Concentrix Solar Inaugurates Solar Facility in South Africa

solar power system

Paving the way for solar power projects in South Africa, Concentrix Solar, a leading supplier of Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) systems and a division of the Soitec Group (Euronext Paris), will inaugurate its first power facility in South Africa at the Aquila Private Game Reserve in Touwsrivier on September 1, 2010. This is the initial step in developing large-scale solar power projects in South Africa.

“CPV systems are perfectly suited for the use in South Africa with its energy shortage, water scarcity and high temperatures. Our systems can be easily and fast implemented, they do not need cooling water and do not suffer from heat degradation at hot ambient temperatures,” said Hansjoerg Lerchenmueller, CEO of Concentrix Solar. “In addition, this facility will initiate the transfer of know-how and serves to develop local skills in South Africa with immediate effect.”

Concentrix Solar is going to inaugurate a 60 kilowatts facility at the Aquila Private Game Reserve in Touwsrivier, Western Cape. With this installation, the Aquila Private Game Reserve is able to cover all energy requirements during daylight hours and makes a positive contribution to environmentally friendly tourism.

Also, Concentrix Solar is actively pursuing a project development of a 50 megawatts utility-scale power plant in the Western Cape. The company has been present in South Africa since 2008 and has the ability to develop large-scale solar projects and deliver turnkey solutions under local conditions utilizing local content.

With a high amount of direct solar irradiation, South Africa is best suited for the use of Concentrix Solar’s CPV technology. Due to its high efficiencies and the two-axis tracking, Concentrix Solar’s systems provide a constant high power output throughout the day and enable to cover the growing power demand in South Africa.

Concentrix Solar GmbH is a leading supplier of concentrator photovoltaic equipment and turnkey power plants for sunny locations. The company was founded in February 2005 as a spin-off from the world-renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. In December 2009, Concentrix Solar became a division of the Soitec Group.

Concentrix Solar operates a fully automated industrial production line in Freiburg, Germany, with an annual production capacity of 25 megawatts. Its FLATCON concentrator modules use Fresnel lenses to concentrate sunlight 500 times and focus it onto small, highly efficient solar cells that convert the light into electrical energy. With this technology, Concentrix Solar achieves AC system efficiencies of 25 percent – almost twice as high as those achieved by conventional silicon technology. As a result, Concentrix Solar’s systems can reduce the cost of electricity generation by 10 percent to 20 percent compared to other solar technologies, depending on the location of the installation.

The Soitec Group is the world’s leading innovator and provider of the engineered substrate solutions that serve as the foundation for today’s most advanced microelectronic products. The group leverages its proprietary Smart Cut technology to engineer new substrate solutions, such as silicon-on-insulator (SOI) semiconductor wafers, which became the first high-volume application for this proprietary technology. Since then, SOI has emerged as the material platform of the future, enabling the production of higher performing, faster chips that consume less power.

Today, Soitec produces more than 80 percent of the world’s SOI wafers. Headquartered in Bernin, France, with two high-volume fabs on-site, Soitec has offices throughout the United States, Japan, and Taiwan, and a new production site in Singapore.

Three other divisions – Picogiga International, Tracit Technologies, and Concentrix Solar – complete the Soitec Group. Picogiga delivers advanced substrates solutions, including III-V epi wafers and gallium nitride (GaN) wafers, to the compound materials market for manufacturing high-frequency electronics and other optoelectronic devices. Tracit provides thin-film layer transfer technologies used to manufacture advanced substrates for power ICs and microsystems as well as generic circuit transfer technology, Smart Stacking, for applications such as image sensors and 3D integration. In December 2009, Soitec acquired 80 percent of Concentrix Solar, the leading provider of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar systems for the industrial production of energy. With this acquisition, Soitec has entered the fast-growing solar market.

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