Soitec invests US$150 m in U.S. facility for CPV production

The company has purchased manufacturing premises in Rancho Bernardo, California., from Sony Electronics, to produce CPV modules for the U.S. market.

According to the company, the site will enable a manufacturing capacity of 200 megawatts (MW) of Soitec’s fifth generation Concentrix CPV modules, and with future expansion will double the capacity to 400 MW per year.

The reported US$150-million investment will create 450 on-site jobs in the City of San Diego, and more than 1,000 indirect jobs at full capacity (200 MW).

Soitec’s investment includes the acquisition of a 176,000-square-foot manufacturing centre on 14.8 acres of land, located within the campus of Sony Electronics’ U.S. headquarters. Soitec says it will begin upgrading the facilities in early 2012, and "plans to have its first phase (100 MW) production line operational by the fourth quarter of 2012".

In November 2011, Soitec announced the joint venture Reflexite Soitec Optical Technology LLC, which will now operate its own 100-person manufacturing operation within the facility - developing and manufacturing leading-edge silicone-on-glass (SOG) Fresnel lens plates used in Soitec’s CPV modules.

Soitec’s CPV systems have enabled the company to plan for more than 300 MW in solar power plant projects throughout the Southwest U.S., including 155 MW in power purchase agreements with San Diego Gas & Electric, approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last month. Additionally, a power purchase agreement for up to 150 MW for the Imperial Solar Energy Center West project, another project that currently proposes to use Soitec’s CPV technology, was also approved by the CPUC on December 15. Tenaska Solar Ventures, LLC, an affiliate of independent energy company Tenaska, is developing that project.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity