Innovation of the Year Winner Nanosolar Ships Its First Low-Cost Solar Panels

A solar plant covering a German landfill will receive the first order

After years of development, Nanosolar has announced today that they have shipped their first batch of inexpensive solar panels to the site of their first real-world deployment, a megawatt solar plant being built on the surface of a landfill in eastern Germany.

Nanosolar's innovative process for "printing" thin, inexpensive solar panels has attracted several high-profile investors, including Google's co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. By simplifying the manufacturing process and eliminating pricey silicon, many see the new process as the breakthrough needed to drive cheap solar power into the mainstream (many including we here at PopSci—the Powersheet received our "Innovation of the Year" award in this year's Best of What's New).

The first production panels to roll off the assembly line are getting special attention—one's being exhibited at Nanosolar HQ, another is heading for the Tech Museum in San Jose, and a third has been put up for auction on eBay. The current going rate for a piece of green tech history is $1,095—get your bids in now!

For much more information on the Powersheet, including an animated movie detailing exactly how it works, see its entry in our Best of What's New 2007 list. —John Mahoney

(Image Credit: Brian Klutch)