Jan 31 2008
EMCORE Corporation, a leading provider of compound semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the broadband, fiber optic, satellite, and terrestrial solar power markets, announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding for the supply of between 200 MW and 700 MW of solar power systems that are scheduled for deployment in utility scale solar power projects under development in the southwestern region of the United States.
EMCORE will supply and install turnkey solar power systems utilizing EMCORE's concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems developed at its Albuquerque, NM facility. The project developer, SunPeak Solar, is securing land and grid access throughout 2008 and project construction is expected to begin in early 2009. The principals of SunPeak Solar have been successful developers of wind power projects in North America and Europe in the past decade, are well funded through the sale of certain wind power assets, and are now turning their attention to large-scale terrestrial solar energy projects in the US.
This agreement is not expected to contribute revenues until 2009 and is dependant on the renewal of the federal investment tax credit (ITC) extending into 2009 and beyond.
David Rennie, CEO of SunPeak Solar, stated "We have conducted comprehensive research on different technologies and products, including concentrating solar thermal and various solar photovoltaic solutions, and concluded that the solar CPV represents the best solution based on the project requirement and our experience. CPV is our preferred technology in many locations throughout the desert southwest. CPV has the advantage of requiring very little water during operation and CPV systems can be installed with minimal impact on the desert environment. We are very impressed that EMCORE has thought through the complete system and what is needed for successful deployments on a large scale." Mr. Rennie also added, "We are pleased to partner with EMCORE to ensure the capacity and cost requirements for these projects as EMCORE is the only vertically integrated CPV product provider and has the capacity and commitment for such projects. And we are encouraging our congressional delegation to extend the investment tax credit for renewables, which was left out of the recent energy bill, and keep the U.S. competitive in renewable energy policy with the rest of the world."
"We are very pleased to expand our deployment of utility-scale solar power systems in support of SunPeak Solar's projects," said Earl Fuller, Vice President and General Manager of EMCORE's Solar Power Systems division. "EMCORE's CPV systems are optimized for the lowest cost-per-watt of any utility-scale photovoltaic power system. The use of our gallium arsenide based multi-junction solar cells has the added advantage of retaining high efficiency even in the hot summers in the desert southwest. EMCORE is committed to continuous improvement on the performance of terrestrial solar cells and the cost structure of the CPV system," added Mr. Fuller.
EMCORE's CPV systems are powered by our industry leading high-efficiency compound semiconductor-based multi-junction solar cells that operate with 500x concentration to provide a lower cost-per-watt than competing technologies. CPV improves the performance of compound semiconductor-based solar cells, avoids the supply constraint that currently exists with silicon-based solar modules, and provides a lower cost-per-watt. EMCORE's continued investment in high-efficiency CPV systems for utility-scale photovoltaic power systems will enable the development of a new alternative energy resource worldwide.