Fully Integrated Solar System Awarded for Moving Industry Toward True Plug-and-Play Solar Power

In a ceremony today at the Hearst Tower, Akeena Solar’s (Nasdaq:AKNS) Andalay AC solar panel system was named a winner of a Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Product Award, which showcases world-changing innovations and the passionate, smart creators behind them. Akeena Solar CEO Barry Cinnamon received the award from Popular Mechanics Editor in Chief James B. Meigs in front of an audience comprised of industry-leading innovators and inventors, and was recognized for the development of a grid-ready, highly reliable solar system.

“Andalay AC’s reliable performance and installation simplicity are a giant step forward for the solar industry,” said Akeena Solar CEO Barry Cinnamon. “And we’re thrilled to be recognized by Popular Mechanics with the other 2009 game-changing technologies. For years, we’ve been designing solar panels that immediately cut electricity costs, deliver dependable solar power and easier to install. Andalay AC solar panels are the culmination of our efforts. Now, both experienced installers and even do-it-yourselfers can install a high performance rooftop solar power system safely and easily.”

The Andalay AC solar panel system was one of 10 products honored at the fifth annual Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award ceremony, and the only solar product recognized by the magazine. Popular Mechanics editors singled out the Andalay AC solar system for its incorporation of micro-inverters, noting it provided the foundation to develop grid-ready solar panels and marked a major shift within the solar industry toward true plug-and-play solar power.

The award win marked a major recognition for the newest offering in Akeena Solar’s award-winning Andalay product suite. Unveiled in February 2009 by Akeena Solar, one of the nation’s largest solar installer and distributors, Andalay AC is the first fully integrated solar power system on the market.

Andalay AC solar panels build on Akeena’s proprietary Andalay technology, which integrates the racking, wiring and electrical grounding components into the panels themselves. Andalay AC safeguards against performance-threatening breakdowns and boosts system reliability, immediately reducing electrical bills and delivering thousands of dollars in savings throughout its 30 year lifetime. Since Andalay AC solar panels produce safe household AC power, these panels enable a safer and easier installation process for solar installers, trades workers and knowledgeable do-it-yourselfers by reducing the parts count by 80 percent and eliminating complicated and dangerous DC wiring. They are ideally suited for building a green workforce, especially for individuals who are unfamiliar with the complicated racking and high-voltage DC power systems found with ordinary solar systems.

A complete report of the Breakthrough Awards will be published in the November issue of Popular Mechanics, and Andalay AC will be showcased at the upcoming Solar Power International Conference, held in Anaheim from October 27 to October 29 (Andalay Solar, Booth #1800).

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