SDG&E Signs Agreements for Power from Solar CPV Projects
LCG, May 20, 2011--San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and subsidiaries of Soitec Solar Development, LLC, yesterday announced the execution of two new 25-year Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) totaling 125 MW of capacity. The projects will employ Soitec's Concentrix concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology.
The Concentrix technology uses Fresnel lenses to concentrate sunlight onto high-efficiency, triple-junction solar cells (GaInP/GaInAs/Ge) in which three different types of solar cells are stacked on top of one another. Each cell type is designed to convert a certain range of the solar spectrum: short wave radiation, medium wave radiation and infrared. The solar modules that incorporate the Fresnel lenses and solar cells are mounted on a two-axis tracking system that follows the sun throughout the day.
Last month, a Chevron subsidiary began operations of a 1-MW project employing Soitec's CPV technology in New Mexico.
SDG&E's two new PPAs follow three other PPAs signed by the two companies in April for 30 MW of capacity from projects employing CPV. Both of the new proposed projects will be located in San Diego County and will be situated near SDG&E electric substations.
The solar modules will be manufactured in a new Soitec factory to be built at a yet-to-be-announced site in the San Diego area. The new factory will have an annual production capacity of 200 MW and is expected to be completed within 18 months after of construction commences. The factory will supply all of SDG&E's projects with Soitec using the Concentrix CPV technology.
The two new power contracts require approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
California passed a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that requires utilities to increase their electric supply procurement of eligible renewable generating resources, including a target requirement of 33 percent in 2020.
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