A meeting of environmental minds took place in Pittsburgh last week to discuss the global green transition. Our Sarcos team was there to demonstrate our O-AMPP (Outdoor Autonomous Manipulation of Photovoltaic Panels) solar field construction system.
The Global Clean Energy Action Forum (GCEAF) took place at Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center from September 21-23. Around 4,000 people attended from 12 critical technology sectors, including biofuels, offshore wind, and electric vehicles.
Local figures, including the City of Pittsburgh’s Mayor Ed Gainey, U.S. Representative Conor Lamb, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, joined energy and science ministers from more than 30 countries, along with business leaders and experts from around the world. High-profile figures like Breakthrough Energy founder Bill Gates took part in one of the many main stage events and roundtable discussions. The U.S. Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, chaired the inaugural event and stopped by the demo site to chat with our team.
The Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO)— which Secretary Granholm oversees— funds the O-AMPP system we demonstrated at the forum. Thousands of attendees who entered the Convention Center witnessed the Sapien 6M arm autonomously support the transfer of photovoltaic (PV) modules designed to expedite the process for solar field construction.
SETO’s Solar Futures Study found that solar must account for 40 percent of the nation’s electricity to reach the Biden Administration’s goal of achieving a carbon-free electric grid by 2035. This effort will require up to 1.5 million solar workers. However, there are currently about 200,000 solar jobs workers nationwide, which has been declining since 2016.
As the labor gap grows, so does the weight of the modules: the latest generation exceeds 35 – 40 kg (77 – 88 lb.) each. The O-AMPP system technology is designed to decrease worker injuries, such as repetitive stress injuries caused by lifting heavy panels. It could also help to supplement the widespread labor shortage and high turnover that the industry is experiencing.
The forum ended with Sec. Granholm announcing the international goal of $90 billion to fund clean energy technology demonstrations had been surpassed. A dozen countries came together and committed $94 billion to meet global climate goals four years earlier than planned.
Are you interested in learning more about our solution for solar field construction? Check out our “Future of Solar Field Construction” whitepaper and contact us today to discuss how Sarcos robotics can help your industry.