Soitec CPV plant at COP17 climate talks

Soitec has built a Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) power plant near Durban, South Africa, as a “flagship project” for the 17th annual Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), being held during 28 November to 9 December.

The 500 kW solar-energy facility, which will power the COP17 global gathering, was officially inaugurated by South African President Dr. Jacob. G. Zuma on 4 December.

Soitec worked closely with the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs (DEA) of South Africa and the local eThekwini Municipality to build the CPV solar plant, which feeds into the area’s power-supply grid. The plant was constructed in one month, using the combination of Soitec’s international expertise and the local work force. Group Five, an integrated construction services, materials and infrastructure investment group operating in Africa, was the local construction partner for the project.

“CPV offers South Africa huge potential for its natural resource and climate protection,” said André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, president and ceo of Soitec. “After proving our Concentrix technology’s performance in the region with last year’s installation of a 60 kW power plant at the Aquila Private Game Reserve in Touwsrivier, we are proud to continue supporting the country’s young but growing renewable-energy sector. Sustainable energy, as we all know, is a prerequisite for a sustainable future.”

At the entrance to COP17’s Climate Change Response Expo, located adjacent to the ICC, Soitec will display a full-size, 10-metre-high solar panel tracker to give visitors a close-up look at CPV technology. It will be used to charge electric vehicles.

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