PARIS – Wafer maker Soitec SA announced it has completed construction and grid connection of its 1.17-megawatt-peak (MWp) concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar power plant in the Belpasso municipality, in Sicily.
The solar plant will generate enough electricity to supply about 300 homes per year and is to offset more than 125 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions per year, Soitec claimed.
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.
Soitec noted that its systems are designed to maximize energy production throughout the day by incorporating multi-junction solar cells and dual-axis tracking systems that maintain an optimal angle to the sun.
“This project has allowed us to show that CPV’s leading efficiency and ability to provide a steady, long-term energy supply without consuming excessive amounts of land and water make it exactly the right technology for Italy,” stated Gaetan Borgers, executive vice president of Soitec’ Solar Energy division.
Owned and operated by Soitec, the new solar plant will supply electricity to Enel, Italy’s largest power company.
In May, Soitec unveiled its full year results for 2011-2012, specifying that the group now operates under three segments: Electronic, Solar Energy and Lighting.
For full year 2011-2012, Soitec reported that Solar Energy sales were marginal as this segment is still in the development phase.
For the first quarter of fiscal year 2012-2013, Soitec said it anticipates that Solar Energy sales will remain non significant. However, in the second half of the year, sales should benefit from the contribution of the South African 50 MW contract which will be shipped from the German factory. In the second half, US operations should also benefit from the first deliveries related to the strong pipeline in California of up to 355 MW to support further growth, the France-based company added.
Over the year, Soitec said it anticipates that the Solar Energy segment will continue to carry out significant investment to deliver revenue streams in financial year 2013-2014. ------------------------
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Mid-June, Soitec received from the US Department of Energy a SUNPATH award of $25 million to support its new North American solar manufacturing facility in San Diego, Calif. This will accelerate its production and output of first large-scale CPV module manufacturing facility in San Diego.
Twin Creeks Technology recently made a lot noise about their thin wafer dicing technology, enabling solar wafer cost reduction. It turned out Twin Creeks' "exfoliation" is actually "smart-cut" patented by Soitec.
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