SolFocus, Samaras Group expand commercial solar CPV plans in Greece to 10 MW

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SolFocus and Samaras Group have agreed to expand the terms of their agreement to use solar concentrator photovoltaic technology in Greece, increasing the capacity of the commercial deployments from the original goal of 1.6 MWp to 10 MWp.

The expanded deal involves a joint effort between SolFocus, Samaras Group, and its engineering company Concept. Over the past four months, the partners have investigated several sites and begun engineering plans for the installations.

“The swift expansion of this project resulted from the favorable political, economic, and energy generation environment that exists in Greece for commercial solar technologies,” said Mark Crowley, CEO/president of SolFocus. “2009 is truly the beginning of CPV commercialization and Greece is a front-runner. We expect that CPV will follow a similar growth path in other high-sun regions over the next several years.”
“The Samaras Group is confident that we can accomplish such a significant project expansion with the continued partnership of SolFocus,” stated Dimitrios Samaras, president of Samaras Group. “SolFocus systems are easy to scale, reliable in the field, and amazingly efficient. We look forward to proving the strength of CPV through the results of this installation.”

Installations of SolFocus 110S CPV systems, set to begin this summer, are planned for multiple sites in Greece, with the first delivery of power expected in the fall, the companies said.

SolFocus, which raised another $47.5 million in a Series C financing round earlier this year, already has a contract worth a reported $103 million with EMPE Solar to deploy more than 10 MW of its CPV systems at several utility-scale sites in southern Spain by 2010. 

SolFocus also plays a key role in a consortium with plans in the works that could lead to the construction of what would be the largest deployment yet of utility-scale CPV.

The company is part of Helios Energy Partners, along with developer KRS Energy and an unnamed private finance company. The group hopes to build a 200-MW solar-power plant, using SolFocus CPV systems, in Pueblo County in Colorado.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported last week that the county board of commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding for the proposed plant, said to be at least a $900 million investment. The next step for the Helios partnership will be to submit a bid to Xcel Energy (which is due in April) and to obtain permission from the U.S. Army to get access to several thousand acres of unused land where the facility would be built.

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