French solar firm Soitec secures prestigious US military contract
Soitec has been successful in a bid to supply the US Department of Defense’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) for a 1 MWAC solar project at Fort Irwin, California.
According to the Department of Defense, 22 projects were competitively selected from the 468 proposals submitted to demonstrate renewable energy and water technologies on military installations through its Installation Energy Test Bed initiative.
This concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar power plant will provide onsite distributed generation for the Ft. Irwin military facility which is home to the National Training Center and has a daily population of nearly 25,000.
The energy will be produced using France-based Soitec’s Concentrix 5th-generation CPV dual-axis tracking technology with 480 CPV solar modules manufactured in the company’s new North American manufacturing headquarters located in San Diego.
The Soitec CX-S530 is designed to improve the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale solar power plants in the sunniest regions of the world.
With a module area of over 100 square-meters (1,130 square feet), one Soitec CX-S530 system achieves a capacity of almost 30 kilowatts peak. The size of the system is optimized to deliver high performance while drastically reducing the cost of installation and maintenance.
The CX-S530 system applies 12 of the extra large 5th generation of Soitec CPV modules. These modules are more than twice as efficient as conventional photovoltaic modules. In one module, the Fresnel lenses concentrate the sunlight onto 2,400 tiny multi-junction solar cells.
Project planning is underway and construction is scheduled to be completed in 2014.
“This project will allow the Department of Defense to showcase Soitec’s CPV technology, demonstrating future government applications consistent with the goals of improving energy security and expanding the development of renewable energy,” said Clark Crawford, Soitec’s Vice President of Sales and Business Development USA. “Our technology is perfectly suited for desert locations as it shows almost no degradation even under very harsh environmental conditions.”
The Grenoble-based company has CPV installations in 18 countries around the world.