Soitec and Reflexite Energy Solutions have joined forces to create a new company dedicated to producing silicone-on-glass (SOG) Fresnel lens plates for concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) modules. The company, which has been christened Reflexite Soitec Optical Technology and is to be based in Soitec’s new San Diego manufacturing facility, will also focus on increasing the efficiency and lowering the cost of the lens plates.

Under the terms of the agreement, Reflexite is supplying the technology and manufacturing expertise to produce the SOG lens plates, while Soitec provides the design expertise and business contacts, as well as the factory itself. Discussion is currently underway on the layout of the factory, which, when operational, will employ 100 people.

"This joint venture is unique in the CPV industry and represents a very important step in our commitment to the San Diego region and the US market” said Andre Jacques Auberton-Herve, Soitec’s president, CEO and chairman. "By working together under the same roof, we can ensure the continuous supply of superior-quality lens plates at the most competitive cost, and our future product development programs will be much more efficient by working in such close proximity."

"We have partnered with Soitec for many years to develop a durable, field-tested system that has been deployed successfully around the world, and we will bring all this experience to bear as we build up our common California base of operations together," said Reflexite CEO Michael Foley. "We are very happy to see Soitec re-confirming their choice of Reflexite's SOG technology as a critical component of their high efficiency system, and we are sure that by co-locating our optics facility with their CPV module assembly facility we will have the best possible logistics and even closer collaboration in the future."

Soitec has been a pioneer of SOG lens plate design and, as its long-term supplier, Reflexite has played a key role in helping Soitec secure contracts to equip more than 300MW of CPV projects throughout the southwest US.