Lucky Green Homeowner to Win $25K Solar System

By E.Q. Lam
July 27, 2011 

RICHMOND, CA — A lucky game player will win a $25,000 home solar system in an educational sweepstakes sponsored by SunPower Corporation.  “This is a way we can encourage people to learn more,” said Belis Aksoy, new media marketing manager at SunPower. “I think this is the first of its kind.”

SunPower combined sustainability initiatives with gamification to create the social network game, Solar Discovery. The interactive game, now under way until September 14 on their Facebook page (//, was designed to engage a wide audience in learning about solar power in a fun and accessible way.

“The idea is just to have everyone participate, even if they are already solar users,” Aksoy said.

The game also can help homeowners who are considering going solar to learn about the cost of a solar installation, the appearance of the panels, and their maintenance.

“There are a lot of people who want to go green but don’t know what that looks like,” said Joanne Wan, a vice president in Ogilvy Public Relations, which is working on the game campaign with SunPower.

Players can start the game anytime and win prizes for answering weekly trivia questions about solar energy use around the world. They can earn badges and check the leader board to see their current ranking; they also can participate in conversations on the Facebook Wall.

The grand prize is a complete SunPower solar energy system valued at up to $25,000 (the average cost for a typical residential installation). The company also will pay the taxes.  The prize is transferable to a friend or relative if the winner is not a homeowner. More than 60 other prizes are up for grabs every two weeks in random drawings—including airplane tickets, video cameras, and SP gear.

In the first few weeks since the game launched on June 21, more than 8,500 people have taken a turn at answering the questions. “We’re very excited about the results and people’s enthusiasm,” said Aksoy.

At a media event to announce the contest, the solar company provided media with a hands-on solar installation training. See how a solar panel system would work at your home, as Chris Sommerfeld, SunPower senior technical trainer, walks through an installation:

SunPower also revealed its solar panel manufacturing facility in Milpitas, which began production in December 2010. The plant, run by SunPower’s manufacturing partner, Flextronics, produces 75MW per year in solar panels for rooftops and power plants, according to Ingrid Ekstrom, SunPower director of corporate communications.

Follow Alvin Mandin, Flextronics program manager, on a tour of SunPower’s Milpitas manufacturing facility:

Transportation and food provided by SunPower.

Check out more articles by E.Q. Lam.

© 2011 SCGH, LLC.

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