Project Focus: SolFocus teams with CPC unit Vision on first commercial CPV plant in Saudi Arabia

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Concentrator photovoltaics developer SolFocus will partner with Vision Electro Mechanical to build the first commercial CPV power plant in Saudi Arabia. The initial project will be the initial project in a series of Saudi solar power stations planned by Vision (a subsidiary of Construction Projects Holding Co. [CPC]).

Nancy Hartsoch, SolFocus’ VP of marketing told PV-Tech that the first system, to be installed at CPC’s industrial complex in Bahra, will be 132KW and that details on an additional 70KW of pilot installations across Saudi Arabia will be forthcoming.  

Construction on the Bahra project will begin next month, she said, with the “pilot in before the end of the year,” although she did not have details on when the system would be interconnected to the local grid.

Vision will act as the project developer/EPC company and also as a reseller of the SolFocus product line, according to Hartsoch.

Financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.

“The high sun conditions of the Middle East provide an ideal environment for reaping large-scale, low-cost solar energy from CPV systems,” said Mark Crowley, CEO of SolFocus, in a statement. “Together with our partners at Vision, SolFocus will bring the world’s most efficient and resource-friendly solar technology to Saudi Arabia, providing energy diversification for the country.”

“We accomplished this partnership in line with Saudi’s efforts to promote investment in renewable energy projects and serve power projects in the Gulf and the wider Arabian region,” said Hassan Chahine, general manager of Vision. “This is a breakthrough in Saudi Arabia’s thrust for energy diversification. We believe the Bahra plant will serve as a model for the further research and study of clean water and power solutions that diversify the region’s energy mix.”

SolFocus completed what is currently the largest (1MW) CPV project in North America in May (at Victor Valley College in Southern California) and recently received backing for its power warranty from Munich Re.

In recent months, the company has also been working on the first 1.24MW of a proposed 10MW project on the Greek island of Crete and a 235KW system in Alice Springs, Australia.

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