Soitec Solar Awarded $25 Million From U.S. Department of Energy for North American Solar Manufacturing Facility in San Diego, California
SAN DIEGO, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
Soitec (Euronext Paris), a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary
semiconductor materials for the electronics and energy industries, announced today that
one of its US Solar Energy subsidiaries has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy
(DOE) to receive a SUNPATH award in the amount of $25 million to support its new North
American solar manufacturing facility in San Diego, California. SUNPATH, which stands for
Scaling Up Nascent PV At Home, seeks to increase America’s manufacturing competitiveness
in the global solar market.
Last December, 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 well advanced
projects throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties. The new factory will enable a
manufacturing capacity of 200 MW (275 MWp) of Soitec’s fifth generation of Concentrix(TM)
concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) modules, and will be the world’s largest CPV manufacturing
facility. This major project represents an investment of more than $150 million and is
expected to create 450 on-site jobs and more than 1,000 indirect jobs at full capacity.
Construction is currently underway, and the first phase is scheduled to be operational by
the fourth quarter of 2012.
“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 decision of the DOE to award Soitec with the largest share of the SUNPATH award
provides a strong endorsement of our CPV technology,” added Gaetan Borgers, Executive VP
of Soitec Solar Energy Division. “The SUNPATH award adds support to our view that CPV is
best-suited for regions with extremely hot ambient temperatures and dry weather conditions
like the American Southwest.”
CPV technology converts sunlight directly into “clean” electricity via concentrator
optics and high-efficiency solar cells offering the best design for use in sunny regions,
delivering low-cost, reliable, and environmentally-friendly solar generated electricity.
Soitec’s fifth generation CPV modules, to be manufactured at the San Diego facility, were
developed to reduce installation costs while implementing improved system optics to
further increase the efficiency levels of the CPV modules. Soitec’s fifth generation
Concentrix(TM) CPV modules provide a market-leading 30% module efficiency (or 2 to 3 times
the efficiency of conventional PV technology).
High volume CPV module production at the San Diego facility will enable Soitec to
deliver renewable energy and economic development by expanding its solar power plant
customers throughout Southern California and the American Southwest and ultimately support
export opportunities around the Pacific Rim.
The SUNPATH award will be finalized pending completion of the contract negotiations
with the DOE.
Soitec is an international manufacturing company, a world leader in generating and
manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials at the frontier of the most exciting
energy and electronic challenges. Soitec’s products include substrates for
microelectronics (most notably SOI : Silicon-on-Insulator) and concentrating photovoltaic
systems (CPV). The company’s core technologies are Smart Cut(TM), Smart Stacking(TM) and
Concentrix(TM), as well as expertise in epitaxy. Applications include consumer and mobile
electronics, microelectronics-driven IT, telecommunications, automotive electronics,
lighting products and solar power plants for large-scale utilities. Soitec has
manufacturing plants and R&D centers in France, Singapore, Germany, and the United States.
For more information, visit http://www.soitec.com
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