Bernin (GRENOBLE), France — Soitec Solar Development, LLC (“Soitec”) announced today that Invenergy Solar Development LLC (“Invenergy”) has acquired Soitec’s 7 MWp (5 MWAC) Desert Green Solar Farm LLC (“Desert Green”) energy generation project in Borrego Springs, California.
Desert Green will be located approximately 90 miles from the City of San Diego, in northeastern San Diego County. The project will feature more than 2,800 Soitec Concentrix(TM) concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) modules, which are manufactured at Soitec’s Rancho Bernardo factory.
Project construction is scheduled to begin this month, with commercial operations expected to commence by the end of 2014. Power generated by Desert Green will be purchased by San Diego Gas & Electric (“SDG&E”) under a long-term agreement. The facility will connect to SDG&E’s Borrego Springs substation.
“Invenergy is pleased to reach this agreement with Soitec, as California continues to lead the nation in its support for renewable power generation,” said Jim Shield, Chief Development Officer at Invenergy. “Desert Green is a real milestone for Invenergy as our first clean energy project in the state. We’re proud to invest in Borrego Springs, and look forward to a long and successful relationship with the community.”
In 2011, SDG&E entered into five PPAs for 155 MW with Soitec Solar Development. Desert Green is the first project to start construction within that PPA portfolio. These SDG&E PPAs underpinned Soitec’s investment of over $150 million in its San Diego CPV module factory which to date has created over 250 jobs at Soitec’s Rancho Bernardo facility.
“This is an important milestone occurring shortly after the first year of operation of our San Diego factory and demonstrates Soitec’s success in executing its strategic plan to complete its portfolio of CPV projects supporting the San Diego factory,” said Clark Crawford, Vice President of Sales and Business Development. “Invenergy’s clean energy industry experience and track record of raising project finance – along with its proven construction and operational capabilities – will ensure that the Desert Green project is completed and operated with the highest standards.”
“SDG&E looks forward to working with Invenergy as it builds a new source of clean, homegrown energy here in Southern California, helping SDG&E to meet its state Renewable Portfolio Standard goals,” said James Avery, Senior Vice President of Power Supply at SDG&E. “SDG&E is proud to have spurred Soitec’s investment in the local CleanTECH cluster with its San Diego factory, and the PPAs using Soitec’s CPV modules will help SDG&E to meet its RPS goals.”
The project is expected to create approximately 50 jobs during the peak of construction. In its first year of operation, the Desert Green solar project will generate enough clean energy to power nearly 2,000 homes in SDG&E’s service territory. The project will displace nearly 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, the equivalent of taking more than 1,000 cars off US roadways.
The energy will be produced using Soitec’s Concentrix 5th generation CPV dual-axis tracking technology. The Soitec CX-S530 system is designed to improve the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale solar power plants in the sunniest regions of the world. With installations in 20 countries around the world, Soitec’s CPV technology has proven to be the most efficient and environmentally friendly solar power generation technology. It demonstrates unique cost competitiveness compared to other solar technologies, largely due to its higher production yields throughout the sunlight hours and lower construction and maintenance costs. In addition, CPV technology’s ability to operate without cooling water, withstand hot ambient temperatures with minimal environmental impact make it perfectly suited for use in desert areas such as Borrego Springs, CA.
Soitec is an international manufacturing company, a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials at the frontier of the most exciting energy and electronic challenges. Soitec’s products include substrates for microelectronics (most notably SOI: Silicon-on-Insulator) and concentrator photovoltaic systems (CPV). The company’s core technologies are Smart Cut(TM), Smart Stacking(TM) and Concentrix(TM), as well as expertise in epitaxy. Applications include consumer and mobile electronics, microelectronics-driven IT, telecommunications, automotive electronics, lighting products and large-scale solar power plants. Soitec has manufacturing plants and R&D centers in France, Singapore, Germany and the United States. For more information visit: www.soitec.com.
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