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Posted: February 24, 2010

Concentrix Solar Enters the US Market With Megawatt CPV Deployment at a Chevron Facility

(Nanowerk News) Concentrix Solar, a leading supplier of Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) systems and a new division of the Soitec Group (Euronext Paris), the world's leading supplier of engineered substrates, announced today that it has signed a contract with Chevron Technology Ventures for the deployment of a one megawatt (MW) CPV power plant to be installed at a Chevron Mining facility in Questa, New Mexico, USA. With this announcement, Concentrix Solar confirms full commercial readiness for worldwide deployment, and is paving the way to utility-scale CPV projects.
Chevron announced this week that the company will install a one megawatt CPV solar power plant using Concentrix Solar's FLATCON(R) technology. This will be the largest CPV installation in the U.S. and one of the largest CPV power plants in the world. The power produced will be sold through a power purchase agreement to the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Chevron stated in their press release (February 23, 2010).
"This commercial deployment is a key milestone for us and our U.S. strategy. It is an important reference for our technology, and the next logical step considering the outstanding performance demonstrated at our Spanish power plants," said Concentrix Solar CEO, Hansjorg Lerchenmuller. "With their high direct normal irradiance and their high energy demand, the Southwestern states of the USA are perfectly suited for our CPV technology. Our FLATCON(R) technology's high-precision, two-axis tracking system helps utilities to match U.S. peak power demands. We are excited to prove our technology with Chevron on the Questa site and are planning new investments to further expand our business in the Southwest of the USA in the near future."
In the USA, Concentrix Solar already installed a demo system on the University of California San Diego campus. This demonstration tracker, installed in July 2009, confirmed system efficiencies (AC) of 25 percent under full field operating conditions.
Concentrix Solar operates a fully-automated manufacturing line in Freiburg, Germany, which produces high quality, durable CPV modules. The facility has a current capacity of 25 megawatts; further expansion is planned.
A FLATCON(R) CPV tracking system has a nominal power output of 6 kilowatts. One megawatt consists of approximately 175 systems, which can be placed in an area of 7 acres. Concentrix Solar recently announced that the company has received IEC certification 62108 for its CX-75 FLATCON(R) module generation.
About Concentrix Solar
Concentrix Solar GmbH is a leading supplier of concentrator photovoltaic power plants for sunny locations. The company was founded in February 2005 as a spin-off company of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. At present, about 60 people are employed at Concentrix Solar. Since December 2009, Concentrix Solar is a division of the Soitec Group. For manufacturing its IEC certified FLATCON(R) concentrator modules, Concentrix Solar operates a fully-automated industrial production line located in Freiburg, Germany with an annual production capacity of 25 megawatts. The FLATCON(R) technology uses Fresnel lenses to focus sunlight onto small highly-efficient solar cells. These solar cells convert the sunlight, concentrated almost 500 times, directly into electrical energy. With this technology, Concentrix Solar achieves AC system efficiencies of 25 percent, which are almost twice as high as those achieved by conventional silicon technology. As a result, electricity generation cost reduction between 10 and 20 percent can be reached compared to other solar technologies, depending on the location of the installation.
About the Soitec Group
The Soitec Group is the world's leading innovator and provider of the engineered substrate solutions that serve as the foundation for today's most advanced microelectronic products. The group leverages its proprietary Smart Cut(TM) technology to engineer new substrate solutions, such as silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers, which became the first high-volume application for this proprietary technology. Since then, SOI has emerged as the material platform of the future, enabling the production of higher performing, faster chips that consume less power.
Today, Soitec produces more than 80 percent of the world's SOI wafers. Headquartered in Bernin, France, with two high volume fabs on-site, Soitec has offices throughout the United States, Japan and Taiwan, and a new production site in Singapore.
Three other divisions, Picogiga International, Tracit Technologies and Concentrix Solar, complete the Soitec Group. Picogiga delivers advanced substrates solutions, including III-V epiwafers and gallium nitride (GaN) wafers, to the compound material world for the manufacture of high-frequency electronics and other optoelectronic devices. Tracit, on the other hand, provides thin-film layer transfer technologies used to manufacture advanced substrates for power ICs and Microsystems, as well as generic circuit transfer technology , Smart Stacking for applications such as image sensors and 3D-integration. In December 2009, Soitec acquired 80% of Concentrix Solar, the leading provider of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar systems for the industrial production of energy. With this acquisition, Soitec is entering the fast-growing solar industry; capturing value through the system level.
Source: Concentrix Solar (press release)
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