California regulators approve France-based Soitec's PPAs with SDG&E with combined capacity of 155 MW of solar energy; power to be generated at solar power plants in San Diego that will use Soitec's concentrator PV technology
November 11, 2011
– Announcement Represents Significant Step Forward in Soitec's Expansion Plans and Strategy in the United States
Soitec (Euronext), a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials for the electronics and energy industries, today announced that its subsidiary, Soitec Solar Development, LLC, received the approval of five of its power purchase agreements with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). These five projects represent a combined capacity of 155 megawatts (MW) of solar energy with electricity generated at solar power plant sites in San Diego County that will use Soitec's Concentrix™ concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology. Additionally, the CPUC approved an option agreement for the right, but not the obligation, for SDG&E to purchase additional capacity from Soitec Solar Development, LLC. This announcement represents a significant step forward in Soitec's expansion plans and strategy in the United States.
The CPV modules, as previously announced, will be manufactured in a new Soitec factory planned for the San Diego area. The new manufacturing facility will use new Concentrix fifth generation technology to supply the projects, which provides a market-leading module efficiency that exceeds 30% (or 2 to 3 times the efficiency of conventional PV technology.) 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, environmentally-friendly, and delivering low-cost, reliable, solar generated electricity. Additionally, CPV technology requires no water for ongoing operations, a crucial consideration for the water-constrained San Diego and Imperial Counties.
At full capacity, the San Diego manufacturing facility will generate up to 450 direct jobs and more than 1,000 indirect jobs within San Diego County. The factory location is expected to be announced before the end of the year.
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™, Smart Stacking™ and Concentrix™, 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.