Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
, which makes concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems, has signed a contract with Chevron Technology Ventures to install a 1 MW CPV power plant at a Chevron Mining facility in Questa, NM.
This will be the largest CPV installation in the U.S. and one of the largest CPV power plants in the world, says Concentrix Solar. The power produced will be sold through a power-purchase agreement to the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, according to Chevron.
"With their high direct normal irradiance and their high energy demand, the Southwestern states of the USA are perfectly suited for our CPV technology," said Concentrix Solar CEO, Hansjörg Lerchenmüller. The Concentrix Flatcon technology relies on Fresnel
lenses that focus sunlight onto small highly efficient solar cells at a 500:1 concentration ratio. A single Flatcon CPV tracking system has a nominal power output of 6 kW. One megawatt consists of approximately 175 systems, which can be placed in an area of 7 acres.
Demo in San Diego
Concentrix Solar has already installed a demo system in the U.S. on the University of California San Diego campus. This demonstration tracker, installed in July 2009, confirmed system efficiencies of 25% under full-field operating conditions.
Concentrix Solar’s fully-automated manufacturing line in Freiburg produces CPV modules and has a current capacity of 25 MW; further expansion is planned. The company was recently acquired by the Soitec Group
(Bernin, France), which produces silicon-on-insulator wafers and other substrates.