SolarWorld Sponsors World-Class Big-Wave Surfer Kohl Christensen on Eve of Paddle-in Surf Circuit
SolarWorld has sponsored Hawaiian big-wave surfer Kohl Christensen, a SolarWorld authorized installer, in time for the Big Wave Surf Tour, an all-paddle-in series of four contests ranging from Chile to Oregon that effectively opens after a pair of big-wave awards events this weekend.
SolarWorld, America's largest solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, has operated in Hawaii for 30 years, beginning with a state-federal demonstration project of grid-connected residential systems on Oahu and Molokai in 1980. SolarWorld's solar panels have shown extraordinary reliability in the tropical island state.
The company sponsored Christensen to showcase one of the many passionate and interesting members of its authorized installer network as well as to establish him as an ambassador for its solar mission. In the solar industry, Christensen, 34, is the Hawaii-based installation partner of Bonterra Renewable Energy Solar Power; in the sport of surfing, he is a well-established athlete who pursues big waves at beaches all over the globe.
Within the weeks after a pair of awards events closing out the 2010-2011 season Friday in Anaheim, Calif., and Saturday in San Clemente, Calif., the Big Wave World Tour is expected to start in Punta de Lobos, Chile. Other tour stops include Pico Alto, Peru; Todos Santos, Mexico; and Nelscott Reef, Oregon. All events require surfers to paddle, rather than being towed, into their rides. In 2010, Christensen finished first in Nelscott and second overall.
In championing the sustainable power of solar, Christensen views the world as an islander with limited resources. "It's important that we wean ourselves off of petroleum and become more independent, especially on islands," Christensen said. "But in reality, we're all on an island. I plan to show people how to use the sun and solar power."
Christensen, who grew up on the island of Oahu, lives off the grid on a three-acre property in a northwestern valley of the island, where he is establishing a fruit and vegetable farm featuring avocado, papaya and lime trees. His home uses solar electric power, solar hot water technology, and solar-powered water pumping for a well.
"Kohl's drive to bring solar technology to electricity consumers one roof at a time and awe his many fans from one beach to the next will make him a compelling ambassador for solar and SolarWorld," said Rusty Pittman, U.S. head of marketing for SolarWorld. "We know he will show the way to a sunnier future wherever he surfs."
SolarWorld is a worldwide leader in offering brand-name, high-quality, crystalline solar-power technology. Its strength is its fully integrated solar production. From silicon as the raw material through wafers, cells and modules all the way to turn-key solar systems of all sizes, the group combines all stages of the solar value chain. The central business activity is selling quality modules into the installation and distribution trades and crystalline wafers to the international solar cell industry. Group headquarters are located in Bonn, Germany. The group's largest production facilities operate in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro in the U.S. state of Oregon. Sustainability is the basis of the group strategy. Under the name Solar2World, the group supports care projects using off-grid solar-power solutions in developing countries, exemplifying sustainable economic development. Worldwide, SolarWorld employs more than 3,600 people. SolarWorld AG has been quoted on the stock exchange since 1999 and today is listed on, among others, the TecDAX and íkoDAX as well as in the sustainability index NAI.