11 October 2010


Soitec allies with Johnson Controls for utility-scale PV projects

Soitec Group of Bernin, France, which manufactures engineered substrates including silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers (as well as III-V epiwafers through its Picogiga International division), says that its concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system making division Concentrix Solar GmbH of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany has concluded a global alliance with Johnson Controls, which delivers products, services and solutions for increased energy efficiency in buildings.

Concentrix was founded in 2005 as a privately held spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, before about 80% of its shares were acquired by Soitec last December. Its high-efficiency CPV technology (with two-axis tracking) is designed for use by large-scale solar power plants in hot and arid regions with high direct solar irradiation. Johnson Controls provides turnkey project development, engineering, procurement, construction, operation and maintenance of large-scale energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Under the new collaboration, Johnson Controls and Concentrix Solar aim to identify and respond to commercial opportunities for the project development and construction of utility-scale solar energy facilities. Johnson Controls will build, operate, maintain and provide life-cycle support for solar installations using Concentrix’s CPV technology.

The combination of the respective strengths of both firms (efficient and cost-effective technology on the one hand, and expertise in energy efficiency and sustainability on the other hand) should accelerate and widen the installation of solar renewable energy utility-scale plants in direct normal irradiation (DNI) regions worldwide, say the firms.

“Before forming our alliance with Concentrix Solar, we studied all primary solar technologies and market participants,” says Iain Campbell, Johnson Controls’ VP & general manager of Global Energy and Workplace Solutions. “We concluded that the combination of Soitec’s technical capabilities in engineered substrate solutions and Concentrix Solar’s module design together provides the market-leading solution for solar power generation in high-DNI regions around the world,” he adds.

Johnson Controls shares Soitec’s vision for sustainable and economically viable, solar renewable energy, comments Soitec’s chairman & CEO André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé. “Together, we understand the market opportunity and positive environmental impact that solar renewable energy power will bring to both existing and future facilities.”

Concentrix Solar is exhibiting at this week’s Solar Power International show in Los Angeles, CA, USA (12–14 October).

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