Albuquerque, NM Chosen as Site of New Solar Photovoltaic Test Laboratory

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CSA GROUP, VDE INSTITUTE, FRAUNHOFER CSE AND FRAUNHOFER ISE to open CFV Solar Test Laboratory and Fraunhofer R&D facility in late 2010 .


CFV Solar Test Laboratory, a PV certification test company jointly owned by CSA Group, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, the Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE, and VDE Testing and Certification Institute today announced that they will locate their new solar module testing laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

CFV Solar Test Laboratory will be located within the Mesa del Sol development of Albuquerque at 5600 University Blvd, SE, close to the airport, Sandia National Labs, the University of New Mexico, and other major players in the PV supply chain. The new facility will start operations in late 2010 and will test products for certification to North American and International PV-Test Standards.

“The decision to place this new solar testing facility in New Mexico puts us in the epicentre of the PV installation market in the U.S.” said Randall W. Luecke, President, CSA International. “The conditions, from a business and testing perspective, made choosing Albuquerque a strategically smart move that will allow for market growth and excellent outdoor test conditions.”

In addition to the CFV Solar Test Laboratory, Fraunhofer CSE and Fraunhofer ISE will operate a R&D facility at Mesa del Sol, focussing on long-term reliability, decreased cost and increased performance of PV modules.

CFV Solar Test Laboratory and Fraunhofer USA will create 30 – 40 highly qualified jobs in the PV industry, a key part of the emerging green economy. They will establish a state-of-the-art facility implementing the latest advances for PV performance and safety testing.

“As we build a thriving solar industry in New Mexico, it is important that we attract all aspects of the industry. That is why I am pleased to announce the establishment of the CFV Solar Test Laboratory and the Fraunhofer R & D facility,” Governor Bill Richardson said. “Today’s announcement shows that our renewable energy policies and pro-business attitude continue to draw international interest and investment.”

The new location was chosen by CFV Solar Test Laboratories after a thorough evaluation process. “The top officials of the State of New Mexico, Bernalillo County, and the City of Albuquerque are very committed to developing the solar industry in their region, and have given us the necessary support to make this project possible” says Nolan Browne, Managing Director of Fraunhofer CSE. “I also want to recognize the invaluable assistance we received from U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman and Albuquerque Economic Development, whose interest and support for the project have helped us make this decision.”

“The decision to locate this unique solar testing lab in Albuquerque offers further evidence that New Mexico is fast becoming the West’s clean energy manufacturing hub. I’d like to be among the first to welcome Fraunhofer to our state. I am confident that our weather and our workforce will serve you very well,” said Bingaman, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

About CSA Group

CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit membership association serving business, industry, government and consumers. CSA Group consists of three divisions: CSA Standards, a leading standards-based solutions organization, providing standards development, application products, training and advisory services; CSA International, which provides testing and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products; and OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product evaluation, inspection and advisory services for retailers and manufacturers. For more, visit

About The VDE Testing and Certification Institute

The VDE Testing and Certification Institute is an independent institution which is nationally and internationally accredited. Under the leadership of Wilfried Jager, Managing Director, the VDE Institute is responsible for testing and certifying the safety and performance of electronic devices, components and systems for the consumer and the general public using the highest standards of quality. Since 1920, the VDE mark stands for safety and quality in electro and communication technology. The independent test engineers put more than 100,000 electronic products per year to rigid tests before they assign the VDE mark. Worldwide the VDE-experts supervise more than 7,000 manufacturing plants. Cooperation agreements with more than 50 countries make sure that the inspections of the VDE Institute are internationally recognized. More than 200,000 product families and therefore more than a million of products worldwide carry VDE certification marks. The non-profit VDE Testing and Certification Institute in Offenbach employ about 450 staff members. In addition VDE has established a worldwide network, especially in Asia and, therefore, increased its staff by 300 persons, mostly for testing and inspection issues. For more, visit

About Fraunhofer ISE and Fraunhofer CSE

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the largest organization for applied research in Europe with 59 research institutes and 17,000 employees. Fraunhofer USA, Inc. is a non-profit applied research organization headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan with six research centers that collaborate with major universities throughout the U.S. ( ). Fraunhofer USA’s Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE, located in Cambridge, MA, is an applied research and development laboratory dedicated to the commercialization of clean energy technologies. CSE engages in contract research and development with private companies, government entities, and academic institutions. Current research focuses on PV module design and manufacturing and energy efficient building technologies.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, located in Freiburg, Germany is the largest solar energy research institute in Europe. The Institute is committed to promoting energy supply systems which are sustainable, economic, safe and socially just. ISE develops materials, components, systems and processes for seven different business areas: Energy-Efficient Buildings and Technical Building Components, Applied Optics and Functional Surfaces, Solar Thermal Technology, Silicon Photovoltaics, Alternative Photovoltaic Technology, Renewable Power Generation and Hydrogen Technology. ISE operates several testing centers for various solar technologies and in the building sector.

Source: CSA Group

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