Technical Program


Dr. Raffi Garabedian
Chief Technology Officer
First Solar, Inc.

Quietly in the background and unbeknownst to most consumers, there’s a revolution under way in clean utility scale PV generation. From advances in thin film PV module technologies to innovation in plant architectures and controls, large scale solar electricity has undergone a transformation and is now one of the most cost effective, sustainable, reliable and scalable sources of energy on our electric grids. In this keynote, Raffi Garabedian will explain exactly how far grid-connected PV has advanced and what we can hope to achieve as an industry in the foreseeable future.

Mr. Raffi Garabedian has been the Chief Technology Officer of First Solar, Inc. since May 2012 where he manages the company’s technology, photovoltaic module and power plant system products and roadmaps. Mr. Garabedian joined First Solar in 2008 as Director of Disruptive Technologies. Prior to First solar, he spent over 15 years in the MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) industry, developing new products ranging from automotive engine control sensors to fiberoptic telecommunications switching systems. He was the founding CEO of Touchdown Technologies, Inc. which was acquired by Verigy as well as Micromachines Inc., which was acquired by Kavlico. Raffi earned a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MS degree in Electrical Engineering with a focus on semiconductor and microsystems technology from the University of California Davis. He is named on approximately 28 issued US patents.

Dr. Jeremy Leggett
Founding Director, Solarcentury
Founder & Chairman, SolarAid
Chairman, CarbonTracker & Firefly Clean Energy
Author, The Energy Of Nations

We have the honor and privilege to host Dr. Jeremy Leggett as this year’s PVSC Keynote speaker.  Dr. Leggett is well-known in our PV community as the founder of the highly successful solar company, Solarcentury and perhaps more so for his global leadership on the issues of energy security and climate change.  This Keynote talk will provide a unique opportunity to hear how PV technologies can be successfully transitioned from the laboratory to manufacturing, and, moreover, how our PV technologies can make a direct, powerful impact on the world we live in.  In turn, Dr. Leggett will share his vision for a carbon-free society that will motivate PV specialists to make a difference.

Dr Jeremy Leggett is a social entrepreneur and author of “The Carbon War, Half Gone” and “The Energy of Nations”. He is founding director of Solarcentury, one of the world’s most respected solar energy companies, and founder and Chairman of SolarAid, a solar lighting charity set up with five percent of Solarcentury’s annual profits, itself parent to a social venture, SunnyMoney, that is the top-selling retailer of solar lights in Africa.  He also chairs the financial-sector think tank CarbonTracker. An Entrepreneur of the Year at the New Energy Awards, he has been described by the Observer as 'Britain’s most respected green energy boss'. He was the first Hillary Laureate for International Leadership in Climate Change, and a CNN Principal Voice. At the 2014 Business Green Leaders Awards he won Champion of the Year in promoting the green economy. At the 2014 Solar Industry Awards he won the Outstanding Individual Award. He is a guest contributor to the Guardian and the Financial Times. He lectures on short courses in business and society at the universities of Cambridge and St. Gallen, is an Associate Fellow at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, and is a risk consultant to large corporations.



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