Soitec claims world’s largest CPV plant in Italy Companies mentioned: Soitec (Euronext), Concentrix, Enel, Schneider Electric, Emcore, IQE, RFMD and US Department of Energy
CPV Intelligence Brief 6 - 20 June 2012
Soitec paves way for CPV in Italy
European Semiconductor company, Soitec (Euronext), has completed construction and grid connection for the largest concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar power plant in Italy. Located in the Belpasso municipality in the Catania province in Sicily, the highly efficient, 1.17-megawatt-peak (MWp) facility is now ready to generate clean, reliable electricity for the local power grid for decades to come and paves the way for many other CPV plants to be developed in Italy.
The new utility-scale power plant will generate enough electricity to supply approximately 300 homes per year and is expected to offset more than 125 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions per year. It is equipped with 74 of Soitec’s high-efficiency CPV trackers, each using 168 Concentrix™ CPV modules, along with two central inverters of 500 kW each to ensure reliable power distribution to the grid.
“Completing this solar power plant marks a major milestone for Soitec in Italy while also demonstrating all of CPV’s advantages in this part of the world,” said Gaetan Borgers, executive vice president of Soitec’ Solar Energy division.
“We are uniquely positioned with a cost-effective power generation technology at high levels of efficiency and committed to developing this market in Italy,” said Borgers.
Fully owned and operated by Soitec, the new solar plant will supply electricity to Enel, Italy’s largest power company. Local Italian construction companies provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the solar power plant while efficient central-inverter technology was provided by Schneider Electric.
Emcore launches commercial rooftop system
Emcore, a semiconductor-based components and subsystems provider for the fibre optic and solar power markets, has launched a new commercial rooftop concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system, the EMCORE Soliant 1000. The product is now available for pre-production orders, according to the company.
The system combines EMCORE multi-junction solar cell technology with a patent-pending TipTilt tracking system. The panels are low profile, lightweight and non-penetrating, and they come fully assembled and ready to drop in place, said the company. the company adds.
IQE acquires RFMD unit
IQE, a Wales-based supplier of advanced semiconductor wafer products and wafer services to the semiconductor industry, has signed an agreement to acquire the entire in-house MBE epi-wafer manufacturing unit of Nasdaq-listed RFMD.
The acquisition target specialises in design and manufacturing of high performance RF components and compound semiconductor technologies. The IQE deal has enabled the business to secure a long-term wafer supply agreement for exclusive provision of all of RFMD’s MBE wafers and for provision of a majority of RFMD’s MOCVD wafer requirements.
In addition to owning the epi manufacturing plant, the deal also includes 16 operational MBE tools and a powerful position in CPV market with up to $35m revenue capacity for CPV wafers, according to the company.
Notably the seven-year wafer supply agreement will help in boosting IQE’s market position in the wireless industry supply; provide future wafer discounts and as a combined entity bring immediate future accretive earnings.
Soitec US subsidiary awarded $25m
One of Soitec’s US Solar Energy subsidiaries has been selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to receive a SUNPATH award in the amount of $25m to accelerate construction and overall running of its new North American solar manufacturing facility in San Diego, California.
In late 2011 Soitec acquired a 176,000-square-foot manufacturing center on 14.8 acres of land located in San Diego to support over 300 megawatts (MW) of solar projects throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties.
"This SUNPATH award will accelerate the production and output of Soitec's first large-scale CPV module manufacturing facility in San Diego," said Clark Crawford vice president of Sales and Business Development USA. "We are honored by this new partnership with the DOE and their support for CPV deployments in the US represented by this award."
The new factory will enable a manufacturing capacity of 200 MW (275 MWp) of Soitec's fifth generation of Concentrix™ concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) modules, and will be the world's largest CPV manufacturing facility.
The first phase of the facility is expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the company and reports in the Sacbee.com newspaper.
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