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SDG&E to use Soitec III-V modules to generate up to 30 MW solar power

The additional order, along with another secured last year, will increase the total amount of solar power generated in San Diego County by about 60%.

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and subsidiaries of Soitec Solar Development, have signed three contracts with a combined capacity of 30 MW of solar energy.

The electricity will be generated at three III-V multi-junction solar cell solar power plant sites in San Diego County that will use Soitec’ Concentrix technology. The concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) modules will be manufactured in a new Soitec factory to be built in the San Diego area.

“Including these three new contracts, SDG&E has signed nine renewable contracts over the past year for more than 1,100 MW of green energy, with nearly 520 MW from solar power, including a contract for up to 150 megawatts that also uses Concentrix™ technology,” said James P. Avery, SDG&E’s senior vice president of power supply. “Combined with another local solar contract we signed last year, these latest solar projects will increase the total amount of solar power generated in San Diego County by about 60 percent.”

These three projects will produce enough renewable solar energy to serve more than 11,200 households a year and further contribute to SDG&E reaching its RPS goals. The projects will deploy ground-mounted dual-axis tracking CPV solar power system, which uses lenses to concentrate sunlight onto very small, extremely efficient solar cells which convert the light into electrical energy.

“We are extremely pleased to deploy our Concentrix technology for these three solar power plants in San Diego County,” said André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Soitec.

“Our CPV systems are perfectly suited for projects close to well-populated areas as the high system efficiency of CPV minimizes the amount of land needed for a given amount of electricity production. As a CPV leader, we are committed to the U.S. market and look forward to increasing our presence in the San Diego community with all of our San Diego operations.”

Soitec will implement capacity investments and pursue options for related financing to construct its San Diego area factory. At full capacity, Soitec’s San Diego area operations will generate up to 450 direct jobs and more than 1,000 indirect jobs. The factory location is anticipated to be announced this summer, with completion expected within 18 months of construction start. Soitec’s delivery of the CPV systems for these three new solar energy facilities in San Diego County will begin in 2013 and finish in 2014.

The three power purchase contracts require approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.
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