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12 December 2007


Emcore to supply 60MW of CPV systems to Ontario

Emcore Corp of Albuquerque, NM, USA has signed a memorandum of understanding to supply and install 60MW of turnkey concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) solar power systems in the Sault Ste Marie area of Ontario, Canada over the next three years. Emcore also has the right to substitute other solar technologies in portions of the projects.

Local firm Pod Generating Group (PGG), a developer of photovoltaics-based power generation facilities in Northern Ontario, Canada (and a sister company of Los Angeles-based Pod Consulting Group), has secured the licenses and permits for the project through the Ontario Power Authority’s Standard Offer Program. System deployment is expected to begin in mid-2008.

In addition, Emcore says that it is in discussions to set up a manufacturing plant in the Sault Ste Marie area to supply local demand as volume ramps up, instead of making the panels at its plant in Albuquerque. According to report in the local web-based publication, the cost of transporting the triple-junction panels and the cost of having support for the project off-site makes setting up a plant and support team at the location more economically feasible.

Earl Fuller, VP and general manager of Emcore’s Solar Power Systems division, is quoted as saying that Emcore will need local manufacturing and support for the solar panel installation for the 60MW project within the next 18-24 months. Initially, the plant will supply panels to the Ontario area but, because of its geographic location, it will later supply panels to the North Eastern and Eastern regions of North America. Fuller added that the Ontario Government’s Standard Offer Program offers the most economic support for the expensive start-up costs of solar power component manufacturing and distribution compared to most other areas of the world.

Emcore says that its CPV systems incorporate high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells that operate with 500x concentration. In August, the firm said that it obtained 39% peak conversion efficiency under 1000x concentration on its current volume-production terrestrial CPV products, compared to typically 15-21% for silicon-based solar cells and 35% on average for competing multi-junction cells.

“Emcore’s CPV systems are optimized for the lowest cost-per-watt of any utility-scale photovoltaic power system,” claims Fuller. “CPV improves the performance of compound semiconductor-based solar cells, avoids the supply constraint that currently exists with silicon-based solar modules, and provides a lower cost-per-watt,” adds Fuller.

See related items:

SolFocus boosts second-round funding by $11.6m to $63.6m

GreenVolts raises $10m in Series A funding

Emcore receives record concentrator photovoltaic cell order

Emcore claims record efficiency for volume-production, multi-junction solar cell aimed at terrestrial applications

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