SoloPower, a San Jose, California-based manufacturer of high efficiency, lightweight and flexible thin-film solar cells and modules, announced today that General Wesley K. Clark (USA, Retired), former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and a former U.S. Presidential candidate, has joined SoloPower’s Board of Directors as an independent director. General Clark is providing the keynote address today at PV America 2012 West, where he will relate world events to the role of solar energy, energy scarcity and growing environmental challenges.
“SoloPower is thrilled to welcome General Clark to our Board of Directors. His insights, guidance and perspective will be a valuable addition to our company as we work to make solar energy a major power source for the world’s commercial and industrial buildings,” said Tim Harris, CEO, SoloPower. “As a global leader and alternative energy champion, General Clark is a perfect fit for our dedicated Board, which provides critical leadership, advice and support to the SoloPower team.”
“I look for energy solutions that help to address the energy and environmental challenges we face as a global community, which is what SoloPower’s lightweight, flexible PV panels do by maximizing efficiency while keeping total installed costs low,” said General Wesley Clark, Board Member, SoloPower. “With growth capital in place and strong demand from the United States, Japan, South Korea and Italy, among other countries, I hope to help support SoloPower’s continued global expansion.”
General Clark joins SoloPower’s Board following the recent announcement that SoloPower’s next generation panel achieved an aperture area efficiency of 13.4%, a record for flexible copper, indium, gallium and (di)selenide (“CIGS”) based modules. The company is also in the midst of constructing and hiring for its state-of-the-art, high-volume manufacturing facility in Portland, Oregon, which will begin commercial production later this year. SoloPower’s operations in Portland are ultimately expected to have a capacity of 400MW and to bring 450 jobs to the local community.
In 38 years of service in the United States Army, General Clark rose to the rank of four-star general as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. Since retiring from the military in 2000, he has worked as an investment banker, alternative energy leader, author, cable network television military analyst and businessman. In September 2003, he ran as a Democratic candidate for President of the United States, where his campaign won the state of Oklahoma. He returned to the private sector in February 2004.
General Clark has chaired several public and private companies and is a progressive leader in pursuing energy solutions. He graduated first in his class at West Point and completed degrees in Philosophy Politics and Economics at Oxford University (B.A. and M.A.) as a Rhodes Scholar. While serving in Vietnam, he commanded an infantry company in combat, where he was severely wounded and evacuated home on a stretcher. His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal (five awards), Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments and numerous awards from other governments, including the award of Commander of the Legion of Honor (France). He also serves as a member of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Energy & Climate Change Advisory Board and ACORE’s Advisory Board.