The signing ceremony was held at Torgau, Germany, where Avancis, a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain operates one of the most modern plants in the world photovoltaic modules based on thin films.
This tentative agreement provides that Saint-Gobain provides technical assistance and engineering for the construction and operation of a plant for production of photovoltaic modules based on thin-film CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium and Selenium) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This project is part of a broader program also includes the construction of solar power plants in the Kingdom.
This strategic alliance provides the foundation necessary to develop other activities related to solar energy. It will notably accelerate the deployment of solar modules manufactured equipped with Saudi Arabia, with CIGS technology of Avancis. Solar electricity thus generated can reduce the consumption of crude oil.
This program is part of the strategic KACARE, while allowing the development of a competitive industrial base in the kingdom. Created in 2010 by royal decree, the KACARE is responsible for the development of nuclear and renewable energies in Saudi Arabia. It aims to install a production capacity of 41 GWp solar energy by 2032, including 16 GWp of photovoltaic origin.
“We are honored to work with His Royal Highness Prince Faisal, valuing our technology and industrial know-how that will allow solar energy to be a competitive source of electricity for the Kingdom. The cost of electricity generated will have a strong local content, “commented Jean-Pierre Floris.
According to Prince Faisal, this partnership will have a double benefit for the Kingdom: “It will provide an alternative and effective source of electricity and enable the introduction of innovative technology in Saudi Arabia.”
Based on the deposition of CIGS thin films on a glass substrate, the technology developed by Avancis overcomes the traditional crystalline silicon. This technology allows to consider a low cost of production, like other technologies based on thin films, while its electrical efficiency (above 12% industrially and up to 20% in the laboratory) is similar to those, higher modules polycrystalline silicon.
Modules based on CIGS thin films are recommended as well as for solar fields for rooftop installations, due to their ease of installation, aesthetics and reliability.