CPV manufacturer Soitec has announced the installation of a 25kW concentrator PV demonstration plant in the village of Usib near Rehoboth in central Namibia.
The installation has been connected to the grid of the national power utility, NamPower, and provides electricity for users including a rural school. Soitec and NamPower have entered into a cooperative agreement in which Soitec has constructed and operates the CPV plant and will transfer the knowledge gained as well as operations and maintenance duties to NamPower.
“Building a project such as this one allows us to demonstrate the real-world application of our CPV technology in hot and arid locations,” said Gaetan Borgers, executive vice president of Soitec Solar Division.
Additionally Soitec's subcontractor Alensy has installed a solar water pump at the community garden to ensure there is sufficient water to irrigate up to one acre of crops. Funds from the sale of electricity generated by the power plant and injected into the grid will be credited to the school's electricity bill. The power plant will be in operation for at least 20 years.
May was a busy month for Soitec when it completed another demonstration installation at a copper mining operation in Chile. The company also finalised a US$100 million bond to finance a 44MW utility-scale CPV plant in Touwsrivier, South Africa.
Soitec will also be educating US-based Maxwell Technologies on CPV usage. The California Energy Commission will fund a two-phase research programme that integrates an ultracapacitor-based energy storage system with Soitec's Concentrix CPV system.