A new partnership between Silicon Energy and CrystaLite that was announced at the recent Living Future unConference in Seattle is bringing a new alternative to photovoltaic solar roof implementations and ground-mounted installations: the solar structure. PV-integrated structures provide home and business owners with extensive flexibility in the design and implementation of solar power when a solar roof is not cost effective or to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing integration of solar panels with structural design of patio and deck coverings, carport coverings, and picnic shelters.


“A paradigm shift is needed in how we look at PV,” says Gary Shaver, President of Silicon Energy. “We need to think beyond the roof and fields and integrate PV even more into our local communities, bringing the beauty and benefits of distributed generation of PV into our built environment. The partnership between Silicon Energy and CrystaLite will provide the tools to do this with pre-engineered PV structure packages that combine beauty and functionality.”

Silicon Energy manufactures durable, double-glass PV modules and CrystaLite manufactures sunrooms, skylights, and railing systems. The partnership will facilitate the provisioning of customizable, pre-engineered structures with integrated PV solar panels that can be tied to the gird or backed with batteries. The solar modules have a 125 psf load rating, a Class-A fire safety rating, and are backed by Silicon Energy’s 30-year warranty.

Double glass solar panels allow for light to transmit through the solar module which features a mounting system that provides full enclosure and protection of system wiring. When configured on an open frame in a shingle-like manner, the mounting system can allow for shedding of snow, rain, debris, and dirt while optimizing solar energy production.

“This partnership raises the bar for PV installations, allowing PV to be more integral to the design, and architecturally pleasing,” said John Westerfield, Marketing Manager for CrystaLite. “Our approach makes it a viable option for residential and commercial integrated PV structures, building resilience into our environment with onsite, distributed self-generation of power. Our relationship with Silicon Energy brings new meaning to a community collaborative business model––both companies are located in Snohomish County, WA and are focused on delivering high quality, high durability structural solutions.”

Installations of PV-integrated structures from Silicon Energy and CrystaLite may qualify for a Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credit.