Lucie Stern Community Center
1305 Middlefield Rd
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Friday, April 18, 2014
"PV60 History Becomng the Future" Palo Alto Highlights
On April 26, 1954, the New York Times stated on its front page that the invention of the Bell Laboratories silicon solar cell marked
“the beginning of a new era eventually leading to the realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams – the harnessing of the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization.”
What better place to launch the 60th anniversary celebration of this breakthrough and its subsequent progress than the City of Palo Alto? Not only is Palo Alto in the heart of Silicon Valley, but it recently became one of the first cities to procure the equivalent of 100% of its community's power needs with solar and other renewables using direct power purchase contracts and renewable energy credits (RECs). By 2017, the city utility plans to be contracted solely with renewable electricity generators. In Palo Alto, history truly is becoming the future!
Tribute to Original Solar Pioneers
This landmark evening will also be a rare opportunity to pay tribute to the scientists who started the solar industry 60 years ago.
Among the original solar pioneers joining us on April 18 will be Dr. Mort Prince, the last living participant in the Bell Laboratories solar PV breakthrough and builder of the original 1954 demonstration arrays. Dr. Prince went on to head the manufacturing of the solar cells used in the groundbreaking Vanguard space satellite in the 1950's and later oversaw the United States photovoltaics program started under President Carter.
Also confirmed is Eugene Ralph, who designed the Vanguard solar array, which marked the first use of practical commercial solar cells, and which in turn kicked off the solar industry. Mr. Ralph was a founding member of Spectrolab, which continues to be a leading manufacturer of space based and concentrated photovoltaics.
60 Years of Solar's Archival Treasures
Attendees will get to view a display of never before publicly exhibited archival materials from the dawn of the modern solar era, including samples of original Bell Laboratory modules, formerly classified documents that reveal the story of solar’s challenges and successes, and an extensive collection of vintage photographs, films, and other artifacts.
Solar energy historian and author John Perlin, who has helped design exhibits for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, California Energy Commission, and others, will collaborate on this display and provide expert commentary based on his latest book Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy.