An electric utility in Arizona will install the world”s largest high-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) solar project.
TORRANCE, California, US, 2001-04-27 <SolarAccess.com> An electric utility in Arizona will install the world’s largest high-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) solar project. Arizona Public Service Co. will install the 500 kW system using patented technology from Amonix Inc., of Torrance, California. The multi-site system will have an overall DC efficiency of more than 17 percent, and Amonix claims its solar array will be the lowest-cost PV technology when manufactured in volume. “For several years, we have been working with Amonix to develop this technology, and are pleased to be constructing and operating these first commercial solar power generation facilities,” says Herb Hayden, Solar Program Coordinator for APS. “We are confident that high-concentration PV is ready for large-scale commercial use, and this installation will demonstrate it.” The first 100 kW came on line earlier this month, with the balance of 400 kW to be installed this year. The project will generate more than 1,000 MWh per year when fully operational, and the output will feed into the APS grid and displace more than 2,384 pounds of NOx, 3,713 pounds of SO2 and 1,249,249 pounds of CO2 each year, according to EPA calculations. Each HCPV array is 55 by 45 feet, and contains five MegaModule(TM) building blocks that are rated at 5 kW each. The MegaModules are mounted on a two-axis tracker and concentrates sunlight 250 times, reducing the amount of solar cell material needed. “Our technology has an opportunity to play a major role in solving our country’s energy crisis,” says Vahan Garboushian, president and founder of Amonix. “Our system can be readily manufactured in volume, and has great potential to be the world’s lowest-cost solar option.” HCPV technology received assistance from the Electric Power Research Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as from DOE labs including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Sandia. The technology is suited for high-volume production that could be ramped up as the demand for solar generation increases. “Environmental benefits and cost are both important factors that must be balanced, which is why APS has been so supportive of solar development,” adds Hayden. “We’re excited about the potential that Amonix and high-concentration PV has as a large-scale solar generation resource.” APS is Arizona’s largest and longest-serving utility, with 857,000 customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. It is based in Phoenix and is the largest subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp.