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solar-shinglesDow Solar, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Co., began selling photovoltaic shingles in Hawaii this month.

Honolulu-based GreenPath Technologies, a renewable energy company, is marketing the solar shingles made by Dow Solar of Midland, Mich.

The Dow shingles are made to blend in with roofing materials instead of sit on racks above the roof.

According to Dow Solar and GreenPath, the companies are already providing estimates to Hawaii homeowners.

"We anticipate installations will begin within a few weeks," Josh Wimble, marketing and business communications representative for Dow Solar, said in an email.

GreenPath will be working with local roofing contractors for the installations.

"Currently we work primarily with two roofing companies, Commercial Roofing and Waterproofing Hawaii and Honolulu Roofing," Briand Achong, president of GreenPath, said in an email.

Not all companies see a benefit in this solar technology. RevoluSun, the solar provider for almost 5,000 homes on Oahu, the Big Island and Maui, does not offer solar shingles.

"Solar shingles are less efficient and not cost effective. It's something we have looked into and found that doesn't work," said Elana Kopelevich, marketing director at RevoluSun.

Achong said appearance is the primary focus for the solar shingle.

"Aesthetics is the major factor. Typical panels outperform solar shingles in power production per square foot and are also heavier per square foot," Achong said.

Dow is not the first to sell solar shingles in Hawaii. Honolulu-based United Roofing sells solar shingles made by CertainTeed Corp., a Valley Forge, Penn., roofing material company.

Source: Star-Advertiser

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