Soitec secures financing for 50 MW solar energy plant in South Africa

Investec has committed to finance the project and raise the equity to construct the plant, which will be equipped with Soitec’s fifth-generation Concentrix concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems. All financial arrangements are expected to be finalized by the end of the second quarter of 2012.

In December 2011, Soitec was selected by South Africa’s Department of Energy as one of the preferred bidders under the country’s independent power producer (IPP) program. Soitec’s initial project in this program is the solar plant in Touwsrivier, near the Aquila Private Game Reserve where Soitec has already installed a pilot facility.

According to South Africa’s Department of Energy, the country’s goal is that 42 percent of all newly installed capacity in the next 20 years will be based on renewable-energy sources.

“With financing now in place, we are moving forward to provide South Africa with its first large-scale CPV renewable-energy plant,” said André Jacques Auberton-Hervé, chairman and CEO of Soitec. “Following our previous construction of a pilot facility at Aquila and the 500-kw CPV plant near Durban that helped to power the United Nation’s recent conference on global climate change, Soitec is helping South Africa to realize its ambitious renewable-energy objectives.”

Soitec’s durable, high-efficiency Concentrix systems are well suited for installation in South Africa and other sites with high direct solar radiation. The systems produce a high, constant power output curve throughout the day and are able to match peak-load demands.

Founded in South Africa in 1974, Investec is a specialist bank and asset manager which provides a diverse range of financial products and services. Its principal markets are South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia. Investec’s strategic goal is to develop business on an international scale.