Soitec (Euronext), a global enterprise in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials for the electronics and energy industries, announced today that a contract has been signed with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) for a 1 MWAC solar project at Fort Irwin, California. According to the Department of Defense, 22 projects were competitively selected from the 468 proposals submitted to demonstrate emerging energy and water technologies on military installations through its Installation Energy Test Bed initiative. This initiative tests and evaluates innovative energy technologies that improve the Department’s energy security and reduce its facility costs while meeting its renewable energy goals.
This demonstration power plant will provide onsite distributed generation for the Ft. Irwin military facility which is home to the NationalTraining Center and has a daily population of nearly 25,000. This concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar power plant will offset the emission of almost 1,850 tons of carbon dioxide each year. Project planning is underway and construction is scheduled to be completed in 2014.
“This project will allow the Department of Defense to showcase Soitec’s CPV technology, demonstrating future government applications consistent with the goals of improving energy security and expanding the development of renewable energy,” said Clark Crawford, Soitec’s Vice President of Sales and Business Development USA. “Our technology is perfectly suited for desert locations as it shows almost no degradation even under very harsh environmental conditions.”
The energy will be produced using Soitec’s Concentrix™ 5th-generation CPV dual-axis tracking technology with 480 CPV solar modules manufactured in the company’s new North American manufacturing headquarters located in San Diego. The Soitec CX-S530 is designed to improve theLevelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale solar power plants in the sunniest regions of the world. With a module area of over 100 square-meters (1,130 square feet), one Soitec CX-S530 system achieves a capacity of almost 30 kilowatts peak. The size of the system is optimized to deliver high performance while drastically reducing the cost of installation and maintenance. The CX-S530 system applies 12 of the extra large 5th generation of Soitec CPV modules. These modules are more than twice as efficient as conventional photovoltaic modules. In one module, the Fresnel lenses concentrate the sunlight onto 2,400 tiny multi-junction solar cells.
With installations in 18 countries around the world, Soitec’s CPV technology has proven to be efficient and environmentally friendly solar power generation. It demonstrates unique cost competitiveness compared to other solar technologies, largely due to its higher production yields throughout the sunlight hours, and lower construction and maintenance costs. In addition, CPV technology’s ability to operate without cooling water, withstand hot ambient temperatures and with minimal environmental impact make it suited for use in desert areas such as Ft. Irwin.