Soitec CPV plant: COP17 flagship project

Soitec has built a concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) power plant near Durban, South Africa, as the flagship project for the UN’s COP17 climate change meeting. The plant will be inaugurated by South Africa’s President Dr. Jacob Zuma, and tours will run twice daily.

November 30, 2011 — Semiconductor material developer Soitec (Euronext) has built a concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) power plant near Durban, South Africa, as the flagship project for the 17th annual Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), November 28-December 9.

The 500kW solar-energy facility, which is powering the COP17 global gathering, will be officially inaugurated by South African President Dr. Jacob. G. Zuma on December 4. Guided tours of the fully functional solar plant will take place twice daily December 5-9 at the installation site in Hazelmere.

Soitec worked with the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs (DEA) of South Africa and the local eThekwini Municipality to build the CPV solar plant, which feeds into the area?s power-supply grid. The CPV plant was constructed in 1 month by the local Group Five contruction workforce, trained and supervised by Soitec’s international team.

The installation comes on the heels of a 60kW CPV power plant in the Aquila Private Game Reserve of Touwsrivier, South Africa. “CPV offers South Africa huge potential for its natural resource and climate protection,” said André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, president and CEO of Soitec. CPV offers higher power production yields at peak times, and lower construction and maintenance costs, than other solar technologies, Soitec reports. It also operates without a water cooling system, withstanding hot ambient temperatures and avoiding land-use damage.

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At the entrance to COP17?s Climate Change Response Expo, located adjacent to the ICC, Soitec has a full-size, 10m-high solar panel tracker, which is being used to charge electric vehicles (EVs). Soitec is located at stand 101-B.

Soitec is an international manufacturing company generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials for energy and electronic uses. For more information, visit:

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