Emcore comes down to earth with rooftop CPV Companies mentioned: Emcore, Soitec Solar, NREL, Solar Junction, Silex, Solar Systems, SolFocus
CPV Intelligence Brief 22 June - 3 July 2012
Emcore comes down to earth with rooftop CPV
Last month, satellite solar contractor and CPV technology specialist, Emcore, introduced a fully-assembled and ready to drop-in place tracking solar system for commercial rooftops. The company says its turnkey CPV system Soliant 1000 has the highest energy production densities of any available solar system.
Best known for its solar power for space, the company also manufactures a range of solar components from high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells, CPV multi-junction solar cells and components, and commercial rooftop CPV systems.
"This announcement opens the door for EMCORE to enter the estimated $2 billion annual rooftop solar market,” said Christopher Larocca, EMCORE COO.
The company is taking preproduction orders, with production and deliveries to begin later this year. Designed for over 25 year power production, the panels are low profile, lightweight, non-penetrating and the system includes tracking.
The Soliant 1000’s 500-watt peak panels generate 18 watts peak per square foot. It takes 28% less rooftop space than PV to generate the same energy.
Soitec Solar wins $25m SUNPATH grant
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Soitec Solar a $25m SUNPATH grant to accelerate the construction of its first large-scale CPV manufacturing facility in San Diego, by helping attract $115 million in private investments.
The first high efficiency CPV modules to be manufactured in the factory are to be used to build 300 MW of projects to supply electricity contracts signed with San Diego Gas & Electric and other utilities. SUNPATH (Scaling Up Nascent PV AT Home) is one of several DOE initiatives to reduce the cost of solar technologies.
Through a partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), the DOE will also support will also support the testing and validation of the technology. Under the agreement, Soitec Solar will provide hardware that can be tested on DOD bases, to further reduce risks for commercial-scale deployment by creating a validation process for innovative new PV technologies.
Solar Junction, NREL win innovation award
CPV manufacturer Solar Junction’s solar cell using lens-focused light with 418 times the intensity of the sun has been named one the 2012 most significant innovations of 2012 by R&D Magazine.
The high-efficiency triple junction solar cell for CPV was developed by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in partnership with Solar Junction. It captures different light frequencies throughout the day to achieve a world-record conversion efficiency of 43.5% and the potential of increasing it to 50%.
The record PV cell performance was achieved at little additional cost “by replacing the bottom germanium layer of the three-junction cell with gallium and a dash of a dilute-nitride alloy,” according to NREL information.
“NREL did much of the fundamental science, while Solar Junction solved the product development problems,” says John Herb, Vice President of Product and Program Management at Solar junction in San Jose. “The fundamental breakthrough enabling the commercialization of dilute nitrides and the product development was done at Solar Junction.”
Solar Junction will manufacture the multi-junction cells at facilities in California and Pennsylvania with the assistance of a $5 million SUNPATH award from the U.S. Department of Energy, that in turn has leveraged an additional $15 million in private investment.
Solar Systems shows off 1 MW CPV at Saudi equestrian resort
Solar Systems, a subsidiary of the Australian firm Silex Systems, has begun construction on a 1 MW concentrated solar project for an equestrian centre at a resort outside Riyhad in Saudi Arabia. The deal places the company’s technology in a showcase position in the Saudi Kingdom, which has recently announced one of the largest solar markets ever opened up in a long term plan, with proposed spending of $109 billion on solar technologies over 20 years.
The Nofa resort is currently reliant on diesel for power, with a 14 MW plant. The 1 MW project is demonstration plant, but CEO Dr Michael Goldsworthy says “It’s a fantastic location on the No 1 highway. It will get a bit of exposure and bit of a reputation.”
The CPV company uses a unique dense array technology with ultra-high efficiency multi-junction cells initially developed for use in space. Solar Systems will install 28 units of its modular CS500 CPV Dish System, expected by the end of 2012, with the funding coming in roughly equal parts from Solar Systems and Nofa, owned by His Highness Prince Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Kabeer.
SolFocus to break ground on 50 MW CPV project
A landmark CPV project is about to begin construction near the Baja border with the U.S. on land owned by the Mexican construction and development company Grupo Musa.
SolFocus has said the entire project when complete will be 450 MW, making it by far the largest CPV project in the world. Northern Mexico has the third greatest solar resource in the world, making it an ideal location.
It will be owned and operated by a new company formed by Grupo Musa and Synergy Technologies, and Grupo Musa will use most of the first 50 MW installation to cover its own electricity needs.
The Asian Pacific Corporation brought together an international consortium to develop and finance the project. Both public and private financing includes ProMéxico and the international financing firm FINEXIM, which has allocated $720 million for the first four 50 MW solar projects, according to William Beilman, Managing Director. The company’s CPV systems are backed by Munich Re performance insurance.
The energy demand in Chile just does not stop growing. The mining sector has been the latest to announce that its estimated power needs for 2020 will increase by 68% according to the latest figures given by the Ministry for Mining
We look at the European Union tariffs now imposed on imported Chinese panels and how some PV makers are reporting an upswing in sales as a direct result of the protectionist measures.
A pro-nuclear and pro-gas physicist is due to take over as head of the US Department of Energy this year. The PV industry will be glad he also has a soft spot for solar.