachusetts company’s solar-powered streetlights on a road in Masdar City to promote the Commonwealth’s growing clean energy sector as part of a trade mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) led by Governor Patrick.
“Massachusetts companies are seeing their products succeed in the global marketplace, while creating jobs and economic opportunity here at home,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton. “It’s exciting to see the signs of Massachusetts innovation halfway around the world.”
In 2009, SolarOne provided 306 solar-powered streetlights for parking lot and roadway lighting at Masdar City following a field test with competitors from all over the world. SolarOne’s streetlights were able to withstand a severe sandstorm and multiple cloudy days, setting them apart from the competition.
“We’re proud that the Massachusetts clean energy marketplace is vibrant and serves as a test bed for innovators who are bringing their technologies abroad,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia.
In May, SolarOne was awarded an $89,000 grant, with a $58,000 match, under MassCEC’s InnovateMass program, for a partnership with the City of Somerville and CIMCON Software to demonstrate the company’s networked, off-the-grid solar-powered lighting for pedestrian and bicycle paths in Somerville.
“Massachusetts and the UAE are leading hubs of sustainable technology innovation,” said Moneer Azzam, founder and CEO of SolarOne. “This experience and idea exchange will deliver payback with new economic engines, regional job growth and exciting new tools to address the planet’s energy and climate-change challenges. SolarOne is proud to exemplify this and thrilled to participate in this cooperation.”
The visit came as the group traveled to Masdar City, an urban development, 35 minutes southeast of Abu Dhabi that is heralded as a blueprint for the future of sustainable communities. In 2008, Masdar City broke ground and embarked on a journey to develop the world’s most sustainable eco-city, focusing on use of clean energy, electric vehicles and energy efficiency to reduce the city’s carbon footprint. The city is hub of innovation, and includes the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level established with the ongoing support and cooperation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The Massachusetts – UAE Innovation Partnership Mission is a mission to strengthen the state’s partnership with the UAE and expand business opportunities between the two countries in the clean-tech innovation, life sciences and academic sectors.