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French CPV manufacturer Soitec has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with South Africa’s public utility Eskom for its planned 44MWp Touwsrivier power plant.

Soitec said it would now seek finance for the project, which is planned to be operational in mid-2013 but not fully constructed until sometime in 2014, according to the company. The plant was initially announced in December, 2011 as a 50MW facility. 

André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Soitec, said: "We are very pleased and honored that our Touwsrivier project is one of the first to have been selected by the South African Department of Energy. Our concentrating photovoltaic technology can be used to harness an immediately available, renewable and carbon-free energy source. The fact we are able to take aspects of local content into account is another key point of our approach.”

Soitec had already built a pilot plant using its CPV technology in the Western Cape, close to the Aquila Private Game Reserve where the full-size CPV plant will be built.