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18 September 2013

Soitec to supply US DoD with 1MW CPV demonstration project

Concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) solar system maker Soitec of Bernin, France has signed a contract with the US Department of Defense’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) for a 1MWAC solar project at Fort Irwin, CA. According to the Department of Defense (DoD), 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.

The demonstration power plant will provide onsite distributed generation for the Fort Irwin military facility, which is home to the National Training Center and has a daily population of nearly 25,000. The CPV power plant will offset the emission of almost 1850 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Project planning is underway and construction is scheduled to be completed in 2014. “This project will not only prove an efficient CPV renewable energy technology but also pave a path forward towards energy surety and security at Fort Irwin,” says Fort Irwin’s director Public Works, Muhammad Bari.

“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,” comments Clark Crawford, Soitec’s VP of sales & business development USA. “Our technology is perfectly suited for desert locations as it shows almost no degradation, even under very harsh environmental conditions,” he adds.

The energy will be produced using Soitec’s Concentrix fifth-generation CPV dual-axis tracking technology with 480 CPV solar modules manufactured in the firm’s new North American manufacturing headquarters in San Diego, CA. The CX-S530 system is designed to improve the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale solar power plants in the sunniest regions of the world. With a module area of over 100m2 (1130 square feet), one CX-S530 system achieves a capacity of almost 30kW peak. Its size is optimized to deliver high performance while reducing the cost of installation and maintenance. The system applies 12 of the extra-large fifth-generation of Soitec’s CPV modules. These are more than twice as efficient as conventional photovoltaic modules, it is claimed. In one module, the Fresnel lenses concentrate the sunlight onto 2400 multi-junction solar cells.

Tags: Soitec CPV


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