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This profile was last updated on 6/18/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Bill Yerkes

Wrong Bill Yerkes?

Board Member

Phone: (561) ***-****  HQ Phone
Email: b***@***.com
Greenstar Corporation
11382 Prosperity Farms Road Suite 222F
Palm Beach Gardens , Florida 33410
United States

Company Description: Greenstar focuses on the economic, social and cultural development challenges facing villages living off the electric and telecommunication grids. One of the...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Master of Science , Automotive Engineering
    Chrysler Institute of Engineering
  • B.S.
    Stanford University
36 Total References
Web References
Brief Greenstar Biographies Bios, 18 June 2015 [cached]
Bill Yerkes
Bill Yerkes earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. After serving in the United States Army, he went to work for Chrysler, at the Chrysler Institute graduate engineering program in Detroit.
Moving to The Boeing Company in the 1960's, Bill built the Boeing Kent Space Environment Laboratory in support of the Apollo lunar landings. Moving to Los Angeles, Bill became President and CEO of Spectrolab. There he was responsible for developing the solar array left behind on the moon by Apollo 11, along with space batteries, xenon pulse solar simulators and "Night Sun" searchlights for helicopters.
Next, Bill founded Solar Technology International, which developed low-cost terrestrial solar cells and modules. After several successful years, he sold STI to Atlantic Richfield, and then served as President of ARCO Solar, building the company into the largest photovoltaic manufacturer in the world.
Bill then returned to Boeing, working on gallium-arsenide RF and photonic components in a new facility he designed. After ten years with the Boeing Space Division, he moved to one of Craig McCaw's companies, Teledesic. Teledesic is dedicated to building a low-earth-orbit worldwide network of Ka-Band communications satellites.
Bill was one Teledesic's first employees, and served in the critical post of electric power systems manager for Teledesic's 800 satellites. He developed low-cost space power systems and electric propulsion Hall thrusters for orbit raising. He also promoted the testing of lithium-ion batteries to replace nickel-based batteries for spacecraft.
Bill is involved today with neighborhood electric vehicles, battery technology, solar cell development, and transit-on-demand. He also assists Greenstar with its telecommunications applications, as an Ambassador.
The People of Greenstar, 18 June 2015 [cached]
Bill Yerkes, satellite telecommunications strategy
Newsroom, 10 Feb 2014 [cached]
Bill Yerkes pioneer of the solar manufacturing industry
"Bill Yerkes was the first big visionary who saw what solar power could do for the world," said Raju Yenamandra, SolarWorld's vice president for business development in the Americas and an employee at the Camarillo site since 1980.
Yerkes left ARCO Solar in 1985 to develop a series of businesses that pushed the boundaries of solar technology. In the mid-1980s he founded a thin-film start-up that made cadmium-telluride solar cells some 15 years before current industry players got their start. He led establishment of Boeing's High Technology Center in Bellevue, Wash., which developed gallium-arsenide solar cells and photonics devices, and later served as power systems manager for Teledesic, a startup that produced 1,000 low-Earth-orbit satellites for internet telecommunications. In 2005, he co-founded Solaicx in California and Oregon, where he developed a proprietary high-efficiency, low-cost silicon-crystal-growth technique for solar cells.
"Yerkes is the father of the modern solar industry," Yenamandra said.
'Father of solar manufacturing industry' supports domestic solar manufacturers - Dec. 7, 2011, 7 Dec 2011 [cached]
Bill Yerkes says sustainable competition optimizes long-term cost and price efficiency
Washington, D.C., December 7, 2011 - Bill Yerkes, the visionary entrepreneur who pioneered the solar-panel manufacturing industry, today announced his support for U.S. solar manufacturers that are fighting what they allege to be unfairly traded Chinese imports.
"Efficiency has been my credo as an engineer, businessman and manufacturer," said Yerkes, who lives in Santa Barbara.
Yerkes has worked in key roles in the industry since the 1960s, when he oversaw development of a solar array that Apollo 11 left behind on the moon. In 1975, he founded Solar Technology International, pioneering the manufacturing process of laminating delicate photovoltaic cells into sturdy solar panels. After Atlantic Richfield Co. Inc. purchased Solar Technology International, he led ARCO Solar in Camarillo, Calif., reaching industry milestones such as the first 1 megawatt of annual production and the first 1 MW installation project.
"Bill Yerkes was the first big visionary who saw what solar power could do for the world," said Raju Yenamandra, SolarWorld's vice president for sales and business development in the Americas and an employee of the Camarillo site since 1980.
"Bill is the father of the solar manufacturing industry," Yenamandra said, "and he has never doubted that sound manufacturing and competition would best realize his aims for solar.
Bill Yerkes passes at age ..., 16 Feb 2014 [cached]
Bill Yerkes passes at age 79. His company pioneered the development of commercially -viable photovoltaics, beginning steady slide from cells costing $11 a watt to as little as a $1 today.
I had the privilege of knowing Bill Yerkes [second from right in above photo*]. I was saddened to learn last night that he died on January 29th at the age of 79. Bill was one of the world's leading pioneers in photovoltaics, but not before a stint at Chrysler. From Chrysler, he moved on to Boeing, working in their aerospace division and then to Spectrolab. There he helped develop the solar array for Apollo 11's mission to the moon.
In 1975, he started Solar Technology International in Chatsworth, California, one of the first companies to mass-produce crystalline solar cells. The company was acquired by Atlantic Richfield, where Bill served as the CEO of the renamed ARCO Solar, located in Camarillo, California. As Scott Sklar points out in his tribute to Bill:
Bill became a loyal EV World subscriber not long after I started the online publication, and for years we'd correspond by email. I finally got to meet him and his wife Sarah during the closing days of the first California Fuel Cell Rally in 2002. The event started in Monterey, California and over the course of the next two days wound down the Pacific Coast Highway, ending up in Santa Barbara, where Bill and Sarah bought a small 1920's era bungalow that they were remodeling at the time. ill had written me that after spending a number of years in the gloom of Seattle, working at Teledisc to come up with battery technology for their low-cost communication satellite, he and Sarah, who is a Nebraska native, decided to keep driving south along the U.S. West Coast until the sun shined, I think is how he put it. When we visited them at the home, Sarah as launching a greeting card business based on her photography. Bill was clearly proud and supportive of her efforts. While he retained his interest in advanced batteries, dropping me an email from time to time describing a particularly promising battery chemistry, his passion for solar never dimmed.
It was in 2005 that he co-founded Solaicx, the story of which I featured here on EV World. Bill and I also shared another distinction: we were both early Honda Insight owners. Mine was silver, his was red.
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