SolFocus and Development Partner to Provide 8.5 MWp Solar Power to Portugal Utility through Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) Systems
SolFocus today announced that, in partnership with Dreen Europe, it has reached an agreement with Portuguese utility Aguas de Portugal (ADP) for the installation of 8.5 megawatts of peak power (MWp) of Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) technology at the company’s facilities. This project is part of ADP Group plan’s to invest over 830 million Euros by 2014 in renewable energy projects, with a goal of covering 3 percent of the electrical needs and avoiding the importation of 4 million barrels of oil and the emission of 724 thousand tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).
SolFocus partnered with developer Dreen Europe Re-energy on the project. A test array was installed in 2009 in one of Dreen’s Europe facilities, to allow the utility to gain experience and understanding of the SolFocus CPV technology. Project deployment will begin in early 2010 for the first 2 MW, with the balance of the project deployed in phases over the next four years.
“As global delegates consider climate goals at the upcoming Copenhagen climate discussions, this agreement comes at a critical time for delivering low-cost solar energy to progressive markets like Portugal,” said SolFocus CEO and president Mark Crowley. “The high energy generation capability of the iconic SolFocus CPV systems, which convert sunlight to electricity at over 25 percent efficiency, result in a good solution for ADP today. Now one of the largest CPV projects in Europe, this project puts Portugal on a steep trajectory of driving energy costs down at a very rapid rate.”
“ADP is very committed to renewable energy for the country as is evidenced by our significant investment over the upcoming years in many renewable technologies,” explained Antonio Branco board member for ADP. “We believe that investing in new and disruptive technologies such as SolFocus CPV is key to driving the global initiative for higher renewable energy usage.”
The SolFocus CPV design employs a system of reflective optics to concentrate sunlight 650 times onto small, highly efficient triple junction solar cells. The SolFocus 1100S uses approximately 1/1,000th of the active, expensive solar cell material compared to traditional silicon based photovoltaic panels. In addition, the cells used in SolFocus CPV systems have over twice the efficiency of traditional silicon cells. In high solar regions such as Portugal, such efficiency can accelerate the trajectory for solar energy to reach grid parity with fossil fuels.
SolFocus integrates the CPV panels with its advanced tracking system that continuously aligns the solar array with direct sunlight throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky. The tracking capability of the SolFocus 1100S results in energy generation ideally matched to peak demand periods.
The SolFocus mission is to enable solar energy generation at a Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) competitive with traditional fossil fuel sources. To achieve this goal, SolFocus has developed leading concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology which combines high-efficiency solar cells (approaching 40 percent) and advanced optics to provide solar energy solutions which are scalable, dependable and capable of delivering on the promise of clean, low-cost, renewable energy. SolFocus is headquartered in Mountain View, California with European operations headquartered in Madrid, Spain, and manufacturing in Mesa, Arizona as well as with manufacturing partners in India and China.
Aguas de Portugal is a leading group operating in the environmental sector in Portugal with a mission of contributing to the pursuit of national objectives in water supply, wastewater sanitation and treatment, and urban waste recovery and disposal, within a framework of economic, financial, technical, social and environmental sustainability.
ADP’s goal is to protect and value the natural and human environment: the activities of ADP’s companies include water collection, treatment, storage and supply while following the highest of quality patterns; collection, treatment and disposal of urban and industrial wastewater, including its recycling and reuse in an environmental safe manner; and waste treatment and recovery.
Sustainable use and preservation of natural resources, equilibrium and improvement of the quality of the environment, equity in access to public services and the promotion of well-being and people’s standards of living are fundamental values to ADP Group.
About Dreen Europe
Dreen Europe is a Portuguese Group with a mission to promote economically and environmentally sustainable projects and solutions in centralised and decentralised markets in the areas of renewable energies and renewable water (recycling, reuse and desalinisation of water), thus creating differentiated value for its clients, shareholders, collaborators and countries where it develops its activity. Dreen owns 100 percent of De Viris, Natura e Ambiente SA, whose purpose and mission is: creation, construction and installation (turnkey method), management, operation and maintenance of integrated systems that promote the sustainability of energy and water resources, with the use of renewable energies (solar photovoltaic and thermal, wind, geothermal, etc.) and renewable water (recycling, reuse and desalinisation).