29 April 2011

Chevron starts operation of 1MW CPV solar field with Soitec systems

Coal and metal mining firm Chevron Mining Inc (CMI), a subsidiary of Chevron Corp of Englewood, CO, USA and sister company Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV, a division of Chevron USA), has started operation of one of the USA’s largest concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) solar facilities. The installation, located on the tailing site of CMI’s molybdenum mine in Questa, NM, will demonstrate and evaluate an emerging solar technology and a practical use of previously impacted land.

The Questa solar field covers about 20 acres and includes 173 solar trackers, each about 18 feet by 21 feet in size. The field includes CPV systems made by Soitec Group of Bernin, France (via its CPV system making division Concentrix Solar GmbH of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany) and has the capacity to generate about 1MW of electricity (enough to power about 300 New Mexico homes). Electricity produced will be sold to Kit Carson Electric Cooperative through a power purchase agreement.

“Chevron is one of the first companies in the US to demonstrate CPV on this scale,” claims CTV president Des King. “We’re fortunate that we have property in a part of the world with a solar resource that is expected to be most conducive to this type of technology,” he adds. CPV technology uses lenses to collect and focus direct sunlight onto layers of high-efficiency photovoltaic cell, and is expected to work best in areas like northern New Mexico that have higher direct solar radiation. “This project goes a long way in demonstrating the unique solar resource we have in this part of New Mexico,” comments Questa’s mayor Esther Garcia.

Video of the Questa Solar Project can be seen at www.youtube.com/chevron#p/u/12/qfpHpkfdBQ0

Tags: Chevron Soitec CPV

Visit: www.soitec.com

Visit: www.chevron.com

Visit us at Linked In

See Latest IssueRSS Feed