Soitec is looking to bring solar energy to even the most remote, and sunny, parts of the world with its newly launched Sunidarity program, an initiative to help development aid organizations in supporting their efforts to promote economic and human development in the more remote regions of the globe. Soitec plans to donate its new Plug&Sun technology to three selected projects, which will be chosen for their innovation, difficulty of the challenge they overcome and integration within a global development project.
The company’s Plug&Sun product is said to be easy to install and the first stand-alone mini-tracker using 3m2 high efficiency modules. It is designed for use in highly sunny regions with no power grid or an unreliable grid connection. Soitec states that its product has an efficiency close to 30% with each device using a two-axis tracker to generate up to 2.3kWp of electricity. Shipments of the production units to customers are expected to start in 2012.
“As a world leader in CPV technology, we wanted to make it possible to use our innovation in geographical regions where access to electricity is difficult to get. For example, it takes just a few hours to set up three Plug&Sun mini-trackers, which can generate 12kW on a daily basis, the equivalent of the amount of electricity needed for a village. It will ease access to electricity for the 20% of the worldwide population which lives without electricity today,” said André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, president and CEO of Soitec.
All applications for the Sunidarity program will be considered, including those from the education, information, communication, health and agriculture sectors, with organizations asked to turn in applications by April 15, 2012 directly to the company’s website. Soitec noted that under its Sunidarity program it will be partnering with Schneider Electric to provide its energy and electrification of isolated areas access program.