With this announcement, Concentrix Solar is paving the way to utility-scale CPV projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The Dii was launched in July 2009 to provide a framework for investments to supply the MENA region and Europe with power produced using solar and wind energy sources.
"We are looking forward to working with Desertec and the countries in the MENA region," said Concentrix Solar CEO, Hansjorg Lerchenmuller. "Our CPV technology is extremely efficient, modular, flexible and very well-suited to the needs and challenges of the MENA region. As the first CPV company to join the Desertec technology portfolio, we have an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the region’s energy needs and the advancement of renewable energy sources."
CPV systems produce power with very high efficiency and output in hot, arid locations, thereby achieving a low levelized cost of energy (LCOE). Since they track the sun, they provide a consistent electricity production profile throughout the day. CPV power plants can be commissioned in phases, producing electricity as soon as the first systems are connected to the grid.
These advantages, combined with their minimal space and water requirements, make CPV systems of particular interest for an ambitious, long-range project like Desertec.
Concentrix Solar manufactures very robust, high-efficiency CPV systems, and offers fully integrated system kits, turnkey CPV solutions and services for utility scale power plants.
As a division of semiconductor expert Soitec, Concentrix’s advances in multi-junction solar cells are also supported by the world-renowned Fraunhofer ISE and CEA-Leti R&D labs. CPV systems are currently produced in a large volume, fully-automated factory in Freiburg, Germany, scalable to fulfill rising demand for utility-scale power plants.
Desertec Industries is a unique initiative which was launched as the ‘Desertec Industrial Initiative’ in July 2009. The initiative was founded to pave the way for the establishment of a framework for investments to supply the MENA region and Europe with power produced using solar power and wind energy sources.
The long-term goal is to satisfy a substantial part of the energy needs of the MENA countries and meet as much as 15 percent of Europe’s electricity demand by 2050. Desertec Industries was founded under German law as a GmbH (limited liability company) in Munich on 30 October 2009. The company currently consists of 17 shareholders from eight countries and is supported by associated partners from all industry sectors, proof of industry’s willingness to drive the transition to renewable energies, set in motion a long-term development, and foster new business potential. More information on Desertec can be found at http://www.dii-eumena.com.
About Concentrix Solar
Concentrix Solar GmbH is a leading supplier of concentrator photovoltaic power plants for sunny locations. The company was founded in February 2005 as a spin-off company of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. At present, about 70 people are employed at Concentrix Solar. Since December 2009, Concentrix Solar is a division of the Soitec Group. For manufacturing its IEC certified FLATCON(R) concentrator modules, Concentrix Solar operates a fully-automated industrial production line located in Freiburg, Germany with an annual production capacity of more than 30 megawatts.
The FLATCON(R) technology uses Fresnel lenses to focus sunlight onto small highly-efficient solar cells. These solar cells convert the sunlight, concentrated 500 times, directly into electrical energy. With this technology, Concentrix Solar achieves AC system efficiencies of 25 percent, which are almost twice as high as those achieved by conventional silicon technology. As a result, electricity generation cost reduction between 10 and 20 percent can be reached 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(TM) technology to engineer new substrate solutions, such as silicon-on-insulator (SOI) 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 epiwafers and gallium nitride (GaN) wafers, to the compound material world for the manufacture of high-frequency electronics and other optoelectronic devices.
Tracit, on the other hand, 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 is entering the fast-growing solar industry; capturing value through the system level. Shares of the Soitec Group are listed on Euronext Paris.