NEXT Energy Technologies closed out 2022 with a milestone installation project, demonstrating what lies ahead in solar technology. Our solar-harvesting windows are now operating in full-fashion on the sunny south-facing exterior of the Patagonia headquarters in Ventura, CA.
The construction project brought 22 new solar-harvesting transparent windows to the outdoor outfitter’s southern California campus. For the first time, we have a live-action demonstration of a transparent facade-integrated solar energy solution. While businesses like Patagonia continue to move aggressively towards alleviating the strain we’ve put on the environment, we’re thrilled to see the outdoor outfitter be the first company to put our building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system to the test.
Breaking ground and building better
Our first step was to scout out an optimal, sun-exposed facade of the building — a spot that would work best for our clean construction solution. Ultimately, we decided on the south-facing facade of the Olive Building, which houses offices, an employee gym and a rock-climbing wall. Without compromising the building’s aesthetics, the windows now supply energy to dedicated device charging stations for Patagonia employees.
As we look ahead, we are setting sights on completing more projects like this, and in turn, holistically tackling the climate crisis. With the goal of applying this technology to more buildings, we project that our energy-harvesting photovoltaic solution could generate 1.9 million gigawatt hours of clean electricity, which equates to the amount of energy needed to power roughly 170 million U.S. homes for one year.. This effort is expected to cut almost 9 gigatons — 9 billion metric tons — of carbon dioxide emissions from being released into the atmosphere, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 2,377 coal-fired power plants.
Patagonia’s established efforts to reduce the collective company carbon footprint made the retailer the perfect candidate to test our energy-harvesting windows. Along with the same transparent aesthetics provided with traditional windows, the unseen energy storage functions began powering the employee device charging stations immediately after installment.
While Patagonia is the first to deploy NEXT’s solar-generating windows on a building, many other businesses are lined up and expected to follow suit. On the heels of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, businesses are monetarily incentivized to combat climate change. This is shining the spotlight on clean energy solutions.
Accelerating the landscape
While we celebrate the accomplishments of this milestone installation, we recognize the climate crisis isn’t centralized to one area of the world — it’s a collective responsibility. Over 40% of global energy use and attendant greenhouse gas emissions come from our built environment.
The innovative technology behind NEXT’s solar-harvesting windows are in demand all over the world. To optimize essential parts of a permanent building structure, architects, building owners, tenants and designers can harvest the sun's rays that pass through their windows every day for far better use.
As we keep charting a path forward, the demonstrations of this revolutionary technology help establish building-integrated photovoltaics as not only a viable solution, but a necessary one.