By Cameron Chai
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected one of the US Solar Energy subsidiaries of Soitec to receive a SUNPATH award. This award includes an amount of $25 million to assist the company’s new solar manufacturing plant in North America.
During December 2011, the company purchased a 176,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in San Diego in order to support more than 300 MW of advanced projects across Imperial counties and San Diego. Soitec will produce its 200 MW of fifth generation Concentrix concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar modules at the new facility, which will be one of the largest CPV manufacturing plants in the world.
More than $150 million are being invested for this main project, which may generate 450 on-site jobs and over 1,000 indirect employments at full potential. This project is currently under construction and the company has scheduled to operate the phase I project by Q4 of 2012.
CPV technology directly converts solar energy into clean energy through concentrator optics. Highly efficient solar cells provide the most excellent design for use in sunlit areas and supply eco-friendly, reliable and low-cost solar-generated electricity.
Soitec will manufacture fifth generation CPV modules at the San Diego plant. These modules were specifically developed to minimize installation expenses, while deploying enhanced system optics in order to increase the CPV modules’ efficiency. They offer 30% module efficiency.
The company will supply renewable energy through high volume production of CPV modules at the San Diego unit and enable economic growth through the expansion of its solar power plant clients across South California and the American Southwest.
After the completion of negotiations between the company and the DOE, the SUNPATH award will be finalized.