The production center of 16,350 m2, located on a 6 acre meantime received an automated production line and modern. The plant has been designed to reach a capacity of 280 MWp at full capacity.
The concentration photovoltaic (CPV) products are intended for San Diego construction projects of solar power plants representing hundreds of megawatts peak (MWp) contracts in California. In 2011, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved 300 MWp supply agreements of electricity should use Soitec Concentrix technology.
This major project for Soitec represents an investment of more than $ 150 million. The company has completed the installation of the full plant to date, equipping equipment and production process fully automated. The first module was produced in October, and the first phase (140 MWp) of the production line is now operational.
Having reached full capacity, the plant is expected to create 450 jobs, including those of the joint venture Reflexite Soitec Optical Technology LLC. The new company operates within the factory unit providing the design and manufacture of Fresnel lenses silicone glass used in Soitec’s CPV modules.
With this production site, Soitec become one of the top three manufacturers of solar modules in the United States.
“By producing large volumes of CPV modules on this site, we can now help California achieve its renewable energy and further support the U.S. market. Soitec already operates six plants in the world, and we we can rely on a solid expertise in industrial processes such as production systems and quality. We also installed CPV systems in 14 countries on 4 continents. I am very happy and honored that Soitec can now mobilize expertise to meet the needs of the United States, “said André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, president and CEO of Soitec.
Focus on technology developed by Soitec CPV
CPV technology Soitec uses triple-junction cell, mounted on support plates of glass. Through Fresnel lenses (made from silicone glass), the sunlight is concentrated 500 times before reaching the cells, which then convert into electricity. A metal frame assembles these two glass plates to form modules particularly robust, durable and resistant. By combining several modules trackers biaxial displacement (based on a proprietary algorithm that will automatically optimize their position in relation to the path of the sun), Soitec ensures optimal energy throughout the day.
With yields of 30% at its CPV modules, Soitec reached a performance at least two times greater than traditional photovoltaic technologies. Combined with low cost of installation and maintenance, the efficiency at the forefront of the market makes the CPV technology most competitive solution for the production of large volumes of electricity in areas with strong sunlight.