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The Associated Press February 20, 2011, 11:00AM ET

Solar products testing labs opening in Conn., NC

A university in Connecticut and one in North Carolina are getting a chance to play a key role in the growth of "green" technology.

The University of New Haven and North Carolina State University are developing special labs to test solar thermal products, such as systems that run household hot-water heaters using the sun's energy.

Only five U.S. labs are accredited to test the products, leading to delays that the federal government wants to shorten or eliminate. Homeowners can get lucrative tax credits for installing solar energy systems, but only if the products get tested and certified at one of the special labs.

The North Carolina State University lab is scheduled to open later this year, and the University of New Haven facility is on track to open in 2012.

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