Sharp Solar launches first two products since Camas move
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Sharp's Eric Hafter says the move of its solar division to Camas has been beneficial. And he's hiring.
Sharp Electronics Corporation's Solar Energy Solutions Group announced two new products today — the company's first since relocating its solar division from California to Camas, Wash., earlier this year.
At the Solar Power International show in Dallas, Sharp rolled out news of its new thin film solar panel and a new solar appliance that will be sold through consumer electronics stores and be designed for easy installation.
Eric Hafter, who was hired as senior vice president for the solar group just over a year ago, called the later Sharp's "flagship residential product."
"It's easier to install than a dishwasher, " he said.
Hafter said making things easy is a goal of Sharp's when it comes to solar.
The division — which has been ranked in the top three U.S. manufacturers of thin-film solar panels in recent years — moved to Camas from Huntington Beach, Calif., with 35 jobs and is in the process of filling 20 more.
The Sharp campus in Camas hosts Sharp Labs of America, the company's research and development operation, along with the Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas, which makes a range of high-tech systems and devices.
"The move really allows us to have an effective collaboration with these other divisions," Hafter said. "It puts us all in one place."
Sharp has been in the solar business for 49 years. The company manufactures its panels in Memphis, while engineering of new products takes place in Camas.
Hafter said the focus of the division is trained this year on building out a range of services to go along with its solar products.
"Sharp is a $37 billlion company," Hafter said. "We can do a lot of amazing things to help solar contractors and solar developers to be successful."
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