CENTRIA, a supplier of architectural metal wall and roofing systems based in Pittsburgh, Pa., has received $300,000 from the federal government to assist in the development of integrated photovoltaic solar building panels. The funds are part of the 2008 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, which became law in December.

“These funds will help us complete research and development, engineering standards and commercialization of Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) for standing seam metal roofs. These standards will be available for all metal roof manufacturers and contractors which will speed adoption of solar power as an alternative energy,” said CENTRIA Director of Marketing and Business Development Rick Mowrey.

BIPV solar energy systems combine lightweight, flexible and durable solar panels into one single roofing product that can be used to replace existing roofs or for new construction. It will be used as a national model in providing solar-powered buildings.

“As the nation searches for new, alternative sources of energy, southwestern Pennsylvania will continue to be a leader in developing the technology,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, Pa., a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who presented the funds to CENTRIA in a Jan. 15 ceremony. “We have a dedicated workforce, a strong base of technology and energy firms, and universities to train scientists and engineers.”