Dow Chemical Unveils Solar Roof Shingles

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) -- Dow Chemical Co. on Monday introduced a solar roof shingle designed to be woven into a roofing system that uses standard asphalt shingles.

The Midland, Mich.-based chemical manufacturing giant said the shingles will be available in limited quantity by the middle of next year with plans for wider distribution in 2011.

The product has the potential to generate $5 billion in revenue by 2015 and $10 billion to $11 billion by 2020, said Jane Palmieri, managing director of Dow Solar Solutions.

The shingle incorporates a low-cost, thin-film photovoltaic cell device for capturing solar energy. Roofing contractors do not need specialized skills to install the product, she said.

The cost was estimated by Palmieri at $27,000 for an array of solar shingles to offset 60 percent of a home's power consumption.

The company received $20 million in 2007 from the Energy Department to develop building solar arrays for both residential and consumer use. The shingle is the first product introduced from Dow's solar unit.

Shares of Dow rose $1, or 4.2 percent, to $24.63 in afternoon trading.

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