Clean Power Research Looks to Tap Seattle Software Developers for Solar Projects

1/8/09

On a grey winter day, it might not seem like Seattle has much to contribute to the solar power industry. But cleantech and IT are converging in the Northwest these days. And what we lack in sunshine we make up for in software developers, according to Jeff Ressler, head of the software division of Clean Power Research, a small renewable-energy company that expanded to Kirkland in September.

The company, which consults and writes software for solar power and other clean energy industries, is a small group of 15. Their Kirkland office has a whopping total of two people so far. But they clearly have staying power. Founded 11 years ago in Napa, CA, the self-funded company is profitable and growing, and all that growth will be happening here in the Northwest, said Ressler, who heads the Kirkland office.

Clean Power Research plans to hire six more employees in Kirkland by this spring. “We’re really excited to be in Washington, just in terms of the job candidates we’re seeing,” said Ressler, a former Microsoftie. “There’s a kind of built-in awareness in many people up in the Northwest of environmental issues, and a real passion for that. That’s what we really want to tap.”

The company has five products on the market right now, all Web-based software applications that calculate energy output or cost of solar panels. The applications range from Clean Power Estimator, a general tool to estimate solar energy available in your area for individuals considering installing solar panels on their roofs, to SolarAnywhere, a database developed in collaboration with researchers at the State University of New York that uses U.S. government satellite photos to calculate the precise amounts of solar radiation across the country at any given time. The database can tell you hourly amounts of solar rays for every 25 to 35 square miles in the United States.

“If you wanted to know how much solar radiation hit downtown L.A. yesterday afternoon, we could tell you what those numbers were,” Ressler said.

While it might sound cool to know the exact amount (or lack) of sunlight shining on your … Next Page »

Rachel Tompa is a freelance journalist based in Seattle. She can be reached at rmtompa@yahoo.com. Follow @

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  • http://www.inflecto.co.uk/software-developers/default.aspx Inflecto (Software Developers)

    Nice to hear of other software development companies doing well.